An early Christmas present as Tudors cruise past Oxford City

New signing Graeme Montgomery opened the scoring on his Hemel Town debut. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

New signing Graeme Montgomery opened the scoring on his Hemel Town debut. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

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Hemel Hempstead Town continued their unbeaten away record in the National league South this season as they claimed an excellent 2-0 win at third-placed Oxford City.

New signing Graeme Montgomery put the Tudors ahead early in the second half, before Oliver Hawkins converted a late penalty to secure the points for Dean Brennan’s men.

Oliver Hawkins netted for Hemel against Oxford City. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Oliver Hawkins netted for Hemel against Oxford City. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Hemel could have gone in front in the fifth minute as only the quick reactions of ex-Tudors keeper Laurie Walker kept his former side at bay with an excellent double save.

He got down quickly to his left to keep out a stinging strike from Montgomery effort, before reacting quickly to palm away the follow-up from Jamie Slabber.

There was little goalmouth action at either end in a quiet first half, but Oxford’s Bradley Bubb fired over in the 13th minute, before the same man slotted narrowly wide 10 minutes later.

The second half was just seven minutes old when Hemel broke the deadlock as Montgomery fired home a rasping drive from the edge of the area which left Walker helpless.

City’s response to the setback was underwhelming; Alejandro-Adrian Santiago headed just over from a Luke Coulson corner soon afterwards, but that was as close as the hosts would come to threatening an equaliser.

Hemel’s win was confirmed 10 minutes from time after a mistake from Walker. The goalkeeper came to collect what should have been a simple aerial ball, but spilled it into the path of Hawkins before pulling the striker down in the area.

Walker somehw escaped a red card, but eferee Josh Smith had no hesitation pointing to the spot and Hawkins duly stepped up to hammer home to make sure of the three points for the jubilant Tudors.

Hemel now embark on a busy festive period, with four games in the space of 11 days, starting with the Boxing Day visit of Wealdstone.