Hemel Town grabbed all three points in a game that was closer than the 3-1 scoreline suggests after a much-improved second-half performance at Vauxhall Road on Saturday.
The first period was even, but it was City who ended the half in the ascendancy, taking the lead after 38 minutes. Ed Williams arrived unmarked to tuck the ball away, beating Tudors’ keeper Laurie Walker at his near post.
Before this, Hemel had enjoyed periods of possession but lacked the final pass to open up a well-drilled backline.
The visitors looked dangerous on the counter attack and had a couple of decent chances before they went in front, Kieran Parselle and Joe Parker both putting the ball over the bar when it looked easier to score.
The hosts were struggling to create anything in the box and were restricted to long-range efforts that were easily dealt with by James Hamon in The Tigers’ goal.
The second period started in much the same way and City looked comfortable up until the 57th minute when Hemel striker David Moyo took advantage of a rare slip at the back. Skipper Jordan Parkes drifted a free-kick into the area which was missed by two City defenders and Moyo was left with an easy chance from close-in to level the scores.
Hemel then took the game to the visitors and it became much more open, with City still looking good on the counter.
It looked very much a case of “next goal wins” and it was the Tudors who went in front on 78 minutes. Captain Fantastic Parkes lined up a free-kick some 25 yards out and superbly bent it round the wall, squeezing between Hamon’s outstretched hand and the post.
The home side were then playing with some confidence and substitute Karl Oliyide almost put the game to bed in the 87th minute when he brilliantly turned his man and raced towards goal but Hamon saved his shot superbly, pushing the ball wide.
Oliyide made amends a minute later, tapping home after some excellent work by Hershell Sanchez Watt down the left, he unselfishly laid the ball across the goal after winning possession on the edge of the box, drawing the keeper before setting up his strike partner to make sure of the points.
Next up is Bath City on a crucial evening this Tuesday. Bath have been a bit of a nemesis in recent seasons and are still very much in the promotion mix so Hemel will be hoping to finally nail the bogey boys and push on towards the final playoffs run-in. Kick-off is at 7.45pm at Vauxhall Road.
Hemel: Laurie Walker, Dan Spence, Joe Howe (James Kaloczi), Jordan Parkes, Darren Ward, Kyle Connolly, Matt Saunders, Scott Shulton (Karl Oliyide), David Moyo (Will Hoskins), Hershel Sanchez Watt, Spencer McCall. Subs not used: Micael Cain and Danny Boness.