​Derby agony for the Tudors as St Albans avenge Boxing Day defeat

​Hemel Hempstead blew an early two-goal lead to lose in the last seconds of the game at home to local rivals St Albans on New Year’s Day.
Action from the defeat on New Year's Day. Photo: HHTFC.Action from the defeat on New Year's Day. Photo: HHTFC.
Action from the defeat on New Year's Day. Photo: HHTFC.

Having beaten St Albans on Boxing Day, themselves coming from behind to win with two late goals, Hemel went into the game on a high and with a psychological boost behind them but couldn’t convert George Williams’ two early goals into three points as the visitors fought back to win the game in stoppage time.

First team coach Mahrez Bettache told the club’s media channels after the game that it was frustrating to have seen the Tudors fail to capitalise on a great start.

He said: “It wasn’t our day after a brilliant first 15 minutes where we were explosive out of the traps but it was a shame not to manage the game in terms of tracking their runners, and it just needed a bit of leadership out there.

"They made it 2-1 before half-time and then we know we’re in a game when we should have been cruising. It was a derby game and tensions were high and in the end it was a carbon copy of what we did at their place but in reverse.”

Hemel return to action on Saturday when they go to Chippenham Town who are just one point behind them in the National League South standings, Hemel being 13th and six points off the play-off places following Monday’s defeat.

*Berkhamsted tasted victory under caretaker boss Trishan Patel on Saturday.

A 6-0 loss at Stourbridge had been followed three days later by a 4-0 home reverse at the hands of AFC Sudbury and the subsequent resignation of boss Steve Heath.

Patel took charge of Berko’s trip to play-off hopefuls, Hitchin Town, on Saturday, with just one win from their 23 League games behind them.

Despite trailing at the break, a rousing second half performance saw them emerge as 3-1 winners, Hamilton Bunger levelling the scores and then Nathan Frater striking twice late on.

Berko now prepare at host Leamington this weekend.