Ten-man Tudors pay the penalty as Torquay go through in the Trophy

Hemel Town keeper Laurie Walker was sent off in the first half. Picture (c) Darren Kelly
Hemel Town keeper Laurie Walker was sent off in the first half. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

Hemel Hempstead Town saw their dreams of reaching Wembley shattered as they were beaten 2-0 by Torquay United in the FA Trophy.

The decisive moment of the match came in the 26th minute when Tudors keeper Laurie Walker was shown a straight red card after bringing down Torquay striker Ryan Bowman in the area.

Hemel were incensed by the decision, arguing that the United man was going away from goal and the contact from Walker was minimal, but the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and brandishing the red card.

After a lengthy delay as Hemel’s sub keeper Charlie May readied himself for action, Bowman calmly stepped up and dinked home the penalty to put Torquay in front.

Ten-man Hemel battled bravely throughout the game, but the result was put beyond doubt in the second half when United skipper Aaron Downes headed home from a corner.

It was Hemel who had started the game the brighter of the two sides, with Dennis Oli, James Potton and Oliver Hawkins all seeing efforts blocked in the early stages.

Both managers were forced to shuffle their packs following early injuries, with Tudors centre-back Jorell Johnson replaced by Moussa Diarra.

Walker produced a good save to keep out Torquay sub Jordan Chappell soon afterwards, but the Hemel keeper then went from hero to villain.

Bowman raced through on goal and took a touch to push the ball past Walker, before going to ground. Walker was given his marching orders and Bowman did the job from the spot – leaving Hemel with a mountain to climb.

To their credit, Hemel continued to dominate large parts of the game and they could have levelled things through Hawkins, but he shot over when clean through.

Diarra had a goal disallowed, but it was Toruay who sealed their place in the next round when Downes headed home from a corner to make the game safe.