Tudors make a point against high-flying Bath City

Hemel Town strike partners Jamie Slabber and Oliver Hawkins. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard
Hemel Town strike partners Jamie Slabber and Oliver Hawkins. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Hemel Hempstead Town returned home with a share of the spoils after recording a creditable 1-1 draw with National League South table toppers Bath City.

Oliver Hawkins put the Tudors ahead in the first half, before Aden Baldwin struck after half-time to earn a point for the high-flying Romans.

It was an entertaining battle at Twerton Park, with Hemel starting brightly against their unbeaten opponents.

The first chance of the game fell to Tudors winger Kyle Connolly, but he fired over, before the visitors deservedly broke the deadlock in the 14th minute when Hawkins headed home a free-kick into the top corner of the net.

Indeed, Hemel should have doubled their advantage soon afterwards when Jamie Slabber found himself unmarked six yards out, but he could only direct his header straight at Bath keeper Steve Phillips.

City’s best two chances of the first half fell to Nick McCootie, but he was first caught dawdling on the ball, before Jamie Butler produced a smart save after the Romans front-man had caught Terrell Forbes in possession.

Five minutes into the second half, Hemel came close to doubling their advantage as Ben Herd released Connolly down the left, but Slabber was unable to apply the finishing touch to his cross.

The next goal was going to prove vital, and it was the hosts who got it with 58 minutes on the clock as Hemel failed to deal with a corner kick and Baldwin was on hand to smash home to restore parity.

The home side were now in the ascendency, and McCootie missed a decent opportunity to put them in front, but Hemel also had their moments and Hawkins was first denied by the offside flag before sending an effort agonisingly wide of the post.

With time running out, Bath had a glorious chance to snatch all three points when Butler pushed Kevin Nicholson’s shot out to Badley Williams, but he fluffed his lines to ensure the spoils were shared.

Bath City: Phillips; Gallinagh, Baldwin, Ball, Nicholson; Hemmings; Kington (Bowman 55), Artus, Davies (Williams 55); Pratt, McCootie (Watkins 72). Subs not used: Coupe, Adelsbury.

Hemel Hempstead Town: Butler; Herd, Connolly, Harriott, Forbes, Oshodi, Potton (Lowe 60), Spring (Richens HT), Hawkins, Slabber (Shariff 74), Smith. Subs not used: Frendo, Comas-Leon.

Booked: Connolly 76.

Referee: D Cook.

Attendance: 685.