Saints earn local bragging rights as Tudors are dumped out of the cup
Hemel Hempstead Town were beaten in the semi-finals of the Hertfordshire Charity Cup as St Albans ground out a 1-0 win at Clarence Park.
Harry Anderson netted a first half winner for the Saints, who fully deserved the victory against a lacklustre Hemel side.
In Adam Morgan and Ibra Sekajja, Hemel boasted a strikeforce featuring two players who were members of the Liverpool and Crystal Palace first team squads not so long ago, but the Tudors took a while to get into their stride.
Their first chance arrived in the 13th minute as MK Dons loanee Harry Hickford climbed well at the back post, but could only loop his header onto the top of Martin Brennan’s net.
St Albans came close themselves a few minutes later, with Jonathan Edwards seeing his fizzing strike fly a couple of yards over the bar.
Morgan and Sekajja were finding it hard to get into the game, but the latter fired just wide on the half hour mark after good work down the left from Graeme Montgomery.
A big chance fell to the Saints soon afterwards as Edwards reached the bye-line and cut the ball back from Billy Gibson, however he was denied by a fine goalline block from Hickford, with goalkeeper Xavi Comas Leon beaten.
It was the hosts who deservedly broke the deadlock a couple of minutes before half-time as Anderson raced clear before keeping his cool to round Comas Leon and slot home.
St Albans started the second half brightly, but Hemel came close to an equaliser when Tom Bender’s wayward header forced a decent save from his own goalkeeper, before Michael Richens headed just wide from the resulting corner.
Montgomery also had a crack for Hemel after being gifted possession deep in the Saint Albans half, but he lashed his shot over the bar.
St Albans had the chance to make sure of the win late on, with Comas Leon reacting well to deny Louie Theophanous, but it did not matter as St Albans held on comfortably for the victory.
St Albans City: 1 Martin Brennan, 2 Scott Thomas, 3 Tom Bender, 4 Billy Gibson, 5 Josh Staunton, 6 Darren Locke, 7 Harry Anderson, 8 Sam Corcoran (c) (15 Kevin Krans, 60 mins), 9 Michael Thalassitis (14 Louie Theophanous, 60 mins), 10 Jonathon Edwards, 11 Lee Chappell. Subs not used: 12 Charlie McDonald, 16 Oran Swales, 17 Lee Allinson.
Hemel Hempstead Town: 1 Xavi Comas Leon, 2 Michael Ogroro, 3 Jack Kelly, 4 Harry Hickford, 5 Adam Bailey-Dennis, 6 Reiss Greenidge, 7 Ben Herd (c), 8 Michael Richens (12 James Potton, 63 mins), 9 Adam Morgan, 10 Ibra Sekajja, 11 Graeme Montgomery. Subs not used: 14 Mitchell Bolpit, 15 Dean Brennan, 16 Joe Findlay-Bada, 17 Jamie Butler.