Hemel Hempstead Town’s winless streak in the league was extended to eight games on Saturday after perennial bogey team Bath City defeated them 3-0 at Vauxhall Road.
Visitors Bath kept themselves in touch with the promotion-chasing pack with a clinical win against a Hemel side who have lost their way in recent weeks.
The first-half was forgettable in terms of entertainment, but Bath had the better of the chances.
James Moreton took advantage of a poor clearance and forced Tudors’ keeper Laurie Walker into a smart save after just three minutes.
Sean Rigg then went close with a shot that Walker did well to push away for a corner.
Not long after this Rigg had to be replaced after pulling up with an injury on 33 minutes and had to be replaced by Ross Stearn.
What a replacement he proved to be, scoring with his first touch of the game when a cross was only half-cleared and he fired home via a slight deflection from the edge of the box after 39 minutes.
In the second period Bath controlled the game for the most part and it was only the Tudors’ skipper Jordan Parkes who looked like he might unlock a well-marshalled City defence.
He tried a speculative effort from 30 yards that almost caught stopper Ryan Clarke off his line, but the Bath man just managed to get back to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Hemel made a couple of substitutions, bringing on loanee Arthur Read and Matteo Mendy for Leon Lobjoit and Jack Snelus but it made little impact.
A break down the right saw Stearn grab his second of the game when he arrived unmarked to slot home after 67 minutes and he completed his super sub hat-trick two minutes’ later, tapping home after Walker failed to hold onto a cross.
Parkes then tried another speculative effort, this time from just inside the Bath half and it was a relieved City keeper who saw the ball clear the bar with him back-peddling in desperation, but it was all too little too late as Bath saw the game out comfortably.
The defeat, Hemel’s fifth in seven league outings, leaves them in 14th place in the National League South standings.
A special mention must go to the Tudors’ fans who kept singing throughout and they sang Spencer McCall’s name out loud and proud after it was revealed recently that the popular young midfielder has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer after suffering what appeared to be a shin fracture earlier in the season.
The club have announced several fundraising plans, including a sponsored walk from Watford’s Vicarage Road stadium to Hemel’s Vauxhall Road ground.
More details can be found on the club’s website at www.hemelfc.com, on their Twitter account and Facebook page.
Nest up for the Tudors is a trip to relegation-threatened, 19th-placed side Gloucester City next Saturday. The reverse fixture at Vauxhall Road last November finished as a 2-1 victory for Hemel when Rob Sinclair and Steve Cawley got on the scoresheet.
Hemel line-up v Bath City: Laurie Walker, Jacques Kpohomouh, Kyle Connolly, Jordan Parkes (captain), Darren Ward, Tom Hamblin (Oliver Swain), Kavan Cotter, Scott Shulton, Leon Lobjoit (Matteo Mendy), Kieran Monlouis, Jack Snelus (Arthur Read). Subs not used: Arel Amu, Danny Boness.