National South: Moyo’s double brings derby joy for St Albans City over Hemel Hempstead Town

St Albans City hosted near neighbours Hemel Hempstead Town in a traditional Boxing Day match.

St Albans City hosted near neighbours Hemel Hempstead Town in a traditional Boxing Day match. - Credit: Archant

Two goals from David Moyo silenced his former employers and gave St Albans City a 2-1 win over Hemel Hempstead Town.

The striker was given plenty of stick from the Hatfield Road End, which housed the Tudors’ fans, but his winner nine minutes from time was the perfect riposte.

He had opened the scoring in the first-half before Rob Sinclair equalised.

But his winner means City make it back-to-back National South league wins as well as recording a first league success over their neighbours for almost seven years, a 4-0 success in the Southern Premier League.

Their preparations had been thrown into disarray 30 minutes before the kick-off as David Noble was forced to withdraw from the squad when his calf injury, picked up on Saturday at Eastbourne, flared up again in the warm-up.

His place went to Solomon Sambou.

The game began with the intense passion normally associated with derbies noticeably lacking.

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It also began with the Tudors on top.

Steve Cawley had two chances inside the opening minute and could have had at least a hat-trick by the time the clock ticked on to 20 minutes.

The fact he didn’t take any was thrown into sharp relief just after as Moyo fired City into the lead.

He did especially well to beat the offside trap, before holding off Ismail Yakubu and firing in off the inside of Lawrie Walker’s near post.

The hand cupped to the ear was perhaps an understandable celebration.

It took the wind out of the visitors’ sails and for 15 minutes City looked good, or at least more in control.

They did need to see the game out until half-time but that was ripped away from them with a soft goal.

Ben Wyatt gave away a needless free-kick with a lack of awareness and the same affliction befell the rest of his team-mates as Sinclair waltzed in unopposed ands fired beneath Dean Snedker.

The keeper was needed to make a huge save moments later as Sinclair once again found himself totally unmarked on the edge of the box.

They got to the break though without conceding again, and had Da Costa’s radar been working, a free header could have seen them retake the lead before hand.

That longed for passion from St Albans arrived at the start of the second period and the hosts managed to create one or two chances.

The best of them fell to Lewis Knight who almost repeated his trick from Saturday with a back-post volley that was somehow scrambled behind.

But just as it appeared that City would enjoyed a spell of domination, Hemel suddenly upped a gear and only the brilliance of Snedker ensured the scored remained level.

The City goalkeeper pulled off three massive saves to deny three different red-shirted players that on another day would have killed the game off as a contest.

Zane Banton forced Walker into a save low down and the game looked to be heading to a stalemate until Moyo’s intervention.

It was the merest of glancing headers to Wyatt’s free-kick but it was the perfect connection for City as it arrowed into the bottom corner away from the dive of Walker.

An injury to Da Costa took the gloss off the win somewhat but the final whistle brought the loud cheer of the day.

St Albans City: Sendker, Herd, Clark, Sambou, Knight, McLeod-Urqhuart, Wyatt, Kamdjo, Da Costa (Diedhiou 88), Moyo, Banton.

Subs (not used): Kiangebeni, Bender, Merson.

Goal: Moyo 21, 81


Hemel Hempstead Town: Walker, Hyde, Connolly, Parkes, Ward, Yakubu, Sanchez-Watt (Knowles 67), Shulton, Cawley, Sinclair (Tomlinson 82), Snelus.

Subs (not used): Swain, Kaloczi, Osborn.

Goal: Sinclair 36

Booked: Parkes 81

HT: St Albans City 1 Hemel Hempstead Town 1

Attendance: 1,486

Referee: Matty Buonassisi (Northampton)