Saints dumped out of Red Insure Cup by rampant Tudors
City’s dismal run of form continues
Red Insure Cup
St Albans City 0 Hemel Hempstead Town 3
IT WAS another grim night of cup action at Clarence Park as St Albans City bowed out of the Red Insure Cup at the hands of neighbours Hemel Hempstead Town.
Tommy Widdrington’s Tudors may be languishing at the wrong end of the Southern Premier Division table but they were worthy winners on a damp night at the Park and never looked back after Marvin Williams gave them an eighth minute lead.
The defeat extended the Saints’ dismal run of form to just one win in their last 11 games and left many fans venting their frustration at the full time whistle.
Striker Rob Haworth was given the captain’s armband for the evening – City’s fifth captain in as many games – but there was little he could do but watch as Hemel dominated with wave after wave of attacks on the City goal.
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The game was just eight minutes old when Hemel opened the scoring, Williams sticking out a leg to divert Ryan Blake’s cross past the diving Nick Jupp.
David Howell’s side responded with Jerome Walker barging his way into the penalty area but as the forward was about to pull the trigger he lost his footing and shot wide of Nick Bussey’s goal while Ryan Moran headed over from a Sean Shields corner.
Hemel weathered that mini spell of pressure from City and came close to adding a second goal when Josh Scowan collected a short corner from Ryan O’Hara and drove inside only to bend his shot wide of Jupp’s far post.
Blake was turning in an impressive display for the visitors on the right wing and when he fizzed a low ball across the face of goal Hemel striker Lewis Toomey looked certain to score but the sprawling Tudors front man was unable to apply the necessary touch.
The visitors’ best chances kept falling to Toomey but the forward headed wide from Dave Pearce’s cross and then after the break hit the bar from close range after City had failed to deal with another May cross.
The second goal Hemel Hempstead’s dominance deserved eventually arrived in the 62nd minute. Shields was harshly penalised for a push on Scowan 20 yards from goal and from the resulting free kick Pearce made the most of a brittle City wall to send the ball into the corner of Jupp’s goal.
Howell threw on top scorer Sakho Bakare to try and get City back into the contest and the French striker almost reduced the deficit immediately, latching onto May’s header back to Bussey and forcing the ‘keeper into a good save with his legs. The loose ball fell to Haworth but his effort was blocked and from the resulting corner Bakare headed against the crossbar with Tobi Jinadu blazing over the target from the rebound.
Another City substitute, Danny Hart, then tested Bussey with a fierce left foot shot from distance but it was the visitors who had the last say adding a third goal two minutes from time.
Williams was afforded all the time and space he wanted out on the left wing and he drove towards the City penalty area before picking out Blake who calmly slotted past Jupp from 10 yards to round off an excellent evening for the visitors.
St Albans City: Jupp; Sonuga, Jinadu, Moran (Cutchey 76), Yorke; Walker (Hart 62), Ijaha, Watts, Sean Shields; Haworth, Haule (Bakare 65).
Subs not used: Ehui, Fry.
Hemel: Bussey; May �, Pearce, Matt McEntegart (Morgan 15), Goodhind; Blake, Scowen, Gorman, O’Hara (Smith 81); Williams, Toomey (Lafayette 69).
Subs not used: Bokuli, Mike McEntegart.
Referee: Paul Forrester (Luton)