Ten-man St Albans City denied a derby win with last-gasp Hemel Hempstead goal

Darrne Locke made a return to the City starting line-up after a groin injury. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Darrne Locke made a return to the City starting line-up after a groin injury. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

Junior Morias saw red for the second time in four days as St Albans City were pegged back to a 2-2 draw by Hemel Hempstead Town – with almost the last kick of the game.

Louie Theophanous had put City into a seventh minute lead, which was doubled on 32 by Morias.

But the City striker was then given his marching orders and second-half goals by Mitchell Weiss and Oliver Thorne, in the final seconds of added-on time, brought a 2-2 draw for the third successive clash between the sides.

Like the Poole game last week, City were 2-0 up at half-time.

And their opening goal came from their first opportunity.

The ball wasn’t cleared properly and Theophanous ran through, hitting a low effort beneath Jamie Butler.

The second was another defensive mix-up from The Tudors.

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They were left calling for an offside against Theophanous, who was, but Morias wasn’t.

He raced through the middle and exquisitely lifted it over Butler.

There was nothing exquisite though about his next action on 39 minutes as he swung a foot at Oliver Thorne.

It was a reckless decision and one which left the Saints bench shaking their heads.

City had looked the only winner prior to that with another defensive mix-up almost gifting Shaun Lucien a goal and both Darren Locke and Josh Hill going close.

Ben Herd came the closest; his piledriver from fully 30 yards slamming into Butler’s right-hand post.

Hemel had plenty of possession and corners but again, like Poole last week, they didn’t really test James Russell.

And for the opening period of the second half that pattern continued; Hemel having the better possession but not testing Russell and City looking dangerous on the break.

One Scott Thomas run almost put Theophanous in but Butler just got there first.

But all of a sudden Hemel were back in it.

Great work by James Potton down the right shook off Tom Bender and his cross shot was turned in by Weiss.

That forced City further and further back, inviting Hemel on and they responded, forcing a number of goalmouth scrambles.

Even goalkeeper Butler joined in the attacks, despite being three minutes of normal time remaining.

It almost backfired as Dipo Akinyemi launched a counter attack which ended with his curling effort hitting the bar.

But just when it seemed City had survived the onslaught, Hemel broke their hearts again.

A long ball into the area dropped invitingly for Thorne, and he lashed it into the roof of the net.

Saints: Russell, Casey, Bender, Chappell, Hill, Locke, Lucien (Akinyemi 71), Thomas, Theophanous (Merson 71), Morias, Herd

Subs (not used): Noble, Ball, Hoenes

Goals: Theophanous 7, Morias 32

Sending Off: Morias 39

Hemel: Butler, King, Connolly, McNamara (Saunders 58), Asafu-Adjaye, Thorne, Kaloczi, Corcoran (Richens 62), Robinson (Weiss 49), Potton, Taaffe

Subs (not used): Snedker, McKenzie

Goals: Weiss 69, Thorne 90+3

Attendance: 903

Referee: Ali Ajibola