City’s struggles continue with disappointing Hemel home defeat

City’s disappointing start to the 2020-21 season continued this afternoon with a 2-1 defeat to Hemel Hempstead Town at Twerton Park. With Dan Ball, Jack Batten and Ryan Harley all unavailable it was another reshuffled Romans line-up that started the game but they still took the lead on 13 minutes. Freddie Grant’s great pass over the top allowed Donovan Wilson to drive the ball home for his second goal in as many games. However, this was as good as it got for City. They had already had an escape before the goal, when Ryan Clarke denied a clean through Lacey with his legs, but on 22 minutes the visitors levelled from the penalty spot. Bateman scoring after Callum Evans had brought down Young. On the half hour Clarke was again City’s saviour, blocking Young’s shot, as the Crusaders began to gain the upper hand in the contest. City replaced Matt Buse with Lloyd James at half-time as they looked to exert some control in the midfield but they still struggled to impose themselves on the game. Clarke continued his fine performance with a finger tip save to turn a 60th minute free-kick onto the post. Just when it looked as if the contest would drift to a draw the visitors grabbed the winning goal 10 minutes from time. Frankie Artus and Clarke looked to have a long pass forward under control but Young managed to get a touch ahead of the pair and divert the ball into the net. They comfortable kept City at bay for the remaining time to inflict a fourth successive defeat on Jerry Gill’s side, and he has only three days to lift his side before they face last seasons play-off conquerors Dorking Wanderers.