Frustration turns to dismay at Hemel smash and grab win

City were on the wrong end of a perfect smash and grab performance from Hemel Hempstead Town at Twerton Park this afternoon. Having played the visitors off the pitch for the majority of the game frustration that they couldn’t turn this dominance into a deserved three points turned to stunned dismay when the Tudors grabbed what turned out to be the only goal of the game with 16 minutes left. After a scrappy opening to the game City slowly began to turn the screw on Hemel, whose only bright moments came from their lurid green shirts. Tom Smith directed a header narrowly wide of the goal then the impressive Adam Mann curled a shot just over the angle of post and crossbar. Joe Raynes was also denied a clear chance by a great block tackle Yukubu as the pressure continued to build on the Hemel rearguard. The one-way traffic continued after the break but Smith, Ross Stearn and Ryan Brunt all saw chances either saved by Walker or blocked by a defender. A number of shots also flew wide of the goal before on 67 minutes Mann got goalside of the Hemel defence only for Walker to smoother his shot and deny City their clearest opening. And this miss became even more costly seven minutes later when Cawley was allowed the space to turn and stab the ball past Ryan Clarke from six yards out. City continued to push forward but increasingly found the massed ranks of neon green shirts equal to everything this could throw at them and even with five minutes of stoppage time they couldn’t find an equaliser that would have been some consolation.