Following their draw with Welling on Friday, City travel to Hertfordshire on Tuesday evening to take on Hemel Hempstead Town. The National League’s decision to increase the number of clubs in this division has meant more midweek fixtures and, of the four scheduled to be played away from Twerton, this match is the most distant.
The Tudors presently sit in 14th position with a home record of won three, drawn three, and lost four. This inconsistency can partly be explained by the fact that only 23 goals have been scored in their 21 outings home and away with just two wins in the last nine witnessed at Vauxhall Road.
However, that latter statistic should make City wary as it was poor home form which was the problem when they last visited in January with the home supporters yet to witness a single victory. Instead, they were celebrating wildly come the end of that match when a Cody Cooke equaliser just before half time couldn’t prevent a 3-1 defeat for his team.
But the tables were turned two months later when goals from Alex Fletcher and Tom Smith secured a valuable three points at Twerton Park.
The Tudors’ FA Cup hopes for this season were dashed in the Third Qualifying Round when they lost to Peterborough Sports, who of course were victors at Twerton two seasons ago in the Trophy. In the latter competition, Hemel defeated King’s Lynn on penalties and, like City, now host National League opponents – in their case Maidenhead United.
Honours could not be more even in the sequence of matches at Vauxhall Road between the two clubs since the first in 2004 with City’s record standing at three wins, three draws and three defeats. It is a venue where we have only failed to score on one occasion and it will certainly hold happy memories for Scott Partridge and Ross Stearn who both grabbed hat tricks there.
It suffers from some very low seating along the sides of its sloping 3G pitch but it is blessed with two covered ends which can generate a good atmosphere.
While the town of Hemel is perhaps best known for its ‘magic roundabout’, it is surrounded by some delightful Hertfordshire countryside and provides a good base for anyone planning an overnight stay. The nearby Crabtree pub is popular with City supporters and there are some very pleasant hostelries further afield in the old town area.
With the Supporters Club coach not running to this match and it being virtually impossible to get to Paddington in time for the last train back to Bath, the only option is to drive with the 120 mile trip taking around 2.5 hours.
For those unable to get to the match, don’t forget that there will be full coverage on Bath City Radio.