Bishop’s Stortford stun Hemel Town to shatter the Tudors’ playoff hopes

Action from Hemel Town's Conference South defeat to Bishop's Stortford. Picture (c) Darren Kelly
Action from Hemel Town's Conference South defeat to Bishop's Stortford. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

Hemel Hempstead Town’s dreams of reaching the Conference South playoffs in their debut season are over following a 3-0 defeat at home by Hertfordshire rivals Bishop’s Stortford.

Three goals in the last 10 minutes left Hemel stunned at the final whistle, as Anthony Edgar fired home twice before Bobby-Joe Taylor found the net in stoppage time.

Victory for Whitehawk at Wealdstone confirmed that it is now mathematically impossible for Hemel to reach the top-five, therefore ending the Tudors’ playoff aspirations.

There were angry scenes at the final whistle, as Hemel manager Dean Brennan and chairman Dave Boggins were involved in a touch-line bust-up, with the latter reacting angrily after Brennan questioned the state of the Vauxhall Road pitch.

In truth, there was little to choose between the sides for the majority of the game, and it was Hemel who started the brighter of the two sides.

It looked only a matter of time until the Tudors broke the deadlock as they dominated the opening stages, but Bishop’s Stortford gradually started to get a foothold in the game

Action from Hemel Town's Conference South defeat to Bishop's Stortford. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

Action from Hemel Town's Conference South defeat to Bishop's Stortford. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

Visiting keeper James Bransgrove pulled off a decent stop from an Ed Oshodi header, while Joe Tabiri came close at the other end as his cross evaded Hemel keeper Laurie Walker and bounced back off the top of the crossbar.

Hemel thought they had opened the scoring late in the half when Dennis Oli flicked home a Jordan Parkes free-kick, but the goal was disallowed for offside against Jorell Johnson who was adjudged to be obscuring the goalkeeper’s view of the ball.

The second half continued in a similar manner to the first, with few chances for either team apart from a couple of long range efforts from Hemel skipper Jordan Parkes and substitute James Potton.

The game looked set to be heading for a frustrating 0-0 draw, but Edgar fired home a sumptuous goal in the 82nd minute to break Hemel’s hearts. The winger cut in on his right foot and lashed a right footed strike past Walker and into the top corner of the net.

Three minutes later, the win was secured for the visitors as Edgar again received the ball and fired low and hard past Walker to double the advantage.

Hemel looked for a response but could not find a way through a resolute Bishop’s Stortford back-line, and it was Taylor who struck in stoppage time to put the gloss on the scoreline for a jubilant Stortford side.