Cambridge City 0 Hemel Hempstead Town 1
Hemel Hempstead Town kept up the pressure on league leaders Leamington with a gruelling 1-0 win at Cambridge City.
Danny May was the hero for Hemel, whipping a free-kick into the top corner of the net with 20 minutes to play to earn the three points for his side.
And Hemel manager Dean Brennan felt that his team were good value for the victory.
“In the first 10 or 15 minutes they put pressure on us but we rode the storm and were the better side in the second half,” he said. “It was particularly nice to get a clean sheet.”
The Tudors have made an inconsistent start to 2013, but Brennan feels that his side are now right back on track as they push for promotion from the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division.
“Football can change so quickly,” he said. “Last week we were heartbroken when we conceded two goals in the dying minutes to lose to Chesham and then we go to Chippenham and Cambridge and get two wins.
“The main thing is that we stick together as a club and I felt the fans were excellent at Cambridge at the weekend.”
Things could have been so different at the City Ground on Saturday had Adam Marriott not dragged a glorious opportunity wide in the second minute, but Hemel responded well.
Clear goalscoring chances were few and far between, but Hemel enjoyed the lion’s share of possession after the break and were rewarded with what turned out to be the winning goal in the 71st minute.
The Tudors were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Cambridge penalty area, and May stepped up from right-back to fizz a curling drive into the top corner of the net.
Dave Pearce had the chance to double the Hemel lead from the penalty spot, but he saw his effort saved by City keeper Zac Barret.
Tudors striker Charlie Mpi and Cambridge’s Jackson Ramm were both sent off for stray elbows in almost identical incidents, but Ashley Timms made sure of the win for his side with a sublime reflex save to keep out a header from Marriott in the dying minutes.