Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Waltham Forest 5
Hemel Town were dumped out of the FA Cup by Waltham Forest after a disappointing display at Vauxhall Road.
Following their impressive start to the league campaign, the Tudors were hopeful that they could embark on a memorable cup run, but once again their dreams were shattered at the first hurdle.
In a lively opening to the game, both teams created a number of half-chances and Matt Nolan volleyed just wide for the Tudors, before the hosts broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark courtesy of in-form Charlie Mpi.
Alex Campana – arguably Hemel’s most impressive player in the first 30 minutes – won a corner which was only half-cleared, and Dave Pearce chipped the ball back into the area for Mpi to head into an empty net.
However, rather than spur the Tudors on, the goal only served to increase Forest’s attacking intent and they almost forced an immediate equaliser as Corey Whitely crashed the ball against the post.
This should have served as a warning for Hemel, but the visitors continued to press forward and were soon back on level terms as Joel Palmer fired home a 33rd-minute equaliser.
Buoyed by the goal, Forest went in search of another and Luke Stanley’s effort struck the post, before Tudors centre-half David King was forced off injured.
Already missing centre-back Jack Nelly, who had been withdrawn earlier in the game, the Hemel woes continued and they were relieved to go in at half-time with the scores still level.
However, things went from bad to worse for the Tudors at the start of the second half as Whitely rocketed an effort home from long range to put Forest ahead.
The Tudors responded well, though, and soon restored parity courtesy of Sakho Bakare’s clever back-heel from a Campana cross.
It looked for a while as though Hemel were going to go on and win the game as they upped the tempo, but they were caught on the break when the impressive Whitely raced down the right before cutting inside and shooting across Mark Osborn to put the visitors 3-2 ahead.
From then on, there was only going to be one winner and Manu Dagher took advantage of a Danny May mistake in the 75th minute to put Forest 4-2 up, before substitute Chris Taylor wrapped up the win with a chipped fifth late on in the game.
Hemel will be looking to bounce back quickly from the defeat as they prepare to travel to Weymouth for a league fixture on Saturday.
The Tudors are flying high in the Evo-Stick League Southern Premier Division, sitting in second place after six games.