HEMEL Town suffered two defeats in the space of three days as their four-game unbeaten run came to a crashing halt.
On Saturday, the Tudors suffered a disappointing 2-0 league defeat to Redditch at Vauxhall Road, before being knocked out of the Hertfordshire Senior Challenge Cup by holders Barnet on Tuesday.
It was a poor performance from Tommy Widdrington’s side against Redditch, but they improved significantly against Barnet and will count themselves unlucky not to have won the tie.
The Tudors currently sit second from bottom in the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division, and are now four points adrift of 20th-placed Swindon Supermarine.
The Vauxhall Road faithful went into the game against fellow strugglers Redditch hopeful of picking up a valuable three points, but it was not to be for the 10-man Tudors.
The visitors took the lead through a Jake Jones effort, and they sealed the win after half-time.
Matt McEntegart was sent off for a clumsy challenge on Jimmy Deabill on the edge of the box, and Thomas Berwick lashed home the resulting free-kick to secure the win for the visitors.
“I’m not in the business of defending people when they are indefensible,” said boss Widdrington after the Redditch game.
“We have made strides forward since I’ve been here but looked like we had taken a couple back on Saturday.
“Having said that, I will stand up for the players and say that this is the first time since I’ve been here that this is the case.”
The Tudors went into Tuesday’s game with League Two side Barnet in need of a response, and were unfortunate to lose out after extra-time.
The Bees included a number of first-team regulars in their starting line-up, but it was Hemel who looked most dangerous in front of goal and Matt Wright saw his effort cannon back off the post.
And the Tudors had a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the second half. Ryan O’Hara was brought down in the area, but his penalty was saved by Barnet keeper Liam O’Brien.
Hemel, though, maintained the pressure on the visitors’ goal and took the lead as McEntegart lashed home from a Danny May corner.
Controversy soon followed, though, as Barnet levelled.
Josh Scowen was penalised for a foul which appeared to be outside the area, but the referee awarded a penalty which Jordan Parkes duly dispatched the spot-kick.
Barnet pressed for a winner as the game progressed into extra-time, and despite a brave effort from Hemel to repel their lofty opponents, Jamal Love struck the winner to send the bees flying through.