AFC Totton 2 Hemel Town 0
HEMEL Town’s struggles continued as they were beaten by AFC Totton, despite being on top for large periods of the game.
Hemel came close to scoring on a number of occasions –most notably when Ross Lafayette saw his effort bounce back off the post – but once again The Tudors were left to rue what might have been.
The defeat means Tommy Widdrington’s side stay second from bottom in the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division, seven points adrift of safety.
Totton – who had enjoyed their moment in the spotlight when Bristol City arrived at Testwood Stadium earlier this month – will know that the result could easily have been different had it not been for two goals either side of half-time from winger Jonathan Davies.
The hosts started well and new Hemel goalkeeper Ross Kitteridge was forced into action twice to deny Mike Gosney.
First, Kitteridge dealt with a low free-kick, before tipping Gosney’s 30 yard effort over the bar.
From then on, though, the Tudors seemed to grow in confidence and came agonisingly close to taking the lead.
Loan signing Matt Wright, who has impressed since his arrival from Salisbury City, flicked the ball into strike-partner Lafayette’s path, but the Hemel forward’s effort hit the inside of the upright before being cleared.
And two minutes later, Town felt they should have been awarded a penalty for a challenge on Wright by Tom Baddeley, but the referee waved away the Hemel appeals.
Widdrington was incensed by the decision, and clearly felt Wright had been fouled.
Still, though, the Tudors pressed for the opener and the effervescent Dave Pearce saw his effort fly narrowly wide of the post.
However, with the momentum firmly in Hemel’s favour, Totton pounced against the run of play to snatch the lead.
After good work by Michael Charles, Gosney found Davies and he kept his composure to slot the ball past Ketteridge and give the hosts the lead going into half-time.
And it did not take long for the home side to double their advantage after the break, as the Tudors’ chances of taking anything from the game began to fade.
The same three players combined for Totton once again, as Gosney’s cross was flicked on by Charles – allowing Davies to fire home from close range.
The Tudors – desperate to salvage something from the game – came close to halving the deficit after 53 minutes, but Wright’s header was hacked off the line by Ryan Hill.
That proved to be the last clear-cut goalscoring chance of the game, and Hemel were sent home empty-handed.