Hemel Hempstead Town saw their FA Cup dreams come to an end on Tuesday night as they bravely bowed out against Conference South side Sutton United.
The Tudors were hoping to make it through to the first found proper for the first time since 1938 but Sutton ran out 2-0 winners on the night to set up a clash with Kidderminster Harriers.
It simply wasn’t Hemel’s night as a three-hour journey meant there was no time for a warm-up, and Jake Gilbert was forced off injured in the fifth minute meaning Anthony Maissiat made an unexpected return from injury after three months out.
Despite the set-backs, the Tudors started brightly and could have taken the lead through Lewis Toomey who shot straight at the keeper from 10 yards out.
Ben Mackey also came close, but it was Sutton who took the lead in the 12th minute with a well-taken goal from Ali Fuseini.
The score remained 1-0 for the remainder of the half, and Hemel boss Dean Brennan made two further substitutions after half-time as the Tudors pressed for an equaliser.
The decision to use his third sub eventually back-fired on Brennan, however, as Toomey limped off with an injured hamstring – leaving Hemel with 10 men for the last 25 minutes of the game.
To their credit,the Tudors battled bravely and continued to search for an equaliser, but it was Sutton who struck again late on through Craig Dundas to make sure of the win.