Bashley 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 0
HEMEL Hempstead Town have been relegated from the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division after losing out on the final day of the season at Bashley.
The Tudors knew only a win would be good enough to give them any chance of beating the drop, but two late Bashley goals distinguished any hope of the great escape.
To rub salt in the Hemel wounds, results elsewhere meant that a Tudors win would have been enough to hand them 18th spot at the expense of Arlesey Town – but it was not to be for Mark Eaton’s side.
Both sides had chances to open the scoring in the first half, with Hemel winger Ryan Blake coming the closest as his effort was cleared off the line.
Tudors keeper Mike McEntegart was forced into action to deny James Stokoe, while Ross Lafayette blazed over a glorious chance at the other end after good work from Dave Pearce.
Bashley came out strongly after half-time, but with just under 20 minutes remaining, Pearce was denied by an excellent save from Stewart Kearn.
And soon afterwards, disaster struck for the Tudors as Bashley took the lead.
Liam Green received the ball on the edge of the area, and the Bashley man fired the ball home to give the hosts the lead.
Mark Gamble almost added a second immediately, and Kearn denied Pearce at the other end before Ian Oliver headed Lafayette’s effort off the line.
The Tudors knew they needed a dramatic turn-around if they were to avoid relegation, but with eight minutes remaining, all hope was lost as Bashley doubled their advantage.
A Dave Allen corner caused havoc in the Tudors area, and Gary Middleton was on hand to head home from close range.
From then on, the game was out of reach for the Tudors, and they must now start to plan for life next season in level eight of the football pyramid.
> See Wednesday’s Gazette for more reaction.