Match Report by Allan Mitchell
After a disappointing home defeat in the week it was massively important for Lee Bircham’s new look Tudors to get something out of this game down in the West Country at Twerton Park, a ground where they have a pretty miserable record.
Bath, somewhat like Billericay in the week are in a false position with only one win so far this season but they are an ambitious club and were starting as favourites here against a fragile Hemel side who now held the unfortunate title of “most goals against in the Division” conceding 16 in just five games, a point gleefully picked up by the commentator pre match.
After getting off to another bright start, with Reggie Young looking very lively down the left, Hemel were looking quite confident with a good shape across the pitch. JJ Lacey had a chance to open the scoring when he was put through with just Ryan Clarke to beat but the City stopped well with his legs.
It was pretty much against the run of play when a long punt by ex Tudor Freddie Grant on 13 minutes found Donovan Wilson in space, he caught Hemel’s backline out by timing his run superbly and he drove the ball home from a tight angle to put City one up.
That was just about it as far as Bath were concerned as Hemel re-grouped and proceeded to dominate the game whilst defending superbly when required, which was just what the management team have been looking for.
Reggie Young gave the City back line a torrid afternoon and he won his side a penalty after he was tripped in the box by Callum Evans, there were few complaints and Matt Bateman stepped up to drive the ball home for his third goal of the season.
City Keeper Clarke came to their rescue again on the half hour, saving Young’s shot as Hemel took control of the game. Clarke continued to keep his side in it in the second period when he just got a fingertip to Jake Evans well struck free kick to further frustrate the visitors. With the game drifting towards a draw with just ten minutes on the clock, the Bath hero, keeper Young got in a mix up with Frankie Artus. They looked to have a long punt upfield under control, Reggie Young sensed their hesitation and nipped in between the pair and tucked the ball into an empty net to give the Tudors a deserved lead.
There were no real threats from City as the clock ticked down, Danny Boness saved well from a long range effort late on but the Hemel backline line continued to frustrate them and they saw the game out comfortably.
Three welcome points after the disappointment of midweek and probably the best all round performance of the season as Birch and Bates continue to tinker with their squad, determined to improve and push their young, inexperienced side forward. After this showing, it looks like they are on the right path.
Hemel: Danny Boness, Gus Scott-Morris, Luke Pennell, Kyle Ajaye, Nathan Carlyle, Ryan Kinnane, Stephen Duke-McKenna, Jake Evans, Matt Bateman © (Bernard Christie) JJ Lacey (Jake Howells) Reggie Young. Subs not used: Olomowewe, Kpohomouh, Snedker (gk)
Tudors Man of the Match: Reggie Young – a constant threat throughout.