FA CUP 2nd Qualifying Round | Match Report by Allan Mitchell
The Tudors moved into the next round of the FA Cup by beating Royston in the same round for the second year running and it was some clinical finishing that proved to be the difference between the two sides on the day.
Hemel took the lead in the third minute when Kyle O’Connor-Ajayi rose above everybody to powerfully head home a George Williams corner, giving the visitors the perfect start.
Royston settled after this poor start and pressed forward, forcing a series of corners that gave the Tudors backline a few problems. It was slightly against the run of play when Hemel went further in front after this prolonged period of Royston pressure. Josh Williams took a quick throw that was fed across to George Williams, two defenders got themselves in a muddle as the Tudors skipper tucked the ball through to an unmarked Montel McKenzie who had a free run on goal and made no mistake, clipping it past the onrushing keeper.
Royston looked slightly deflated after this setback and almost conceded again when Joe Iaciofano turned sharply in the box before firing a powerful effort in at goal that Royston keeper Louis Chadwick saved at point blank range pushing the ball out wide.
It was only a very short reprieve however as Williams curled the resulting corner onto Ajayi’s head who knocked it down across the face where McKenzie was on hand to knock it home to give the Tudors a three goal cushion.
Royston did pull a goal back just before the interval when Josh Coldicott-Stevens was given too much time and space on the edge of the box and he drilled a superb effort into the bottom corner.
Whilst the goal gave the home fans some hope at the start of the second half Hemel managed the game out well and could have added to their tally as they broke on the counter whilst absorbing Royston’s efforts, keeper Craig King had few scares as his back line protected him and the game fizzled out somewhat.
So it’s into the hat for the next round and a potential ‘banana skin’ avoided as Hemel showed some real discipline and fully deserved the result on the day.
Hemel: Craig King, Montle McKenzie, Josh Williams, Kyle O’Connor-Ajayi, Josh Hill, Myles Judd (Bilal Sayoud) George Williams (Bailey Brown), Alfie Mathews, Joe Icaiofano (Finlay Corrigan) Joe Re, Tyrele Newton, Subs not used: Gonzalez, Grant, Oyinsan, Taylor.
Attendance 512 Tudors Man of the Match: Kyle O’Connor-Ajayi with Montel McKenzie a close second.