Hawkins does the business as Tudors pounce to beat 10-man Bromley

Oliver Hawkins was on target for Hemel. Picture (c) Cameron Maclean - CM Photography
Oliver Hawkins was on target for Hemel. Picture (c) Cameron Maclean - CM Photography

Hemel Hempstead Town returned to league action with an impressive 1-0 away win against 10-man Bromley in the Vanarama Conference South.

Just four days after their FA Cup exploits at Bury, the Tudors managed to lift themselves to earn a vital three points at The Fortress Stadium.

Oliver Hawkins was the match winner for Hemel, although Dean Brennan’s side were given a huge boost when Ravens keeper Seb Brown was sent off for handball – with midfielder Mitchell Pinnock playing in goal for the second half.

Zane Banton could have opened the scoring for Hemel when he raced through on goal and beat defender Paul Rodgers, only to put the ball wide when one-on-one with Brown.

Moses Ademola came close at the other end as he headed against the crossbar, before Brown was called into action to save a fierce drive from Tudors skipper Jordan Parkes.

The turning point came in first half stoppage time as Brown came racing off his line to block a shot from Hawkins, but was adjudged to have handled, and was shown a straight red card.

Winger Pinnock filled in between the sticks for the second half, and he was immediately in the thick of the action as he tipped a deflected Kyle Connolly cross around the post.

Pinnock made another smart save a minute later from Ed Asafu-Adjaye as the Tudors began to dominate possession.

The visitors finally opened the scoring when substitute Arthur Lee headed down a corner to Hawkins who beat Pinnock to the ball and headed home from close range.

Duncan Culley was thwarted by Hemel keeper Laurie Walker soon afterwards, before Hawkins acrobatically volleyed over at the other end.

Parkes came close to doubling the Hemel lead twice, but there was a nervy moment for the Tudors when Duncan Culley fired into the side netting in stoppage time.

Hemel held on, though, and returned home with the three points to climb to 16th in the table with games in hand on their rivals.