Slabber strikes to topple the Terras in the Trophy

Jamie Slabber was the match-winner for Hemel against Weymouth. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard
Jamie Slabber was the match-winner for Hemel against Weymouth. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Hemel Hempstead Town booked their place in the first round of the FA Trophy as Jamie Slabber fired them to a 1-0 victory over Weymouth in Saturday’s third qualifying round tie at Vauxhall Road.

The first chance of the game fell to Weymouth’s Adam Kelly but his effort flew just over the bar from the edge of the box.

Tudors defender Ben Herd was sent off against Weymouth. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Tudors defender Ben Herd was sent off against Weymouth. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

There was another scare for the Tudors after 10 minutes as a deep free-kick was headed back across goal, but Ben Thompson could only flick a header wide of the post.

It was Hemel who took the lead in the 12th minute as Dennis Oli broke down the right wing before cutting the ball back for Slabber to slot home calmly past Weymouth keeper Jordan Holmes.

Hemel were buoyed by the goal but were perhaps guilty of overplaying the ball in their own half – and Weymouth nearly profited when the ball broke to Kelly and he fired just wide from 20 yards.

The visitors continued to press for an equaliser and came mightly close after 27 minutes as Dean Evans saw his half volley cleared off the line by Slabber following a scramble in the box.

Noor Husin in action for Hemel against Weymouth. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Noor Husin in action for Hemel against Weymouth. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Weymouth were starting to get on top and they came close again five minutes later but Stewart Yetton dragged his effort inches wide of the post, before Kelly produced a good save from Butler.

Hemel weathered the storm, though, and looked to double their lead with a fizzing strike from Noor Husin that was pushed around the post by Holmes, before Yetton produced a decent stop from Butler at the other end on the counter-attack after Oli went down injured, with Kyle Connolly coming on in his place.

Hemel started the second half brightly and came agonisingly close to a second goal as Wilfried Gnahore pounced on a poor goal-kick before driving forward and powering a strike against the foot of the post from 20 yards.

Gradually Weymouth began to get a foothold back in the game and Chris Shephard should have done better when only managing to drag his effort wide from eight yards out.

The Terras had another chance soon afterwards as Matt Spring was booked for a foul on the edge of the Hemel penalty area, but the resulting free-kick flashed wide of the post.

And the Tudors’ task was made harder after 63 minutes as stand-in skipper Herd was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Evans in the Weymouth half.

Spurred on by the sending off, the visitors pressed forward and Ben Thompson forced a good save from Butler with a downward header, before the Terras striker fired over when well placed late on.

Thompson had a further chance deep into stoppage time, but again Butler saved well as the Tudors held on to secure their place in the first round draw.