Hemel Town 1 Bridgwater Town 3
Hemel Town crashed out of the FA Carlsberg Trophy as they slipped to a disappointing defeat in the first qualifying round replay on Tuesday.
After drawing 2-2 at Bridgwater on Saturday, the Tudors were expected to have no trouble in dispatching their opponents at Vauxhall Road, but it was not to be for Dean Brennan’s men.
The result will come as a shock to the Tudors, who started the game brightly and forced Bridgwater onto the back foot early on.
After their shaky start, however, Bridgwater began to find their feet and it was the visitors who took a 26th-minute lead through a header from striker Dave Pearse.
The 1-0 advantage was preserved until half-time, and Tudors bross Brennan responded by introducing Matt Nolan from the bench in place of Sokho Bakare.
The change seemed to increase the Tudors’ attacking intent, and Alex Campana saw a blistering drive fly wide, before Danny May came close with an audacious attempt from well inside his own half.
Brennan then made another change – Peter Holmes replacing Victor Osubu – as Town searched for the leveller.
And the breakthrough finally arrived for Hemel soon afterwards. Charlie Mpi whipped in a cross, and Stephen O’Leary was on hand to head home.
The Tudors faithful would have been expecting their side to go on and win the game from there, but it was Bridgwater who regained their lead with six minutes left to play courtesy of a Joe Mclennan effort.
And with time running out, Jon Vance netted a third for the visitors to seal the win.