Hemel Town provided the fireworks when putting four goals past Royston Town on Saturday at Vauxhall Road to set-up a Herts Charity Cup final against Hitchin Town.
Strikes from skipper Jordan Parkes, new man Spencer McCall and Matty Spring powered the Tudors to a 4-1 victory and bounce back from the midweek Herts Senior Challenge Cup exit to Kings Langley (see report below).
With Saturday’s scheduled league match against Chelmsford City cancelled due to City’s involvement in the FA Cup, this semi-final was brought forward and it provided some good entertainment.
Royston, fielding no less than five ex-Tudors in their line-up, took the lead very much against the run of play when Josh Oyinsan arrived unmarked at the back post to meet a free-kick in the 25th minute. He had time and space to head home after Hemel had missed several early chances.
This seemed to give the hosts a jolt and Hemel stepped up a gear but were still making hard work of their opportunities. James Kaloczi should have equalised when he broke into the box but he just delayed his shot enough to allow a defender to get a block on his effort.
Minutes later, Parkes and McCall seemed to get in each other’s way and Parkes ended up firing over.
But it wasn’t too long before the pressure told. Kyle Connolly made a good break into the area and former Tudor Ed Adjaye-Asafu appeared to impede his run. Connolly ended up about four yards in the area but the contact was just on the edge of the box. The referee and linesman decided the foul took place inside the box and the ref pointed to the spot, much to Asafu’s dismay.
Captain Parkes duly stepped up to level the scores, blasting the penalty into the roof of the net to make it 1-1 at half-time.
The second period was very much end-to-end action, but it was Hemel who took the lead just before the hour mark when the excellent McCall exchanged passes with Parkes before curling the ball into the corner for his second goal in Tudor’s colours in just four appearances.
Royston never gave up and they continuing to push forward but Hemel’s young back-up goalminder Danny Boness was in great form, making saves at every time of asking.
Hemel added a third, created by a superb McCall defence-splitting pass on 84 minutes to put the tie to bed.
The goal of the game came in the very last minute when evergreen 38-year-old Matty Spring showed a clean pair of heels to Royston’s midfield after picking the ball up on the halfway line. He drove forward and, spotting the keeper off his line, fired home from all of 35 yards.
The date for the cup final against Southern League Premier Division outfit Hitchin has yet to be decided.
It was a good run out for Dean Brennan’s men and they will return to league action this Saturday with a trip to the south coast to play Havant and Waterlooville.
Tudors: Danny Boness, Tom Day, Kyle Connolly (Callum Driver), Jordan Parkes (captain), Lloyd Doyley, Ismail Yakubu, James Kaloczi, Matt Spring, Alex Osborn, Spencer McCall. No list of subs given.