Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Brackley Town 3
HEMEL Town manager Tommy Widdrington has urged his side to learn from the errors which saw them slip to a 3-2 loss to Brackley Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday.
The Tudors played well enough to take the game to a replay at the very least, but a late Danny May own-goal sent Brackley through to the third qualifying round.
“There were plenty of positives to take from the game as long as we learn from the mistakes,” said Widdrington.
“I’m very pleased with the way we played in the first 45 minutes – we took them apart in the first half.
“We should have been out of sight by half-time but Brackley responded positively.
“I was gutted for the players but I do not subscribe to the feeling that we were unlucky, because the goals came from our mistakes.
“I don’t like losing football matches so I will have to address these.”
Hemel had started the game brightly, and Lewis Toomey saw his effort strike the post after good build-up play from Ryan O’Hara and Ross Lafayette.
And twenty minutes into the tie, the pressure told as the Tudors took the lead.
Toomey’s header was saved well by Brackley keeper Paul Walker, but Lafayette was on hand to tap home the rebound and continue his fine run of goalscoring form.
But after a dominant display from the home side in the first half, Brackley upped their game after the interval and found themselves back on level terms as Steve Diggin headed in substitute Tommy Jaczsun’s 47th minute corner.
The goal visibly buoyed the visitors and the turnaround was completed in the 60th minute as Jefferson Louis shrugged off Bill Morgan before cutting in and finishing at the near post past Nick Bussey.
Hemel were struggling to break through a resolute visiting defence, but May drew his side level with 10 minutes to go as he fired home a superb free-kick after a foul on Lafayette.
That was not to be the last of the action, though, and May went from hero to villain with just three minutes remaining.
Owen Story whipped in a corner, and the unfortunate May flicked the ball backwards into his own net to seal victory for Brackley.
At the time the Gazette went to press, Hemel were preparing for a Red Insure Cup first round clash against St Albans City at Clarence Park.
“It’s a local derby first and foremost so we’ll be sending out a team to win the game,” said Widdrington.
“But after that I’m looking forward to getting back to some league action.”
The Tudors take on Weymouth at home in the league on Saturday.