Hemel Town let a 1-0 half-time lead slip as they were downed 2-1 by Truro City at Vauxhall Road this afternoon (Saturday, Sept 2).
The Tudors took the lead five minutes before the break when centreback Tom Hamblin rose to meet the ball from a corner and powerfully headed it home, leaving the City keeper Tom McHale with no chance.
Hemel had passed up the easiest chance of the game minutes before when Ben Greenhalgh took too long on the ball when one-on-one with McHale.
Town had already put the ball in the net midway through the half but it was ruled out for offside -- Hamblin met the ball from a swerving free kick and it was helped over the line by Charlie Sheringham. Had the ball been left, it would likely have been allowed to stand.
Hamblin again had another chance with a header, meeting the ball from a dangerous cross but sent it over the goal just before the whistle for the end of the first period.
But the second-half was a different story and Truro levelled after 56 minutes through Cody Cooke. It was Truro’s first spell of pressure of the second-half and it drew them level against the run of play. Cooke got the final touch on Billy Palfrey’s goalwards half-volley.
This kind of goal was just what Tudors’ boss Dean Brennan had warned against early in the week. He knew Truro were a side capable of absorbing long periods of pressure and could then be clinical when given any opportunity.
Moments before the equaliser, Hemel had a fair claim for a penalty waved away. Skipper-for-the-day Sheringham went down in the box under a tough challenge, but referee Lloyd Wood wasn’t interested. The Tudors striker had nothing to gain from going down when he was in a good shooting position.
Truro went close again before the half-hour and Kyle Connolly did well to defend a close-range shot by sub Noah Keats who was allowed through far too easily.
Connolly then had a chance of his own. The fullback surged forward, beat his marker for pace but a dinked shot was just wide of the goal.
Another Truro replacement Niall Thomson then went close with a slightly ambitious shot skimming the top of the bar.
And with eight minutes to go, Keats put the visitors ahead. The game had developed into on to an end-to-end tussle in the latter stages and it was Truro’s sub who was the most clinical.
The defeat drops Hemel to 11th place in the National League South table amid a four-game winless streak.
Next up is a trip to 16th-placed Poole Town this Tuesday night.
Hemel: Danny Boness, Kyle Connolly, Joe Howe, Matt Spring, Tom Hamblin, Phil Walsh (Callum Driver 76), James Koloczi, Taylor Miles (Jordan Parkes 62), Alex Osborn, Charlie Sheringham (captain), Ben Greenhalgh (Jerome Federico 72). Subs not used: Ogo Obi, Rowan Liburd.
Keeper Laurie Walker, who has been on fire this season, missed today’s game because he was attending his brother’s wedding.
Young Boness started between the sticks. The 19-year-old product of the West Ham United Youth set-up signed a Hemel contract earlier this month having arrived from Hayes & Yeading United.
Connolly, who made his first league start of the season on Monday, retained his place in the side while experienced defender Walsh came in at centreback to deputise for Ismail Yakubu, who is presumably still suffering the after-effects of the eye injury he sustained at Wealdstone.
Miles and Spring both kept their places in midfield, meaning club captain Jordan Parkes started on the bench for the second match running (Charlie Sheringham got the skipper’s armband again).
Loanee Rowan Liburd, who had factored into the past three games, didn’t see any action today.
Attendance: 466 - biggest home crowd of the season so far at Vauxhall Road.