The Evo-Stik League Southern
Published 27th December 2012
.....by fifth-placed St Albans City at Vauxhall Road in front of a good crowd of 787.
In the end it could have been worse for the Tudors, who were indebted to second-choice goalkeeper Sam Beagle.
Beagle had made several good saves to keep the scoreline blank and then Hemel opened the scoring with an unusual goal just before then hour-mark.
Victor Osobu slipped on the sodden surface as he fell to collect a wide ball but by keeping his body close to the ball stopped Chris Seeby from gaining possession.
Once back on his feet Osubo twisted inside Seeby and evaded Comley’s slide tackle before pushing the ball into the six-yard box where Jordan Parkes cleverly clipped the ball left-footed across Nick Jupp for his ninth goal of the season.
That looked like being enough for the home side until teenage substitute Tremayne Charles popped up with a 94th minute equaliser.
Second-placed Leamington lost 3-0 at Banbury United, who continued their impressive home form.
It was a rather uneventful first half-an-hour but it was Banbury who got the all-important breakthrough in the 34th minute. Kynan Isaac went on a mazy run into the penalty area and then crossed the ball low into the centre where Stuart Bridges poked the ball home.
Leamington did apply a fair bit of pressure to the Banbury defence in the last 10 minutes of the half but they were restricted to a few long range efforts which were either off targets or competently held by Lewis Kidd in the Banbury goal.
The first half may have been relatively uneventful but that was not the case for the second period. United went further in front after just 4 minutes when Albi Skendi picked up the ball just outside the area and did well to bring it under control and make room for a bullet shot which fizzed low into the left hand corner of Niall Cooper's net.
In the 70th minute Isaac was put through only to be fouled just inside the box. Leamington were not happy with that decision with goalkeeper Cooper getting booked for kicking the ball away - an offence which would come back to haunt him moments later.
Bridges penalty gave Cooper no chance as the ball rocketed high to the custodian's left. However, with Cooper then losing his discipline and pushing a celebrating Banbury player, the inevitable early bath would follow and Leamington would have to play out the rest of the game with ten-men.
Cambridge City lost 2-1 at home to Arlesey Town and dropped a place to fourth.
City saw their nine-match unbeaten run come to an end in the ProEdge Stadium mud.
Following a goalless first half, Arlesey snatched the lead on 52 minutes when Chris Marsh headed home at the far post.
City quickly restored parity, Adam Marriott spinning on the spot to rifle home 5 minutes later.
The home pressed and should have gone ahead, but were hit with a sucker punch on 64 minutes when a corner dropped at the feet Chris Dillon to poke home.
James McPike scored the only goal with 4 minutes remaining to save Stourbridge from frustration against Redditch United.
The striker came off the bench to score his first goal for the Glassboys, ending the visitors’ stubborn resistance.
Redditch goalkeeper Brad Catlow was in fine form as he pulled off fine saves to deny Drew Canavan, Leon Broadhurst and Luke Benbow. But his resistance was finally broken when McPike headed home from Ben Billingham’s free-kick.
Weymouth comfortably extended their winning run to five consecutive games with a solitary first half strike from Craig Duff in front of a crowd of 820 at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
Bedford Town moved up to seventh spot with three second half goals giving them a 3-0 home victory over St Neots Town at the New Eyrie in front of 567.
It was goalless until the hour-mark when Will Green gave the Eagles the lead.
And just 8 minutes later the lead was doubled by Mark Bell, with Michael Built making sure of victory with a third 5 minutes from time.
Substitute David Blenkinsopp notched a stoppage time goal to salvage a point for Bedworth United in the derby against Barwell at the Oval.
The former Gresley FC striker netted from close range just as neighbours Barwell seemed poised to grab their third win of the season over the Greenbacks.
Veteran defender Guy Hadland turned goalscorer by firing Barwell ahead 2 minutes after the break on a gluepot of a pitch.
Hadland swivelled to score with a stunning shot from an acute angle over former Coventry City keeper Michael Quirke, making his Greenbacks debut.
Barwell owed a huge debt to their new keeper Mark Roper, signed from local football, who twice denied top scorer Mitchell Piggon with superb saves.
Piggon also struck the bar with a rasping 20-yard free-kick as Bedworth finished with a flourish.
Barwell defended stubbornly but justice was done in stoppage time when Roper could only push out a Nathan Haines header and Blenkinsopp, who had come on in the 75th minute, knocked the ball over the line.
AFC Totton were thwarted by an inspired display from Gosport Borough keeper Nathan Ashmore as the hosts ran out 1-0 winners.
Totton somehow came away from Privett Park with nothing after Ashmore kept The Stags at bay with a string of fine saves.
Boro took the lead after 19 minutes when former Stags` striker Justin Bennett fired home from almost the halfway line, with Gareth Barfoot caught stranded in the middle of his box.
From then on in the first half it was all Totton. Richard Gillespie, James Coutts, Dave Allen, Chris Mason and Baily Cargill were all denied by Ashmore.
The second half was a scrappy affair as the heavens opened and neither goalkeeper had much to do.
Chippenham Town battled in the wind and the rain to earn themselves a festive point at Meadow Park against Chesham United.
Despite an unpredictable surface causing chaos at times, Nathan Rudge’s side hauled themselves back from a goal down in Buckinghamshire.
Conditions worsened in the second half, and torrential rain began to hamper the flow of the game.
But midway into the half, the hosts went in front when striker Scott Thomas unleashed an effort from the edge of the area which flew into the bottom corner.
In the 78th minute, the Bluebirds got their equaliser. Brandon Barnes’ effort was touched wide by Shane Gore and from the resulting Scott Lye corner, defender Alex Kite stooped low to head goalwards, with his effort finding the net, despite a deflection off the body of a Chesham defender.
With 5 minutes remaining, Ben John punched away a Steve Wales free-kick as the match entered a nail-biting finale but the Bluebirds survived a late onslaught to earn a point.
Jack Furzer scored the goal as Bideford battled in the mud for a 1-0 victory at Frome Town.
The defender fired through a crowded penalty area to beat Darren Chitty in the 62nd minute, sealing a crucial win for the Devonians. It was just reward for the visitors who should have put the result beyond doubt before half time but wasted several chances.
Sean Downing hit the post in the first minute and then headed wide, while Rob Farkins and Kevin Squire also went close.
Downing was denied by Chitty after a fine run and, when the winger was brought down, Matt Hockley's penalty was brilliantly saved.
At the foot of the table third-from-bottom Hitchin Town went down 4-3 at home as bottom of the table Kettering Town recorded their third victory of the season.
Lewis Wilson continued his superb form as his hat-trick helped seal Kettering their third win in four games.
The Northampton Town loanee made it seven goals in seven games for the Poppies.
Jamie Griffiths was also on target from the spot while Hitchin’s John Frendo finished on the losing side, despite hitting a hat-trick of his own, including two spot-kicks, in a thrilling game at Top Field.