A Phil Roberts brace consigned Weston to a defeat at the Woodspring Stadium, despite Jacob Cane levelling with the last kick of the first half.
Callum Martin went close early on, darting inside after picking up a Purnell headed clearance, but the Seagulls shot stopper smothered the shot as it went out for a corner. From the corner, Purnell prevented Billy Clifford on the line and after momentarily clearing, Martin curled the ball over the crossbar.
Hemel were to break the deadlock four minutes later though when Martin dispossessed Ben Swallow and drove forward on the counter. He fed Roberts, who slipped the ball past Purnell and into the corner to give the Tudors the lead.
Sanchez Watt’s dink was well saved after being played through by Steve Cawley, Purnell spreading himself well and denying the former Arsenal youngster. Weston got a chance a minute later when Swallow’s long diagonal pass towards George Nurse was cushioned down by the left-back for Welch, who shielded for Lloyd Doyley but fired over from 18 yards.
Welch again got another sight of goal with Swallow once more starting the move, bursting inside and finding Cane. The skipper moved the ball on to Welch, who stood up Doyley and as soon as he got a sight of goal, the Welshman curled inches wide of the top corner.
Jason Pope received his marching orders just past the half hour mark, bringing Roberts down on the edge of the area, a dangerous move considering he had brought Roberts down with a late challenge moments earlier. The referee had no hesitation in flashing a second yellow card towards the centre-back, reducing Weston to ten men.
Cawley’s shot from 25 yards was parried by Purnell, with Roberts tapping into an empty net however the offside flag was up against the striker. Cane went close in the 43rd minute, substitute Jamie Lucas knocking a Nurse cross down for the skipper however he blazed over the bar.
Nurse’s cross was flicked clear by Kyle Connolly, however recent loan signing Brad Ash brought the ball down but fired wide with the angle against him.
A Weston equaliser came for the Seagulls with the last kick of the half, Welch’s dinked free-kick finding Cane. The skipper took one touch to bring the ball under his control, and he poked the ball in past Laurie Walker for his third goal of the campaign.
In the second half, Welch’s 25 yard free-kick was palmed away by Walker, before Purnell prevented Roberts at the other end, James Kaloczi hitting the post with the goal gaping from the rebound.
Roberts again had a chance, tapping wide of Purnell’s goal after the Seagulls No.1 had spilled a powerful Jordan Parkes drive. Lucas went close at the other end, muscling his way past Clifford and seeing his 25 yard shot tipped round the post by Walker.
Hemel did get their winner though when a Walker goal kick was knocked down by Matt Bower, in an attempt to clear. The ball fell kindly for Roberts, who set himself well and curled into the corner from outside the area.
Purnell pushed a Clifford effort away minutes before the end, before Karl Oliyide dragged wide while one-on-one and Martin’s left footed effort was held by Purnell deep into injury time.
FT: Weston 1 – 2 Hemel Hempstead (Cane 45+4 – Roberts 14, 79)
Weston XI: Purnell, Byrne, Nurse, Cane ©, Pope, Bower, Swallow (Lucas 40), Diallo, Ash (Hill 83), Welch, Lee. Unused substitutes: Phipps, McGrory, Llewellyn.
MOTM: Jarrad Welch – The central midfielder was used out of position on the left wing during the first half, but the creative playmaker got the assist for the Seagulls goal and went close on a few occasions.