July 6, 2022, 1:36 a.m.
Saturday, 22nd January 2022, 2PM, at Hempnall #1
Home Match, Fosters Solicitors Anglian Combination Division 3 - 2021 - 2022
Win, 5 - 0
Hempnall welcomed fellow mid-table team Attleborough Reserves to Hempnall, looking to reverse the poor performance of their first game of the season when they lost 5-1.
Without captain Way, and important players Watts and Edwards, Hempnall still had a strong squad on show.
Replacing Way, Dowling took the centre back position alongside Shaun Kelly, but otherwise, the team layout was pretty well as usual.
From the off, on a tricky, wet surface which at the start of the game was flat but quickly became bobbly making it a little unpredictable and slippy.
Hempnall looked better and were playing some good football, with the midfield passing skills of Blake, Bennett and Hartle being far more effective, releasing the excellent Kelly and Marjoram, both looking threatening whenever they had the ball. Womack, as always, was working extremely hard up front, and Hempnall soon got on top of Attleborough.
However, Attleborough had a good chance on the break, which hit the bar, but after that, Hempnall looked the side more likely to score.
Shots from Marjoram, and Womack were resisted but the ball finally fell to Billy Kelly who curved a nice finish into the net for 1-0.
Shortly after, the photographer was caught unawares when Blake hit an outrageous shot which the keeper could not keep out, and Hempnall were 2-0 up.
Hempnall were looking comfortable, but were somewhat careless in possession, overconfidence perhaps, but still going forward they looked very dangerous, and from a corner, the excellent Dowling powered a header into the top of the net for 3-0.
Second half saw Hempnall still looking for further goals, and Billy Kelly, having his best game since his return from long term injury, had a mazy run which led to the keeper saving his shot, only to fall to Marjoram who finished for 4-0.
Attleborough, to their credit, kept trying and could, probably should, have replied but Hempnall’s aim for a clean sheet was kept intact.
After more efforts from Blake and Marjoram in particular, Hempnall were awarded a free kick, beautifully guided on to the head of Dowling who finished with his second headed goal of the day.
Probably their best performance of the season, it was good to see Kelly back to his best, though there were a number of good performances today. It is difficult to pick out many though Leather was particularly on his game.
However, for his superb performance in the back four, and scoring two first class goals, my MOM is David Dowling.