June 17, 2019, 7:34 a.m.
Saturday, 12th January 2019, 2PM, at
Home Match, Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination Division 3 - 2018 - 2019
Draw, 1 - 1
Hempnall, again without five first team regulars, welcomed Aylsham Reserves to Bungay Road .
The absences were again for a variety of reasons, but hopefully, Bunn and Trett should be back to approaching a full squad next week. Regrettably, though, Billy Kelly, who has been a first team regular and one of our best players for several seasons, has a very serious knee injury and is unlikely now to play for at least two seasons.
We wish Billy all the best, he will continue to be an important club member and manager, and managed to take the flag, doing a first class job.
Back to football – the depleted Hempnall side included both managers in the squad of 12, and Bunn played from the start, with Trett, our other ‘veteran’, having to enter the fray much earlier than he would have liked, due to a nasty injury to Ryan Mortimer only a few minutes into the game. We hope the injury isn’t too serious and that Ryan won’t be away for too long.
Injuries are another unfortunate problem we seem to be facing this season, and it is remarkable that the team is at least holding it’s own in the league.
So, with the issues we faced, and with Aylsham having a full bench, we knew that it was going to be a difficult game and that Hempnall would be likely to run out of steam in the late stages.
However, whilst Aylsham would go away from the game feeling they should have won it, Hempnall put up a great fight, probably feeling a little fortunate at getting a result, but equally could have, and probably should have, taken a chance or two.
The game started brightly, both teams looked able to pierce the defences, but Hempnall had the earlier chances, Gent’s cross shot brought a save from the Aylsham keeper, but at the other end, Davis had to be at his best to keep us in the game with a couple of excellent saves.
Hempnall scored the first after a keeper error, the ball was planted into the net with his head by the excellent Womack, who had one of his best games, full of running and skill.
An early, rather harsh, booking for West meant he had to be very careful, but the Hempnall defence looked very good, Kelly showing great mobility, Trett showed his old class, winning most in the air, with his three colleagues backing him up well, West and Leather at full back didn’t let much past them and both were keen to get forward as much as possible.
Everybody worked remarkably hard, Bunn, Stride and Miller playing some good balls to find the ever running Gent and Womack, and Adam Clarke was arguably the most hard working of them all, he had a superb game.
In goal, Taylor Davis kept Hempnall in the game with two or three fine saves and punches, and at the other end, the Aylsham keeper saved from a couple of decent Hempnall attacks, and Aylsham were lucky when Hempnall hit the crossbar, but Hempnall were also fortunate when an Aylsham shot cannoned off the post and across the goal with nobody there to touch it in.
With Aylsham’s young subs adding legs to trouble the tiring Hempnall players, Kelly was in fantastic spirit and full of running – in fact, his forward run almost finished with a goal.
So, all in all, whilst Hempnall were perhaps a little fortunate in securing a draw their hard work, in my eyes, deserved, we can all go away thinking that when they are back to full strength, they will be a match for anybody in this division.
MOM – there were a number of good performances, the four that stood out to me were Womack, Clarke, Davis and Kelly, but the point of MOM is to choose only one, and I think Kelly just about shaded it.