April 24, 2019, 4:53 a.m.
Saturday, 30th March 2019, 2:30PM, at Hempnall #1
Home Match, Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination Division 3 - 2018 - 2019
Loss, 0 - 7
This is a frustrating time for the managers, who, due to injuries, call-offs, work commitments and other excuses, were forced to put themselves in the team. Trett had to take position between the sticks, Bunn in midfield, and with a couple of players also carrying injuries, one of which was Leather, (who decided to sit on the bench), it was another limited squad.
Two Reserve team players, Batterham and Chapman, were also drafted in, so with five changes from the week before, and an incredible ten enforced changes and different personnel over three games, we wonder how the managers don’t tear out what is left of their hair, yet the lads that do want to play are those we feel for; they maintain an admirable enthusiasm that we can be proud of.
As Tretty said to me, had we been able to field a settled side over the season, we would have been at the top rather than what is still a decent above mid-table position.
As expected, Hempnall would find it difficult to get into the game, and Beccles Caxton were on top and looked the better side, with their number 12 looking an exceptional player, cutting out any threat Hempnall had to offer.
Hempnall fought well, though, and as is now standard practice, Jutty Womack covered every blade of grass, his work rate and willingness to chase lost causes, allied to his skill level, puts him in the position of being the talisman, and we all enjoy watching him.
The defence was keeping a tight ship, and with the fight shown by the forward outlets of Womack and Clarke, we thought we may have a chance to threaten, but after only 15 minutes, Clarke’s calf went, enforcing a substitution and the introduction of the still injured Leather.
Leather though still showed decent mobility, and all of the players were working hard; despite their dominance, with Trett showing surprising agility in the Hempnall goal (Davis may have competition!), Caxton were finding it difficult to break Hempnall down.
Again, the defensive central partnership of Kelly and Docherty were strong, and Batterham and West were playing their part so we were happy with our very decent performance.
Hempnall went into the break 0-2 down, a creditable effort under the circumstances.
The second half was a similar performance, full of effort, but with limited threat on the Caxton goal, though Hempnall’s effort continued to be good, and Caxton were not able to run away with it – not, that is, until after 80 minutes when Docherty’s injury was too great and he had to leave the field, so it was down to 10 men, and Caxton managed to score a further 4 goals in 5 minutes, so from 0-3, probably a fair reflection, we found ourselves 0-7, an unfair reflection of Hempnall’s fighting performance.
The referee had a very good game today.
A word of thanks to Lesley’s excellent assistant hospitality person, Sarah and her dad, who, despite Taylor being absent, still are happy to help, we are really grateful for this help keeping our little cafe running at half time and before the game.