June 17, 2024, 4:26 a.m.

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Hempnall First Team v Costessey Sports

Trevor Shurmer (Club Secretary)
Report By Trevor Shurmer (Club Secretary)

Saturday, 02nd September 2023, 2PM, at Hempnall #1

Home Match, Fosters Solicitors Anglian Combination Division 3 - 2023 - 2024

Win, 3 - 1

Hempnall met high flying Costessey Sports at Bungay Road, in the Cyril Ballyn Cup.

 

Hempnall had lost their first two league games of the season, and expected a very tough game, and that was certainly the case.

 

The Hempnall squad were still confident despite the early season setbacks, and new manager Michael Cullum set up a flat back four, with Steven Blake playing just in front of them as added protection.

 

The game started in lively fashion, both sides looking to attack, and the ball pinging around both penalty areas, but both defences looked resilient, with the midfielders working very hard, notably Jack Herbert who was all over the pitch doing excellent work.

 

The first save of note came from the excellent Swatman in the Hempnall goal, a point bank reaction save, but soon after, Hempnall forced a good save from the Costessey keeper, Blake shooting from outside the box forcing a tip over the bar.

 

The game was evenly matched, Costessey looking strong, though Hempnall were forcing them back, and won a couple of corners, before the Millbank finished well, shooting into the corner for 1-0.

 

At the other end, fine work by the defence kept Costessey at bay, and again, Swatman was called into action, another fine reflex save to keep Hempnall ahead.

In fairness, Costessey were reflecting their league position, but Hempnall’s attacks were causing problems, Goldie’s cross shot just eluded the Hempnall number 9, Womack, to slip past the post.

 

At the other end, a Costessey ‘goal’ was ruled out due to offside, and Hempnall were feeling a little lucky at this stage, but the effort by all in the team was magnificent, something perhaps lacking during the previous games.

 

Half time 1-0

 

Costessey clearly had a strong half time discussion, as they came out all guns blazing, and looked by far the more likely to score as Hempnall had not woken up, and a magnificent save by Swatman denied the Costessey number 14.

 

With the introduction of both Womack and Cullum, Hempnall seemed to liven up, but still Costessey were on top, and another superb near post save by Swatman kept Hempnall ahead.

 

Another fine piece of goalkeeping was the turning point of the half, with Hempnall venturing upfield with a free flowing move resulting in a cross, which was put away in fine fashion by the Hempnall number 12 for 2-0.

 

Hempnall were looking good, we thought Costessy may have succumbed, but they showed their fighting spirit, and a Costessey player saw Swatman off his line, elevating a beautiful shot over the keeper’s head for 2-1. Game on.

 

It was end to end, half chances here and there, until a Hempnall corner saw the excellent Matt Jillings bury a header into the Costessey net, 3-1.

A couple of minutes later, it could, and probably should, have been 4 but Jillings couldn’t quite direct his header to a fine Blake cross. 

 

Last ditch defending at both ends saw Hempnall matching Costessey for late chances, and we were happy when the referee finally blew his whistle.

 

There were some really excellent performances today throughout the team, a MOM is very difficult to pick. My stars today were Blake, Jillings, Swatman and Kelly though most of the other players ran them close.

 

On balance, for his crucial saves, my MOM is Swatman.