March 22, 2019, 10:08 a.m.
Saturday, 02nd March 2019, 2:30PM, at Hempnall #1
Home Match, Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination Division 3 - 2018 - 2019
Win, 2 - 1
Hempnall welcomed near rivals Earham to Bungay Road, looking to reverse their 3-0 loss away at Earsham.
Again with players missing, and with the Reserves not having a fixture, the managers were able to again call on three Reserve players, the Cullabines and Jack Thompson who had all performed well in last week’s fixture at Horsford.
Which Hempnall would turn up today?
Well, for the first half, a rather untidy, sluggish Hempnall, who allowed the opposition to dictate, and Earsham had the better of the early half chances.
Again, though, Womack was looking impressive and his usual competitive self, and the Reserve lads also showing they can easily cope with this standard of football.
Taylor Davis in goal looked very commanding, until Earsham were awarded a bizarre, but perfectly correct, penalty, when West saw the offisde flag and assumed an offisde decision had been given, but the whistle had not been blown, so Earsham benefitted from the softest of decisions.
The game was even, though Hempnall were not performing to their best, and Davis had to make a good save to keep it at 1-0.
Half time came, and we thought Hempnall would only need to step it up a bit to get back into this game.
A different Hempnall came out after a half time ‘chat’ from the managers, looking much more competitive, Watts was leading from the front, the back four looked much more solid, the midfield were competing well, and Womack and Gent up front were well supported by the ever running Adam Clarke, so it was looking promising.
However, Davis had to make a fine stop before Hempnall’s corners finally produced the goods, with the excellent Womack getting his reward with a fine headed finish to make it 1-1.
Hempnall were looking the better team, Davis still having to be alert, but we were looking at Hempnall as the team more likely to score, and a good attack which the opposition linesman saw as offside was not seen as such by the referee who allowed Cullabine to pounce on the keeper’s mistake to bury the ball into the net; 2-1 to Hempnall.
Hempnall were competing so much better but received a couple of bookings, and then the referee saw Thompson trying to kick the ball back to the keeper as a deliberate kicking the ball away, and issued a second yellow, so Hempnall were reduced to 10 men.
Nevertheless, they held out comfortably to secure a victory that, in the first half, looked unlikely.
Well done to all the lads for the fighting performance, leaving us still in fifth position, but a massive improvement on our position around Christmas.
Once again, to me, one player stood out for Hempnall and that was Justin Womack, who comfortably takes the MOM award this week.