June 17, 2024, 4:52 a.m.

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Hempnall First Team v Scole United Res

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

Tuesday, 09th May 2023, 6:45PM, at Hempnall #1

Home Match, Fosters Solicitors Anglian Combination Division 3 - 2022 - 2023

Win, 4 - 3

Hempnall met Scole Utd Reserves in their final game of the season, and after a season of ups and downs, Hempnall had won their last four games, so despite being without a couple of players, were feeling confident.

 

The game also saw Bunno’s final game as our Manager, with David Dowling, taking over the role, also vowing this to be his final playing appearance at the ripe old age of…David has been playing for Hempnall off and on for many years now, since the heady days of Premier League under Tim Clarke, so he knows the Club well and everybody knows him, so he will slip into the role seamlessly.

Before commencing the report, I’d like to say how grateful we all are to Bunno for his years of service, he took over in our hour of need, and we have had six great years under his management.

 

The pitch was always going to be problematical, a bouncy end of season pitch, and with the heavy rain that started an hour or so before the game, the surface was also slick, so we were expecting a disjointed, wrap up the season game which, earlier in the season, might have been postponed to protect the pitch, but the game we decided would go ahead whatever.

 

We were, though, treated to a very decent game under the circumstances, both teams looking to enjoy their last game of the season despite the weather. The spectators too, plenty of umbrellas in use.

Ignoring the first 30 second goal which the Hempnall keeper let slip under his feet from a pass back (we can blame the pitch and the rain), Hempnall were looking positive, they started brightly despite the set back, and there were half chances at both ends; my eye was caught again by Womack who is continuing his fine form and with a second to none work rate, was looking very dangerous.

The back four of Goldie, Jillings, Kelly and Blake were again looking secure, Blake in particular was seeing a lot of the play and intercepting well, again showing his great value to the team.

 

Herbert was again looking very positive, and had a decent effort that drifted past the post, then the Scole keeper had to be alert to keep Womack then Herbert at bay.

 

However, the new manager, Dowling, decided that his last game would be something special, and after a good Hempnall pressure, a brilliant cross from Billy Kelly saw Dowling plant a header past the Scole keeper for a deserved equaliser. 

 

Commendations to both Billy Kelly and Marjoram for some superb crosses, and Hempnall were looking the more threatening, though Scole were certainly having their moments with a few half chances of their own, but generally Hempnall looked fairly secure.

 

Marjoram came very close to adding a second, before another great cross, this time from Womack, for an excellent finish with his head by Dowling for 2-1.

Hempnall could have had a third but for a fine save from Herbert’s effort.

 

Even Shaun Kelly was making forays into the opposition penalty area, but it was from a corner that the ball stayed out due to good work by the keeper, and then Herbert again put the ball into the side netting, before another excellent Kelly cross onto Dowling’s head saw Hempnall’s and his third – a first half headed hat-trick for the new Manager in his last game (so he says).

 

So 3-1 at half time, we hoped the second half might follow the same pattern, but having done his bit for the cause, Dowling decided to retire himself, and no disrespect to anybody else, we did lose our force of nature, and along with this, we started making poor decisions passing wise, ignoring the simple ball for the difficult killer ball, which often ended up at the feet of the opposition, and lo and behold, Scole scored their inevitable second, and then, not learning, Hempnall gifted a third to Scole.

 

 

To me, it looked as though Scole were the only team likely to win, but Hempnall again lifted themselves, and in the descending gloom and increasing rain, (look at the match photos!), Hempnall were awarded a free kick, Blake slid it past the post but a good effort nevertheless.

 

The Hempnall keeper was called into action a couple of times, but Hempnall were breaking well, and finally, Self saw a pass finished by Womack, a very good shot to the far corner, his reward for a fine performance. 4-3.

 

That’s how it stayed, so  a very positive end to season for Hempnall, a great way for Bunno to bow out, and Dowling to end his playing days.

 

MOM, despite the hat-trick, is difficult to pick, but I’m sure David won’t object to my pick, once again, Justin Womack.