June 17, 2019, 7:35 a.m.
Saturday, 02nd February 2019, 2PM, at
Home Match, Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination Division 3 - 2018 - 2019
Win, 2 - 0
Hempnall welcomed similarly placed South Walsham to Bungay Road, knowing that a win would elevate them above the opposition to a fifth place, almost a remarkable turn of events considering the run of bad luck with injuries, suspensions, work and holiday commitments prior to Christmas. Indeed, Hempnall were looking to extend their run of five matches undefeated.
They were without Griffiths but welcomed re-signed former player, Tristran Docherty to replace him in the back four and back came Leather after missing a match to take the right back position, with Jordy again included in the squad dropping to sub.
Both teams started brightly, again Jutty up front was looking sharp and combative, with strike partner Gent also looking mobile, we knew the opposition would be troubled, and at the other end, the defence was looking comfortable, with Docherty setling in well next to Kelly, but it was South Walsham who had the best early chance, Davis having to make a brave stop from the inrushing number 10.
The teams looked well matched, validating their similar positions in the table, with both sets of forwards troubling the respective defences, neither managing a breaktrough until a decent Hempnall attack found Gent who managed, somehow, to hook the ball in, surprising the photographer whose efforts were far too late to capture the moment as there appeared no chance of a shot, let alone a goal. So, 1-0 to Hempnall.
Still end to end, Hempnall had the better chances, with the Walsham keeper making a decent punched save, with Walsham themselves then going close, but the again excellent Womack beat everybody to the ball to slip a shot past the keeper for 2-0.
Womack was then somewhat wayward with a shot that sailed over, Walsham went close on a few occasions, with Davis having to make a couple of fine saves, then a header sailed across his goal, eluding everybody.
Hempnall lost one of their better players, Clarke, with an injured ankle, but with three on the bench, Hempnall had sufficient strength in depth this week, calling on West, then Thompson, then Batterham to enter the fray and replace tired legs.
The midfield of Watts (he is playing better than ever), Miller and Etherington again worked exceptionally hard, Hempnall were generally on top, Gent, Womack and Etherington could all have scored, but for either wayward finishing or decent goalkeeping; similarly, Walsham could have, with a bit more luck, buried at least one goal.
Hempnall were on a few occasions thankful to Davis, but all in all, a fair result – it could have beeen 6-4, so a 2 goal margin probably reflected the overall performances.
Again a number of good performances, Davis in goal, Watts, Miller, and Womack were my picks though no players were far behind, but, in the words of Billy Kelly, for the perfect centre forward performance', for the third week running, MOM is Justin Womack.