Dec. 8, 2021, 5:54 p.m.
Saturday, 04th September 2021, 2PM, at Hempnall #1
Home Match, Fosters Solicitors Anglian Combination Division 3 - 2021 - 2022
Win, 1 - 0
Hempnall met Swafham Reserves from D2, in the Cyril Ballyn Cup.
On a hard pitch, Hempnall looked the better team from the off, the defence were rarely troubled by the Swaffham attack, and with the midfield working hard, the front two of Womack and Marjoram were able to cause the Swaffham defence problems.
As often happens, the final ball was where Hempnall let themselves down a little, good chances turned into half chances, but the team looked threatening.
Hempnall’s early attacks were positive, and a corner led to a goal mouth scramble where somehow, the ball stayed out of the net.
Shots came in from Bennett, Watts and Marjoram, none troubled the keeper, though Hempnall were looking positive.
At the other end, Swaffham had a couple of half chances, but largely, the defence were looking secure and able to withstand any pressure.
Up to half time, the shots were far in Hempnall’s favour, efforts from Marjoram, Watts and Womack hit the woodwork, so three gilt edged chances were missed.
Half time came and we were disappointed not to have seen a goal.
The second half continued in similar fashion, another goalmouth scramble saw the ball stay out, Womack, Marjoram and Blake had efforts either saved or off target, and Davis at the other end was largely untroubled, other than from a corner when he rose high to push the ball away.
Hempnall continued to look the stronger, and their reward finally came when Blake attacked the defence and was fouled in the area, he converted the resulting penalty for 1-0.
Swaffham tried hard but were leaving massive gaps in midfield, and Hempnall were largely able to withstand any pressure and easily run the ball out and attack the Swaffham defence.
Hempnall probably should have won by a bigger margin but for wayward finishing, but 1-0 was good enough to see them into the next round.
There were a number of good performances today, stand outs for me were Blake, Kelly, Bennett and Dowling, (no longer a youngster, but had more energy than almost eveyone else on the pitch), he was my (and Bunno’s) MOM.
I’d like to commend the referee, he handled the game very well (though both teams conducted themselves creditably), what I liked was the way he spoke to the players, communicating well, and displaying decent tolerence levels, we all enjoyed the game with only one booking.
Other refs, any chance of taking a leaf out of this man’s book? It would be good at grass roots level not to have so many bookings and £12 fines for lads who may be financially challenged.