Feb. 23, 2020, 1:16 a.m.
Saturday, 25th January 2020, 2PM, at PLAYING FIELD HEMPNALL
Home Match, Central & South Norfolk League Division 3 - 2019 - 2020
Win, 2 - 0
Hempnall Reserves welcomed second in the table Sprowston Athletic Reserves to Bungay Road, in bouyant mood, feeling they could give a good account of themselves after some strong recent results.
Hempnall fielded a strong squad, with talisman Nick Stride beating the traffic to take his position in midfield.
Both teams started well, and it was clear from the beginning that this was going to be a close encounter.
Once again, the team looked balanced, with plenty of width when needed particularly from Goldie and Ryan Cullabine, with Herbert and Elton in the advanced central positions, the hardworking midfielders Stride and Orford were looking to get the forwards away quickly.
When Sprowston managed to get forward, the back four of Simon Cullabine, Batterham, Radford and Amini were generally well in control.
Hempnall attacked well, all the forward players were giving the Sprowston defence a hard time, and their young keeper had to be alert on a number of occasions. At the other end, the Hempnall keeper, Chamberlain, was also showing his quality, with a couple of interceptions and a decent save.
The game was becoming one of the more entertaining we have witnessed at Bungay Road, the quality of football really good, and the referee was letting the game flow whenever possible.
Goldie went close, Herbert had a shot, Ryan Cullabine was just beaten to a forward ball by the keeper, before deservedly finishing with an excellent lobbed finish, which gave the keeper no chance. Hempnall continued attacking and looked the more likely to score with all the forwards keeping the keeper busy.
Shortly before half time (presumably his missus was spectating!), Elton was on hand to slip the ball into the net for a well deserved second for Hempnall.
At the other end, other than a slip up, the Hempnall defence were at their best, Sprowston kept in the game but were thwarted on every occasion.
Hempnall continued on the front foot in the second half, much as in the first half, the forwards looked dangerous, the midfiled worked hard and ably assisted by the back four with quality passing (Stride had his best game for a long time, and Orford seems to be improving every game), and with the defence in control the vctory was never in doubt.
A very enjoyable, competitive game, well refereed by Mr. Wynes.
MOM is very difficult this week, there were no poor performances and plenty of good performances, the back four were exceptional today. Cullabine oozed class, but for his endeavour, great tackling and general positivity, I reckon Jordie deserves MOM.