April 3, 2020, 12:21 a.m.
Saturday, 07th September 2019, 2PM, at Hempnall #1
Home Match, Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination Division 3 - 2019 - 2020
Loss, 1 - 4
Hempnall entertained Freethorpe in the Cup, expecting a difficult game against the high riding division 2 side.
From the off, Hempnall looked the equal of Freethorpe. With the benefit of the wind at their backs, a secure looking defence that welcomed back Aaron Clarke, were generally able to withstand any pressure from Freethorpe, and the midfield were playng some good football, some of the passing, notably from young Thompson, was good, and the side were gelling.
The very hardworking Adam Clarke and Justin Womack were supplying Ryan Drake on the wing, who was looking lively, and George Watts was, as always, getting in first, and we were confident we were likely to overwhelm the opposition. Matt Hartle wasn’t missing much in the air.
The breakthrough came when, after a period of sustained pressure, Drake finished immaculately to give Hempnall a deserved 1-0 lead at helf time.
The second half was a different story though, and this was the classic ‘game of two halves’. Hempnall were unable to get going, Freethorpe came out with more determination, and started to show their D2 credentials, with some flowing football, which Hempnall were unable to match.
Hempnall were rather the authors of their own demise, not clearing the ball, misplaced passes and just a general lacklustre start to the second half which allowed the opposition back in, and from there, it was Freethorpe that looked the most likely. Once the second goal had gone in, it was, in truth, game over, and had it not been for a couple of good saves from Taylor, it could have been worse. Perhaps if Shaun Kelly’s great run ended in a better finish, Hempnall may have been able to salvage something, but it wasn’t to be.
I would again praise the referee, Matthew Hudson, for an excellent performance though the game was played in the right way, and the referee didn’t have to resort to the book. Despite the frustrations, a mainly enjoyable watch. Pity about the result, but in fairness, Freethorpe looked good in the second half.
Given this was a game of two halves, a MOM is difficult to pick, but for his overall contribution and maintaining a good standard throughout the game, I believe Jimmy Edwards was Hempnall’s best player.