April 2, 2020, 11:13 p.m.
Saturday, 23rd November 2019, 2PM, at None
Home Match, Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination Division 3 - 2019 - 2020
Loss, 1 - 3
After the confidence boosting win last week at South Walsham, the first team were hoping their bad luck was perhaps about to end, so they welcomed Great Yarmouth Town Reserves to Bungay Road.
After the huge amount of rain in recent weeks and days, the pitch was soft but in good order, and we were looking forward to a good game.
Hempnall started confidently enough against a relatively young Yarmouth side with some good players on view.
Hempnall resumed their decent play from the previous week, and looked very likely to score early on, and on another week, the early shots from Womack in particular would have flown in rather than wide and the header from Choudhury would have at least tested the keeper.
With the back four of Docherty, Kelly, Way and Leather again looking secure, the Yarmouth attacks were generally being snuffed out.
Hartle was continuing his excellence in midfield, with Edwards and Watts very upbeat in their endeavour.
Womack, Clarke and Choudhury were also working very hard to give Hempnall good opportunities going forward.
As the game wore on, Watts had a shot, then excellent corners from Hartle eluded everybody when a simple touch would have resulted in a goal.
Davis certainly wasn’t a spectator, and make a couple of very good saves before Yarmough took the lead.
Hempnall were still looking good, and the ball bounced around the Yarmouth area on more than one occasion, but it wouldn’t run for Hempnall, who were unable to apply the final touch.
Hempnall were on top, Edwards went very close, as did Womack, and Clarke was wondering what he had to do to finish his unlucky streak.
Yarmouth started the second half in determined fashion, Davis having to make a good save and then bravely intercept, but Hempnall soon came back into it, and Edwards sliced a shot just wide.
More good goalkeeping by Davis kept Hempnall well in it, then another Hempnall attack saw Womack just fail to score, and another goalmouth scramble saw Yarmouth somehow survive.
Hempnall were maintaining their overall dominance, and another goalmouth scramble saw Choudhury finally get the deserved goal .
We were looking for Hempnall to race ahead, and Womack was doing all he could but still remaining unlucky, missing with a cross shot that looked in all the way, and the same player saw a header sail over.
It was end to end stuff, Yarmouth had their chances but Davis stood tall, then Hartle got in on the act with a good shot that just missed.
Then the inevitable happened, it was again an unfortunate refereeing decision against Hempnall that changed the game and Hempnall again were wondering what they have done to deserve this rub of the green. The ball hit Kelly, the ref said hand ball and that was the game changer.
Still Hempnall came back, Edwards went close, Hempnall hit the post for a second time in the match, themselves had a reasonable shout for a penaty (not given), more shots sailed over, then Yarmough scored a third through a break.
Hempnall corners rained in but to no avail and somehow, the game ended 1-3. How that happened I don’t know.
Other than the penalty decision, I thought the referee had a very good game. In the rules, I expect he was right to give a penalty, but frankly, the FA have to sort out this silly hand-ball rule – how a player is supposed to withdraw his arm when the ball is cracked at him really hard is not easy to understand.
MOM very difficult this week, there were again several contenders, (Watts and Kelly in particular) but though he may have scored a couple on a luckier day and made it absolutely clear cut, my MOM is Justin Womack for his immense work rate and general play.