April 3, 2020, 12:03 a.m.
Wednesday, 14th August 2019, 6:30PM, at Long Stratton Playing Field #1
Away Match, Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination Division 3 - 2019 - 2020
Loss, 0 - 1
Hempnall started their campaign with an way game at local rivals Long Stratton Reserves.
Both squads looked strong, and the game started with both sides having chances in the first few minutes, Davis in the Hempnall goal looked strong and commanding and the back four, apart from a few instances of dallying on the ball, were in control.
The midfield were competing extremely well, and the front two were mobile and threatening, breaking quickly.
A couple of hesitancies up front allowed the Stratton defence to snuff out almost certain goals, and the game was flowing well and was an enjoyable watch despite the drizzle and mid-summer cold!
The half time talk was extremely positive, but Hempnall did not start the second half as they ended the first, the second challenges and bounce of the ball went Stratton’s way and they looked the more threatening.
As the half progressed, Hempnall got back into it, and runs from Etherington and Mortimer looked very dangerous, but Hempnall were unable to convert.
The game looked as though it was heading for a draw, but two refereeing decisions went against Hempnall – the first, when Mortimer was having his shirt pulled off, was not awarded a penalty, the resulting clearance fell to Stratton, the cross was about to be dealt with but the keeper impeded, not sufficient in the refs view to award a foul, and the Stratton forward placed the ball into the net. Oh for VAR!
A draw would have been a fair result on balance of play, and for a first match, the team looked easily capable of competing in this division, the new players all up to the task.
A decent team perfomance; for me, the players that edged it were Edwards (don’t think he lost a header all game), Thompson (highly competitive in midfield) and Davis (in form keeper), so joint MOM to them, with the others very close behind.