Jan. 21, 2018, 1:59 p.m.
Saturday, 06th January 2018, 2PM, at Hempnall #1
Home Match, Anglian Combination Division 3 - 2017 - 2018
Win, 4 - 2
Hempnall welcomed Redgate to Hempnall for the first game of 2018. They welcomed back George Watts from injury, and the side had a balanced look about it.
From the off, Hempnall looked threatening, and after only 5 minutes, from an excellent Billy Kelly corner, James Melton headed in for Hempnall’s first.
At the other end, unlike some previous games, the defence was quicker to the ball than of late, and not hesitant in their clearances, making the right decisions.
With Bennett looking smooth in midfield, and Bellingham as usual working really hard, Germaine seeking to trouble the opposition from the wing, Hempnall surged forward.
Bennett had a shot or two, Hempnall looked as though they might extend their lead, but the defence held out, and a break-away saw tRedgate beat a static defence but the Redgate forward fluffed his lines and Hempnall survived.
That said, Shaun Kelly, shortly after, should probably have converted a similar chance from close range.
Twiddy, Watts, Radford and Kelly were tackling well, and Taylor Davies was back to his dominating best in goal.
However, as is now customary, Hempnall gave the opposition a chance from a free kick, swirling in the wind, the defence couldn’t cope, and Redgate equalised.
Disappointment turned to delight when the excellent Billy Kelly slammed in an acute shot over the despairing keeper for 2-1.
Bellingham then thumped a cross shot which just eluded both keeper and onrushing Melton, and further shots rained infrom Melton, Bellingham and Kelly.
At the other end, Redgate attacks were fairly sparse but a brief patch of play saw them gain corners, and one close range shot was superbly dealt with by Davis.
Further dangerous running attacks by Germaine, Kelly and Melton were not converted, the Redgate keeper was doing his job well.
Hempnall could have gone further ahead when an indirect free kick for a back pass shot straight across goal without a touch.
An injured Clarke saw the introduction of Andy Talbot, and a much changed back-four saw out the first half.
The second half saw Hempnall slow out of the blocks, and no doubt a rocket at helf time saw Redgate the better side for a while, and the more likely to score, but wayward finishing and decent defending, plus excellent goalkeeping saw Hempnall see off the threat and get back onto the game.
Shaun Kelly, now at left back, was making threatening runs, linking up well with his brother, and George Watts, was looking as though he is back to full fitness and competitive mode.
Shots though were either wayward or thwarted (in the case of Bellingham) by the defence, and numerous half chances weren’t converted at either end.
As the game wore on, Hempnall looked the more likely, but Redgate scored the equaliser, so 2-2, and we thought Hempnall had given it away.
Hempnall though kept going, playing decent football, and one superb move and cross was rounded off by Melton for 3-2.
A few minutes later and Billy Kelly rounded off another excellent move, and the victory was sealed.
There were many good performances today, and picking a MOM is difficult, but for his endeavour, decision making and general improvement, the Secretary’s MOM is Tom Radford.
Pictures will be on the website soon.