April 2, 2020, 11:08 p.m.
Saturday, 16th November 2019, 2PM, at
Away Match, Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination Division 3 - 2019 - 2020
Win, 3 - 2
Hempnall went to South Walsham for this crucial bottom of the table clash, knowing that recent results have not always reflected their overall play, with a mixture of silly mistakes, hesitation and occasional poor decision making taking their toll – that and the odd refereeing decision going against them.
Despite the string of poor results, Bunn and Kelly could still muster a very decent looking squad of 13, the pitch looked good but was soft and bobbly after the huge amount of recent rain.
Hempnall started slowly and South Walsham looked the better side in the early stages, but the back four of Kelly, Way, Docherty and Leather were generally comfortable.
After 15 minutes, the hardworking Womack, after a decent run, beat the keeper and Adam Clarke was there to beat the defender and see the ball over the line for a valuable 1-0.
The hosts certainly weren’t beaten, and were catching Hempnall on the break, but the back four were ensuring there were no silly errors creeping in, and with Hartle, in midfield having easily his best game for Hempnall, and Watts as competitive as ever, Hempnall were creating plenty of good forward movement; Chowdhury, Edwards and Clarke were all looking positive.
Another run from the, as usual, excellent Womack brought another corner, the dangerous Way, hardly ever beaten in the air, was causing the defence difficulties but couldn’t quite convert.
The Hempnall keeper Davis, though not having to pull of any difficult saves, was having to stay alert and was quick off his line to avert any danger. He did pull off one very good interception to keep Hempnall’s lead intact.
Deep into the first half, Chowdhury took a pass, not his best first touch, but managed to, with his second and from a difficult angle, beat the keeper for an excellent 2-0.
Way again caused the keeper problems from a corner, and Leather had a go from outside the box but the keeper easily saved.
The second half started much the same as the first, with the hosts coming out of the blocks a bit quicker, but were unable to convert their one or two half chances or corners, and Hempnall were hitting them well on the break, Choudhury could have taken more time over a chance he created for himself but snatched his shot.
Hempnall were again in the ascendency, but it was rather end to end.
Hempnall brought on two subs, Drake and Thompson to add fresh legs, and Hempnall maintained their attacking prowess; Drake looked to take on the defence with Edwards having to drop back into defence for the injured Leather.
One of Hempnall’s attacks resulted in a corner which arrived at the head of the ‘never beaten in the air’ Way, who planted a header over the keeper and into the top of the net. 3-0 to Hempnall and game over …..or it should have been, but of course, this is Hempnall, the players like to keep us on our toes!
Hempnall conceded a free kick just outside the box, and the low shot evaded many players, and in the congested area, the keeper was beaten for 3-1.
Only a minute left on our clock, but the referee decided on several minutes of added time, and duing this period, Hempnall had a few attacks and themselves could have scored through Drake or Womack but the keeper was up to the task.
At the other end, Davis went in for a 50/50 ball and conceded a penalty, which was converted, leaving Hempnall with a couple of tense minutes but they held out for a much needed win.
There were a number of excellent performances today, but those that stood out for me were Way, Edwards, Kelly (fantastic interceptions), but my MOM goes to Hartle whose hardworking performance and classy passing were top drawer.