April 3, 2020, 12:03 a.m.
Saturday, 07th December 2019, 2PM, at PLAYING FIELD HEMPNALL
Home Match, Central & South Norfolk League Division 3 - 2019 - 2020
Draw, 3 - 3
Hempnall welcomed close rivals in the league, Litcham, to Hempnall, with both teams upper mid table, and we were looking for a performance from Hempnall to match the previous week’s performance.
That is not what we saw though, certainly not in the first half, when Hempnall were well off their normal pace and unable to dominate in the way they had hoped.
From the off, Litcham were quicker, played the better football, and though the Hempnall defence were standing up well, it was only a matter of time.
To cut a long story short, Litcham scored two goals in the first half without reply and in all honesty, though Hempnall had their chances and tried hard, there was something missing and the half time score of 0-2 was fully deserved.
The half time chat must have been the equivalent of a rocket, and with Jimmy Edwards being introduced, the game changed, his combative midfield play was perhaps what Hempnall were lacking, and now Hempnall looked by far the more likely to score.
Close efforts from the excellent Ryan Cullabine, and far better play going forward by the entire team was what we had been waiting for.
Hempnall’s first goal came after good play allowed Herbert to trouble the keeper with a decent shot, and Cullabine folloowing up may have touched the ball in, but the goal was credited to Cullabine.
Hempnall were now the dominant team, and the opposition keeper had to be quick on a few occasions to keep out Elton, Herbert, Cullabine and sub Fassedy.
Their second came after the ball was well crossed and Goldie was there at the far post to crash home and level the match.
Herbert scored but the goal was disallowed for offside, then Simon Cullabine had a shot, his brother then looked about to score but the keeper and defender colluded to keep it out, and then, from the edge of the area, Elton powered home a shot to give Hempnall a deserved lead.
Hempnall were still attacking and had half chances galore, but a tremendous finish at the other end saw a third goal from Litcham to even the score.
Both teams had chances, the best were generally from Hempnall with Edwards, Goldie, Simon and Ryan Cullabine all close, but at the other end, only a superb save by the Hempnall keeper backed up by a great overhead goal-line clearance from Bradley kept the scores level.
A draw was, in my view, a fair result.
This was a good advert for D3 football, aided by a good refereeing performance.
Picking a MOM is difficult, Simon Cullabine was a rock, Jordy Batterham his usual hard running and tackling little tiger, Jimmy Edwards changed the game when he came on at half time, and several other players were far better second half, so I’ve left it to the manager to pick the MOM, and his choice is Mikey Goldie.