June 20, 2018, 5:50 p.m.
Saturday, 24th February 2018, 2PM, at Village Hall Bungay Road Hempnall
Home Match, Lowestoft And District Division 3 - 2017 - 2018
Win, 2 - 1
Hempnall came into this game on the back of a comfortable 3-1 win last week agaisnt the bottom of the table club, knowing they would have to play better against a Loddon Reserves side comfortably sitting mid-table.
Manager Cranmer was away on holiday, so Jason Haze stepped in to take the reins.
On a freezing cold day with a cutting cross-field wind, the BRF took the unusual step of watching the match from the eastern perimeter to take advantage of the hedge barrier, so there were no spectators on the sidelines, it was a lonely place with only the substitute around.
Back to the match – Hempnall played better from the off, with Dave Bristow and Justin Womack returning, the team looked quite strong and the equal of the opposition.
There was good quality in midfield, Haze was working well up front, but the revelation to the onlookers was the excellence of Jordie Batterham and Justin Womack.
The defence was looking more assured, and special mention goes to Aaron Bradley for his tireless running and improved defensive qualites.
However, the customary scrappy goal was conceded, a wind assisted free kick deceived the keeper and somehow found the back of the net. We thought the wind might be a factor, and in this instance it proved to be.
Hempnall came back fighting though, but their efforts were a little on the wild side, Lockwood came closest with a long range shot.
The Hempnall efforts were balanced by Loddon’s, but Hempnall pressed as they gelled and got more into the game, Jordy just beaten by the keeper to a through ball, then Haze went close from a Jordy cross.
The first half’s joint best player, Dave Bristow, made it 1-1 with a neat finish, game on!
Haze had a somewhat wild effort, then Jordie couldn’t connect propery with a header, but Hempnall were looking promising.
The Hempnall keeper made a few decent stops, and was looking strong, then a collision saw him damage his hand and had to leave the field, we hope his injury isn’t as severe as first thought.
Haze took his position between the sticks, rekindling memories of his time between the sticks at Hempnall when the first team were a Premier outfit. He looked very assured.
Second half continued a good, close encounter.
Bristow went close, but Loddon were still well in the game and wayward finishing and secure goalkeeping kept them out.
Bristow will probably be rueing a missed header, but Jordie came good, competing in the box and swivelling to score Hempnall’s second from close range.
Haze then made one blinding save reminiscant of DeGea.
Tate then went close, but a third wouldn’t come.
Overall, Loddon’s keeper was working hardest. Hempnall had a penalty shout waved away, and another shot or two went over.
All in all, a deserved victory, some good performances, Jordie’s tigerish tackling and eye for a goal was, to my mind, the outstanding performance of the day, though others such as Bristow, Haze and Womack, who was excellent up front, were in with a shout.
Secretary’s MOM: Jordie Batterham