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Lowly team gives Hempnall a fight

PUBLISHED: 08:20 26 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:59 12 July 2010

Hempnall beat visitors Watton 2-1 in the Anglian Combination Premier Division.

Watton are battling for their lives and in the end could so easily have left with a share of the spoils but Lady Luck went against them, as it so often does when you are at the bottom of the table.

Hempnall beat visitors Watton 2-1 in the Anglian Combination Premier Division.

Watton are battling for their lives and in the end could so easily have left with a share of the spoils but Lady Luck went against them, as it so often does when you are at the bottom of the table.

However for an hour there was no sign of the drama that unfolded in the last third of the game.

Hempnall had just one enforced change with Simon Jackson at a family wedding so Sam Wenham resumed his place in the starting line-up and it was good to see two more long-term absentees in Tony Shipley and Ben Cussons returning to take places on the bench.

Play was fairly evenly matched but Hempnall took their chances and Watton didn't.

Firstly, Ben Player timed his run perfectly to head home on the far post after a good passing move. Then Paul Franklin coolly slotted home a penalty after a Watton defender raised an unnecessary hand to palm the ball away.

The back four again looked solid with resolute defending and also some excellent distribution from Sam Wenham and Kwame Jones. Iain Mills and Marty Addison have formed an excellent partnership and dealt with most of the aerial threat from the two tall Watton strikers.

But that isn't to say the visitors didn't look a threat and they probably felt a little unfortunate to be 2-0 down at half-time.

The next 15 minutes saw Hempnall take control of the game and they could have added further goals as Jamie Pretty and Barry Allard had good chances but couldn't find that killer third goal.

Then Hempnall seemed to relax, losing their concentration, and Watton's never-say-die attitude got them back into the game.

There was some suspicion of offside but Hempnall completely stopped, allowing the visiting striker to run through on the unprotected Ben Cudden to easily slot home.

It was then game on with end-to-end football, Ben Cudden being called upon to make several blocks.

Right at the death a goalmouth scramble with Watton hitting a post and a huge appeal for hand-ball on the line, as the ball ping- ponged around Hempnall's six-yard box.

However, play was waved on and Hempnall were grateful to hear the final whistle, securing three more hard-earned points against a side they will be sorry to see go down. If they do, it will undoubtedly not be without a good fight.

Ben Player again secured the man-of-the-match award with some more great leadership.

With Sheringham and Blofield again wobbling it is now a case of regret of what could have been had Hempnall not spluttered so badly at the turn of the year.

Hempnall thanks go to Stu and Trish at Rainbow International for sponsoring the game.


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