Win delight for Hempnall

Hempnall got three more hard-earned points against a very good and in-form North Walsham side who had been on a winning streak since their change of management.

Hempnall got three more hard-earned points against a very good and in-form North Walsham side who had been on a winning streak since their change of management.

This result and the results elsewhere appear to have thrown the title chase wide open again, with Blofield now becoming many people's favourites. What a send off this would be for Paddy in his last season, a League and Cup double.

Paul Franklin returned to the starting line-up to replace the injury ravaged Shaun Flint and Sam Wenham returned from Paris to take a place on the bench in an otherwise changed team.

As of late Hempnall got off to an excellent start with Barry Allard in particular looking threatening and it was he who created the opening for Ben Player to score one of the best goals seen at Bungay Road this season.

A good all passing movement culminated in 'Baz' driving in an excellent ball from the left, for the inrushing Ben Player to apply an exquisite touch to guide the ball past the helpless Kellett.

With Paul Franklin leading the line with a renewed confidence that has been missing of late the ball stuck up top and we played some controlled football with sweeping moves that opened up the visitors defence but Hempnall couldn't add to our tally.

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North Walsham showed why they have done so well of late with good football of their own.

They are a very good young side with pace and quality but despite opening us up, the back four in the main defended superbly getting a foot or a body in front of most efforts and when they didn't some 'top drawer' goalkeeping from Ben Cudden kept them out.

One save in particular from a volley at close-range was typical of the big keeper as he got enough on it with lightning reactions (see cricket does help football!) to send the ball over the bar.

Half-time saw some tweaking of the positional starting points of Tim Downs who was having another fine game plus a message of less football in the wrong areas.

This seemed to tighten us up and it was needed, as North Walsham stepped up the pressure as they saw their outside chances of the title slipping away.

They had lots of pressure playing some neat football with Landamore in particular catching the eye with an energetic performance that kept pace with home skipper Ben Player.

Mathew Lown was a big threat on set pieces but overall a resolute defence kept their 'clear cut' chances to a minimum and we succeeded in keeping another clean sheet to secure back to back wins.

In a good all round performance left back Jamie Pretty secured the man of the match award with a display that typified the whole squad's approach.

The attitude of all was first class, the game plan followed to a T and much of the confidence that had slowly ebbed out during a poor non-winning run, flooded back.

With the changes that were made in personnel through out January, it has taken Hempnall a while to find a system and players' strengths to get them into a tight well-oiled unit. However it looks like they are now on the right track and the signs are there of a very good side that can achieve their goal of a top-four finish and look forward to an even better season next year.

Final reminder to all of the Race Night 7.30pm at Topcroft this Saturday (21), please make every effort to make this enjoyable event.