Home v Houghton

The lads entertained Houghton with one of our biggest ever squads available, as 18 players reported for duty.

Houghton also had a good squad, with a significant number of ex-St Ives stalwarts, as well as a healthy number of supporters that had all made the effort to encourage and at times deride their team!

We fielded a very strong team to start with, with local "Houghtoner" Roy Shaw captaining the troops in the regular solid defence, alongside Gavin, Kev and Nigel, with Kieran impressing again in goal.

We started brightly and soon found our rhythm.

Despite the slightly bobbly surface, we were moving the ball around crisply. Sedge and Simon were regularly on the ball in the middle, pulling the strings despite being overloaded at times and Kev A and Darren Welch (making his first start after a number of strong recent sub appearances) were both working really hard and causing significant problems for the opposition. Up front, Howard and Midge continued their telepathic relationship which has been a joy to behold this season. Houghton were a strong team, but with a combination of great play and ruthless finishing we raced into a 4-0 half-time lead!

Some great play saw Kev freed down the right and he delivered a pin-point cross for Howard to guide home *1-0.

A foul on the left led to a free kick which Simon guided magnificently into the box. The accurate delivery found Darren - who had timed his run to perfection to nod in a terrific header over the stranded keeper. *2-0

Two soon became three after a powerful shot from Midge was well-saved but only into the path of Kevin Anderson who coolly slotted in the re-bound. *3-0. We were spreading the goals around this week. Some clever and intricate interplay in the middle saw Midge freed but he still had a lot to do, as he twisted and turned into the box before slipping another laser accuracy finish into the bottom right corner of the goal. *4-0. It could have been 5 or 6 in truth, as Sedge could have bagged a couple on another day, dragging two efforts narrowly wide. Houghton had not done much wrong but it was a very powerful first half display full of great football, commitment, energy, speed and quality.

With so many to choose from, we made significant changes at half time. Stu Smith came on for a good display at right back, Rory slotted in for a solid left wing performance, Andy Jolley replaced Nigel at Centre back effectively and Chris Keeble replaced Sedge. It was a lucky escape for Sedge, as Keeble took one hell of a battering throughout his second half tenure and had to be replaced after 25 mins after an energetic but painful experience. Sadly for Chris he interspersed some great football with a spell as a crash test dummy and I am sure he is nursing a few aches and pains now!

We also had the chance to welcome back Glen and Paul Sulley into the fold. Both of them slotted straight back into it after lengthy spells (both more than a year) away and it was great to see them back in the banter with the lads. It felt like they had never been away which is a credit to them both!

Inevitably, it was a little less fluent in the second half with so many changes but credit to Houghton too as they never gave in. Houghton mustered a number of good chances but either last ditch defending, (from Stu, Gav, Glen or Kev H) the woodwork, or great saves from Kieren largely kept them at bay. They did get one in the net following a good cross from the left, as well as hitting the post with a penalty but there was no doubt that we were worthy winners on the day.

There were a few questioning whether another Houghtoner Stu Smith was in fact a "double agent" after he "accidentally" handled for the penalty but the rest of his display was faultless - using the ball with accuracy and reliability as always.

Final score was 4-1. This was a great team performance in the first half but also a terrific squad performance across the 90 minutes with everyone genuinely playing well, enjoying themselves, encouraging each-other and contributing to the victory. Special mention to Fraser too, who willingly offered to run the line for the full 90 to make it easier to give everyone a game. It was a classy gesture and one that was really appreciated. He excelled on the line too! Clarky was the ref and he handled the Game brilliantly from start to finish as well as looking fitter too.

It was a great turnout in the bar from both teams, with a super lunch provided by Roy (who had been sharp as a tack and solid as a rock during his on-field display). We had some laughs with the Houghton boys during the game and in the bar and it was another great win, taking the tally to 6 wins and 1 defeat for the season so far. Until next week....

Away v Royston

We travelled away to Royston in bright sunshine. Having come out 3-1 winners in the recent home encounter against our opponents we knew they would be looking for revenge.

We started brightly with a strong 14 available for selection.

Royston were a well-organised and solid unit, with a good level of fitness and it was an even encounter.

However, after about 15 minutes Sedge mis-controlled the ball on the half way line and the ball ran to their pacy centre forward who raced from the half-way line unchallenged and slotted home. 0-1.

We were disappointed to concede but soon after we had the chance to equalise. Howard who battled tirelessly broke into the penalty box with some great speed and agility before being up-ended by the defender.

The penalty was given and duly dispatched by Sedge low into the corner of the net (1-1).

We were working hard but really failed to get into our usual rhythm and the tempo and accuracy of our play just was not there. Just before half time a long punt forward saw the pacy forward free again and he lobbed the ball over Jolly in goal for a well taken finish. 2-1 to Royston.

We made changes at half time but unfortunately we did not get into full flow.

Two Touch and Conner both engineered a couple of chances but we could not find the finish.

Roy Shaw came on a made a few great challenges but we could not sustain enough momentum in the attacking half.

Their quick forward was causing us real problems and he managed to grab another couple of well-taken goals (taking his personal tally to 4) with a penalty for the opposition completing the Scoring.

After 5 straight victories we were brought back down to earth with a bump. We have played very well this season but in this match, we did not get anywhere near the high standards of quality and desire that we ordinarily show.

Revenge for Royston and thoroughly deserved but hopefully we can bounce back quickly next week.

Home Vs Buckden

After a heavy nights rain the lads turned up for the match against Buckden with a degree of concern about whether the game would be on. However the pitch played brilliantly and the rain just gave an extra zip to the surface.

The Hemingford's had a strong 13 and we started confidently passing fluently all over the park.

However, after the sustained pressure in the early exchanges we seemed to relax a little and our pressing left a little to be desired. That said, with around 15 minutes on the clock a good break saw Chris Parker clip an exquisite ball into the box from the left. Sedge darted in front of the defender and leapt to guide a glancing header off the inside of the post. 1-0.

Some of our play was good but too frequently our final ball was lacking and our opponents were coming increasingly into the game. They were a stronger and fitter Buckden unit than we have seen for some time and they were causing us problems. Despite some excellent, committed and strong defending from Kevin Hurst we had to rely on some good saves from Kieran in goal to keep the opponents at bay. However, we were undone before half time as a quick break forward saw their powerful left winger swerve a cross in a wayward direction but unfortunately wrong footed everyone it flew into the net.

1-1.

Again we had spells of quality. Chris Keeble challenged athletically for a header (despite suffering from a bad back) making a great connection that surprised the Buckden defence. The pace on the header was such that it left Howard in space, he chested it into his path and guided a cool finish low into the side netting for a quality goal and a 2-1 lead. The keeper had no chance with either of our goals.

It was a tight game and we kept the same 11 until half time. We were leading but we had never really hit top gear which was also a credit to the work-rate and endeavour of our opponents.

The second half was a good physical encounter that ebbed and flowed throughout. Gav, Howard, Kev Anderson and Sedge all had efforts on goal but the keeper was equal to everything on target. At the other end, we were caught flat footed on a number of occasions with their forwards 1 on 1 with Kieran. It looked like they were destined to score on at least 3 separate occasions but every time Kieren stayed strong and upright and he managed to keep them at bay with a string of strong and agile saves.

There were periods when the game threatened to boil over with their stocky winger putting his weight about. He was their most dangerous player in many senses and Simon, Nigel and eventually Howard may all have a few knocks to show for it. That said, our lads were undaunted and the referee had a good game and kept the match flowing. Simon was his usual effervescent self, working hard and passing with tempo, Roy and Fraser both reacted quickly and used the ball sensibly and Daz competed wholeheartedly for the second half. Nigel swept up well as usual, so everyone played their part albeit we did not really hit the heights of the previous weeks.

The game finished 2-1 and we extended our winning streak to 5 Games out of 5 this season. It was by no means our best win of the season but sometimes you have to win ugly!

Special mention to Gavin and his family who provided us all with a splendid post-match lunch.

Home v Royston

After a couple of last minute drop outs we were down to a strong 12 for our first home game of the season.

We had 11 experienced stalwarts who had all played together and knew each-other's game plus Darren - a new Brummie midfielder added to the fold, who took on the linesman duties for the first 25 minutes.  Royston have always brought a strong team and today looked like it was going to be the same.

Kieran was back in goal and with his quality distribution, we had a strong team throughout.

Some of the football in the first half was top class with the ball zipping about on the greasy short surface.

The back four of Roy, Nigel, Kev Hurst and Gavin were all razor sharp and reacting first to balls in front and those that were put in behind and this gave us a great foothold.  Sedge and Two Touch were reunited and dominant in the midfield and Chris and Kev were marauding down the wings.  This left Midge and Howard up front.  The partnership they have up front is looking telepathic and some of the interplay was absolutely mesmerising.  Everyone was playing well and using the ball intelligently.

There were some fantastic moves coming together all over the pitch and our pressing game was putting the opponents under pressure too.  After about 20 minutes some pressure from the left saw a misplaced clearance from their right back bounce up into space just outside the D.  As the defender moved to close Sedge down, he hooked it first time goal-wards and the ball looped high into the air before dropping over the keeper into the impressive looking new academy style goals for an excellent opener. 1-0.  Soon after it was 2-0.  Kev Anderson battled impressively with the left fullback and dispossessed him near the bye line before the ball was squared across the penalty area.  As the ball was struck towards the goal from 18 yards by Howard, Midge was there to add a finishing touch to guide it past the keeper for a deserved second goal to the tally.

We shuffled the pack and Darren came on to play left wing and he slotted in well with a workmanlike display featuring some classy one-two's with Two Touch.

Royston were playing some decent football but we just seemed to have a little more quality and penetration throughout.  However, as we approached half time they played some incisive football through the middle which saw them deliver a good goal on the counter attack.  It was the first mistake that the defence had made and they punished us.

Half time score was 2-1 and we knew the next goal was a big one in this tight, evenly contested encounter.


A few chances came and went with Two Touch, Howard, Chris Parker and Midge all forcing acrobatic saves from the diminutive but impressive keeper.  He had looked like he was injured after 5 minutes of the game but he must have pulled out 7 top class saves that looked like goals all the way.  However, after about 70 minutes he was beaten by a goal of genuine quality.  A throw in down the right wing was headed on by Howard to Midge who kept the ball up in the air before guiding it into the path of Sedge who was bursting into the box from the left.  As the ball dropped Sedge volleyed it first time with his left foot to dispatch a screamer that the keeper did not even see!  It was a goal worthy of winning the match and it capped off a strong display from the Hemingford Veterans again.  There were a couple of ragged spells during the second half where we lost a bit of accuracy and composure but we stayed strong, talked well and competed resolutely throughout.

3-1 and our 3rd consecutive win of the season was cause for celebration and we all enjoyed a drink and Nigel's sandwiches in the bar.  Royston had made a good game of it and there was not a crossed word throughout the fixture which was refereed fluently by Mr Smith.

Sedge was voted man of the match but everyone played well from front to back on the day.

Until the next time....

Away v CUP

A strong 13 travelled to Cambridge University Press for what proved to be a really good game.

We started brightly with a really strong 11 and dominated the opening exchanges without really capitalising on our superior possession of the ball.

That said after about 20 minutes a great move saw Howard fly down the right channel with typical speed before squaring characteristically for Sedge who managed to beat the defender and guide the ball into the top corner with his right foot. 0-1 to Hemingford.

It was no more than we deserved but in fairness to the opposition they had some good ball players in the middle who were all comfortable in possession and it was a good even encounter on a warm morning.  Some of the interplay between Midge and Howard was a joy to behold and razor sharp but we just failed to finish all of our chances.  With around 35 minutes gone, a terrific move from CUP was rewarded with an impressive precision finish that gave Roy Shaw (deputising in goal) no chance.  1-1 . This rocked us a little but CUP were up for the fight and we knew we had to be on our game.

With minutes of the 1st half remaining Howard freed himself down the right again and in his usual style he squared to Sedge who tried to replicate his earlier finish.  The CUP defence were keen not to be undone again and a strong challenge blocked Sedge's shot with his right.  Fortunately the blocked ball wriggled free and Sedge swivelled quickly and lashed the loose ball into the roof of the net with his left. 1-2 . Almost immediately, the impressive ref blew up for half time.

We knew we were in a game and all 13 players were shuffled regularly with everyone taking their turn willingly.

The defence, midfield and forwards were all playing well.  Geordie debutant Rory had to put in a few strong challenges and Roy had to punch a couple of opposition forays away.

Midge, Howard and Kev Anderson all came close before Conner freed Howard who managed to wriggle free and slot past their keeper 1-3 for a well taken 3rd.  It was a relief to put clear water between us and our opponents and we saw the game out strongly, albeit it had certainly been a challenging encounter that would have boosted our fitness as well as our play.

The Game was competitive but it was another good win for us with good performances all round.

New Season: Kick off V's Moulton away

New Season Kick off Vs Moulton Away /

With a squad decimated by holidays, hang-overs and injuries - 8 hardy souls made their way to the distant land of Moulton.  Fortunately our hosts had 19 to choose from and agreed to lend us a keeper and a couple of forwards.

Looking at the bedraggled group of 8 we had assembled, Moulton clearly thought we were there for a whipping and gave us 3 relatively useful players.  We had an energetic forward called Elton, a stocky hold up player called Dave and an athletic keeper called Hamish.  We made them welcome and the game kicked off in bright sunshine in really picturesque surroundings.

 

Despite the low number of Hemingford players, we had a really strong 8 and it is no exaggeration to say everyone played superbly.

Our opponents were all good players but largely a little older or a little less fit then ourselves, so when we hit top gear (as we did regularly throughout) they found it difficult to live with us.

 

We had Stuart Smith prompting the play from right back, Kevin at Centre back who was rock solid, Nigel using the ball and talking the team through the Game alongside him and Gavin sweeping around everywhere at the back.  Sedge, Keeble and Simon dominated the midfield comprehensively and Howard organised the loan signings up top to optimum effect.

 

There was some great play all over the pitch but we had failed to hit the net, until after 15 minutes Sedge freed Dave with a 30 yrd through ball and he slotted past the exposed keeper. Soon after it was 2-0, as some great play saw Dave set up Sedge to side foot into the bottom corner from 15 yrds.  The ref was excellent throughout and he gave us drinks breaks every 20 mins as it was a hot day but before half time Sedge coolly converted a penalty (in Kingy's absence) after some great work by the forwards.

 

Sedge, Howard, Elton and Dave could have all scored more but it was good to go in at half time three goals to the good.

We thought Moulton might try to get their players back but credit to them they let us keep all 3.

 

Try as the might Moulton could not get a foothold in the game and it was 4-0 with a goal from Elton after a swift break by Keeble and Sedge.

4 soon became 5 after Simon outwitted the Moulton Keeper with a clever free kick after the sprightly Kemp was up-ended.

 

We continued our dominance but unfortunately a couple of lapses cost us 2 goals.  A speculative cross somehow floated over Hamish from the right wing for the 1st and a slight misjudgement saw a long-range effort sneak through his gloves and in at the far post.

 

5-2 is how it finished, so it was an encouraging win.

 

Our opponents were magnanimous in defeat and provided us with a drink and a first class barbeque.  It was a real family affair after the match with all of their wives, girlfriends, children and relatives involved.  The hospitality from Moulton was first class and it was a great run out for the 8 that played so well - as well as the 3 loanees who certainly had the bragging rights on the day...

 

Onwards and upwards!

F

Home V Boys

The last vets match of the season ,that has been the hardest season so far ,with teams folding  and the,weather terrible with many games called off.

We ended up playing 19 games 14 at home ,(credit to our pitch this season)and finished today with a brilliant 5-4 victory  against our annual fixture the Boys.

Both sides were struggling to get a team, we had 12 and the boys had 11. Perfect. No Linesmen ,up to the refs discretion We started  the match very sluggish and it was no surprise that after 15 mins we were 3-0 down.The match report will not have a lot of detail ,as I was also the ball boy ,manager  ,coach and talking to the large crowd.

2 touch got us back in the game with a snap shot from inside the 6 yd box. This got the boys rattled and the vets playing some lovely football  moving the ball quickly scored again when Sedge smashed 1 in from the edge of box. Next goal missed  sorry2 touch  didn’t see the goal H T. 3-3

We started 2nd half as we finished the first. Playing lovely football creating and missing a lot of chances. The boys did create a few chances but our keeper Kieran was in top form making some great saves.

The breakthrough came after 20 mins  when our man of the season Sedge produced a brilliant shot from the edge of the box  drilled into the top corner. The play was now getting stretched with both sides unable to make any changes.The boys were awarded a free kick about 20yds out. Kieran made a great save from the kick ,but his parry out hit Keystone cop Roy who lofted it back over his head to score an own goal .4-4 I must admit I was trying to get the match finished early ,but the ref took no notice of me. ,I’m glad he didn’t as Gavin scored for us again to make it 5-4. That’s how it ended.

The end of season presentation started with the food supplied by Stacey (lovely as usual) A big thank you to our ref Peter Blake  very much appreciated.

The m.o.m award   Players player of the year was  easy with Sedge winning it. Our playmaker ,makes us tick ,great with either foot.and is a winner.Drives us on .

Top goalscorer went to Sedge again with 17 goals. Great from midfield.

Managers player of the year  went to 2 touch.  He got the award for his all round effort and commitment scoring 11 goals from midfield never giving up.

Thank you all for your efforts,the 12 I had today have all played a large part of our success,it was a pleasure to watch us play some great football .enjoy your summer.

Kingy

Home V Cambs. Vets

The sunshine was out for the penultimate game of the season on Sunday when we welcomed Cambridge Vets to Hemmingford Pavilion.

On paper our opposition looked to have a reasonable side including guest appearances in the midfield from Crunchy and Willow from Red Bull.

Unfortunately for Cams Vets they were not able to stamp any authority on the game, we started strongly with crisp interchanging of passes and soon took a good hold of the match.

Our dominance in possession was rewarded on approximately 20 minutes when Sedge smashed one into the top left hand corner of the net leaving the keeper little chance from 25 yards.

This was nothing more than we deserved and we were soon able to continue that dominance getting a second with a fantastic low and hard drive from Chris Parker.

When in possession Cams struggled with the high line we were playing and found themselves frustrated, getting caught offside on numerous occasions. Our defence being well marshalled by big Kev and James in the centre.

With Nigel Parker’s enthusiastic words of encouragement ringing in our ears we continued to press and Howard came close with a cheeky lob with their keeper caught off his line, his effort just skimming the bar.

Just before before half time we gave ourselves some comfortable breathing space when Gav broke free and latched onto a long ball from midfield, showing great pace to nick the ball off of the fingertips of the keeper and flick it over his head to score.

Halftime three nil.

Stuart comes on for Roy who’d had a solid half at left back.

We started the 2nd half at the same tempo despite the heat and soon we more or less rubber stamped victory with a fourth goal. A great block on the edge of our box by Andy meant the ball found it’s way to Sedge who pinged one over the top for Gavin to get on to. The keeper came out and made a good save but from the resulting corner the ball dropped nicely in the centre of the box for Sedge to dispatch it away.

Fair play to Cambridge who didn’t give up and kept trying to find a way through. They got themselves a free kick in a good position on the edge of our box and their player struck a neat left-footed effort let’s just whistled over the bar.

Shortly after we broke away again and Gav’s cross found Sedge free in the 6 yard box and he found the bottom corner with his left to claim his hat-trick.

We then found ourselves let off the hook when a little complacency set in and our opposition broke through with a two on one chance but between them they managed to get it all wrong allowing Kev to make a great recovery tackle.

Over to Glen for the last part of the report as I had to leave with 15 mins to go on family duties, in his own words........

Last part of the game; James nearly scores own goal with his 50p head, luckily the bored Kieran saves his blushes! Chris then puts a deep cross in the box and one bad touch from Gav later he then makes up for it with a sweet volley from the bad control and puts in number 6! The tide then turns and a lovely ball through and their left wing slots home in the bottom corner nicely.

Tide goes back our way, Sedgy decides not to shoot and lifts ball over to Howie who smashes it home.

Final score 7-1.

 

 

 

 

Home v Studlands

 

It was wet and rainy for the arrival of Studlands to the pavilion.  Studlands had a reputation as a youthful team and they looked relatively athletic.

We had 12 good players to choose from and the first 11 to arrive got the shirts, with Andy (the last arrival) getting the linesman flag for the first half.

The pitch was slick but very bobbly and it was tough to play too much one-touch football.

That said we started ok and it was a good even contest.  However, try as we might, we lacked a bit of fluidity and regularly gave the ball away unnecessarily. Rather than keep sustained pressure the misplaced passes gave Studlands opportunities to break and but for some strong saves from Kieran we could have been behind.  He made a great save low at the forwards feet and also dived to make a good reaction save from close range.  Studlands had some nippy defenders which made it difficult and some pacey forwards too.

However, after some great play with quick accurate passing we took the lead.  Daz from left back slipped in Two Touch and Howard managed to divert a bobbling ball in off the underside of the bar for a well-taken finish. 1-0.

A few chances came and went but wasted passes slowed our progress and soon our opponents were back on level terms 1-1.

We went in at the break level and knew we had to up our game to our top levels to gain the advantage.

Sadly we were unable to reach our levels and although everyone had some excellent fleeting moments we failed to sustain any pressure for longer periods.  Early in the 2nd half we were 2-1 down and we deserved to be.  In truth our opponents had a couple of other good chances but fortunately either Kieran saved them, last ditch intercepted tackles from Two Touch kept them at bay or their forwards fluffed their chances.  Two Touch was working hard to keep us in it and headed a few corners goal wards but try as we might we looked like we were going to struggle to get back on level terms.

As the clock ticked down Sedge shifted the ball from his left to his right and smashed the ball towards the top corner and fortunately the keeper who had played well all game could not keep it out. With three minutes to go ,we kept probing but 2-2 is how it finished.

 

It was a good well-contested game between two evenly matched teams.  That said I am convinced that if we had hit the heights of our previous game we would have won comfortably.  It was probably a fair result on the day though and Chris Keeble provided some great post match food that was polished off by both teams.

Kieran was voted man of the match and at least we had not been beaten.

A few Games to go....

Away win vs Red Bull 4-2

Red Bull were the visitors to Hemingford on a perfect morning for football, providing a stern test after the long break caused by a combination of weather and cancellations. Manager Kingy had managed to put together a strong squad including a couple of new faces, Pep and Andy. From the first whistle both teams played a good, sharp-passing game although the uneven surface was causing problems, Howie falling victim to the invisible sniper at one point and going to ground with no-one near him. These games are usually tight affairs, but the deadlock was broken after only 12 minutes when a defensive mix-up in the Red Bull defence left Midge one-on-one with the keeper and he doesn’t miss many from these situations.

Their response was predictable and some strong defence was needed, two-touch putting in one superb last-ditch challenge on the edge of the area. Despite this the game was level ten minutes later when their excellent midfielder found space from a corner to head firmly home. Hemingford had looked good for their lead so this was a setback but driven on by some solid play from Gav and Daz at the back and Sedge finding the front runners with long , probing passes the home side went in search of another. A knock-down from Two Touch gave Sedge a sight of goal from the edge of the D and his measured low curling shot looked destined for the bottom corner until Dave, in goal for the visitors diverted the ball round the post with a superb save for a corner. Sedge blazed another shot just over and then Howie played Midge in with  a clever flick but Midge’s shot was marginally wide. It was by no means one-way traffic and the defence were kept on their toes by Red Bull’s fast counter attacks with big Kev outstanding in the air and holding the line well. On balance though, Hemingford were just on top and when the second goal came it was worth the wait, Howie finishing a cross-field move with a superb rising shot from around 25 yards. Half-time 2-1.

Sedge’s team talk emphasised the threat that Red Bull constantly carry and the need to keep the tempo and concentration to preserve the lead. So it was that for around 15 minutes the Hemingford defence was put under pressure but not found wanting. Pep had replaced Andy at the break and his presence alongside Kev Hurst together with the industry of Two Touch in midfield reduced Red Bull to long-range efforts. One of these, however, following a clearance by the home keeper from well outside his area was looping into the net but the ever willing Twos got back to head over from virtually under his own crossbar. A third was needed to steady the nerves and it was Gav who came up with a strong contender for goal of the season when he dispossessed their winger and ran fully three quarters of the length of the pitch before slotting home with the Red Bull defenders trailing in his wake.

One thing is certain however, Red Bull do not give up. Back they came and for long periods it was backs-to the wall defending, albeit no clear cut chances were conceded. At the other end Hemingford were relying more and more on break-always and Chris Parker, who had been excellent throughout, ran through and finished superbly in off the bar only for his effort to be ruled marginally offside. Shortly afterwards he turned his ankle on the rough ground and hobbled painfully off to be replaced by Nigel. At this point it seemed as though Hemingford would hold out for the win as the defence was coping well with anything thrown at them but an attempted cross from their right midfielder came off his shin and looped agonisingly in under the bar to make the score 3-2 with ten to play. Often in the past this fixture has ended with a victory being snatched away at the last but credit has to go to Red Bull for never conceding defeat until the final whistle. Some hectic defending followed and it seemed as though the jinx might return although to be perfectly fair no clear-cut chances were conceded. With time running out it was Conor who put the result beyond doubt with another break away, finishing expertly with the outside of his boot and under big Dave in goal. Final score 4-2.

Across the pitch Hemingford were well served today. Everyone played their part in an excellent game of football, which was played in the right spirit. No-one could argue that the win was not deserved . Midge and Howie were a constant threat up front, Sedge and the ever-industrious Two-touch won the midfield battle, ably assisted by Chris and Conor providing width, whilst at the back Kev Hurst marshalled his defence to great effect. Then, of course, there was Gav with his Duracell bunny impersonation. If he hadn’t scored with his lung-bursting run he would probably have carried on right through to St Ives !

 

Cambs Vets Away Won 7-0

A very good squad of 12 assembled at Histon for the visit to Cambs Vets.The pitch was terrific and the conditions were excellent so there could be no excuses today.

We kicked off brightly and the passing and fluidity was a joy to behold.  Immediately our opponents were on the back foot.

Within 5 minutes, Two touch thought he had scored from a good cross from the right.  Unfortunately for him the ball bounced back off the post and Midge steered it in from at least a foot! 1- 0.

Soon after some great passing down the left saw Sedge and Howard exchange passes before Sedge slipped Midge in inside the box.  A great turn from Midge sent the defender the wrong way and gave him the space to cooly finish low into the corner.

Shortly after it was 3.  A great pass from the right saw Midge break the offside trap and he slotted with precision into the corner for a 15 minute hat-trick!

Sedge hurt his back in a tackle and Daz came on in his place.

Then the best move of the match from back to front saw Midge, Daz and Howard combine to give Two Touch a shot from the edge of the box which he slotted into the bottom corner. It was a tremendous move of one and two touch passing - finished by Two Touch that left the opposition bewildered! 4 - 0 half time

The second half was always going to be difficult to maintain our focus and application but we kept our momentum for most of it.

That said our opponents improved and they did hit our woodwork on 3 occasions as it was by no means just one-way- traffic.  However, when none of these efforts were copnverted, you suspected it would be our day and the clean sheet was very welcome too.

A great cross from Conner was brilliantly headed goal-wards by Two-Touch but again it hit the post and sniffer Midgely bagged a 4th from the rebound - another foot out!

Two Touch did bag a deserved 2nd to make it 6 - 0, before Conner drilled a powerful drive into the roof of the net from around the penalty spot to make it 7 - 0.

All over the pitch there were great displays on the day.

Kieran in goal was vocal, sharp and commanding producing a couple of good low saves and an agile tip over the bar when required.  Excellent distribution too.

Chris Parker was solid at right back and used the ball intelligently for 90% of the game.

Keeble looked confident, strong and assured at centre half and brought the ball out regularly in Baresi style.

Kev was solid and dependable as ever, winning all of his duels and even making a great run down the left wing in the 2nd half.

Gav was on top form again making marauding runs and never looking troubled.

The midfield was very athletic and the speed of distribution was epitomised by Simon who again displayed a fabulous tempo when defending and attacking.

Two Touch was back on the score sheet with 2 well-taken finishes and also worked as hard as ever.

Conner slotted in well at right wing and was always available as well as grabbing a great goal.

Daz showed some outstanding touches, a few great turns and always gave the opposition problems.

Up top - it was a great display from Midge and Howard.  Their movement was excellent and Howard was as unselfish as ever- winning some great flicks from Kieran's kicks.

Midge was clinical with the finishing and must be unlucky not to pick up the Man of the Match having scored 4 Goals.  However, he was pipped to the MOM award by Simon who was excellent throughout.

An impressive display from everyone involved albeit we were stronger than our opponents on the day.  The excellent pitch certainly helped our passing but hopefully we can keep this level going in the tougher Games to come

Home v CUP

M.O.M.   Nigel Parker

For the first fixture of the New Year we played host to CUP in a long awaited fixture which was borderline right up to kick off due to some heavy overnight frost. With the return from injury of our stalwart ref Blakey, a pitch inspection took place around 9:30 and we finally decided the game would go ahead when a strengthening sun burnt through the mist about 10:15 allowing the thawing process to start. 

With Kingy scheduled to be on the golf course he gave me (Roy) one direction on team selection but on the day with 2 keepers I went for an alternative line up. The new keeper Kieran Harris lined up at right back with Ian Reynolds taking up position between the posts the rest of the back 4 made up of Nige Parker, Kev Hirst and Gavin. The midfield 4 were Chris, Simon, 2-Touch and Midge with Conner and Howard up front. Leaving me, my cockney bruvver, Clarky and Dippy warming the bench.

The game got underway in bright sunshine but it was evident for most of the first half that the bobbly pitch along with players Christmas excesses did not make for the flowing football expected of either side although both keepers did have saves to make. Late in the half Howard picked up a knock which saw the introduction of Dippy and a formation change between 2-Touch and Conner but failed to bring any breakthrough before the 45 minutes were up.

In the second half the quality improved from both sides but again keepers appeared to be winning the contest. With a no score draw looming I made my entrance replacing Chris and moving Gav into midfield before CUP broke forcing Ian Reynolds to parry a strong shot but unfortunately the back four had switched off and the rebound was banged into an empty net. This pushed us on and from a corner we felt the ball had crossed the line from Conner before being cleared but with no goal line technology the ref could not be certain and there Lino declined to assist. While still reeling from the disappointment CUP went on the offensive. Late on a clearance was deflected off a CUP arm and fell kindly for a second and winning goal. 

Match Report V Soham

A bright crisp and fresh morning welcomed the lads on Sunday as we entertained a relatively new side in Soham Vets.
Rumoured to be a strong outfit, this was confirmed even before kick off when they appeared on the pitch to warm up in a short sleeved Pink Kit... “surely they’re a tidy outfit if they’re confident enough to turn out in that kit” was one of the comments!

Roy stepped in to run the side in the absence of both Kingy and Dazza whilst Two Touch had the Captain’s armband deputising for Sedge.
Two Touch rolled back the years immediately after winning the toss by opting to change ends in order to let the opposing keeper have the sun in his eyes, a move well remembered from the days of youth football (some years prior!)..

The match got underway and it was a fast start from both teams. Soham had a fairly young average age and few well known faces, including a couple who previously played for Red Bull. One of those, Tommy immediately got the passing moves going well for the visitors leaving us having to work hard to get the ball. When in possession, they pressed us well and it seemed to unsettle us into making unforced errors. Our usual passing game was amiss and Soham’s efforts were rewarded after 10 mins. The goal was a rather fortunate cross that eluded Alex at the far post but it was fair to say the goal was deserved.
It took us a while to relax, but we slowly gained confidence and started to ping the ball around nicely.
Then a late challenge by a Soham midfielder caused an altercation between Two Touch and their player which had to be broken up by Clarky who was kindly reffing this one. Both teams went down to 10 men for 10 mins.

A bit of belief started to grow throughout the team and Simon was making things tick nicely. A neat passing move set Howard through one on one after his well timed run. The keeper spotted this and got out well to shut down the angles and make a good save.  
A couple of chances at each end later and Gavin managed to find space well down the left wing before cutting inside and laying a neat pass into the path of Chris Keeble. He timed his run to perfection and cut into the box ready to shoot before being brought down by a Soham defender; Stonewall Penalty. Chris Parker stepped up to dispatch low to the keepers right. 1-1.

Hemingford kept the pressure on and within a few minutes Chris Parker broke down the right wing after being found by Dippy, who was making good use of the space out wide. His cross found Rudders whose deflected effort looped over the keeper and looked in before bouncing agonisingly passed the right hand post.

This seemed to jolt Soham back into action and just before half time after two corners in quick succession, the right back found himself in space out wide, delivered a cross to the back post and lightening struck twice as the ball ended up in the top corner of the net over the head of Youngy. Harsh on Hemingford, 1-2 half time.

The second half began and Soham got into a groove. The sun was low and bang in the eyes of our defenders. This made it hard to win the ball back from the slick passing we were up against. Big Kev and Nigel were kept busy and if it wasn’t for them we could have been down by at least a couple more. Eventually Soham got a break through and an unfortunate slip by Youngy let their forward in to slot home neatly under
our rather unfortunate keeper, who will probably admit it was a frustrating morning between the sticks.

Hemingford kept going and didn’t give in, working hard at shutting down and trying to get in behind the full backs. Maybe we were just missing a little creativity today and the breakthrough didn’t come as it normally would do with the effort put in by the lads. Roy came on at right back for Dippy and did a solid job. (Our only available sub on the day as opposed to Soham’s 6).

Credit due to our opposition who created a couple of decent chances including a neat free kick from the edge of our box which just whizzed over the bar. The game finished 1-3 with a good pace to it all the way to the final whistle. Soham edged it on the day but certainly had the luck on their side with the way the goals went in.

Nigel laid on a top spread which was shared by both teams in the bar after the game.


 

Hemingford v Cambs. Community

Cloudless skies greeted the players for today's game. Following a few call-offs manager Neil King had put out a call for reinforcements and the squad included Fraser,Martin and Deano. Cambs Community historically field a young team and this was no exception. Sedgie's pre-match talk called for a high tempo and quick movement of the ball. The first 20 minutes were frenetic without producing too much constructive football although their keeper was tested a couple of times, saving well from Rudders and Sedge. Rudders then found himself in space 10 yards out but had too much time to think about it and and his shot came back off the union of post and crossbar. Cambs had a few quick players and were proving hard to break down but finally the goal came, a scrappy affair which Simon could have claimed, had the ball not already bobbled over the line. Dippy would have claimed it but he wasn't playing today, although that has never stopped him in the past. The next 20 minutes saw Hemingford start to play to the game plan and some excellent football followed. The second goal was a classic example starting with Roy's pass down the left, the ball quickly transferred from midfield up to Howard who sent a pinpoint cross over for Sedge to bury a low first-time volley into the bottom left hand corner. Cambs couldn't live with the change of pace and two-touch  made it three with a strong header from a corner. Simon was pulling the strings in midfield with some penetrating passes while at the back Kev was winning all the high balls with Nige Parker's encouragement ringing in everyone's ears, including the spectators who had come for a county squash tournament and struggled to understand. With five minutes to go before half time Howard felt his hamstring tighten from a previous injury and left the fray to be replaced by Deano, who wasted no time by scoring with his first touch, a volley from close range. Stu Smith replaced Martin at full back for the second half and after a few touches, one block tackle and a half decent pass up the wing made a great run, straight back off the field with a calf strain ! We had been warned not to take the foot off the pedal but after some impressive 'Coca Cola' skill from Kev Hurst the Cambs centre was given too much time and he beat Alex in goal with a well-struck shot from 20 yards out. Rudders had been through one-on-one in the first half only to have his shot blocked, but Gav showed him how to do it when put through by a first time Sedge pass. 5-1. Cambs then took advantage of a mix-up in defence and another one-on-one made it 5-2. Some scrappy play followed but Hemingford found their shape again, Deano's fine run and unselfish pass putting Rudders in for a well taken goal. The scoring wasn't quite finished with Gav smashing a 'cross' into the roof of the net. Final score 7-2 was a bit harsh on the visitors but when Hemingford hit their rhythm they were hard to live with today. A final cameo when big Kev pirouetted himself into the turf like a giant corkscrew was worth the admission money, had anyone paid to watch. If anyone lives near the A14 could they keep a lookout for the match ball, which Nige Parker toe-poked to oblivion clearing from a Cambs raid.

 

Home v Newmarket

It was a crisp bright day for old friends Newmarket's arrival at the Pavilion.

We have always had some good, competitive games against the Newmarket boys and they have always played some good football.

Ordinarily we have run out winners though (except in our last Game against them) as we have been a bit more youthful, although they have always troubled us with some tidy football and slick passing.

We had a strong squad of 16 to choose from with Redbull Dave the Keeper and Cranchy guesting for us too.

There was an immaculately observed remembrance day minutes silence before the Game and we were all happy to be alive, having the chance to play a game on a lovely pitch on a beautiful morning.

The match kicked off and Hemingford were immediately on the front foot. Some good play in the first 4 minutes saw Sedge freed down the left.  He swung over a left footed cross that was headed away back to Sedge.  He took a touch and whipped in an inviting cross with his right from wide on the left and Two Touch gratefully applied the finishing touch with a glancing header. 1-0.

Soon after though it was 2 - 0.  Some great play saw the ball fed into Conners up front who expertly back-healed the ball to Sedge who had made a good run in from the left.  It looked like he would square it as the angle was tight but he squeezed the ball in at the near post with the outside of his left foot having wrong-footed the keeper.

We were rampant on all fronts.  Daz appeared to have "substitution tourettes" as he shuffled the pack repeatedly every 5 minutes or so, but it did not unsettle our play and everyone that was thrown on, approached the game on the front foot and the tempo of our play was impressive throughout.

Soon after it was 3-0.  Stu Smith made a great run down the right towards the edge of the box before playing a pin-point cross square to Sedge who curled the ball towards the far post where Conners side-footed in a good goal from close range.  The precision of our play was excellent all over and Simon was doing a great job of braking up play and zipping crisp passes into peoples feet accurately.

It was a dominant first half with multiple chances from our side and very little for Dave to do in goal.  These three finishes were clinical but in truth we could have had a lot more.

The second half was very similar.  Daz made sure everyone had a good number of  minutes on the pitch and our older opponents seemed to have tired a little and seemed lacking in confidence.  They had 16 to choose from too so they could mix it up too.  Roy, on at left back was using the ball quickly and Nigel and Kev Hurst seemed to marshall their forwards with relative ease.

There was some good interplay in midfield with Cranchy and Kev Anderson also moving the ball fluidly and all of our squad seemed hungry for touches which gave everyone multiple options.

Gavin's pace was a good asset for us up front and at the back but it was mostly one-way traffic today and the Newmarket keeper certainly knew he had been in a game.

James had come on up front and he was working hard to put the defence under pressure.  After after about 30 minutes a miss-hit clearance dropped into his path and he drove home a well-taken finish from about 25 yards with the keeper stranded.  

Had it not been for a few great last ditch challenges from their best defender Lol it could have been a lot more.

He came to the rescue on a number of occasions.

It was a comprehensive victory and a clean sheet but still an excellent turnout from both the home and away team in the bar.

Stuart Smiths sandwiches were as well-received as his performance and nothing was left at the end.

It was good to see Clarky reffing for us again and he gave a good display as he returns to match fitness.

Simon was named Man of the Match with 8 votes for his excellent display but there were some strong performances all over the pitch.

There had not been a bad tackle in the match or an injury so it was a good morning for the Club all round.

St. Neots Vets v Hemingford Vets

 Hemingford Vets traveled to St Neots first team pitch on a Friday night under flood Lights. Kingy put together a strong 14 for Dazer to pick a side that needed to be on their game against a St Neots team.

Youngy – Goal Keeper

Little Kev – Right Back

Centre Half’s- Big Kev and Nigel

Left Back- Gavin

Midfield – Missing Two Touch and Sedge – Chis P- Chris- Simon and Rudders

Upfront – Big Big Pearcy and Howard

Bench- Over 54 – Dazer- Quincy and Roy

 

The atmosphere was electric in the changing room and the music was loud on the pitch. We started really well with a great run in the first two minutes and Rudders crossed and found the Net- 1-0.

Then St Neots dominated for 15-20 minutes we were not finding our passes and gave them far too much Room . A great ball in and a good strike 1-1. Then 2 minutes later a mix up in their box and goal keeping error gave Chris P an easy chance for 2-1. We then stepped back and St Neots equalised 2-2.

The St Neots side were strong , physical and some strong tackling from their centre half’s saw Howard unfortunately come off injured. Quincy joined the game with his electric pace .

Dave Seaman our ref for the night had a great first half controlling some physical stuff.

Half time- Good performance and Dazza thought about bringing his self on to sort a couple out but if was a Friday night. On Came Roy for Gavin.

We started really strong in the second HALF. However they scored a great third- Then a great ball from Kevin Anderson who was having his best game for years but a ball on Quincy head 3-3.

Hemingford dominated the second half but their play maker made it 4-3.  Some great defending by Nigel and Big Kev kept us in the game . Simon was making things tick and St Neots even bought on their first team Goal keeping coach.

Roy was making some great tackles and Chris in midfield was taking all the stick. Big Pearcy was putting himself about and winning the ball. A great thru ball from Simon to the galloping Gavin saw Chris P make it 4-4.

Dazza was on for a cameo role and trying to find their hatchet men. No need we were magnificent second half. Some great play from Little Kev and Chris p saw Kev score a great winner.

Game over . 5-4 and a proper game of football- Probably we will not face a stronger, physical vets side this season.

Really proud of the boys and a couple of beers, fish supper was a great end to the night for some of us. Nigel had two Fish dinners( surprise).

Pearcy and Rudder went Clubbing – legends.”

Home v Caldecote

A strong squad assembled on Sunday at the pavilion in bright sunshine.  Kingy made it down to see everyone as he was eagerly anticipating his arrival at the ripe old age of 60 on Monday the 30th but he looked surprising fresh after the party the night before.  After singing him a happy birthday, Sedge picked a good team and we also had 4 strong subs to bring on.

We started brightly and were doing a lot of probing down the flanks with Howard and Midge working hard.  Our forwards were well-marshalled though by a confident Caldecote defence.  In midfield it was turning into a hotly contested encounter as they had 3 players to our 2.  Our opponents only had 11 players, so Sedge and Rudders took on the lines-person duties.  We had every confidence that we were the better team despite our opponents looking fit and relatively well-organised.  However, with only around 10 minutes on the clock ,a little bit of overplay in defence saw their forward slide in to smash the ball home 0-1.  It was a bit of a surprise and we were all somewhat annoyed.  However, soon after it got worse.  Another bit of generous defending gave another of their players a sight at goal and he duly took it!  We were two nil down having looked relatively untroubled.

The team kept working and forced a few corners which were well taken by Simon.  Unfortunately for us the final touch was evading us and when we did connect their keeper was on top form.  Nigel was encouraging everyone as usual but we just seemed to be lacking the killer instinct and a slight bit of tempo to our play.

It soon became clear that Caldecotes' confidence had grown and the 0-2 lead had really given them something to hang on to. In truth they nearly made it 3 with some last ditch defending keeping them out.

At half time we made a plan and Sedge bought himself, Rudders, Kev Anderson and Gavin on albeit no-one had really done too much wrong in the first half.

We started the second half brightly though and soon started to exert some control.  Rudders broke down the left and curled a Beckham style cross into the middle.

Sedge crept in front of the centre back after ghosting in from the left and caressed a volley over the keepers head and into the net 1-2.

Soon after it was 2-2. Some good play in midfield allowed Sedge to feed Midge down the line.  Midge cut back and squared the ball to Sedge who had burst towards the box.  Though his first strike was blocked by the inform keeper he was left powerless with the rebound as Sedge followed it in and suddenly it was honours even.

 

A few minutes later another excellent corner saw Two Touch out muscle all comers to head in a 3rd from close range.

Our opponent were looking a little more ragged now and their confidence seemed to ebb away as we moved the ball quickly at an excellent tempo with accuracy and imagination.  They were visibly deflating by the minute. Kev and Gav were pushing on at full back and we were overloading them all over the pitch.

Gav broke into the middle and forced Sedge out wide to the byeline down the left.

Continuing the run Sedge whipped a left footed cross behind the defence and Gav stooped to glance a perfect header into the bottom corner for a 4th.

Not bad from a marauding left back!

Soon after, a great 1-2 between Midge and Two Touch saw the later control a ball into the box at full speed and slot into the bottom corner for a 5th.

But we were not finished.  Another great corner picked out Two Touch at the far post.  But rather than going for goal he unselfishly headed back into the path of Kev Hurst who gratefully side footed it home from close range. 6-2.  Another season and another goal for Kev who had looked solid at the back throughout.

Sadly for Midge and Howard they failed to get on the scoresheet this time but their work-rate for the team was excellent.

Everyone has heard the old saying of a game of two halves- well this was certainly one.

In truth the two nil deficit was probably a really good thing for the Game and Caldecote played some impressive football themselves at times.

However, there was undoubtedly a shift in momentum in the second half and our closing down seemed to intensify my a small but sufficient margin.

Add to this some tiring opponents and some fresh legs and we ran out comfortable winners.  Everyone played their part and everyone played at least half a game too.

There was not a bad tackle in the match though and there was mutual respect on both sides in addition to some great man-sized sandwiches courtesy of Youngy and his family that everyone really enjoyed.

Happy 60th to Kingy though and thanks again from all of us for everything that you have done for Hemingford Veterans.

Home v Houghton

Local rivals Houghton travelled to the Pavilion for a Game against a strong Hemingford squad.

We had 16 players to choose from and it appeared that Houghton had a sizeable and relatively youthful squad with a few old St Ives and Hemingford stalwarts thrown into the mix.  Houghton had a large and vociferous number of supporters too who made their presence known.

Stuart Smith was captain for the day at right back and Roy another "Houghtoner" slotted in securely at left back.  Furthermore, Two Touch had played for Houghton for a number of seasons. Houghton had a few players who had played for us too in the past like G, Bozo and Steve Jeffs, so it was no wonder that the Game started at a lively pace with competitive action going on in all corners.

It was an even encounter that no-one wanted to lose but I think we just shaded the attempts on goal. Sedge, Rudders and Howard all tested the keeper who was far more agile than he looked. Gavin was creating some problems down the right hand side in advanced positions but Bozo's pace kept the defence on their toes too.

Simon and Jeffsy were having a good battle and there were some powerful players and strong tackles taking place.

We played some reasonable football but too often the final ball or killer pass was misplaced.  `There was not too much zip on the pitch albeit it had been cut shorter than in previous weeks.

Daz took control of substitutions and shuffled the pack every 20 minutes.

Conners came on up top alongside Howard and had a great game looking strong and causing some problems.

At half time we agreed that it was a tough Game but that if we kept our concentration belief and work rate we would come out on top.

After about 10 minutes Sedge freed Howard who had broke down the left.  Howard cut in at speed but as everyone expected the cut-back in his usual unselfish manner he drilled the ball across the keeper and bent it into the far corner of the net.  It was a great goal. 1-0

Soon after Conners caught their best defender out in possession and as the ball bobbled up he lifted it over the keepers head and into the net for a cool finish. 

2-0

We were well on top and it looked as though a dispirited Houghton could be set for a drubbing.  Unfortunately for us they had other ideas!

An innocuous free kick forward found Bozo escape his marker and as he prodded out a leg it floated agonisingly in off the post to make a Game of it.

Alex had no chance and it gave us all a bit of a knock.

Houghton's tails were up and they threw caution to the wind bringing on another forward in place of a defender as they went for broke.

Soon after a tussle between Daz and Jeffsy resulted in a penalty being given much to our disappointment.

Up stepped Bozo to hit the side netting of the other corner for an unstoppable equaliser.

It was a major disappointment but we carried on and continued trying to get a winner.  First Conners dinked another shot goalwards which looped onto the top of the bar and behind for a goal kick.

With less than a couple of minutes remaining a ball was headed out from a free kick to Sedge, who took it on his chest and drove the ball goalwards with power.

Sadly the ball was rising all the time and it went over the bar. The Game finished 2-2

Man of the Match was Two Touch who really rose to the challenge.  Though his attacking play was restricted the quality of his 'brake-up play' was exceptional and he worked incredibly hard defensively for the team.  He was like a lanky, balding, albino Makalele in his prime and deservedly scooped the award!

The atmosphere in the club was great with a packed house and Sedge's sandwiches were quickly polished off.

It was a good competitive local derby and credit to Houghton for battling throughout and for keeping going after we took the lead.

Apparently Houghton had not lost for 18 months but they came mightily close on this occasion and we all believed we should have taken the points...if any were on offer!

Home v Buckden

Home v Buckden

The lads arrived at the Pavilion with a lush pitch, great balls and beautiful sunshine awaiting them.

Kingy had worked hard to to get a referee but without success.  Fortunately club stalwarts Stuart Smith and Roy Shaw agreed to ref half each.  Fortunately for us all there were no contentious decisions and the Game was played in a friendly but competitive spirit.

We had 13 players at our disposal and looked to rotate throughout the Game.

The early exchanges were competitive.  Buckden had a few younger additions than in previous encounters and they were working very hard to stifle our play.  A good bit of play saw their forward race away but as he pulled his leg back to shoot, Chris Keeble athletically dived in and made a fantastic tackle to deny the shooting opportunity.  

We were moving the ball well and looked technically superior. 

However, the midfield battle was intense with Two Touch and Keeble ratting away in a similar vein to their opposite numbers. Sedge was firing some good through balls around that freed Two Touch, Rudders and Gavin - who was playing up front to utilise his pace.  Within minutes, a slide rule pass freed Rudders who burst past the defence and fired a low shot close to the keepers body that evaded him and gave us a deserved 1-0 lead.

Soon after Rudders dispossessed a Buckden defender that dwelt on the ball and slipped Gavin away who shot off at pace.  He side-footed the ball crisply past the keeper but sadly it went inches wide of the post.  This was a lucky escape for Buckden.

Both keepers made a few good saves and there was no doubt that it was a competitive encounter.  We had a brief one minute lapse towards the end of the half, where we created a few chances for our opponents but thankfully we got this out of our system quickly.

At half time we had a chat and agreed that we needed to be ruthless with our finishing and solid at the back as small margins could make a difference in this game.

The defence was great on the day and stayed strong throughout almost all of the 90 minutes.  Nigel, Kev, Roy, Daz, Dippy, Stuart and Alex all covered for each other excellently and moved the ball well too.  They were decisive with their decision making and kept our opponents at bay for most of the Game.  Keeble and Two Touch pinched a load of balls off their forwards (Pearcey's) toes which helped us to break up their play.

As the match kicked into gear, Sedge received a good ball to the middle from Dippy.  He dropped a shoulder, wrong footing the central defender, took a touch out of his feet before powerfully rifling past the keeper high into the net. 2-0.

Soon it was 3, as a fabulous bit of play down the right saw Sedge, Stuart, Gavin and Simon exchange passes down the right before a great cross from Simon evaded all of their team and dropped to Sedge who guided a cultured side foot into the top corner with the keeper stranded. 3-0

We continued to exert more pressure and Rudders, Gavin and Two Touch all came close.  Breaks were coming with increasing regularity now as Buckden appeared to tire.  Before long Sedge broke in from the left at pace, he shaped as if to cut it back to Two Touch, who was expectantly lurking on the edge of the 6 yard box.  However, the defender had anticipated this and shaped to deny the cut back but Sedge drove a strong finish into the bottom corner with the outside of his left foot from an acute angle. 4-0 and a quick fire hat trick for Sedge.

Buckden did not get down hearted though and an excellent 1-2 with Pearcey saw their winger cut in from the left on goal and he fired a terrific low shot into the bottom corner that left Alex stranded.  It was a really sharp bit of play at full speed and but there was nothing Youngy could do with this one as it was very well-worked and extremely well-taken. 4-1

At the other end, another good break saw Rudders in on goal but the keeper made a great save.  The ball rebounded out high towards the edge of the box - only to fall towards the on-rushing Sedge who ruthlessly drilled it into the bottom corner with a sweetly struck volley much to the disappointment of our game opponents. 5-1

However, there was still time for Buckden to snatch another consolation.  Local lad Alex broke down the left at pace before squaring a perfect ball to Pearcey who side footed into an empty net for a good goal. Pearcey is a great lad and a big character who plays for us on some occasions and he deserved his goal for his effervescent endeavour. 5-2.

It was a terrific morning.  Sedge scored 4 and was named man-of-the match but it was very much a team effort with everyone playing their part in the whole squad.  It was an excellent 8 out of 10 performance from all of the lads and in addition, Rudders laid on some fabulous food which was decimated by the players from both teams who all came in for a drink too.