Hemingford v SNTFC


Its be a painstaking challenge for Pearcey to gain credibility at the great Hemingford Football Club. In the order of a decade, but alas Lord King said the sacred words I have been longing to hear "if you do the post-match report for today Pearcey I’ll add you to the Hemingford "WhatsApp" group chat"... And here we are...A landmark day in history for moi!! Thanks Kingy 


The atmosphere was unusual as The Hemingford Massif arrived in their pristine jags and range rovers, only to be made aware that the traveling team had arrived a day early, camping out in the middle of the park, as part of their dedicated pre-match preparation. Astounding, unrivalled commitment. 

St Neots Town Vets, newly formed this season, after a face book plea to all over 40's footballers wanting to shed some pounds. They trained hard Monday nights throughout this summer and turned up at Manor Road, showing they will be a force to look out for, in the not too distant future. 

Match Report 

The Buckden contingent watched in awe from the bench as the game took an all too familiar look of supremacy for the wealthy hosts in the first 15 minutes, as it did in the final 30, but the impasse was not to be easily broken by either side. St Neots created a couple of gilt edged chances out of nothing against the run of play, making the home side uneasy and nervous of the thought they could have been two behind. 

Sedge had earlier found himself in the opposition penalty box TWICE within 5 minutes, striking well on his favoured LEFT foot on both occasions, only to see his shots foiled by the acrobatic St Neots goalkeeper.  

The game evened out the remainder of the first half, with both sides enjoying territory and possession advantage. Speedy end to end excursions started by both commanding defences, extended for most of the final first half period, but the deadlock was still securely sealed. 

Young Nigel hit a memorable dipping shot just over the bar from about 40 yards after an earlier miss controlled touch placed him in the perfect position for the screaming volley attempt.  

Hemingford debutant Rob preferring to play up front, but nevertheless showed a good account of himself after openly admitting its been some years since he kicked a ball at 11 v 11. He looked strong in possession and rarely gave the ball away. There’s plenty more to come from Rob.


During the early part of the first session Hemingford must have made double figures in the corners for stakes, but proved unproductive again and again, with St Neots defence holding strong, lead by the diminutive keeper standing tall, to all the attacks the home team could muster.


Hemingford continued to press but lacked the ever elusive final ball into the fast moving front running partnership of Howey and Midge, forcing play unnecessarily when in total command throughout the pitch, possessing pound for pound more quality in all departments. (well that’s what the manager said at half time) Whilst dominant, not the assured Hemingford possession expertise, we have all grown to enjoy season after season. The first half whistle blew with Hemingford feeling sorry for themselves, long faced and chins on the floor, coming in with just a draw and no goal to show for their efforts.


Second half substitutes were made by the gaffer, and after stern words, the team dragged their chins from the changing room floor and rallied round to cheers of positivity, desire and passion. The second half beckoned and the determined look on the Hemingford faces was all too apparent. Immediately the tempo was up and Hemingford were on the front foot pushing for the opener.


Nigel, Mr utility, now on the right hand side of midfield causing havoc for the visitors’ defence, as he drifted inside from the right offering additional and varied forward passing options for the midfield, alongside the lively Hemingford front running pair. Scott in similar vein on the left, didn’t give the right back a chance to catch his breath, with menacing run after menacing run. Hemingford looked more determined and more committed to the cause.


0-0 and Hemingford were still pushing on for the breakthrough, with the defence foraging forward further than would be normal, but we had to change something. Pearcey soon found himself being left behind when the opposition launched a swift break from defence, heading towards the undermanned Hemingford defence. As a last ditch attempt to thwart the “Speedy Gonzales”, Pearcey launched himself, innocent, hands aloft, side on into the ribs of the unsuspecting victim of the “professional foul”. Simon the St Neots Town player left the pitch in a daze, never to return. Profuse apologies soon followed at the end of the game from Pearcey


The concerns didn’t last long as the free kick had no impact on stout Keeper Glen, defenders Kev Gavin Andy and Roy, as they tempered any threat with ease and guided the ball pass after pass back into midfield, under the controlling influence of our ex professional, team manager, captain, free kick and penalty taker, Ben Sedgemore.


Kev Anderson (super sub) arrived late after a heavy night out, but donned the famous blue and yellow kit, to get the last 30 minutes on the “rock hard” Manor Road pitch, with the game still at 0-0.


Ben slotted the ball through to the meandering pair Midge and Howey and after confusing the opposition defence and the rest of the players on the pitch, Midge found himself on the floor in the penalty box after throwing himself over the defenders flailing thigh. No yellow card, just a penalty and who do you think took it?!! Anyway it was 1-0 and a huge sigh of relief was heard in the rafters, as the multitude of supporters expelled air from their lungs.


We never looked back after the breakthrough as we ground down the opposition, developing cracks all over their now weakened and tired defence, appearing to have more developed fitness levels compared to the weakening St Neots Town FC Vets.


KPA looked as fast and vibrant as ever, when he came on, immediately caused the away team’s left back chaos twisting and turning the St Neots player inside out……Kev put Midge through again for the nth time, with this time bearing fruit, as Midge drove a low hard cross finding the grappling defender heading to his own goal line only to fail the attempted clearance, bundling the ball into the back of  his own net. 2-0, Hemingford were coasting to victory with 15 minutes to go.


Not long after the restart, a goalkeeper howler allowed the quick think Brummy to head direct from outside the box into an empty net. Two for Ben, 3-0, all that was left now apart from 15 minutes, was to keep a clean sheet.


Anyway there was no way we could concede a goal without an individual error, St Neots were very tired and we looked so assured expecting to make it 4 or 5. Alas, a certain midfielder, who will remain anonymous, but was substituted with 5 minutes to go, decided to nail a perfect “pass back” through ball leaving the competent fine figured goalkeeper helpless and the clean sheet was wiped away. 

Final score 3-1  

Man of the Match: Benjamin Redwood Sedgemore 

A few beers in the bar afterwards and the usual great feast and accompanying banter to finish off a wonderful morning’s football, with Hemingford getting off to their traditional winning start.  

Expect sterner opposition on 13th October 2019!!


Vets v Jason King All Stars

The eagerly awaited season opener was played out in bright sunshine on a very firm pitch which demanded a good first touch and produced an unpredictable bounce. The youngsters had a strong squad whilst the vets had a few notable absences with players on holiday or unavailable through work. As in the past we were glad to have the help of Buckden stalwarts Kev, Scott and Pearcey. Hemingford welcomed back a svelte Glenn, who started in goal.
Given the state of the pitch it was no surprise that the early exchanges saw moves break down as both teams tried to adjust to the pace of the ball and it was the All Stars who settled first, producing some good, quick passing. A combination of some last minute challenges and wayward finishing kept the score line blank until eventually they capitalised on a loose pass from defence and Glenn was finally beaten by a low cross-shot. Two more goals followed and it began to look as though a heavy defeat was on the cards but with Sedge and Nige Parker’s encouragement to take care of the ball and find the passes the momentum shifted and chances began to come the vets way with Chris Keeble and Howie finding their range. Simon’s crossing will cause panic in any defence and the deficit was reduced when one of his efforts deceived the keeper and dropped in with 10 minutes to go to the break. Another quick move from Jason’s lads saw Glenn having to rush out of his area to try to head clear but in the ensuing collision the ball broke kindly for them and half time saw the score at 1-4.
Changes were made to bring Kev and Scott into the fray and following the half-time team talk things began to improve for Hemingford. Chances were beginning to present themselves and more composure and a final pass to a better placed player on more than one occasion would surely have payed dividends. Pearcey came close with a good first-time effort which was well saved and then Chris Keeble hit the outside of the post with a trademark low drive from distance. Sedge rattled the crossbar with a swerving right-footer before Two-touch rose to head home , just reward for his usual industry. With a quarter of an hour to go Howie was similarly rewarded for his efforts with a header into the roof of the net from another pin-point cross, 3-4 now and the vets started to believe ! Glenn , who had changed places with Roy at the start of the second half was a constant thorn in the side of the opposing defence, whilst Roy was rarely troubled but for a couple of scrambled attempts which were cleared away. Gav had been given the task of cancelling out their faster forwards , an unenviable job but one which he excels at, whilst Kev Hurst dealt with the aerial threat. Predictably, gaps began to appear as legs tired on the hard surface and it would have been no injustice had the scores been levelled but with around five minutes to go it was the All stars who secured the win with another low cross-shot to deny Roy a clean sheet for the second half and finish the scoring, 3-5 . This was no disgrace against a very good young side and plenty of promise for another successful season of vets football.

Moulton v Hemingford

The lads travelled away to Moulton for the final match of the season in bright sunshine with a strong 12 players including 3 from Buckden. Moulton were our first opponents of the season and we started the campaign with an impressive 5-2 victory. We knew or opponents would be out for revenge so we were prepared for a stern test and so it proved. After an undefeated 2019 to date we did not want to lose and throw this away in the last fixture of the season.

We started brightly and although the grass was long we were moving the ball well. We were getting into our opponents area regularly but try as we might, we just couldn't find the finishing touch. When out of the blue a long ball caught us napping and we were 1-0 down!

We did not panic though and before long a great bit of tenacious play from Scotty on the left, dispossessed two defenders out wide. With the ball at his feet, he punished the Keeper who had strayed out of position 1-1.

Again we began to get on top but could not make our dominance count. Then once again they caught us on the break and managed to get ahead 2-1 to them!

Fortunately, we were undeterred and before long Ray found some space in the box and slotted home a cool second to make it 2-2. We thought this was destined to be the catalyst to see us push on and get ahead. However, an unfortunate mix-up in our defence saw their nippy forward dart between us, to push the ball past Roy (who was stranded) and we were trailing again 3-2.

As the half neared its conclusion, so good play down the left slipped Ray goal-wards but he still had a lot to do with defenders trying to dispossess him. However, Ray out-muscled the full back, barged past a defender before unselfishly squaring to Howard to slot home 3-3 just before the stroke of half time. Game on!

We believed we could dominate the second half if we went about it properly but we knew it would not just happen for us and we also knew our opponents would be just as keen to finish the season with a victory.

There was no doubt we were on top and a crisp ball from Nigel was dummied by Two Touch on its way to Ray. This wrong-footed the defence completely. Ray took a perfect touch into his path and slotted past the keeper for his second and a 4-3 lead.

Surely we would close out the victory now. Unfortunately with Gav having to leave for a work commitment, we brought Kev Hurst back on (who had had a cooling off period after a row with the ref) but in doing so we lost our linesman! A speculative knock forward saw one of their forwards judged onside and he slotted past Roy who had been left stranded and isolated again. 4-4 and it was game on again and getting tense! The baldies in the team were all getting fraught – Roy, Ray, Simon and Kev had all had run-ins with the hairless ref – it must have been the heat on a warm day!

There was no doubt that the temperature was heating up as well as the atmosphere and a few tempers were getting frayed - not least the referee but fortunately everyone just about kept their emotions in check. However, with only minutes left, some more industrious and slick play (that overcame any animosity) managed to free Ray, who again out-muscled the defence with raw strength to slot home for his 3rd and our 5th! Moulton had battled really hard to push us all the way but this was clearly a massive disappointment for them and before long the ref blew for full-time. Thus, we recorded a well-deserved 5-4 victory that we had all really worked hard for.

The whole team had performed well : - Roy showed great handling deputising in Goal catching a number of lofted crosses. Nigel was enthusiastic as ever releasing himself to make some intelligent angles to receive the ball throughout. Kevin H and Gavin were solid and competitive and both Andy Jolly and Kevin from Buckden used the ball really well at the back. Sedge, Two Touch and Simon had worked hard to dominate the midfield and Scotty from Buckden was relentless in his efforts on the left, taking a number of heavy knocks for the cause. Howard was as nippy and skillful up front as ever and Ray's hat-trick had carried us forward to victory. All in all it was a really committed display from everyone involved that had protected our proud unbeaten record in 2019 and delivered another victory.

In retrospect we had created a few more good chances which we had failed to take but in truth this had made for and even more fiercely contested and determined performance.

It was a fitting crescendo to an excellent and enjoyable season. Kingy had done an amazing job organising everything faultlessly for another season and the lads had all been fine ambassadors for football, the Hemingfords and surrounding areas. Well done to everyone that pulled on a shirt or supported this year. But special thanks to Kingy from all of us and roll on next season...

Hemingford v Buckden

The penultimate game of the season and the last at home saw the visit of Buckden, a team who have helped us out over the years with players when we’ve been struggling to field a side. Always a good contest and always played in the best of spirit this one was to be no different. The visitors fielded two tall strikers alongside several well known faces including Lingy, Kev and Scotty. Hemingford welcomed newcomer Dave Wilson in midfield and deputising for Kieran we started with Chrissy Parker in goal, to be replaced at half time by Roy.

Sedge, who had just played squash and included himself among the subs called for a high tempo start and the team duly obliged. Simon, Walshy, Two Touch and Dave were bossing the midfield...the latter receiving a bloody nose from a stray elbow for his troubles. Up front Midge and Howie were the usual handful whilst at the back, as ever, Kev was dealing with the aerial threat in typical fashion. Chances soon came along and from one low cross from the right Walshy got a good contact on the volley only to be denied a certain goal by a superb blocking tackle. He was on the mark some ten minutes later however, scoring with a low shot across the keeper.

Next on the score sheet was debutant Dave Wilson with a well struck left foot finish after a great passing move. In between these efforts Gav had embarked on several typical lung-bursting runs. As Sedge had predicted, Buckden we’re struggling to live with the pace of the game but they did manage some forays into the home half, the ball eventually being cleared after some pin-ball action in the 18 yard box. Chrissy Parker then held a well struck shot from outside the area. Worse was to follow for them when Midge was presented with a chance he was never going to pass up. Half-time and 3-0.

Hemingford had started with a strong squad of 15 with everyone being promised a game and the changes were being rung although they didn’t appear to alter the momentum or direction of play. Buckden are not a team to roll over and they plugged away and for spells even had the better of the play, without really troubling Roy who had taken over in goal. At the other end several chances came and went with Twos having a couple of headed efforts just off target and Kev Anderson denied a one-on -one by a good block from their keeper. It looked as though Buckden might finally get on the score-sheet when the ball broke to Lingy and another of their rangy forwards. Bearing down on goal Hemingford were relieved at the (predictable) sight of Roy coming away with the ball and the two Buckden lads on the ground ! They did finally get some reward in strange circumstances when Kev Hurst, now running the line, correctly flagged their winger at least 4 yards offside. Nige Parker jogged into the box to pick up the loose ball...unfortunately he actually picked it up and the ref gave a spot kick...his explanation being that he hadn’t blown for offside ! Conor duly dispatched the kick, 3-1. The game continued to ebb and flow although to be fair very few more chances were made and Hemingford completed the home season in impressive form. Well done to Sedge for rotating the squad fairly...he did make a cameo appearance late on. Great debut from Dave Wilson and typical M O M running by Gav. Well done also to Walshy for answering the call, washing the kit and playing virtually the whole game having come straight from coaching the kids. Buckden deserved great great credit for never letting their heads drop and competing to the last, it’s always a game to look forward to with them.

Newmarket v Hemingford

The lads travelled away to Newmarket with 3 of the Buckden lads drafted in for support.

We had a useful 13 players and a good degree of confidence that we could do the job.

Newmarket always play some good football but in the past we have often come out on top with some younger legs in the camp.

The early exchanges saw us on top, moving the ball around well but without finding the cutting edge to make our possession pay.

As the half wore on, a miss-kicked corner was pushed around the box and swept in at the far post and we were trailing.

This gave our opponents a boost in confidence but we were determined to bounce back. We kept playing some good football, trying to do the right things, but at the interval we trailed our hosts 1-0.

After a good spell of pressure in the second half, Two Touch reacted quickly in the box and swept in a well-taken equaliser 1-1.

This spurred us on but before we could capitalise on our dominance a semi-cleared free-kick was lofted back into the box and their forward was in space. He controlled well, before smashing past Kieren who had no chance. 2-1 down. Sadly we were chasing the Game again.

Before long, we put together a fantastic move that went from the back all the way down the right with swift one-two's, flicks and skill. A clever ball from Howard caused problems in the defence and the ball fell to Sedge who clinically drilled left footed into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. Surely this would lead to us gaining the upper hand.

However, Newmarket had not read the script and within seconds their forward hooked in an unstoppable 1st time shot from 20 yards that gave Kieren no chance and suddenly we were trailing again! Despite some great performances in defence and consecutive clean sheets we found ourselves 3-2 down and we had not done too much wrong. However, as always the lads pulled together and kept probing. A great break saw Howard free down the right and driving into the box. Howard cleverly squared to Ray who unselfishly rolled the ball into Two-Touch, who calmly guided in a well-taken second and a deserved equaliser. 3-3.

We pushed for a 4th but could not break down the gutsy opponents and that is how it finished - a creditable and enjoyable 3-3 draw with everyone playing at least a half. Although we were slightly disappointed that we had not won, we were treated to quality hot dog and chips from the Newmarket lads at the local and it was another positive display that kept the long-unbeaten run going.

Redbull v Hemingford

We traveled to old foes Redbull on a bright sunny morning with a very strong squad of 15 available.

With so many good players it would have been possible to pick a few different teams and formations.

Redbull looked equally strong and the pitch was looking splendid as is usually the case there.

The tempo was excellent and both teams were both playing slick and sharp passing football moving the ball skillfully from back to front.

Both teams had spells of possession and in truth Redbull created 3 good chances. Kieren saved one, one was blazed over and another was rolled wide when it looked easier to score. That said we had a few half chances of our own but a combination of good defending or solid goalkeeping kept Midge and Howard at bay.

At half time we had a chat with the scores evenly poised at 0 - 0.

The second half continued at an impressive pace with some great moves put together by both teams.

As the half wore on we seemed to be getting more possession and we exerted some additional pressure. Howard and Midge were getting chances in the box now but the Redbull defence were defending for their lives and they made a few great blocks. Dave the keeper also pulled out a couple of good saves at full stretch, with one diving effort to his left keeping Sedge off the score-sheet. But it was far from one way traffic, the tricky Redbull Midfielder made space on the edge of the box and curled an exquisite whipped shot that cannoned back of the bar. We continued to press but couldn't find a breakthrough. After the recent 4 -4- thriller against Redbull, this match concluded in a fair 0-0 draw and in truth neither side deserved to lose.

Despite the scoreline - this was a really entertaining game, contested in a great spirit.

Everyone played well, including all of the subs who came on. If each player was scored we would have all got a seven or eight out of ten except for Simon and Gavin who would have got 8.5. Simon had his best game against Redbull in midfield and Gavin was super quick and mopped up brilliantly at centre back with a near faultless display.

It was honours even and another clean sheet. Simon was voted Man of the Match and we all returned to the Redbull pub for a drink and some friendly banter with the opposition.

Hemingford v Godmanchester

For the visit of local rivals Godmanchester we managed to amass a strong well balanced 11 - but it was just 11 + Clarky the referee.

We started with the following team of stalwarts in a 4-4-2 formation:

Kieran in goal,
Simon, Nigel, Kev H , Paul
Gav, Two Touch, Willow , Sedge
Howard , Kev A

The Game got under way at a fast pace and it was clear we were in for a competitive fixture. They had a selection of ex-pro's and good non-league players in their ranks and both teams were moving the ball well.

The pitch was tricky for both sides but the quality was there and it was a good competitive encounter from the kick off.

With about 20 mins gone, Willow picked up a loose ball in the middle and squared it to Sedge who banged an incisive ball behind their defence finding Kev Anderson's clever run perfectly. With their defence struggling to get back Kev raced towards the box at pace, with a quick shimmy he skilfully danced past the keeper and slotted the ball into the empty net for a clinical 1-0 lead.

Chances came and went in the first half but we did not trouble their keeper too much.

Godmanchester had some great breaks but our defence were working hard and using their experience and talent brilliantly. So, at the break we had managed to keep a clean sheet.

In the second half we were against a slight wind and Godmanchester came out with their tails up applying pressure from the start. We were determined to maintain our clean sheet if we could but we were coming under increasing pressure.

In addition we were finding it difficult to apply pressure to our opponents. Too frequently we lost possession and resorted to just clearing the ball forwards on a number of occasion so we had to be resolute.

Nigel was flying at the back, reading the Game expertly and keeping their tricky forwards at bay. Simon was battling away brilliantly on the right but with about 20 minutes to go he ended up tussling with their powerful forward down the left. He got away and haired towards the box with Simon battling to get back. Unfortunately, the forward was a bit too quick and Simon scythed him down in the box. The ref had no hesitation and pointed to the spot- and for the first time ever- even Kevin Hurst didn't complain too much! The forward dusted himself off, picked up the ball and then smashed it over the bar - much to everyone's relief.

More chances fell to Godmanchester but last ditch interceptions from a well-organised defence or good saves from Kieren kept them out.

At one point he saved a point blank shot from 2 yards - somehow pushing it around the post with a reaction block when it looked impossible to miss. As these chances were spurned, you started to think it just might be our day!

This was a classic rear guard action of the highest order, unlike any game I can remember us playing before. Never have we had to defend so much yet managed by hook or by crook to keep a clean sheet. We were under constant pressure but we defended for our lives and ran out 1-0 winners on a bright spring day. Our opponents were disappointed as you can imagine but we had all enjoyed a great battle and kept hold of our highly prized clean sheet.

Nigel provided some great sandwiches and we have old foes Red Bull to prepare for next week...

Houghton & Wyton v Hemingford

We traveled away to local rivals Houghton and Wyton on Sunday but despite the short distance, only 10 players made it across the meadow to start, after a few last minute drop outs due to injury and illness. Fortunately, our opponents kindly lent us a spare sub called Roger who went left wing and competed admirably.

We had a strong 10 + 1 and started the game very brightly. Midge and Howard were looking good up top and after a great bit of play down the right, Sedge spun in the box and lashed a left footer into the net for a deserved 1-0 lead.

The pitch was slippery and uneven and balls into the box were causing difficulties for both teams. We had a few crosses that went a bit too close to their keeper but before long they were on level terms. As Kev Hurst tried to clear a tricky cross, he inadvertently lashed it directly into the middle of the goal with his left foot. 1-1 Goaded by the home fans and players (and even some of our team) - it is fair to say Kev was not amused!

Still pressing on regardless, Howard broke free and lashed in a great shot that looked destined to score-but sadly the ball cannoned back off the post. This gave Houghton a lift and before long they had taken the lead. 2-1 to Houghton. Shortly after we lost Stuart Smith to a muscle strain on home terrain! So we continued with 10 men for a period whilst Walshy got himself together to enter the fray.

We had dropped off our pace a little after the first 20 minutes, and with Sedge and Midge carrying slight knocks it was a bit worrying. However, we were confident that we could turn the tide. It was a competitive match with a few bits of "needle" surfacing from time to time. As the second half got under way, another break down the right freed Kev Anderson who crossed a great ball to Howard. Kempy adjusted his body brilliantly to caress the ball into the top corner with his left foot. 2-2. Just as we thought we would go on to victory, a useful ball picked out Bozo who tricked his way past our two right sided defenders and drilled home. 3-2. This rattled us but we still kept going. Houghton also suffered a couple of injuries - losing two players to twisted ankles in the long grass (Jeffsy and Big J).

After winning a corner we threw up the big boys and a pinpoint cross from Walshy found Kev Hurst, and he looped a tremendous header into the top corner- followed by a great celebration. Midge continued to cause problems and before long another cross fell to Howard who slotted in at the far post for his 2nd. 4-3 to us. This was great to see and we were all delighted to take the lead again. With the clock running down our opponents looked very tired and though we were down to the bare bones we kept pressing. With about 5 minutes remaining, Nigel Parker ghosted down the right (having started the match at left back) and sent a deadly ball in that evaded their keeper and dropped into the net to make it 5-3 to us. Did he mean it- only Nigel really knows but it was great to see it go in after another positive and enthusiastic display from Mr Parker...

It was a well-contested game with no quarter asked or given. We all believed we should have won but we had to make it happen. Despite conceding 3 goals the defence and Kieren had played well and Kev H narrowly beat Gavin (his centre back partner for the day) to Man of the match. It was well-deserved for the effort and commitment he demonstrated. Equally, Houghton had also given a good account of themselves on the day and we all went back to their pub for a sportsmanlike drink, sandwich and a chat.

Godmanchester v Hemingford

Jubilee Park was the venue for this game, with Goddie fielding a young and physical side. Hemingford were missing Ben Sedgemore but had drafted in Midge and Crunchie, with Nigel Parker in charge of team selection. The pitch was heavy and the wind forecast to build in strength as the day wore on. From the start it was clear that any kind of passing game was going to be difficult although both teams were doing their best in the circumstances. Hemingford, with their backs to the wind in the first half, were containing the opposition front line but a split offside decision went the way of the hosts and they took advantage to open the scoring. Chances fell to both Midge and then Two-touch stretching to connect to a great shot from Chris Parker which came back off the bar but the sticky pitch conspired against them and they were unable to convert. Barely 10 minutes more had been played however, when Simon found Andy from a hard won corner. It looked as though he had opened his account for us but their keeper made a good reaction save only for Kev Hirst to net the rebound. At this stage 1-1 was about right, but this quickly became 3-1 when first a free header gave their centre an easy chance and he followed this with another snap shot into the top corner after some scrappy play in the area. Kieran in goal had already made several good saves but was powerless to stop these efforts.

A lifeline was thrown to Hemingford when Midge was upended on the edge of the box but Howie’s penalty was pushed away and the half ended with no further scoring. Stu Smith and Simon had both succumbed to injury by this stage, with Kev Anderson and Crunchie taking up the challenge. Playing into a strengthening wind it looked a forlorn task for Hemingford but Goddie were overplaying their passes and Kieran was defiant in goal. On the hour mark however, a speculative lob into the box evaded the central defence and their forward got enough on his header to guide the ball home. With the score at 4-1 it was always going to be difficult against a strong side and worsening conditions but this Hemingford team will always play to the final whistle. Gavin reduced the deficit with a well taken goal, using his pace to be first to the ball and sliding it under the keeper. A difficult passage of play followed as the wind grew ever stronger but from a poor clearance Crunchie picked up the ball on the edge of the area and found the corner of the net...4-3. With ten minutes remaining Midge collected the ball 25 yards out and his stinging shot, which looked goal-bound, cannoned off a defender’s back and left their keeper helpless. The post-match analysis in the Hemingford dressing room centred around the actual final score, some thinking that Goddie had scored twice in the second half, but keeper Kieran was adamant that he knew how many times he had been beaten and so the records will show a second consecutive 4-4 draw. Given the conditions and the youthful opposition this was an excellent result.

Red Bull vs Hemingford

With what was a frosty start to Sunday the squad lay wait at home for confirmation that the game would go ahead. Then at 9.00am on the dot a text from Kingy confirming that kick off had be moved to 11.00am to allow the pitch to thaw and we were GAME ON..

Sunday morning at Queens College, sun shining, bowling green of a pitch and Red Bull were the opposition. This is why we still play football…..

A strong Hemingford squad warmed up with Kieran in goal, Nigel, Sully, Kev and Keeble at the back, Gav, Sedge, Simon and 2touch in midfield and Howard and Midge up front. This left us with a strong bench with Fraser and Walshy.

Red Bull started the stronger team, pressing the ball high and putting the Hemingford lads under immediate pressure. This pressure soon paid off with Keeble getting caught on the ball, conceding a foul just outside the box. The resulting free-kick saw Red Bull capitalise with the game’s opening goal.

The Hemingford lads bounced back immediately, creating a number of close opportunities with fast play between he midfield and front 2, but the Red Bull Keeper was on fine form pulling off some great saves.

The Red Bull pressure continued and a slick through ball beating the offside trap left Kieran isolated. 2 – 0 Red Bull…

The same ball caught out the Hemingford defence again soon after causing another 1 on 1 with Kieran, but just as the Hemingford heads dropped at what looked like a 3rd goal, the ever spritely Nigel came from know where to tackle the ball on the goal line and clear to safety. Both teams continued to battle, but unfortunately Red Bull scored a 3rd before half time, pushing the game further from Hemingford’s grip.

Sedge didn’t mince his words in the half time team talk. We had been schooled and things needed to change or the scoring line could become embarrassing. A few changes were made, but Sedge kept to the same formation asking for more effort and pride.

From kick off you could see the change in character of the Hemingford lads. The wide areas were being better utilised with Simon and Walshy seeing more of the ball. 2 Touch dropped back slightly giving more protection to our defence. Our midfield didn’t give the Red Bull players any time on the ball, defence were staying strong and Howard and Midge were creating chances. This upturn soon paid dividend, 3-1, Hemingford were back in the game (I know Howard put this one away, but cannot remember the goal for the life of me!!!).

This sparked a compete change in the game. It was all Hemingford and the Red Bull players were left scratching their heads. Another change saw Gav replace Keeble at the back to freshen things up further. Soon after this, Sully made a bursting run from left back playing a 1-2 before slotting to ball home. 3-2 game on. This soon became 3-3 with the Red Bull team struggling to see how they could stop the constant pressure.

This continued with Hemingford on the front foot. Some great passing play between Simon and Midge down the right before Howard stepped up and calmly slotted the ball out of the reach of the goal keeper in to the roof of the net form the edge of the penalty box. Spark the celebrations, 3-4 to Hemingford.

Unfortunately 5 minutes from full time Red Bull were awarded a penalty, which was calmly put away bringing the final score to 4-4.

It’s safe to say that it was a game of 2 halves and on reflection a draw was probably a fair result.

Well done lads…


Hemingford vs Cambridge

Having several players unavailable for this fixture manager Neil King swooped to secure the services of some on-loan recruits from Buckden. With similar problems of their own, Cambridge fielded Willow and goalkeeper Dave from Red Bull. The previous meeting had resulted in a nine-goal ‘thriller’ and barely five minutes had passed before Cambs had the lead with a strong strike, albeit from a suspiciously offside looking position. The sense of injustice spurred Hemingford into a wave of attacks and it seemed certain that Sedge would level the score when he connected with an overhead volley but Dave produced a save of real quality, getting down low to his right to not only stop the shot but smother it into the bargain. Undeterred the home side persevered and were finally rewarded when Ray finished from close range after a goalmouth scramble. Hemingford now took the game to Cambridge and with 20 minutes gone Kev Anderson found himself one on one with the keeper. Opting to lob one of the tallest goalkeepers was an unusual tactic, but it worked, as Dave clearly didn’t expect this and went to ground as the ball dinked over him and into the net. It looked like the crowd of six substitutes and a couple of wives with their dogs were going to be treated to another goal-fest ! Sure enough, barely ten more minutes had passed when Cambs were awarded a hotly disputed penalty after their forward went down rather easily under Roy’s challenge. Kieran guessed correctly but couldn’t get to the well-placed spot kick. Worse was to follow when a mix-up in defence let the same player in on goal and his poor connection deceived our keeper, the ball rolling in at the far post. This was harsh on Hemingford as they had edged the possession on a tricky surface. With half-time approaching parity was restored when Simon sent over a trademark cross for Ray to head home powerfully. Half time and a breathless 3-3

Sedge rang the changes at half time as promised to give everyone a game and the match progressed in much the same way as the first half with both teams trying to play good football on the deteriorating surface. The large crowd didn’t have to wait long for the next goal with Buckden’s Scotty collecting the ball on the right corner of the six yard box and completely wrong footing their keeper by falling over as he shot...4-3. Four soon became five when Ray completed an impressive hat-trick with another strong header from a corner. Everyone in the ground thought that Paul had added a sixth with a tap-in at the far post but with both teams making for the restart referee Andy Smith consulted with the far-side linesman and VAR and ruled it offside. Back at 5-3 Cambs were given new hope. Willow, industrious as ever was pulling the strings and it was he who headed home following some uncharacteristic slack marking to make it 5-4. Back came Hemingford with Nige Parker, Simon and Sedge doing sterling work in midfield whilst the back four held firm and Kev Hirst ever the warrior in the centre, foraging upfield just long enough to dump their full back on the turf long after the ball, and the player had crossed the touch line ! As the final whistle approached, Kev Anderson again found himself one-on-one with the keeper but Dave was wise to him this time and parried both close range attempts, finally collecting after some pin-ball confusion around his goal. Time ran out on Cambs with the final score mirroring that of the earlier fixture. As ever, the game was played in the best of spirit and as the spectators filed out the players headed for the scalding hot shower and Mrs Hirst’s top class sandwiches.

Home vs Cambs University Press

For the first game of the new year we entertained CUP who always have some useful players and some good guys.

After the incredibly hot and dry summer and wet autumn, the pitch is no-longer as conducive to fast flowing football as it was in the past. That said, it sure develops one hell of a workout as everyone is carrying around mud clogged boots for 90 mins! We had a strong 13 and after a fair bit of consideration we opted for a 442 formation.

The game was an even affair throughout the first half and CUP had the ball in the net after about 20 minutes. A shot from distance was parried by Kieran in goal with their tricky left winger banging in the rebound. Fortunately for us he was offside, so the scores remained 0-0. We were using the ball well and created a few opportunities but too frequently our final ball was lacking. CUP had some youthful legs across the midfield and they also enjoyed some good passages of play with some tidy passing moves.

However, after about 40 mins, Roy at right back reacted sharply and first to a loose ball and knocked a great pass in behind the CUP defence and in front of the keeper. Howard was onto it like a flash and he curled a great left footed looping shot over the advancing keeper and into the net for a well-taken finish and a 1-0 lead.

Half time

Everyone had played their part in a competitive first half, with Fraser working tirelessly up front alongside the deft touches, clever runs and guile that Howard always offers. Walshy came on to support Howard up front (after recovering from a hamstring injury) in the 2nd half and he too worked like a Trojan winning countless balls and putting the opposition defence under serious pressure. Sedge, Simon, Chris Keeble and Chris Parker were playing some good football in the middle and the defence was looking solid at the back. Nigel switched to right back for the second half using his clever footballing brain and great talking to good effect. This allowed Matt Warren to return to centre back after a 2 year lay off (he looked like he had never been away!) Sully was sweeping up tidily and getting forward on the left and Kev Hurst was an absolute rock for the full 90 minutes.

With around 20 mins to play a great break saw Chris Parker free down the left. He skilfully cut back onto his right and rolled an inviting but bobbling square pass into the path of the on-rushing Sedge who drilled a thunderous first time shot into the top right hand corner from about 18 yards. 2-0. It had been a competitive game and the extra goal gave us a little bit of breathing space as well as sapping a bit of the impetus from the opponents. However, they kept probing with a few corners and well-worked moves but the defence were all sharp, solid and full of commitment and we managed to secure a clean sheet with some excellent punches from Kieran when required.

Andy Smith gave an excellent performance as referee too,

We enjoyed some great sandwiches (courtesy of Paul Sully), some good camaraderie and the enjoyable surroundings of the Pavilion after the match. It was great to be back in the groove, to start the New Year with a win but there are likely to be some stiff legs on Monday!

Home (ish) v Studlands

With our home pitch in a rather boggy condition in recent weeks, we set off for the outdoor centre in St Ives in hope of a good game and an impressive surface.

Chris Keeble had made the arrangements and the pitch was in great shape.  We had 13 to begin with but when Stu Smith failed a pre-match fitness test we were down to 12 (albeit Stu offered to run the line in true gentlemanly fashion).

Without Howard (injured) Midge (nursing a hangover) and Conner (Awol) we were looked like being short of forwards.  However, Kev Anderson and Fraser deputised up front and some of their runs were superb.  We were playing great football from the back with a 4, 3 1, 2 formation and we were causing the opposition problems.  That said, they were a fit, youthful bunch with quality deliveries and some skillful and nippy players, so everyone had to be on their toes.

After about 20 mins Sedge spotted a great run in behind from Kev who raced into the box.  The keeper charged out, Kev poked it past him before being unceremoniously cleaned out!  It looked like a clear penalty despite a few objections from the opposition.  Sedge duly despatched the spot kick into the corner giving the keeper no chance. 1-0.

Willow, Keeble and Simon were battling well in midfield and the runs from the forwards were really keeping Studlands on their toes.  Kieran and the lads at the back were also working hard and though Studlands had some good play down the wings, we were resolute when the ball came into the box.  Kieren saved a couple of good efforts and we had to defend for our lives from set plays.  They were a massive team with about 8 X 6ft plus players and great quality so we had to be on our toes from every set-piece.  There was some great tempo and clever passing all over and we held out with the lead in tact to half time.

We knew the next goal would be a big one but sadly for us Studlands got it.  Another great delivery from a corner gave Kieren some problems and though we half cleared it, one of their players was on hand to bundle the ball home. 1-1.

Predictably this buoyed our opponents who exerted further pressure.  However, to our credit we bounced back when a slide-rule ball from Gav found another great run from Kev.  Kev tried to slot the ball under the keeper but he got a hand to it.  Fortunately Fraser was on hand to bravely beat the covering defender to the ball (taking a kick for his troubles) but guiding the ball into the roof of the net for a well-deserved goal.  The forwards had worked so hard and formed a good partnership so it was great to see them rewarded with a goal.  This knocked the stuffing out of Studlands and we started to dominate and keep the ball cleverly.  Sadly an uncharacteristic error at the back let their forward in with a one-on-one to make it 2-2 with a well-taken finish that flew in.

It was a really good game between two evenly matched teams that everyone enjoyed.  Roy, Rory, Nigel, Kev H and Gav had all used the ball with quality and reacted quickly defensively at the back. The midfield had been a cohesive unit and the forwards had worked like Trojans making intelligent runs throughout, so it was an enjoyable game all round as well as being a tough physical encounter.

Terrific sandwiches from Kev Anderson followed in the bar in a positive spirit.

Away v Cambridge Community

Thirteen lads made their way to Cambridge Community on a bright autumn morning.

We started with Howard up top on his own but with 5 in the middle and 4 at the back.

Cambs Community are always relatively young and always up for the Game. They always compete well on a fitness level and work hard.

However, we always seem to have a little more quality in our ranks that usually ends up punishing them.

In the first half, we dominated possession but had to defend resolutely on a couple of occasions.

A number of important blocks being made in the 6 yard box and even from the goal line. Our opponents also wasted a few good opportunities.

Kieren was in goal, with Fraser and Andy Jolley at centre half, Paul Sully left back and Roy at right back.

All of the guys were solid and managed to keep a clean sheet to half time.

After about 35 mins a long kick from Kieren saw the opposition mistime their defending but Howard produced a sublime touch to control the ball and free Sedge in an advanced position. Though the keeper blocked the first effort, Sedge clinically stroked home the rebound to give us the lead. 1-0.

Willow and Nigel were working hard and using the ball cleverly in midfield and Gav and Chris Parker were using their pace down the wings which caused our opponents regular difficulties. Half Time

We knew the next goal would be a big one. Crunchy and Anthony came on and before long a quick through ball from Sedge freed Anthony. Anthony outpaced the defence before rounding the keeping and cooly slotting in for 2-0.

2 soon became 3 as a great cross fell to Crunchy who cut inside skilfully off his left to his right before drilling a low drive into the bottom corner. 3-0.

We kept up the pressure and forced another corner. Sully swung in a cracker that skimmed off Anthony at the front post and into the net for a 4th.

It was great to see Paul back for 90 minutes after his lengthy lay off and it was great to see the subs make such a positive impact too. Equally pleasing was watching Howard at his best with only the post preventing him from scoring a great 5th after a twisting mazy dribble.

Our game opponents kept probing but with resolute defending and superior quality we ran out deserved 4-0 winners.

Everyone played their part and the female Romanian referee was excellent on the day. Refereeing with quality and authority.

Bring on St Neots...

Home v Newmarket

A bright and blustery day with the pitch heavy after steady overnight rain was the setting for the visit of Newmarket. After an immaculately observed minutes silence to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1 the game got under way. Early exchanges showed the opposition front two had pace and held the ball well but Howard and Midge were causing problems at the other end and a defining moment came early in the game when a swerving 20 yarder from Midge was parried by their keeper at the expense of a badly dislocated finger. Hemingford had just the one sub, whilst Newmarket had three, but in a sporting gesture (arguably too sporting), our keeper swapped ends and , although on the injured list, Glen took over in the home goal. Despite this, the majority of chances came the way of Hemingford but for once our star striker (no names) was off the mark. It is no exaggeration to say that the score should have been four or five nil when against the odds Newmarket opened the scoring, their winger blocking an attempted pass out of goal by Glen and into the net. Their second came shortly afterwards but this time was well worked ending in a tap in after some good interplay between the front two. Several more chances to reduce the deficit came and went, over the bar, past the post, over the bar again, but finally Midge managed to make space for himself and found the corner with a well placed cross shot. This should have been the platform for Hemingford to push for the equaliser but instead a good save by Glen fell to their unmarked winger who shot home, 1-3. The home play just wasn’t anywhere near recent form and some stern words from Sedge were needed. With half time approaching a glimmer of hope was offered when Midge reacted first to a rebound and slotted home , colliding with Kieran in the opposition goal in the process. Fortunately both players were able to carry on and at the break it stood at 2-3 with all to play for. With the team talk ringing in their ears Hemingford set out once again to find an equaliser but it was Newmarket who increased their lead with a breakaway goal to make it 2-4. The pitch was proving hard work and it was difficult for both teams to play the kind of passing football they are capable of. Hemingford were finding it difficult to clear from the back with Glen unable to kick dead balls and big Kev suffering from a groin strain. A surging run from Gav should have been rewarded but again the chance went begging his pass into the area being missed when it seemed easier to score. Andy moved into the back four and this stemmed the runs by their forwards and freed Nige Parker to do some creditable fetching and carrying but it still took several good stops by Glen to keep Hemingford in the game. As both sets of players tired large gaps were appearing in midfield and both forward lines had their chances. From one of these their centre back almost passed the ball into his own net, Kieran dived to save but this was deemed a pass-back despite lengthy protests. From the free kick, virtually on the goal line, Midge passed back to Sedge who clipped a low shot into the gap conveniently left by the 11- man wall , 3-4.

The last ten minutes saw frantic efforts by Hemingford to save the game but it was destined to be one of those days as our star striker hit the post from close range and then blazed over probably the last chance of the game. It would be wrong to name and shame the star striker as he is so very often the difference for us and anyway we all know Howard is much better than that. Reduced at one point at the other end to having the oldest player on the pitch attempt a goal kick which barely made it out of the area Hemingford struggled to find any of the form they are renowned for and so it ended 3-4. Newmarket were genuinely grateful for the loan of an excellent keeper, perhaps we won’t be so generous in the future.

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.


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....