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…

Chris

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.

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.