Hemingford v SNTFC

Preamble 

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 

Pre-Match 

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!!