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.