Fwd: Match report vRed Bull won 4-2

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From: Stuart Smith > Date: 23 October 2016 at 23:22:29 BST To: neilking1957@hotmail.com Subject: Match report

Sunday 23rd October saw the visit of arguably our strongest opponents, Red Bull. Conditions were perfect for football, with mild Autumn temperatures , a lazy breeze and the pitch firm but taking a moulded stud. The pre-match talk emphasised the quality of the opposition, without affording too much respect and the need to move the ball quickly. The opening passages were predictably cagey with both teams anxious to keep the ball . Gradually, Hemingford began to establish some dominance with the midfield of Sedgie, 2-touch, Chris and Kev Anderson keeping good possession. A great flick from Howie gave 2-touch a sight of goal but his shot was wide, before Sedge had a shot from similar distance clear the crossbar. It seemed as though a goal was imminent but Red Bull dragged themselves back into the game and enjoyed their own period of pressure. Our back four, superbly marshalled by Kev Hurst and Nigel Parker held firm and the full backs Paul and Gav were closing out their raids from the wings. Playing his last game for us before heading to the States, Glen in goal had little to do but his commanding presence was enough to snuff out any danger, even having the time and space to clear a couple of attacks with audacious back-heelers ! The half ebbed and flowed but on 30 mins the breakthrough came when Howie slipped his marker and was brought down in the area. Although hotly contested by some of the opposition the challenge came from behind and a penalty was the correct decision. Sedge duly buried the spot-kick low to the keeper's right. Howie was causing all sorts of problems for the Red Bull defence with his characteristic turns and probing runs, taking a couple of cynical challenges for his troubles but he responded in the best way possible with a gem of a goal. Meeting a clearance from a corner full on the volley he found the net from all of 25 yards. Definitely a contender for goal of the season. Red Bull were rattled, but they are not a team to lie down and just before the break some slick passing in the box saw them reduce the arrears with a well-taken goal. Half-time, 2-1. The second half began like the first, with both sides having periods of good possession without posing a real goal threat, although their winger did manage a dangerous cross to the back post which looked certain to be converted until Gav produced a superb saving challenge,taking a knock in the process. They were not to be denied, however when, for once, the Hemingford defence stood off and conceded to a fine shot by their midfielder with the outside of the boot into the far corner, 2-2. Back came Hemingford and as the game entered the final quarter spaces began to emerge. Gav was like the proverbial Duracell bunny with several lung-bursting breaks down the right. On the left Paul was having some joy as their defence tired. Kev Anderson was sending over some teasing crosses, but also to be found heading clear from a free kick at the other end. Meanwhile, Howie was delivering a masterclass of front running, giving their centre-backs a torrid time. Dippy, who had come on at half-time, with Daz's demand for work rate ringing in his ears, was turning up all over the place, holding up the ball and tormenting their full backs in turn. They say that skill is transient but class is eternal and Dippy duly delivered, making space for himself on the edge of the box and chipping their excellent (6 ft 4in) keeper for a superb 3rd. The ball had already crossed the line before a despairing lunge from their full back sent it high into the net. With Red Bull refusing to accept defeat there was still some defending to do, particularly from a free kick in a dangerous position against which the wall stood firm. They were down to 10 men shortly afterwards through injury but playing like 11. Sensing victory, it was fitting when Howie's shot from a Dippy pull-back was well saved but he followed up to tap in for a second goal which his outstanding performance deserved. There was just time for the restart before the ref brought proceedings to an end, final score 4-2. This was a cracking game to watch, the win was hard-fought and well deserved with great performances from every one of the Hemingford players. Best wishes go to Glen, who was blameless for both goals and otherwise barely troubled, Denver awaits !

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