Hemingford Vets vs Buckden Badgers
Sunday 3rd September 2023
Bright sunshine, immaculate pitch, a strong 16-man squad and intriguing new opponents..football is back at Hemingford. The Badgers are a league side and there were very few familiar faces in their (young-looking) line up.
Going with the 3-5-2 formation, Kieran started with a strong eleven and a further six on the bench.
Early morning dew gave the ball added pace and Hemingford were enjoying the bulk of possession whilst Buckden were restricted to defence with just the odd foray upfield. Ballsy complained of not feeling match fit but then proceeded to tear up and down the left flank like a demented greyhound. Kev Hirst and Baggsy were tested by their quick front two but were consistently winning the battles and chances soon fell to Jack Midge and Gav. Against the run of play however, the Badgers broke the deadlock when their energetic No.9 broke free on the left and scored from close range. Parity was restored ten minutes later when Midge neatly flicked the ball over their keeper and tapped in for 1-1. Home joy was to be short-lived as a defensive error allowed another close-range finish to end the first half scoring at 1-2.
Celebrating his much anticipated return to action Howie brought things level after the break , not his usual classy effort, forcing the ball over the line with the sole of his boot but reward for his characteristic effort. Once again though, the reprieve was short-lived when Baggsy was adjudged to have fouled their striker ( making the challenge with his head whilst on the ground in a tussle with their front man) ! Unsurprisingly, Kev Hirst was a tad upset as referee Smithy pointed to the spot but the kick was converted, albeit slightly fortuitously as the ball struck the junction of left post and crossbar before ricocheting across the goal and in off the bottom of the opposite post. Keeping up ?…it was now 2-3 to Buckden.
Kieran had promised everyone with as many minutes as he could and the second half saw Josh, Kev A, Jon-Scott Clarke and Blackie take the field. Scores were level again when Jack opened his account with a close range effort and finally Hemingford’s superiority was rewarded with a stunning strike from M.O.M Glen into the top corner from the edge of the box, a neat headed finish by Jack from Kev A’s cross and another tap-in from Glen. At 6-3 Kieran generously handed Stu a run-out for the last 20 mins to mark his 4000th game (well it felt like it boys), but sensing a slight edge in pace their winger managed somehow to glide past and end the goal-fest for the day at 6-4.
A great start to the season, sterling performances from all, including Alex and Simon working tirelessly in midfield as well as all others previously mentioned. Apologies if I’ve missed anyone out but the future looks good with great players throughout the team and the likes of Paul , Tel, Twos, Couls and Sedgie to add to the squad on return from injury/holiday/pub.
Worth mentioning that Buckden were worthy opponents and a good bunch of lads…should be some good games to come with them going forwards.
Hemingford Vets vs Cambs Vets
Sunday 23rd April 2023
Cambs vets provided the opposition for the final game of the season albeit with a slightly reduced squad, which resulted in Two-touch and Josh donning the red of Cambridge to keep the numbers even. With a free bar in prospect post-match Hemingford were spoilt for choice, (surely a mere coincidence), leaving Kieran to juggle his own numbers to give everyone decent game-time. Regular home ref Smithy was unavailable so Kingy very nobly chose to be the man in the middle when he would much rather have been playing and was assisted by the other Smithy on the touchline flag.
Although the pitch looked Wembley-esque (well, sort of), it proved to be quite a hard surface with a good number of divots which would provide many an excuse for what was to come ! The incentive to end an already impressive season on a high was uppermost in Kieran’s team talk and the strong starting eleven set about the task from the off. Despite, however, having the vast majority of possession Hemingford were unusually quiet and a good percentage of passes were not finding their intended targets. Cambs best efforts were coming from their right but met with stubborn resistance from Tel and JK, the former letting their lively midfielder know he was there by scything him to the ground. Meanwhile Ballsy was able to collect Kieran’s distribution and build from right back. Sadly, Darren succumbed early to injury and was frustrated to have to leave the field with barely 20 minutes played, to be replaced by Dan. At the other end, Twos and Josh were firefighting bravely against the many threats posed by Jack and Gal and were probably dismayed further when Gav came on after 30 mins to add yet more pace to the attack. It seemed only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken, but instead it became increasingly likely that either a car or house window at the road end would suffer as that bobbly pitch saw efforts from Paul, Jack, Sedge Couls and Gal sail over the bar, fence and trees ! Couls did come closest when, changing direction 3 times on the edge of the box he managed to make space for a shot which crept narrowly wide. As the home support (well, subs plus Roy and Howie) held their heads at each failed attempt Cambs swept upfield and their winger just got a foot in to slide the ball under Kieran and in for an unlikely lead.
Perhaps fearing the wrath of the half time team talk Hemingford ramped up the pressure and were finally rewarded when Sedge held the ball up and then slipped it through to Paul who found the roof of the net, as opposed to the roof of No. 29 behind the pitch ! HT 1-1.
The wrath was forthcoming all the same, and probably deservedly so…as no-one argued Kieran’s sage observations on a distinctly average (by Hemingford’s standards) first half. The pace was picked up as the second half got under way and traffic was predominantly one-way towards the Cambs goal. Twos and Jack were enjoying their own personal duel with Twos at one point howling in classic premiership fashion and crashing to earth to convince referee Kingy that it was a free kick….to be fair, it was. No-one likes to blame the conditions, but surely they must have played a part as shots and attempted crosses sailed over the bar, with one disappearing into the garden of the adjoining property, never to be seen again. There followed a worrying moment when Dan fell awkwardly after a fierce but fairly contested 50-50 challenge and struggled to breathe for several minutes. Thankfully he recovered well enough to continue and there followed a crazy few minutes when first Jack found the post with a header from 6 yards and then Josh struck the other one with a last gasp clearance…questions would have been asked by the Cambs boys but no-one could fault his commitment and it was a genuine saving tackle.
Just when it seemed as if the last game would end in stalemate Sedge managed to control a shot which ricocheted off a Hemingford head to wrong-foot Phil Hacker in the Cambs goal. Shortly afterwards, as thoughts began to stray towards that free bar Gal put the result beyond doubt with a deserved third. On the balance of play and on another day when chances were taken Hemingford’s tally could have been three times their final effort but 3-1 it was. Grateful thanks from all at the club for Kingy’s efforts in arranging 23 matches, Jack walked away with top scorer and players’ player whilst Couls picked up the manager’s player of the season award. Onwards to Autumn ‘23.
Hemingford Vets vs Houghton Vets
Sunday 16th April 2023
Match report by Paul Tatham
A beautiful Spring morning saw the return leg of the much anticipated local, Auld Firm derby between these two famous footballing institutions, Hemingford and Houghton. There was definitely plenty of Auld blokes about but not so much of the firmness that they once adorned! Houghton assembled on the pitch with what looked like the All Blacks rugby team! Around 16 or 17 of them, with plenty of height and one of which was former Hemingford player, Two’s, who ran on to the pitch to a chorus of ‘JUDAS, JUDAS, JUDAS’!!!!! (Rodney but Lionel…….Harsh but fair!)
A familiar 3-5-2 formation saw Hemingford start with Keiran in goal, a Jolly Ball Bags back three, Walshy left, Paul right and a dream midfield of Sedge, Glenn and Couls with Jack and Gally upfront. A strong bench of Josh, Dan and a returning Terry knowing their roles on introduction.
The 45 minutes to follow turned out to be one of the strongest performances of the season, if not ever by a Hemingford Vets team with barely a misplaced pass, aggression, communication, counter attacking, stout defending and fantastic movement – it was slick and a pleasure to be a part of! An interesting fact that we forced no corners in the first, but we forced wave after wave of attack with the deadlock being broken after about 10 minutes as the ball landed at Walshy’s feet about 16 yards out who cooly chipped/shot/curled the ball into the top right hand corner 1-0 Hemingford!
Houghton were getting the ball up to their target man, Will, but either Ballsy was getting there first or Jolly was heading away! It was great to watch! They were getting frustrated, never able to turn and face goal, no time to breath! Fantastic defending that never wavered! Before the match it was noted that this guy had scored 15 goals in his last 5 matches! Not today pal! The back door was firmly closed!
Goal number two came from a set piece on the left that was beautifully curled into the back post by Glen evading everyone but their centre back who had little choice but to get a head on it into his own top corner! 2-0 Hemingford! We were buzzing!
The game carried on in the same manner, Hemingford dominating and unrelenting – the Yellow Storm was purring and it was only a matter of time before the lead was extended further! Soon after, Jack was released by a sliced through ball from Couls, Jack out-paced their centre-backs and from 35 yards out lobbed the keeper with a curling chip/stab with the outside of his left boot that sailed over the keeper, hit the bar and agonisingly didn’t cross the line! Great effort! Within minutes another Yellow Tsunami battered the Houghton defence, the ball bounced out to Sedge who passed it beautifully first time at pace directly to Couls on the corner of the 18 yard box who controlled, looked up and struck a low but rising power-drive into the far right-hand corner of the goal 3-0 Hemingford! For all-round quality, that is up there as a goal of the season contender!
With 5 minutes remaining of the first half and after more domination from Hemingford, Couls released Jack again but this time, with a clear one on one with the keeper and pace on his side, he cooly dropped a shoulder and rounded the keeper to tap in and make it 4-0 Hemingford! What a first half! What a team!
The half-time team talk from Keiran had a theme of ‘more of the same chaps’ and a reminder from Sedge that Houghton would be angry, desperate to get back in the game and an early goal for us could kill them whilst an early goal from them could give them hope! It was agreed that we’d rather humiliate them!
The second half started with less of a ‘total football’ performance as everyone tired, but Hemingford remained the stronger side and both sides rarely threatened to score a great deal.
After 15 minutes, fresh legs were introduced with Terry keeping the back solid and Jack and Dan taking over the exhausting wing-back shifts from Paul and Walshy!
Josh came close a couple of times, one of which was a cut inside and chip over the keeper’s head only to see it drop just wide!
There were a few slightly more accomplished attacks from Houghton, all of which resulted in the ball being dropped into the penalty area, but each time, Keiran was on-hand to get to the ball first and command his box!
The midfield continued to dominate with strength and passing interchanges from Gally and Sedge, there were some beautiful long diagonal balls starting to be pinged by Glen, one of which was chased down by Jack who reversed it back over for Couls who came close with his finish, but there were to be no more goals from Hemingford.
As the game came to a close, there was time for a bit of ‘shit-housery’ from Two’s who scythed down Ballsy to a chorus of “Ooooooooooh” from the crowd! Two’s was very insistent that he went for the ball! Yes, Aaron Ball. Soon after, Ballsy lost a few votes for his MoM performance by handling the ball inside the box to give away a penalty that Houghton’s Bozo duly despatched although only just as Keiran guessed the right way, got a firm hand on it but it just fell inside the post. 4-1 Hemingford!
Final score: Hemingford Vets 4-1 Houghton Vets
Locally sourced and rolled sausages provided by Bagnall and snacks provided by Couls
MoM – Ballsy for keeping their main threat quiet all game!
Hemingford Vets vs Newmarket Vets
Sunday 2nd April 2023
Match report by Stu Smith
Hemingford Vets vs Cambridge University Press Vets
Sunday 5th March 2023
Match report by Paul Tatham
Our first match in the Spring saw the arrival of a familiar CUP team to take on the yellow storm on what was a perfect Spring morning! The pitch was firm and relatively flat so conditions were suited to our passing style.
With no Smithy on-hand this week, Kingy Senior kindly stood in as referee.
A healthy squad of 14 assembled, a familiar 3-5-2 formation started with Kieran, Dan(debutant), Nigel & Ballsy martialling the back, Paul on the left wing, Dave on the right with Sedge and Gally centre mid, Couls advanced and then Jack and Gav up top! A strong bench of Baggers, Josh & Jolly ready and waiting knowing their job when they enter the field of play.
As we kicked off, the Hemingford passing game in possession and pressing intensity out of possession was starting to dominate, forcing waves of attacks on both flanks and numerous corners, the midfield trio of Gally, Sedge & Couls were tying everything together and slotting ball after ball through the channels – we just couldn’t quite find the net.
The deadlock was broken on 15 mins with a classic counter attack from a rare CUP attack! Paul majestically tracked back to snuff out the CUP shot on goal (if you don’t agree, feel free to write the reports! ) and passed back to Kieran who returned the ball first time wide left for Paul to get the ball back into the midfield for Sedge to feed Gav on the left (could have been Jack or Couls) who crossed low evading every defender for Dave to neatly slot home! 1-0 Hemingford!
Chances kept coming, a great run and cross from Dave was met at the near post by Gav who sent the ball flying into Fenstanton. This was followed by some very engaging words of encouragement from Gav’s missus!!
The second goal came from a corner. At the second attempt from the left, crossed in from Paul to land on the head of the towering Gally who neatly headed home into the bottom left hand corner! 2-0 Hemingford After the goal went in, the CUP captain had a good old whinge for what seemed like about 10 minutes because of a foul that he felt was overlooked 9 phases of play before the corner! Kingy was having none of it!
Hemingford continued to dominate, the vocal presence and direction of Sedge and Nigel really helps to steady the ship and keep the yellow passing machine purring! Unfortunately, a rare mistake and loss of possession allowed CUP to spring a surprise counter which left us all a bit flat footed! Their ‘busy-bee’ Wes, found himself 12 yards out with just Kieran to beat and he slotted home neatly! 2-1 Hemingford – we had be careful!
Our rotation policy saw changes on 30 minutes with Jolls replacing Gally, Josh replacing Dave and Baggers replacing Dan.
Soon after, Hemingford forced another corner, this time on the right hand side which Couls delivered firmly into the AMO (Area of Maximum Opportunity!), deflected from a dual header for Paul to volley firmly at their keeper who couldn’t keep it under control due to the shear velocity and the ball just crossed the line before Gally could commit the worst crime of utter shit-housery and tap the ball home when it was already cruising in (I think his admirable moral compass stopped him from committing the crime!) 3-1 Hemingford! Back in control!
At half-time, Kieran rallied the troops and reminded everyone where we were being most dangerous, Sedge confirmed that we needed to replicate the initial phases of the first half returning to the passing game in possession and pressing intensity out of possession!
The second half was much like the start of the first half with Hemingford forcing plenty of attacks and corners but just not being able to find the net, Jolly came close with a header hitting the bar – a fourth goal was definitely coming! Ballsy was forced off with his groin injury and replaced with Dan. On 60 minutes, the rotation system saw Paul being replaced by Dave and Gav replaced by Gally.
CUP were not offering much in attack although their right winger struck a bullet shot just over the bar from the corner of the 18-yard box – not sure if he meant it, but if it was on target it would have been tricky for Kieran to deal with.
The second half deadlock was finally broken when Sedge played a neat ball over the top for the on-rushing Jack who controlled and stabbed home with the outside of his left at the near post! 4-1 Hemingford!
Hemingford were now in complete control and it was just a matter of how many they would go on to get. The fifth goal came from Couls who in his trade-mark style, controlled the ball on the penalty spot, dropped a shoulder and curled into the bottom left-hand corner! 5-1 Hemingford!
Within minutes the scoreline had been extended! Josh played a nice through into the path of Jack after a great tackle and turn for Jack to slot in at the near post – 6-1 Hemingford!
The game was now over, CUP heads had completely dropped and they had stopped running! None more so than their keeper who had put in a shift all morning and defied the obvious physics of his stature to get down to quite a few of our shots! He was however now, a broken man, present in body, but with 5 minutes to go completely and utterly absent in mind. It was fair to say that at this point any one of us could have extended the scoreline if we got the ball on target as their now empty vessel of a keeper was clinging on to consciousness. It was noted on the side lines that even Gav’s missus could have scored at that point! Chatting to the CUP subs with 5 minutes to go, they mentioned that they were worried for their keeper’s safety as they could sense he was struggling to stand and appeared to be losing his vision – we all agreed that maybe we should get Kingy to blow the final whistle early and save any further potential injury to him.
However, it sadly wasn’t to be. With 2 minutes on the clock and CUP like a punch-drunk boxer, Baggers was allowed to walk from the half way line un-challenged to get about 30 yards from goal, he looked up to see Couls, Gally and Jack in the box and delivered a cross which was slightly shanked and unfortunately veering away from the on-rushing trio! To Matt’s delight however, the ball headed towards goal instead! An easy catch for the keeper ordinarily, but this now mere husk of a human being in goal was not even aware of which day it was – the ball floated into the top-left hand corner of the goal! 7-1 Hemingford! Baggers celebrated hard, very hard!! A celebration that can only be described as a hybrid version of Danny Welbeck’s goal celebration and Chunk’s Truffle Shuffle from the film Goonies! We felt for the poor keeper! Humiliated.
Only joking! It was a great goal and great to see the delight of him celebrate with his son, Franklin! A great memory for the boy!
Final score: Hemingford Vets 7-1 Cambridge University Press
Locally sourced sandwiches and pizzas provided by Ballsy and Keiran
MoM Nigel Parker
Hemingford Vets vs Fenstanton Vets
Sunday 26th February 2023
Struggling for players, Fenstanton had enlisted the services of Gally and Ballsy…two formidable opponents on the day where normally they would be adding their considerable talents to the home line-up. On the subject of which, Hemingford started with Darren Jolly in goal, a welcome deputy for the injured Kieran, the now familiar 3-5-2 set up and a bench which spanned the mid 1950s to…well somewhere a lot closer to the current century !
The game-plan from Kieran was rightly to stick with the players who drew with Brampton and expect Fenstanton to tire as the game progressed. Certainly the early passages saw the home side have most of the possession with just the odd scare coming from Fenstanton’s front runners Horse and Puds ?! Kev Anderson was having a lot of success down the right wing and the first real chance came from one of his crosses, with Jack directing a low header just wide. Glen was also just off the target with another headed effort from the same provider. Ballsy and Gal were fighting fires valiantly and Fenstanton rode their luck when Jack confounded their defence ( and everyone else) by trapping the ball underneath his body before somehow extracting it and crashing a shot which came down from the underside of the crossbar and was cleared away. It was not long however before the deadlock was broken when Couls struck a perfectly flighted free kick from 25 yards which, as Kieran commented afterwards, any premiership ‘keeper would have struggled to get close to. The yellow tide continued to flow towards the visitors’ goal but very much against the run of play they equalised when a long throw into the box evaded the Hemingford defence and a scuffed effort crossed the line despite Darren’s desperate attempt to scoop the ball clear.
Stirred, if not a little shaken, Hemingford went back on the offensive and Couls claimed his second when he collected the rebound from his own shot and dispatched a left footed effort which crept in at the foot of the post to make it 2-1. Kev Anderson continued firing in crosses, having dominated their left back and Glen came close to directing a header on target. With 30 minutes gone Sedge came on as part of the agreed rotation and shortly afterwards had a chance from the centre of the D but drove high, connecting with a passing Mini on the road behind goal which obligingly headed the ball back over the hedge. As half time approached however it was Fenstanton who once again levelled when the Horse finished a good move with a low strike giving Darren no chance. HT 2-2
Stu replaced Tel at the restart and almost straight away proved his recent MoM was indeed a one-off by presenting Gal with a clear run on goal…foiled at the last by the outstanding JK with a fine block. As the game progressed vast swathes of the midfield were becoming more and more under-populated as the Fenstanton midfield tired and Hemingford’s went for the kill. Two quick counters eased the pressure with goals from Paul (incredible scorpion kick….well that’s how he described it) and Jack but then the spectre of the dubious pen returned when Darren was adjudged to have fouled the Horse in a 50-50 clash. Harsh indeed and I would have to concur with Alex’s theory that ref Smithy mistook Darren for big Kev H . Nevertheless, the kick was duly converted, score now 4-3. Time to look after the ball and Paul, who had just seen a tremendous effort come back off the bar from distance was reminded of this in words of few syllables by Sedge…advice well received and post-match Sedge was quick to praise Paul’s first half efforts.
Meanwhile Glen was gliding effortlessly around the midfield , finding Alex on more than one occasion, who was unfortunate to have one attempted cross bobble just at the point of contact and sky into the gardens behind goal and then succumb to his own step-over. Tel had re-entered the fray albeit in the opposition ranks as they ran out of subs but managed to see out the remaining 20 minutes without actually touching the ball whilst Gal was still driving Fenstanton forward in an attempt to salvage the game. Two late goals from Andy Jolly, with a side-foot finish and Jack heading into the top corner ( should that be the other way around ?…nope, that’s how it was) finally put the result beyond doubt. Fenstanton did fade towards the end, as predicted by Kieran and were it not for the tireless running of Gal and Ballsy (until he retired injured) could have shipped more goals but to be fair they defended well and had their chances, only to be thwarted time and again by deserved man-of-the match JK, ably assisted by Gav and the hard working midfield of Glen, Alex, Sedge Couls and Paul. A good game, played in good spirit and the food afterwards provided by the opposition, is there a better way to spend a Sunday morning ?
Hemingford Vets vs Brampton Vets
Sunday 12th February 2023
Brampton away…after a tough test last time out, Kier had fully prepped us for the away leg, with a bit of a score to settle.
The arrival was ‘sporadic’ to say the least…despite having played football in the area for the last 25 years, Gally thought he would rely on the postcode that the gaffer had helpfully provided (with a correction nonetheless) rather than his gut, and spent 15 minutes of the warm up getting friendly with the local Brampton residents…he wasn’t the last to arrive mind, with Glen and Darren making him look early!
Anyway, onto the game…after learning the lesson from last time out, Kier opted for a 4-4-2, to bulk out the defence to deal with the top drawer Brampton striker. Martin and Nige worked like a dream, and despite things working well, with Hemingford showing the most threat early on, Brampton were the first to break the deadlock.
Honesty got the better of Kier when despite a goal kick being awarded, he was keen to make the point that he had saved the Brampton strikers dart like effort into the near post…from the resulting corner, the Brampton left back managed to connect with the cross and put the ball into the net, 1-0.
Hemingford didn’t let that get them down, and the high energy led to plenty of chances. The cross bar got hit (twice?), the keeer made a few great saves, and Glen saw a worldy effort go painfully close.
The centre midfield two of Gally and Glen had their work cut out against the three men of Brampton, but the saving grace was Kier’s promise of going back to a three at half time…you might say it was the only thing that kept them going…
Then disaster struck. Martin put in a great challenge on the Brampton striker, who in an honest attempt to play the ball, played Martin’s ankle firmly (which ironically now looks like a football). He couldn’t continue, and the half time plans were thrown up in the air as Jolly had to come on to sure up the back 4.
Hemingford weren’t deterred…Alex and Gav were relentless on the wings, showing pace and direction…more chances came, but we couldn’t break through. Brampton had their chance too, but the ferocious volley wasn’t enough to beat Kier, who pulled off a top save to keep the deficit to one.
Half time – 1-0 down. The team talk was rousing…we’re on top in this, just need to keep doing what we’re doing and it’ll come. Just whatever happens, don’t let them get a cheap goal…
Second half begins, and despite the renewed energy and vigour, the unthinkable happens…the Brampton winger turns Gally on the half way line, with Gally resembling a London cab, he tried to turn quickly (but didn’t…) and just couldn’t make the ground back up. 2-0 Brampton.
The Hemingford side weren’t deterred, the vocals of Darren and Nigel from the back keeping us honest. Gav continued to terrorise the right back, Glen pulled the strings in midfield, and Jack battered their CBs around, who were now tiring.
The tide was turning, and it wasn’t long before Gally picked up the ball in Midfield and managed to beat the right back, before turning back and firing over a cross…Jack kept like a salmon and fired home..2-1, and momentum now with us.
All the pressure was from the yellows now…Gav forcing some outstanding saves from the Brampton keeper, the defence holding strong against an outstanding Brampton attack (Jolly bossing their CF, and the forever young Ballsey showing that at 40+ he can still manage three games in a weekend!).
The threat grew….Kev A was brought on to freshen up the right wing, and Couls was growing into the game and showing his class….seemed only a matter of time before the next goal…
Indeed it did…The ball was being sprayed about with confidence, defence, midfield and attack all getting involved…Darren even thought it would be great to get Kier involved, although sliced it back and out for a corner from about 30 yards…the resulting corner was dealt with, but the ball got played back in as Hemingford pushed up…two offside, clear as day…however a deflection / header from Ballsey was deemed enough to change the phase of play, and the Brampton forwards shuffled up the chance. 3-1, 15 mins to play. Game over? Not with this Hemingford side.
We went again. Glen somehow managing to find even more energy than the first half, kept us ticking over, Gav a constant threat, and Couls showing the composure that some us (ie me!) could only dream of (intentionally skipped over the fantastic move that ended with Jack playing me through, for me to do all the hard work in bringing the ball down, before twatting the ball about 40 yards over the bar from 15 yards out…won’t mention that one).
The ball fell to Couls in the 18 yard box…he knew he had his man beat, turning him inside out before driving the ball into the far corner. 3-2, 5 to go….
We kept on pushing….there was no way we were letting this game get past us. The ball was kept moving at every chance…then that feeling of deja vu arose…Couls picked up the ball in the 18 yard box again…turned his man once more, and finished hard and low! 3-3!! But not quite finished yet…
The joy and ecstasy was clear…if there had been another 5 or 10 minutes, I reckon we would have had them…but with barely two to play, the better choice was to close it out…Brampton however had one more attack, and the ever dangerous CF got through on goal! Ballsey, Darren and Jolly chased him down, Kier came charging out, and the right result arose, with the CF hitting over due to all the pressure.
Great game, great performances, and at the time of writing (but think nailed on) Glen comes away with MoM.
Sorry if I missed anything!
Hemingford Vets vs Godmanchester Vets
Sunday 5th February 2023
On a beautiful, bright Sunday morning a strong Hemingford squad of 15 assembled to face a usually strong Godmanchester team that we had not beaten for over two years.
The Hemingford boys were keen and eager to start, out on the pitch warming up 20 minutes before kick-off. Godmanchester on the other hand were a bit sluggish as none of their players left the changing room until about 2 minutes before kick-off, leaving us to speculate as to which players Godmanchester would field this time around. It appeared that they had not brought any of their ‘danger-men’ from last year! A nice psychological start!
Hemingford lined up in a familiar 3-5-2 formation, with Ball-Bags at centre-back and right-back respectively and Tatham at left-back. Centre midfielders were Gally, Sedgy & Nigel, Left-wing we had Couls, Right-wing was Alex and then Jack and Gav up top! A strong subs bench saw Two’s, Josh, Kev A and new boy Kev (yes, another Kev) waiting in the wings and knowing exactly what their roles were going to be when they entered the field of play!
As we kicked off, Hemingford were on the front foot with most of the possession forcing a good few goal kick’s. Their keeper kept the sluggish theme going, taking what seemed like an age to take each goal kick……”come-on” we shouted, to which he replied….”f*ck off”! Top quality banter!
Hemingford were far more comfortable against Goddy than we had been in the past 3 or 4 meetings, forcing corners, plenty of breaks down the wings, plenty of shots, but we just could not break the deadlock – their keeper made some decent saves to be fair, particularly from a corner that was headed well at point blank range.
The deadlock was broken after 20 minutes as a switched ball from Bags was intercepted by the Goddy winger who attacked our goal in a central position. Tatham rushed back and jockeyed until nicking the ball off him 25 yards out from the Hemingford goal. Tatham then drove (yes, drove) down the left flank and released a long ball over the top for Jack to chase, get to the by-line and crossed nicely into the path of Alex to side foot firmly home! 1-0 Hemingford! One observer noted that it is quite hard to tell which one of the Mitchell Brothers (Jack & Alex) has scored when your sat watching from the back three!
Hemingford had the wind in their sails now and were controlling the game in every area of the pitch forcing waves of attacks and snuffing out any chance of a Goddy counter. The next goal came soon after some nice passing play from Gav and arrived at the feet of Couls 18 yards out and with great composure, took a touch, dropped the shoulder and dispatched in the bottom right corner! 2-0 Hemingford!
Goddy started to give it back and forced a good few corners, one of which came after a rifled shot that was flying into to the bottom right-hand corner but fantastically tipped around the post by Kieran with an amazing diving save down to his left!
Hemingford were getting much more joy attacking down the left and as we kept pressing, the third goal came soon after with Alex beating the on-rushing keeper and nipping the ball underneath him to scored his second and our third! 3-0 Hemingford!
Very soon after, Goddy pulled one back completely against the run of play, but it showed how dangerous they could be and Hemingford were not to get complacent! 3-1 Hemingford!
The yellow storm rallied quickly and got straight back into their rhythm and extended the score-line just before half-time with a right footed shot from Couls past the keeper making it 4-1 Hemingford!
During the break, Kieran rallied the troops and encouraged the front press and use of the wings. Sedgy made the point that we could now go one of two ways………we either go for the jugular and focus on thrashing them, or we become complacent and let them back into the game! We collectively agreed to choose the former! The complex substitution algorithm was employed which saw changes on 30 mins, 45 mins and 60 mins and all four subs were now on the field and others on rotation.
As the second half started, we unfortunately appeared to choose the second option of becoming complacent and capitulating slightly and allowed Goddy to pull two goals back in quick succession making the score-line 4-3 Hemingford very quickly!
It was at this point that the encouraging rallying cry from Bags came “This is just f*cking shit! This is just dog-shit”! (I thought he was being pretty hard on himself).
Kieran soon sniffed out where the danger was coming from, made some structural changes and soon after, normal business was resumed and Hemingford started to get back on top!
Gav had a one on one with their keeper, but seemed to have ‘too-much’ time and hit the side netting, but soon after made up for it. Josh, cut in from the left wing, took a shot and hit the bar! The ball dropped to Gav who neatly finished first time on the volley! 5-3 Hemingford!
Ballsy decided to have a personal dual with Tommo on the Goddy side and enjoyed a final 15 minutes of trying to hurt him! Banter.
Gally increased the score-line further with another storming run through the middle which found him in front of goal to slide home 6-3 Hemingford!
Towards the end of the game, the win was sealed when the ball landed at the feet of Josh at the far post who controlled and despatched at his near post! 7-3 Hemingford!
There was one last chance for Hemingford to score with a counter-attack where we had 4 vs 2 – Couls led the break away and could be heard screaming “don’t you dare, Smithy!!! Don’t you dare Smithy”! in the knowledge that Smithy was very likely to ruin the moment by blowing the final whistle! Smithy obliged but the 8th goal unfortunately didn’t come!
Final Score: Hemingford Vets 7-3 Godmanchester Vets
Lovely cheese & ham rolls provided by Josh.
Locally sourced and free-range chicken nuggets provided by Alex.
Man-of-the-match – Gally.
Hemingford Vets vs Burwell Vets
Sunday 29th January 2023
A last minute change to a home fixture ( Burwell’s pitch being waterlogged) saw frantic arrangements for post-match food , with Tel and Kingy stepping up to the mark. The extra 40 minutes or so of a lie-in was also much appreciated, except for Andy Jolly who had to re-set his alarm …some you win…!
With not much ‘intel’ on the visitors Kieran’s pre-match brief concentrated on the need to be more productive in front of goal and to concentrate on the first touch on a heavy and bobbly pitch. Promising at least 60 mins or a half each depending on individuals’ requirements the starting line-up looked strong with similar strength in depth on the bench. Burwell looked to have several ‘portly’ players on show prior to kick-off which may have given a false impression because the early exchanges showed they had some pace up front and could mix it in midfield whilst their keeper, despite being shorter than the average No.1 looked to have safe hands.
Settling into the game it was soon obvious that conditions underfoot would be a bit of a leveller as both teams struggled to find passes and the first ten minutes or so became a battle to control the midfield. Hemingford’s defence had not been troubled too much when a long ball upfield bounced awkwardly and their mobile centre came out of a challenge from Ballsy with the ball at his feet and strode ten yards before scooping the ball up and over the advancing Kieran to give the visitors an unlikely lead with their first real chance.
Stung into action Hemingford began to create chances of their own but a combination of bad luck and missed opportunities kept the score at 0-1 despite the best efforts of Couls, with a free-kick that just cleared the crossbar, Jack being a constant threat with his characteristic strong running (although he will want to forget an air-shot after nudging the ball with his standing foot before attempting a cross) and Twos launching himself, cruise missile-like, into a scissors shot at goal which would have been spectacular, had any contact been made with the ball ! Meanwhile Kieran having been left exposed for the goal was mostly an observer for the rest of the half as Tel, Ballsy and Stu coped with anything that came their way.
With such dominance it was surely only a matter of time before an equaliser came and after a number of close shaves Burwell finally conceded, Jack getting the goal his hard work deserved with a tap-in from close range. Now the pressure began to show and the opposition had to cope with Gav running at them from the right and then Josh doing the same after coming on 30 minutes in for Nigel who, at his now official 60 years young, had to depart to play in another fixture at Buckden. Andy Jolly had also joined the fray, freeing Ballsy into left midfield and he was twice denied what looked like decent penalty claims with ref Smithy unmoved….the injured Kev Hirst would have had a word or two ! As it was, Burwell survived the onslaught and at half-time the score remained level at 1-1.
More promised changes were made after the break with King Snr. replacing Stu and Kev Anderson on up front. Bagsy took up station at centre-back allowing Andy Jolly to move into midfield , displaying his customary calm under pressure. The second half resumed in the same vein as the first, with Hemingford looking to capitalise on their continued dominance. Chances came and went , again as a combination of some missed opportunities and the increasingly difficult pitch but the deadlock was finally broken when a perfectly whipped in-swinging corner from Couls caused panic in the opposing defence and their full-back turned the ball into his own net. With the wind in their sails now Hemingford went for the kill and following good work in midfield Sedge was presented with the sort of chance he seldom passes up to drive home from around 18 yards. To be fair to Burwell though, and despite appearing to be carrying some ‘timber’, they stuck to the task and began to find some spaces down the right, forcing a couple of corners which were dealt with by the home defence. With just ten minutes remaining a gilt-edged chance to reduce the deficit saw the ball break to their tall centre who steadied himself before connecting cleanly with a fierce volley from around eight yards out, only to be denied by an outstanding reflex save from Kieran who got a strong left hand to the ball to divert it away for another corner, which was cleared away. Having had virtually nothing to do for most of the second half this was top-drawer goalkeeping and prevented a potentially edgy final few minutes. As it happened, Josh put the result beyond doubt with a close range finish shortly afterwards.
Final score 4-1 and certainly a well deserved victory but with a nod to Burwell who never stopped competing and the match played out in the best of spirits. Man of the match went to a very humbled Stu Smith, who for once couldn’t seem to do much wrong…thanks guys, at my age that meant a great deal . Next up, Godmanchester are the visitors on Sunday 5th February.29
Hemingford Vets vs Buckden Vets
Sunday 8th January 2023
Sorry, I got bored of writing at half-time so bullet pointed the second half!!
The opening match of the year saw a healthy turnout from the Hemingford squad, no less than 20 eager beavers believing that their new year’s resolution of more exercise and less alcohol would last past mid-January!
Buckden came with a squad of 12 so Hemingford did the right thing and donated 4 of their finest assets to give Buckden a long awaited chance of beating the Yellow army. Josh, Chris, Big Kev and Stuart did the noble thing and put themselves forward to don the famous black and white stripes of Buckden – well done chaps!
Hemingford started with a now familiar 3-5-2 formation with Kieran in goal, Ballsy, JK and Terry at the back, Alex and Paul on the wings with a ‘dream’ midfield of Gally, Couls and Sedge with Jack and Gav up top! We had a strong bench with Walshy, Kingy and Kev A knowing exactly what their roles would be on introduction.
Before the game kicked off, there was a respectful minutes applause observed from both sides as a mark of respect for the late Carl Circus, a well loved and admired former Hemingford player.
Just before kick-off, it was decided that we would play 12 vs 12 so on came Kev A for us to give us width and Alex up front.
As we kicked off it was apparent that the pitch was going to make things tricky – a heavy, bobbly sticky pitch was not ideal for Hemingford’s passing game! Hemingford were comfortable with most of the possession, plenty of forward running down the wings but end product was at a premium! Buckden looked threatening on the break but generally our stellar defence mopped everything up with ease!
Buckden got an early corner, and using the wind well, curled it right to the back post where it was headed home with relative ease – 1-0 Buckden
Hemingford continued to dominate possession (or that’s how it felt) and they had a good few chances, but again, the end product was not there, scuffed shots, missed hit shots, weak shots – it just wasn’t happening! Another counter attack came from Buckden with a clinical end product, slotting in to the bottom left hand corner 2-0 Buckden
Hemingford didn’t let their heads drop and kept pressing for a goal – it was coming! We could all feel it coming! Unfortunately, goal number 3 went to Buckden again!!! Another counter attack ended with the ball being slotted into the bottom right hand corner in fairly similar fashion to second 3-0 Buckden
There was still a good 25 minutes of the first half left and the mutual feeling amongst the Hemingford players that we could overturn the deficit was palpable! Within 5 minutes of the restart, the ball found Alex on the right hand side just outside the area who weaved past one or two defenders and smashed the ball into the roof of the net!!! 3-1 Buckden GAME ON!
Hemingford had the wind in their sales now and were in the ascendancy, forcing at least 6 corners and numerous shooting chances. The next goal came when it found the feet of Jack-in-the-box with his back to goal and in came Big Kev in a ‘Chopper Harris’ style and absolutely scythed Jack down!! -Referee Smithy had no choice but to award the penalty! In reality, he clipped his ankle and he didn’t fall, but hey-ho, we were happy to profit from Smithy’s biased decisions against Big Kev on this occasion!! The penalty was slid home by Sedge, with his ‘Hazardous Waste’ tape around his ankles to make the scoreline 3-2 Buckden – now Hemingford could smell blood!
Another notable moment was JK conceding a free-kick 25 yards out – he looked as though he would be going up for a 50-50 header but decided against it and jabbed the poor fella in the balls instead. It was a professional foul which resulted in no goal being scored, great decision making JK!
With 5 minutes left in the first half, the ball came to Jack on the left hand side of the box who found his feet and smashed it into the top left hand corner 3-3!! Hemingford were back!
Paul missed a sitter from 10 yards out, choosing to smash it with his weaker left foot as opposed to side footing it with his right – dreamt about that mistake.
At half-time, Kingy replaced Kev A and Sedge (being cautious) came off for Walshy.
Couls scored a screamer from 20 yards+ in a Tony Yeboah sort of way, hitting the underside of the bar at pace and smashing home! 4-3 Hemingford
A Hemingford corner saw plenty of shots and blocks before it got driven home by Alex! 5-3 Hemingford
Other changes in the second half saw Kev A come on for Terry and Stuart come on for Paul.
A lovely move from Hemingford saw Alex score his 3rd and Hemingford’s 6th only for the lino to wave it offside!
Gally rushed over to the touchline and begged for Vaseline as his thighs were chafing!!!
Buckden pulled one back through loanee Josh!! A far post header (I think) Josh celebrated A LOT! 5-4 Hemingford! GAME BACK ON!
Buckden then equalised with a screaming bullet header! Not sure which player scored it though! 5-5 All to play for!!
A Buckden corner was driven out to the edge of the box where their centre back (who was 60 odd apparently) cooly controlled and volleyed it into the top left corner – great goal to be fair! 6-5 Buckden.
Josh mentioned he hadn’t ever burnt so many calories in a match as he had chasing Alex.
Piercy gets the bragging rights.
Final Score: Hemingford Vets 5 – 6 Buckden Vets
MOM went to Alex
Match Report: By Paul Tatham
Hemingford Vets vs Fenstanton Vets
4th December 2022
Leaden grey skies , steady drizzle and a barely perceptible wind made for ideal playing conditions , although a ten degree hike in temperature would have been appreciated. Jack vowed to stay in the changing room until a minute before kick-off whilst a blowtorch was needed to prise Stu’s fingers from the handlebars of his bike.
Fenstanton provided the opposition for a local derby with Gal and Aaron keen to do well against some well-known faces. Everyone else was keen for the final whistle as Gav’s missus had, once again , made her speciality sausage rolls. Tradition has it that a game must be played first however , and so it was down to business with the now familiar 3-5-2 formation with Kieran in goal, Stu, Ballsy and Tel at the back, Gally, Paul, Nigel Glen and the welcome return of Chris Parker in midfield whilst Jack and Gav went in search of goals up front. From the outset it was clear that the opposition forwards had some pace but with Paul tracking back to provide extra cover on the right , Tel as uncompromising as ever and Ballsy determined to keep tabs on their centre Goose, Hemingford rarely looked troubled. On a heavy pitch Glen was showing his class with some lovely touches and probing through balls. Chris was finding his feet after a long absence but lost them momentarily to succumb to the invisible sniper and again shortly afterwards when he became the sausage in a Fenstanton roll, ending up in a heap on the touchline. Thankfully there was no dugout to break his fall ( or ribs) this time and he was soon pinging his customary crosses into dangerous areas. Did someone mention sausage rolls ?
Hemingford were steadily taking control of the game and it was only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken , Gal it was who latched onto a through ball to round the keeper and open the scoring against his old mates. Jack had looked dangerous and come close on a number of occasions but it was Gav who got the second , taking a dozen or so touches to steady himself before tapping into an empty net following a whipped cross into the box from the right. The home side looked good for their lead but as half time approached it was Fenstanton who reduced the arrears with a well-taken strike from just inside the box into the bottom right corner. HT 2-1
Planned changes saw King snr take up the left back role with Dave and Walshey also entering the fray and Gav taking a short breather to give newcomer Mike (whose physique resembled that of a rugby player….with good reason, as he is a rugby player) a run up front. Rugby player up front…surely a ‘first’ for Hemingford ? To be fair, however, he is obviously a natural sportsman and was unlucky not to get on the end of several trademark deliveries from Jack. More goals were inevitable though, and as Fenstanton, lacking the continuity of games enjoyed by Hemingford visibly tired it became one-way traffic with Glen enjoying himself and fairly gliding through the mud showing real class, apart from his shot which almost certainly ended up in the Great Ouse and as I type this will be floating through Ely (sorry Glen). 2-1 quickly became 7-1 with goals , in no particular order from a Walshey right -footer (surely another ‘first’) ? , Mike (first goal for Hemingford by a rugby man) ? , Jack from a pen awarded by referee Smithy (definitely a first) ! and a brace to complete his hat-trick from Gav who started his run for the first of these from somewhere near the old A14 to connect with a low cross from the right and then mis-directed a cross of his own into the net off their keeper’s palm.
There was still time for yet another first when Kingy was bowled over by an over-enthusiastic Fenstanton winger and actually got his shirt dirty…although he did point out that his socks were still clean ! They were always going to be as he strolled around taking and giving his customary short passes, always showing for the ball and keeping possession. With the final sausage-roll whistle just minutes away the largely unemployed Kieran pulled off a wonder save from a wicked deflection, but was powerless to prevent the visitors grabbing a second and consolation after a scramble from the resulting corner. FT 7-2 , a result achieved by a team in form, playing good football which ultimately wore down and exhausted the opposition who were gracious in defeat and played the whole game in the best of spirits.
As Nigel helped to lock up the goalposts and then sweep out the changing room the final ‘first’ was recorded when he WASN’T first to the sausage rolls. With a nod to political correctness my person of the match award is, naturally, Gav’s missus.
Hemingford Vets vs Moulton Vets
27th November 2022
Another dreary Sunday in November did not deter 16 fine men assembling to represent Hemingford against a strong looking squad of 14 from Moulton.
The pre-match team talk from Kieran saw us start with the same 3-5-2 formation that has served us well this season thus far! 5 subs meant a fairly complicated formula of changes in personnel that included Walshy starting for 30, coming off for 30 then returning for the last 30! Walshy gave a less than optimistic assessment of his own ability to return for the last 30!
Starting line up saw Kieran in goal, Ball-Bags sandwiching JK in the back three, Kev A and Walshy wing backs, with Two’s & Andy centre mid with Couls pulling the strings just advanced behind Jack & Gav up top. Starting on the bench was Nigel, Paul, Glen, Kingy and Josh.
As the match kicked off it became apparent that this would be a good contest with Moulton matching Hemingford with pace, strength and passing ability – particularly their left midfielder who had some quality. Hemingford started to look the most dangerous of the two with at least 3 good charges down the right wing with great crosses from Kev A, notably one which Ballsy connected with at the far post – straight at the keeper who parried back only for Ballsy to balls it up, straight over the bar! Missed sitter number 1. (To be fair though, his was right-back! What a run!)
The deadlock was soon broken with another great cross from Kev A landing on a beautifully cushioned header from Couls at the far post for Jack to despatch! 1-0 Hemingford!
Moulton kept pressing and eventually won a contentious free-kick on the edge of the box. Their aforementioned left midfielder struck a goal-bound cracking free-kick that was thankfully matched by an even more cracking tip over the bar from Kieran – awesome!
The second goal for Hemingford came with great interchange play that saw Paul flying (grinding) down the left wing, cutting the ball back for Jack who controlled and despatched cooly into the bottom right hand corner! 2-0 Hemingford!
The second half brought changes with Ball-Bags being relieved [of their duties] by Kingy and Josh, Glen swapping with Two’s and Nigel swapping with Andy.
Even with the changes, Hemingford overcame the potential lack of continuity and remained dominant with several through balls to Gav and Jack that could have resulted in an extended lead, most notably Gav striking the foot of the post at one point! JK was patrolling the back like a Rolls-Royce, Kingy Senior just seems to have so much time on the ball, Glen & Andy adding quality to the centre of the park, Bags was producing a display equal to last week’s MoM performance and Josh was solid at right back with industrious advancing runs!
Some nice diagonal balls were coming over to the left from the right, one of which fell at the feet of Paul who diagonally from 12 yards thought in the heat of the moment that a Thierry Henry finish into the far right bottom corner was to be fruitful! Unfortunately it was a pathetic shot straight at the keeper! Missed sitter number 2! The shot was parried straight at the feet of Gav who skied it over the bar from 6 yards! Missed sitter number 3!
Soon after, Jack chased down another seemingly lost cause, managed to turn on the by-line and produce a pin-point cross for Couls to header assertively into the bottom left hand corner! 3-0 Hemingford!
The game became a bit scrappy as legs got tired on the boggy bobbly pitch – a 50:50 saw Nigel kick a Moulton players shin pads so hard that it sounded like a shin had snapped!!! Animal!
More changes to the Hemingford formation brought a bit more disruption to our game with Moulton pressing more during a 5-10 min spell with one attack resulting in a scrappy comedy of defensive errors that saw the ball bobble over legs and over to their striker who finished from 6 yards. 3-1 Hemingford
With 10 minutes left, Paul got so frustrated with himself and a string of errors that he subbed himself off for Jack who had taken a rest – a tactical masterstroke! Knowing that the 1 man strike-force of Two’s was never going to bear fruit, Jack came back on and produced a pin-point cross onto the head of Two’s who headed way over the bar from 6 yards – Missed sitter number 4 – although Two’s confirmed that this was completely Jack’s fault for not crossing low!!!!
With five minutes left Jack played a nice one-two with Two’s and duly despatched for his hat-trick!! 4-1 Hemingford
Final Score – Hemingford 4 – 1 Moulton
MoM – Jack Randal
Sandwiches and snacks supplied by Josh and JK. Very nice.
Hemingford Vets vs Houghton Vets.
Sunday 13th November 2022
A midweek call to arms by Kieran had the desired result, swelling the initial 11 ‘availables’ to a strong 15 and releasing Stu to the very important job of collecting the subs and running the line. The fixture has produced some feisty encounters in the past and this one was sure to be no different with the home side fielding a strong line up. Kieran stuck with the 3,5,2 formation which has served well in recent weeks and it was good to see Martin returning to form a formidable defensive partnership with Terry and JK. A two minutes silence was well observed by both sides prior to kick-off.
As expected, it was fast and furious from the start but Hemingford suffered an early set-back when, after just 2 minutes, a penalty was awarded for a push in the back as the ball was lofted into the area. Bosjo made no mistake from the spot. It seemed a harsh decision but a response was required and the midfield battle began in earnest. Couls was keeping cool under pressure and linking well as both Kev Anderson on the left and Alex on the right enjoyed some good possession. Lewis, meanwhile was everywhere, snapping at heels and driving play forward. Up front Gav and Jack had a couple of sighters and the pressure finally paid off when the latter got ahead of his marker to deflect a cross past the home keeper for a deserved equaliser. Once more the midfield was the scene of some hefty challenges whilst the Hemingford back three held firm, restricting Houghton to few chances. As half time approached Alex stretched to touch the ball past their full back, cut in from the right and unleashed a scorcher from the edge of the area into the far top corner. A great strike and again well deserved on the balance of play. HT 1-2
Changes were made after the break , bringing Sedge back into action after injury as well as Nige Parker, Aaron and Josh but before any of them could really settle another penalty, again well converted by Bosjo brought the scores level, the ball having bounced awkwardly and striking a Hemingford arm inside the area. Undeterred, by this however and driven on by some solid midfield work the tide was turning in Hemingford’s favour. A number of full-blooded challenges were going in and Sedge was relishing locking horns (quite literally at one point) with his opposite number…no love lost there but great credit has to go to their referee, who kept a lid on things just when it could have boiled over. There were definitely more goals in the game and, increasingly, it was the visitors who were asking more of the questions as first Couls, and then Jack tried their luck from free kicks. Couls’s effort being blocked and Jack’s crashing down from the underside of the crossbar with the keeper beaten. Minutes later his cross-shot agonisingly evaded Gav’s despairing lunge but not to be denied and with 20 minutes remaining he once again managed to get ahead of his marker to glance home a header. Hemingford now had the wind in their sails and a through ball from Nigel sent Jack chasing off to the edge of their box. Turning his man he advanced on goal and from an acute angle crashed a shot off their keeper into the roof of the net to give a two-goal cushion.
Several free kicks had been conceded by both sides in dangerous positions throughout the game and as Houghton tried to claw their way back into contention the largely untroubled Kieran had to be at his very best to keep out a looping header, destined for the top corner , palming the ball to safety via the far post. There was no let-up as full time approached and testament to the fitness of both teams the game was never stretched but Hemingford held out comfortably for a fine 4-2 victory. Not one player failed to do their job today and as this goes to press it looks like Jack for M.O.M. again but tremendous performances all over the pitch .
Hemingford Vets vs Burwell Vets.
Sunday 6th November 2022
I think this week’s match report deserves to be kicked off with a special mention to the post-match refreshments. Stuart – your sandwiches were great mate, but the home made sausage rolls provided by Gav (or his other half) were first class! Substantial amount of sausage meat perfectly wrapped in a flaky, buttery and light pastry, beautifully seasoned and coming in two varieties; mustard and apple – first class!
After an early scare of a potential postponement due to rain, 16 fine men representing Hemingford arrived at the pavilion at around 10am just as the rain had stopped, which was the exact prediction of our resident weatherman – Neil King.
Kieran conducted the pre-match team talk with an emphasis on attacking, high press and having fun! After a debrief from some of the lads at Newmarket last week, we fully expected to have a comfortable morning against this newly formed Burwell outfit. We kept the 3-5-2 formation that had served us very well this season thus far, Kieran in goal, Stuart, Nigel & Josh at the back Lewis and Andy in the centre with Couls slightly advanced, two wing backs with a combined age pushing 100 in Paul and Kev with Jack and Gav up front. Our subs bench was strong, with all 5 knowing where they will be playing after half time (Bagnall, Simon, Ballsy, Kingy and new recruit, Glen).
We started on the front foot with wave upon wave of attacks but conditions just kept taking the final through ball away from the front two. Eventually after about 8-10mins the deadlock was broken – a diagonal ball over the top for Jack to chase, he got there just ahead of the on-rushing keeper and managed to chip the ball over him from 20 yards out, a great finish. 1-0 Hemingford.
Burwell had three or four attacks but the back three were in control and rarely troubled! The vocal direction and encouragement from Nigel is always reassuring as he relentlessly encouraged the high press and squeeze! We conceded a couple of corners which were defended stoutly, one of which left Stu lying flat on his back with a thud! We thought he was dead! Turns out he was just taking his fully entitled 10 second count – he rose on 9 seconds and defended superbly for the rest of the half!
The two midfielders, Lewis and Andy were tying everything together and had the centre of the park under complete control taking the ball from defence to attack and switching to the wings with relative ease. the two forwards Jack and Gav, chasing everything down.
Goal number two came after more forward attacking play from Hemingford, the ball landed at the feet of Couls on the edge of the 18 yard box who coolly dropped his shoulder twice to create space before slotting into the bottom right hand corner with composure. 2-0 Hemingford.
The Burwell centre forward was carrying a bit of timber but was deceptively quick on occasion and found himself with a few shooting chances, one of which he connected with cleanly and powerfully and was destined for the bottom right hand corner – most of us thought it was going in, but Kieran made a superb save down to his left and then got up quickly to smother the ball before it could be put despatched.
Soon after, the score line had been increased further as Gav was put through down the right flank and drove a low cross into the 6 yard box which was deflected in by the on-rushing Burwell centre back. 3-0 Hemingford.
The fourth goal came from a corner out from the right and this was arguably the best goal of the game if not season! As the ball got headed out of the box, Paul brought the ball down and volleyed in the same motion straight into the top right hand corner from 25 yards out – it was almost a carbon copy of Matt Le Tissier’s second goal against Newcastle in 1993 – watch here – https://www.youtube.com/
Hemingford were coasting now and perhaps becoming a little bit complacent, Burwell hit us on the break and we allowed their striker to get forward after too many of us had committed going forward, he cut inside and duly despatched a nice finish. 4-1 Hemingford
The second half brought a complete change to our back 3 with Bagnall, Ballsy and Kingy bringing up the rear guard! Couls had limped off just before half-time with a thigh injury making way for Glen who impressed on his debut. Simon replaced Lewis in centre midfield as we returned to field with the same 3-5-2 formation.
The second half started completely differently from the first, we were dithering on the ball, we were not passing and keeping possession and we allowed Burwell to break through and score two goals in quick succession bringing the score-line to 4-3 Hemingford.
We remained threatening going forward however and after a few tweaks with the formation, we retained our dominance. The defensive trio of Bagnall, Ballsy and Kingy became galvanised and were spraying the ball left and right between them in full control.
Lewis came back on to stem the midfield tide from Burwell and the impressive Glen was able to capitalise on a loose ball on the edge of the box and chip the keeper with what proved to be the second best goal of the game after Paul’s (the Burwell players were very specific when ranking our goals) – this goal was very reminiscent of a Phillipe Albert goal vs Man Utd in 1996 – watch here: https://www.youtube.com/
We then had a short interlude where ‘Crazy-Horse’ Jack decided he would try and keep up his leg-break and chest stamp statistics on his Opta ratings – he did well.
Josh came back on for the last 20 minutes to play left wing-back and got behind their defence on a couple of occasions and the final goal came from that side with Josh checking back, passing to Lewis who whipped in a cross that deceived everyone and curled into the far right hand corner – waved offside and disputed robustly by Burwell as they felt their new best friend, Jack, was interfering with play. Referee Smithy ran over to the VAR monitor and decided that even he couldn’t find a way of cheating us out of the goal no matter how much he wanted to, the goal stood 6-3 Hemingford.
In summary, we could have beaten these by 10 on another day, we got drawn down to their level of play, people witnessed one of the best goals ever scored and the sausage rolls made by Gav’s other half need to be supplied every match please.
Final Score: Hemingford 6-3 Burwell
MoM: Andrew Jolley
Newmarket 5-4 Hemingford
30 October 2022
The pitch could never be described as a bowling green but despite the uneven surface Hemingford settled first and were playing good possession football. A couple of early chances fell to the home side but it was Hemingford who opened the scoring when Dippy sent over an inviting cross from the left which evaded front runners Jack and Gav, as well as the Newmarket defence and looked to be going out for a goal kick. Paul had different ideas however, just managing to keep the ball in play and sending a low driven cross into the area where Jack, reacting quickest, got a telling touch to wrong-foot their keeper and find the far corner.
This seemed to spur the hosts on and five minutes later a speculative cross aided by the swirling wind, sailed high into Kieran’s top left corner. One of those ‘freak’ goals but, of course, they all count…1-1. No doubts though about their second, just 3 minutes later when the ball broke in midfield and was quickly played to their centre forward who hit a first-time shot with the outside of his boot into the right-hand corner. 1-2.
Losing two quick goals would unsettle a lesser side but with Nigel and Lewis linking well with Dippy on the left and Paul to the right Hemingford stuck to the task. Jack in particular was attracting some ‘robust’ attention but, call me old fashioned, I think he’s seen it all before and was proving well capable of looking after himself whilst creating chances with some inviting crosses and reverse passes. Very much with the run of play the home defence waspunished when their two centre backs ran into each other going for the same ball and Gav stabbed (by his own admission) is an 18-yard toe-poke which fairly flew past big Dave (a loanee from Red Bull, known and well respected by us at Hemingford). 2-2 and approaching half time but still time for Jack to scramble clear of yet another scrappy challenge and fire a low cross along the 6-yard line from way out on the left. It seemed as though Gav couldn’t miss as the ball flew through their defence to the back post but the uneven bounce saw the ball cannon off his shin and wide of the target.
Dippy gave way to Dave after the break and his pace was giving their full back something to think about. At the other end the back three of Josh, Gal and Terry held firm under increasing pressure as the game developed into a midfield battle with neither side really coming out on top. With 65 per minutes played however Newmarket scored another two quick-fire goals as first a deep cross evaded even the towering Gal and their forward kept his nerve to chest the ball down and beat Kieran’s dive at his feet to hit the roof of the net from close range. Worse was to follow when a low-struck corner bounced just ahead of Josh guarding the front post, somehow squeezed under his foot and was diverted into the net by Dave…another ‘freak’ goal.
Tel had played on with an increasingly tight calf but was eventually replaced by Stu whilst Dippy returned to give the ever-industrious Paul a well-earned rest. As if to demonstrate how the introduction of experience (age) can change a game Hemingford were back on level terms within ten minutes, (neither Stu or Dippy having touched the ball more than a couple of times). Firstly, Jack produced what will surely be goal of the season, breaking inside from the right and firing an unstoppable left-footer which flew past Dave into his far top corner. A strike which would have graced even the top level of the game. (Afterwards Dave admitted he knew it was going in and he wasn’t going to get anywhere near it !) 3-4. The equaliser came shortly afterwards from a tangle of bodies in their penalty area from the third corner in succession when Gal poked the loose ball home.
At this point it was either side’s game to win and sadly for Hemingford it came down to a late penalty when Gal stretched out a long leg and caught their forward as he made to shoot. The chance was taken and shortly afterwards the ref drew proceedings to a close. Most would agree that a draw would not have been an unfair result but the home side came away with the spoils of a hard-fought contest. Heroic performances throughout the Hemingford ranks for ultimately no reward. As this report goes to press it looks like Jack for M.O.M. for his tireless front-running and that goal, with mentions in dispatches for Gally, Lewis and the ever reliable Nigel.
Hemingford v Brampton
Compiled by JK
Cambs vets v Hemingford
Histon was the venue for this encounter with old rivals Cambs Vets. Once again, Kieran as skipper had a squad of 14 to choose from, Kev Anderson turning up just in time to be included in the subs having spent the night putting out fires…rather unconventionally with Moretti. Opting to stick with the 3,5,2 formation which worked so well against CUP the brief was to go for a good lead in the first half before changes were made to give everyone a game.
The pitch was firm and short, almost resembling a 4g due to the fact that (as Stu and Twos discussed prior to kick-off) it never rains in Eastern Anglia….reminds me of a song. Returning to the game itself however, Cambs looked to have a strong line up and Kieran asked for a high press and quick distribution , playing to our strengths. The early exchanges showed that Hemingford were definitely in the mood and the bulk of possession and chances came their way. Paul and Couls were able to find the hard running Gav and Jack with some beautifully lofted passes behind Cambs back four whilst Terry, Kev Hirst and Bagsy kept their busy front pair well in check. Jack , calibrating his sights, fired a shot just wide and then played a superb reverse pass which caught the Cambs defence completely by surprise, unfortunately it surprised Twos as well and despite his best efforts to dig the ball out of his feet the chance was lost. Andy Jolly and Alex were winning the midfield battle whilst Couls continued to pose a threat with his sublime passing. Twos had another shot blocked and Jack was frustrated to see a great effort come back off the post. It was not one-way traffic however, with Cambs coming more into the game and a tussle for the ball just inside the Hemingford box saw ref Smithy award what looked like a harsh penalty against big Kev. Justice was done however when the spot kick was placed wide of Kieran’s left hand post. The let-off was short lived though, with Cambs taking the lead after possession was lost in midfield and a quick break and low cross was converted with a tap-in. Undeterred and with plenty of time to make amends Hemingford stuck to the plan and were rewarded when Jack produced another brilliant reverse pass to put Gav clear to made no mistake with a low drive to level the match. With ten minutes to go to half time Jack had his reward for some great work, heading strongly home from yet another inch perfect Coulson cross. Kieran had been called on to make just one save, getting a strong hand to a fierce snap shot but was then forced to concede an indirect free kick by handling a rushed pass-back which would definitely have bounced into the net. Fortunately the massed ranks of the Hemingford defence held firm despite the kick coming from the edge of the six-yard box.
Subs Howie and Kev Anderson replaced Alex and Gav for the start of the second half and it wasn’t long before Hemingford increased their lead with Jack the provider this time, crossing low for Couls to get a deft touch sending the ball into the far corner. Obviously bored with proceedings Kev Anderson then decided to take on the entire Cambs defence and successfully dribbled past all but the last man , following up this heroic effort by felling the 6ft 2in Cambs defender ‘Hacker’ with a shoulder charge which left the latter doubled up on the turf and passers-by wondering if they’d just witnessed an earth tremor. Hemingford were definitely in the ascendency now and further goals from Alex and Jack took the game out of Cambs reach whilst Twos was unlucky to see a header strike the crossbar. Once again sterling efforts from all , tireless running from Jack and Gav , goal-line clearances by Paul and Kev Hirst and today the 5-1 result did not flatter.
CUP v HEMINGFORD
6 – 1 to Hemingford
Sunday 2nd October
On yet another fine day for football Hemingford travelled to the centre of Cambridge for a potentially tough test at CUP. With a squad of 14 to choose from skipper Kieran sent out a strong starting eleven with orders to build a comfortable lead by half time. Combined age of the bench comfortably exceeded the maximum possible break in snooker and, indeed the highest possible score with 3 darts. The firm and slightly damp surface suited two good passing teams but it was Hemingford who settled first and chances soon came their way, with Twos and Gav both unlucky for the ball to bobble just as they pulled the trigger.
Twos again went close with a header as the 5 man midfield provided the ammunition but with time running out in the first half it was Couls who got the opener, finishing off a good team move. In goal Kieran had little to do but sweep the occasional long ball whilst the opposition forwards could get no change from Baggsy JK Kev and Paul. Despite having by far the greater possession no more goals came Hemingford’s way as CUP battled hard to stay in the game and had their reward going off at half time just the one goal behind.
Paul took a well earned breather for the start of the second half, having kept their speedy winger quiet for the first 45 with Dippy going on in a changed formation. Hemingford again had the bulk of possession but the home defence were holding out…just. Eventually though, the pressure told with Couls netting from close range but almost immediately CUP pulled one back when a high ball gave their winger a clear run to send a low drive into the net despite Kieran’s best efforts. This proved to be a momentary set-back however as Couls completed the perfect hat-trick, heading home Howie’s pinpoint left-footed cross (there you go Howie) to restore the two goal advantage.
With 20 minutes remaining Paul came back to give Howie a break and reflect on his pinpoint left-foot skills and Stu made a first appearance of the season, giving Kev a breather after his usual commanding performance, Kev offering the sterling advice as he departed…..Stu…f***ing concentrate, which is Anglo Saxon for…f***ing concentrate !! Fortunately, the game was becoming stretched as the home side tired and further goals from Alex, looping the ball over their keeper and then an innocent bystander as the ball cannoned off some part of his anatomy into the net.
There was still time for Dippy to be felled by a wayward elbow as he turned their full back inside out, before the final drama when a goal-bound drive from Baggsy was handled by a defender. Whilst Baggsy and Twos ‘discussed’ who should take the spot-kick JK suggested Stu should take the chance to fulfil a personal aim to become the oldest vet scorer but by the time he made it to the opposition box Twos had converted and the rest of the team were trotting back for the restart ! Probably have missed anyway !
In the end then, a comfortable 6-1 but make no mistake it was not easily achieved. Tremendous work by all involved, particularly in a tight first half and tireless running by the midfield and front men, whilst the back four held firm against a good footballing side.
Vote of thanks to King snr who opted to run the line for the 90 despite being ready for action. As this goes to print it is looking like Couls for MOM. Next up is another away fixture against Goddy.
Hemingford Vets vs Cambridge Community Vets
Sunday 25th September
On arrival to the hallowed turf it was duly noted that CCV were keen and eager, many arriving early and not wanting to wait for the changing rooms to be unlocked, they changed in the field – no messing about. Conditions were perfect on what felt like a warm spring day, rain showers earlier in the week were meant to soften up the turf but no such luck – the going was still rock hard.
The first challenge of the day was to unlock the goals and in a scene reminiscent of Mission Impossible, we gathered to try and crack the codes to the two combination locks keeping the goals together! “It’s 3232”! “You can’t be putting the code in right”!!! “Try 2323”!…………..We were flapping! Mr Ranner came to the rescue – it’s 5544 for future reference….
As we got changed we were quite rightly reprimanded by Kingy Snr for not stepping up and sorting the post match sandwiches. No teacups were thrown and no hairdryer treatment deployed but the message was fully received and understood! It won’t happen again. In Terry’s defence, he did muster up 50 mini sausage rolls (46 left before kick-off) but I think a few of us expected a higher standard of cuisine from a man of Italian descent.
Kieran’s pre-match instructions were clear! He engineered an attacking formation with only 3 at the back (JK, Big Kev & Terry), 4 across midfield (Paul, Two’s, Matt & Gally) and then Couls sitting behind Gav and Jack. We were to take the game to CCV, take a 2-3 goal advantage into half-time and then become more defensive in the second half. Most importantly, we were to keep a high line with Kieran sweeping as it was a FACT that none of their players had the ability to score from 40 yards!
As we lined up ready to kick off, it was clear that Brexit had taken it’s toll on this eastern European outfit as at least 4 of their players appeared to be English! You could hear rumblings on their side line from their subs along the lines of “Ci angielscy gracze przychodzą tutaj i podrywają nam pracę”! Which is Polish for “These bloody English, coming over here and nicking our jobs”!
We kicked off and immediately showed that we were the most comfortable team in possession. This CCV team were exactly as we discussed – full of energy but unable to keep possession for long.
There were plenty of nice passages of passing football from Hemingford down both flanks and through the middle, it was great to have Couls back pulling some strings and linking midfield with attack.
Their right winger was young and fast so kept Paul & Terry busy – fortunately he had little end product! Terry mentioned he had been ‘megged’ a few times by this guy, but from where I was standing, Terry completely nullified him all half!
The first goal came from Hemingford with good passing play that resulted in a nice diagonal ball towards Jack who crossed perfectly for Gav to smash it home low – 1-0 Hemingford!
Their two centre-backs were solid with one in particular who was good on the ball – Jack had fun chasing them down, nipping at their heels and having his usual general argy-bargy! CCV brought on a sub at left back after 30 mins who livened things up for them and looked quite dangerous on the attack – he had seen Jack’s antics so wasn’t taking any chances……he wore a helmet.
Every CCV attack was completely snuffed out by Kingy Jnr, Kev, Terry and Kieran and it was done with style as on numerous occasions the ball was played in triangles amongst those 4 in a Manchester City style that then transitioned into another Hemingford attack – we were playing great football!
Matt and Two’s were solid and imperious in the middle, winning everything and keeping possession!
The second goal came from a corner, swung into the edge of the 6-yard box where Big Kev Van Dyke rose like a salmon and gave a deft touch, flicking the ball into the far corner! – 2-0 Hemingford!
The third goal came from a mistake from their keeper who swept the ball directly to Couls, who from 18 yards casually dropped the shoulder and sent the centre back the wrong way before slotting the ball home – pure composure! 3-0 Hemingford!
We went in at half-time completely in line with Kieran’s game plan! Changes on 30 mins and at half-time saw Chris replace Gally on the right, Kev Anderson replacing Paul on the left with Josh and Kingy Snr filling the full-back roles in a change of formation that saw Terry and Gav take a well-deserved rest.
The second half started as the first ended with Hemingford having the most possession and looking comfortable. Kingy Snr at left back kept their most dangerous winger quiet showing that you never lose the class! Cool, calm and collected passing at the back and into midfield remained for Hemingford – great to watch!
Kev Anderson looking lively on the left wing and causing their right back trouble!
Josh was solid and composed at right back and Gally who moved into centre back was winning everything in the air!
Captain Sedge with his wrist in plaster was in the crowd to give the boys a boost!
Hemingford very quickly increased their lead with a powerful burst down the wing and pinpoint cross from Chrissy Parker, falling at the feet of Jack who had work to do and had to be strong but slotted home at the second time of asking!! 4-0 Hemingford!
The game settled, injuries crept in for some and the squad rotation policy kicked in again as more changes were made.
The game became stretched and disjointed as tiredness crept in but Hemingford managed to extend the lead further! After a bit of pin-ball on the edge of the CCV box the ball was swept out left by Kingy Jnr into the path of Paul T who nodded down and crossed for Jack to slot home and bag his brace! 5-0 Hemingford!
It would have been fantastic for Hemingford to claim their third consecutive clean sheet but it wasn’t to be, CCV had other ideas! With 6 minutes to go, driving through the middle, the ball fell at the feet of their 6ft 5inch centre midfielder who pinged a ball from 40 yards………. everyone stopped, it was slow motion………straight over Kieran and into the top right hand corner!!! You could hear screams of “O mój Boże! Najlepsze pojemniki! Co za światowy”! Which is Polish for “Oh my god! Top bins! What a worldy”!
Fair play! It was a great goal that anyone would have been proud of! Four minutes later, the ball fell at the same guy’s feet again………….”he’s not going to try it again is he????? He is you know”! 40 yards out again, he pulls the trigger and again, the ball flies over Kieran but this time into the top left hand corner!!! As the final whistle blew you could hear rumblings from their players saying “Miej trochę tego opiekuna! Powiedziałeś, że nigdy nie zdobędziemy punktów z odległości 40 jardów”! Which is Polish for “Have some of that Keeper! You said we’d never score from 40 yards”
Man of the match: Jason King – pure class at the back all game and gives us all an extra couple of seconds on the ball.
Final Score Hemingford 5-2 Cambridge Community
Well done Hemingford!
Stilton Vets vs Hemingford Vets
Sunday 18th September 2022
For the first weekend in a long time we woke up to a much more autumnal cold and windy climate in contrast to the warm and still playing conditions that we had been spoilt with for months that suited Hemingford’s passing game. Beware Stilton, a yellow storm was on it’s way!
Unfortunately this Hemingford side had become a victim of it’s own success and growing popularity, as for the first tim the Sky Sports cameras demanded a move from the usual 10:30am kick-off, to a much less than ideal 2pm kick-off to cater for the growing interest from their huge eastern Asian fan base. It was mentioned a few times that the last time anyone had kicked off at this time on a Sunday was in the late 1990’s!!
Lot’s of unavailability amongst the squad this week due to injuries and perhaps the lack of willingness to give up the habitual Sunday afternoon drinking routine, however the chosen 15 were positive and strong! An average age pushing 50 but there were no blue veins on these experienced legs in Stilton!
Kicking off at 2pm was a challenge to some regarding the usual pre-match dietary routine, for some playing on a full stomach (full all-day breakfast with extra black pudding) with lunch consumed only 45 minutes before kick-off! Not sue there was much attention being paid to proteins, complex carbs and quick burning fats!
The kit this week was dry – the first psychological battle won.
(Apologies, I can’t remember many specific moments from the first half??? 😊)
Hemingford lined up with a 4-4-2 formation with Bagnall, Ballsy, Kev and Terry at the back, Josh and Paul on the wings with Two’s and Matt in the centre and then Gav and Jack up front! Playing with the wind behind them, Stilton were obviously a decent passing side and favoured the long diagonal ball from their quality centre back who could quite easily be the long lost twin brother of Spratty from Buckden! Fortunately for us, either these long balls were cut out by Bagnall, Kev and Ballsy or the left winger rarely controlled the ball as the wind took it time after time for a throw or goal kick!
Hemingford settled early and grabbed an early goal some how from Jack who turned from 20 yards hit a tame-ish (for Jack) shot that rolled towards the keeper who somehow fumbled it and let it roll into the net 1-0 Hemingford! This goal has not made Jack’s cut for his own 101 Great Goals video, but they all count! 😊
After 20 minutes, Stilton introduced a centre midfielder (number 10) who had arrived late but immediately had an impact on the game as they played with 3 quality central midfielders who were starting to control the game!
Hemingford had some decent spells of passing and interchange play through midfield and down the wings but Stilton were playing with 3 at the back with wing-backs pushing up which really stifled our ability to build wide from the back. Nevertheless, Hemingford still had lot’s of attacking spells and forced a good few corners, but shots on target were few and far between.
The last 20 minutes of the first half saw Stilton taking more and more control but our solid back four and Kieran defended brilliantly to keep us 1-0 up going into the break.
Kieran rallied the troops at half time and identified the need for us to move more bodies into central midfield and play with 3 at the back – Captain for the day, Two Touch concurred!
Personnel changes at half-time saw Messrs Howard, Dippy, Simon and Alex replacing Gav, Paul, Josh and Bagnall.
The second half was very much the same as the latter part of the first but Hemingford were doing better to quell the central midfielders with more bodies in there battling away – Two Touch and Matt certainly earning their money this week with a hard fought battle! Howard looked lively in the second half and was really fired up, very vocal and organising the high press, with at least two shots on target, came close to increasing Hemingford’s lead against the run of play!
Alex looked lively on the wing, forcing their full-back to retreat a few times, nearly breaking one of their centre-back’s in two and linking up well with Howard!
Dippy looking assured as ever in possession, Simon adding some grit into midfield.
More personnel changes needed due to injuries as the second half went on, the game got a bit stretched as Stilton chased the equaliser and Hemingford having chances on the counter attack or break-away from Stilton’s corner!
All in all, it wasn’t Hemingford’s finest 90 minutes and hats off to Stilton who played very well with apparently 6 of their usual starters not there – so we will need to be ready for the return leg!
However! The ends justifies the means and we came away with another clean sheet! That’s two consecutive clean sheets when we didn’t manage one last year!
No Man of the Match decided as of yet, but I think anyone from Kieron, Ballsy, Bagnall, Kev, Terry, Two’s and Matt would deserve a mention for their battling performances and stifling Stilton enough to keep the clean sheet! Well done Hemingford!
Buckden (a) 11/9
In the first official vets game of the season Hemingford travelled down to Buckden for the first of there 8 or 9 scheduled encounters between the teams this season.
September, nice weather, local(ish) game, turnout was high from Hemingford. With senior King golfing and Sedge nursing a fractured wrist, management duties fell to Keiran.
With a full dossier in hand, Keiran explained the format for the upcoming 90 minutes.
Three halves of 30 minutes would be the order of the day to make it easier to accommodate the 18 players. Some would play 45, some 60, some 90 minutes.. There were some confused looks among the ranks, especially 2 touch. It was an uncomfortable 5 minutes, mainly due to the fact we were all sitting in sodden kit. Baggers had been responsible for the kit and had left washing it until an hour before kick off.
Kick off. Hemingford started well with nice little triangles forming all over the pitch. It was actually Buckden who had the first real chance, hitting the post after 10 minutes.
Hemingford had there chances, mainly from outside the box. 2 touch and Paul seeing who could sky it over the bar the most. Paul won.
The first goal arrived with an error from the Buckden keeper. With the keeper miles from his goal, the ball fell to King and with cries of SHOOOOOT ringing in his ears, he ignored those and clipped a pin point cross to Clark who tapped in from 5 yards. 1-0.
Hemingford were keeping it tight at the back with Hursty and Gav not giving there strikers a sniff. Tel and King were joining in with Paul and Kev on the flanks causing there full backs lots of problems.
The second goal duly arrived with great pressure from Kev on the left wing. The ball found its way to Clark and he nipped in before the keeper to poke home number 2. 2-0.
Another goal followed shortly after from a brilliant corner from subbed on Chrisy Parker. The goal was scored from one of our midfield colossus ala Undertaker & Kane. 2 touch rising above the pack to nod home from 4 yards. 3-0.
It was 4 soon after. King nipped in after a heavy touch from the Buckden winger and picked out Clark in the box, who scored with a powerful header. Hat trick! 4-0
The first half of the second half 🤨 finished on a somber note as Clark carried on his habit of injuring his knee against Buckden, going down after spinning to turn and shoot. Hopefully he’ll be able to play before both knees get operated on next year.
Overall a great first half considering we all weighed 5kg more due the sodden kit! A change of ends saw the introduction of Josh, Balls, Baggers, Matt, Kempy and Dippy to the fold. Hemingford were still on top with Keiran’s duties mainly taking goal kicks and starting attacks with quick distribution.
Plenty of half chances with poor finishing or final ball resulting in no more goals from Hemingford until the 75 minute.
The goal came from Spaphead $&#@ Gallagher who ran through the defence like a giraffe on the Serengeti and slot home from 8 yards with all the time in the world. 5-0.
The 6th goal arrived with some good passing and movement on the right side between Kempy, Chrissy and Gallagher, the ball found its way to Paul who smashed the ball into the top corner with his left foot.
Apparently the ball could be heard saying “why did you take it out on me” as Paul unleashed his anger into his shot. 6-0
Keiran made a good save getting down low to his left to maintain a clean sheet. Apparently that’s 1 more than last year already. How did we not keep a clean sheet last year!?
Overall a great day at the office, good football played, well taken goals and a clean sheet.
Onto next week, we travel to Stilton for a 2pm kick off. Hopefully with a dry kit…
Newmarket 4.103 – 1.22
Hemingford arrived with a strong 15 for the latest encounter with Newmarket Town who had travelled well and were confident of creating an upset.
Sunshine, goals, and a good win…..what more can you want!
The Hemingford team rolled in on this fine Sunday morning as the frost thawed and strapped themselves in for the ride. Sedgey tinkered with the formation to accommodate the 23 defenders that had turned up, and set us up in a 3-5-2 with wingbacks…Ballsey immediately regretted his decision to make himself available, as he faced up to the thought of schlepping up and down the wing for the morning.
We got off to a solid start, and the press was working well. The CM three of Twos, Matty and Gally, marshalling the game, not giving Cottenham any time to breathe. The breakthrough came with Jack slotting home for his first of the day…forgive me for not remembering the assist, it was a lifetime ago and much more to come!
Cottenham weren’t here to just make up the numbers though, and came back strong. They had a few breakthroughs but the defensive wall of Gav (aka Hemingfords own Kyle Walker), Kev and Martin kept them at bay….that was until Kev, determined to get his name on the assists register (apologies, remembered this one!), left a little bit off his pass back to the keeps and the Cottenham CF swept in to equalise. Game on.
Hemingford reacted well, and started to use the width of Ballsey and Kingy (junior) to stretch the game, it worked a treat, and I lost count of the number of times Twos, JK and Howie played one touch triangles through the middle right hand channel to devastating effect. It wasn’t long before Jack popped up again for his second – think it might have been a split 50/50 assist on this one, with Gallagher playing a quick free kick into the box for Kingy (junior) to deftly ‘flick’ (or miss) the ball through for Jack to finish.
2-1, and we weren’t done there….the width was maintained and Cottenham could quite cope. Matty this time was causing chaos on the byline, standing up to the left back before swinging a beauty of a ball in for Twos, who rose above Jack (yes, our own Jack) to header home – Jack was gutted, as Twos had just robbed him of his perfect hat trick (left, right, header). That took us to half time at 3-1 (apologies if I missed another goal!). Assist of the first half definitely goes to Matt, but Kev was a v close second!
Sedgey rang the changes at half time, switching back to a 4-4-2, and bringing on himself, Baggsey, Stu, King (senior) and Terry. Often changes of such magnitude can take a little while to settle, but not this time!
Gally struck first in the second half, picking up the ball just outside the centre circle, before beating three players and the goalkeeper and coolly slotting home – whisper it, but rumour has it he never had it under control and just ‘tackled’ his way through the Cottenham central unit…nevertheless, his run earned him the nickname ‘twinkle hoof’, one which he’ll wear with pride!
The Hemingford side still weren’t done! Not long after, King (senior), determined to teach King (junior) how it’s done, slid a delightful through ball down the left for Gally to run on to, he chopped the ball back, before being stopped in his tracks….it was like a scene from Jurassic park (the one where the water in the glass is rippling), Baggsey was rampaging into the box at full pace, shaking the earth as he charged (from CB!) – “BACK POST” came the bellow – in fear of what the repercussions might be for failing to deliver, Gally closed his eyes, swung his right boot in the direction of the ball and hoped – his prayers were answered, as Baggsey leaped and met the ball with such ferocity that the keeper could do nothing – the net rippled – 5-1 (I think that’s five anyway…).
…..and still the Hemingford side came for more….remember Jack? After his disappointment of not having his first half ‘perfect’ hat trick, he finally got over it and came back to play. His first of the second half was a left footed thunderbolt from just inside the box. The match ball was his….but he wanted more. No more than 5 minutes later, he took down a cross field pass on his chest and volleyed goalwards, boom, fourth of the day.
Cottenham took the kick off, their midfield now clearly waiting for the pub (some of the Hemingford side were already dreaming of that first pint of neck oil too), Gally picked up on a stray pass, before feeding Jack again – he outpaced the Cottenham defence and slotted away again. God knows what the score was now, but Jack had 5 (it was 8-1).
Hemingford maintained control as the game came towards the end….not even Smithy and a couple of ropey decisions could change the mood. Sedgey wanted in on the action before the end, and duly slotted home from around 18 yards to make it 9….the match ended as Jack broke away for what would have been his double hat trick and Hemingfords double figure moment. Hemingford outstanding, but the score didn’t do justice to a hard working Cottenham team.
Gallys performance earned him the honour of washing the kit, and writing the match report….King (senior) suggested he might have got MoM too, but think that was just to soften the blow!
Right….I’m off to wash the kit….
Cambs Vets Away 13th March
Hemingford Vets assembled for an away day with a strong 15 players making the trip to Histon.
Kingy, without JK to dress him, managed to put his full kit on inside out – much to the amusement of the whole dressing room. Sedge, struggling to contain his laughter, commented that we can only hope that he has put his boots on the right feet. Attention was swiftly turned to the new centre back in the squad. Turns out it was just a new slimline Kev, thankfully not suffering from some terminal illness after Two Touch had checked with him. The 3 stone weight loss is down the biscuit tin going missing at home, although questions had been asked about whether there was a new female in the office that he was trying to impress. Couls also managed to make it just in time for kick off after sorting out somewhere for his kids to play along with an additional one that he inherited that morning.
The pitch looked in fine condition for this time of year and made for an entertaining match to play on. A sunny morning with a strong wind across the pitch gave Sedge an easy decision to switch the teams around after winning the toss. After a few moans and grumbles about the turnaround the game kicked off.
Hemingford started slowly and conceded inside the first 10 minutes, some sloppy defending allowing the Cambs striker to nip in and score. Howard hit the bar from a decent effort from outside of the box as Hemingford tried to get a swift equaliser. A second goal followed shortly after, some good build up play down the wing from the home side and some clinical finishing extending their lead. Two Touch thought he had equalised after a through ball saw him burst through defence to slot home, only for a tight offside call to rule the goal out.
The home side were full of confidence knocking the ball around and attacking in numbers down both wings. Hemingford were struggling to break the high defensive line and a tactical change saw Ballsy move out on the right wing, moving Kingy to left back. Not discouraged by the poor start Hemingford pressed forward to try and reduce the deficit. A pinpoint Couls cross from the right was powered home by a Ronaldo-esque leap and header from Ballsy. 2-1
Two Touch then equalised after out muscling the Cambs defence to head home from a whipped in corner from Couls. The game wasn’t going to stay level for long and chances were being created at both ends. Kieran did well with a couple of saves but could do nothing to stop the home side retaking the lead. Another good move down the wing saw a low cross in tapped home by the opposite winger 3-2
Hemingford levelled it up again after Jack got in front of his marker, stooping low at the front post to head in from another Couls corner. An entertaining first half coming to an end with the scores level.
Half time 3-3
Some fresh legs were introduced at half time with Kev, Kingy and Jack being replaced by Chinny, Paul and Terry.
The second half didn’t quite live up to the goal fest of the first half. Although the game was stretched and chances were still being created by both sides. The fitter, younger Cambs side edging it but being kept at bay by some smart saves from Kieran.
Howard came closest to a goal for the away side and thought he had scored from another sweet strike from distance only to see it go inches over the bar.
Cambs left winger found some space and dispatched a low drive into the bottom far corner. Hemingford’s resistance was broken after some fine saves in the second half from Kieran keeping Hemingford in the game, notably a one on one with the Cambs striker at the end who couldn’t outfox him.
Unfortunately, we weren’t quite at the races today and a few early mistakes against a strong Cambs team proved decisive.
Full time 4-3
MOM – Kieran, with a string of good saves to keep us in the game. Couls also had a decent game providing three assists.
Next up Houghton away, in what is expected to be a fierce derby for local bragging rights.
Well done Arran for this
Home vs Buckden 27-02-22
Old friends Buckden made their way to the Pavilion on a bright sunny morning. Though the weather was favourable the bobbly conditions under foot were set to make life more difficult.
Hemingford had a very strong 15 to choose from and we started very brightly.
A few chances came and went before Hemingford seized the advantage. Silky Coulson, out on the left (in his size 6 kids boots) guided a ball into the edge of the box that was held up by the dangerous Clark. He held it perfectly as Couls followed it, collecting a clever back heel before dispatching clinically past the stranded keeper.1-0
Soon after Couls guided a ball into the box from the left as Sedge burst into the box. He nicked it off the defenders foot, before being upended by the lunging centre back. Penalty. Sedge fired it low into the right corner but due to some heckling from the away side the ref ordered a retake. Fortunately Sedge tucked the second one away Coolly into the other corner. 2-0
Gally making his debut in centre midfield broke up a Buckden passage of play, before driving forward to play a terrifically weighted pass to the electric Clark, who slotted past the on-rushing keeper with a neat first time finish. 3-0.
Nigel pulled out some great skill on the right and Howard was a threat with his movement.
Ballsy and Gav were formidable at the back and Josh and Kingy were repelling Buckden’s advances and using the ball cleverly.
Hemingford were playing some great football and before long Clarky broke into the box at pace and bundled the ball in past the isolated keeper .
4-0 …..Half time
Sedge made four changes with Two Touch (fresh from 6 months all inclusive) into the fold back in the middle.
Unfortunately Clarky went down after a couple of minutes in excruciating pain. Some of the good lads from Buckden were quick to help and Clarky was lifted from the pitch. Bad luck after a great display of pace, skill and tenacity. Get well soon JC. Dave Ranner was flying up and down the pitch and Walshy was in the thick of it.
Our finishing was not as clinical as the first half (Walshy saying nothing!) and the score stayed at 4-0 for a good half an hour before Couls broke in to fire a great goal in with his ‘lesser spotted’ right foot off the under-side of the bar. 5-0.
As the clock ticked down, The ball dropped down to Kev Anderson at the edge of the box. Kev kept his cool, didn’t snatch at it as he volleyed a beautiful pile-driver into the net. 6-0 which is how it finished.
There were some great displays with Ballsy and Gav looking rock solid and Sedge, Two’s and Gally on top in midfield. Gally took a deserved man of the match for an all round display of quality and commitment.
We had a lot of impressive play on the day and it was the first time we have had a clean sheet vs Buckden. Pearcey, Conners and Yorkie were three of Buckden’s best players who were getting stuck in throughout. Kieran wasn’t tested much but his distribution and command of the box was also great from start to finish.
Thanks to Mr Smith the ref plus Nigel and Josh for the food
Match report with a difference ! Pin your ears back guys, here we go ….
Grey day with a strong crosswind …estimated (as discussed with Kieran) at -60 degrees 15 gusting 20 kts. Late response to a request from Buckden for a game after they were let down by Red Bull…challenge accepted against a club that we have a great relationship with. Having set off at 2am to make sure he successfully navigated his way from Houghton Stu Smith took up his customary starting position as referee’s assistant, formerly known as lino. The final score was 3-5 in a thrilling encounter which captivated the crowd of 3…not including subs.
How did it play out ? Well, after the customary cagey start and arguably against the run of play Buckden took the lead with a deflected shot which Kev Hirst was so incensed with his ‘congratulations’ to the scorer could be registered on the Richter scale. By half-time however, the tables had been turned, thanks to a snap-shot from Jack and a quite sublime volleyed strike from Jason King which rifled into the net from 25 yards. Having accepted a bribe of 50 quid I am not at liberty to include any account of Kev Anderson’s miss from 6 yards when he crashed the ball off the crossbar…or the other one just 5 minutes later from a similar range when he (Kev Anderson !!) got above a header and bounced it into their keeper’s grateful arms. Grafting for Hemingford in the first half were Nige Parker, Terry , Simon and King (senior) with Paul at left back carving out a man-of-the-match performance from the off. Buckden’s Kev and the irrepressible Pearcey were stand-out players for the home side.
The pace and strength of front runners Jack and Gav brought two more goals, interspersed with a counter from Buckden which evaded the defensive wall and struck Kieran in the face before crossing the line. To be clear, the score mid-way through the second half was now 2-4. Relinquishing his flag and entering the fray at half time Stu was introduced in an unfamiliar role in left midfield , whilst Baggsy and two-touch completed the substitutions. Great to see Two’s back after two bouts of Covid and a serious back injury. Apparently Kev Hirst’s new slim-line look is down to him relinquishing his daily cake ration….obviously passing the baton on to two’s ! To be fair, after the year he’s had it really was good to have him back.
Another superb assist from Paul gave Jack the chance to increase the deficit to 2-5 but Buckden were to lay siege to Hemingford’s goal with a string of corners, aided by the strengthening wind (veering to 090 degrees 20 gusting 23 knots).Baggsy was unfortunate to see his challenge deflect past Kieran to give Buckden hope but then produced a truly outstanding block to prevent a certain goal in the final ten minutes. Once again Hemingford were indebted to keeper Kieran for a string of instinctive saves and to big Kev for a typically combative defensive display. Pleasing to arrest a run of three defeats we look forward to hosting Buckden at home in a couple of weeks. Well deserved man of the match goes to Paul who barely put a foot wrong on a difficult surface
Moulton 3 -2 Hemingford
Another 3-2 loss that makes it 3 on the trot.
We travelled to Moulton with a bare 13 players ,and came up short again.
I thought I wasn’t the best at navigating, but I found someone far worse that me. Step up Stuart ,he is a nightmare ,how the hell he flies aeroplanes and gets the right airport, I don’t know.. ( apart from that he’s a great chap and I’m only joking).
Back to the game, it was a bit of a rush getting there ,several people getting lost. Kevin Anderson arriving 10 mins before ko.
It’s my 1st visit (and possibly my last) seeing the pitch on a massive slope, and the wind blowing. With the lack of players ,Gavin and Kevin Anderson played up front, it was difficult to get the ball down to play. we played up hill and against the wind in the1st half.
Paul and Simon combined well down the right hand side a lovely ball over the top by Simon found kevin who on his second attempt drilled the ball home from an acute angle.
They were very lively in midfield and also had a couple of forwards who played well ,but Nigel and Terry were doing a great job for us.
A long ball over the top, had us calling for off side, but the flag stayed down, and a lunging Andy Jolley tackle bought them a penalty, which was well dispatched.
There 2nd goal was from an in swinging corner, and it was scrambled home after 4 to 5 attempts
2-1.just before half time..
No worries we were going down hill with the wind, advantage us.
It didn’t ready get going ,we stopped playing football, and got into a scrap.
Refs change the game ,and this one was no different, a long through ball found Gavin ,at least 3 yds on side ,he knocked it by the last defender ( nobody was going to catch him) and smash it into the net, only for the ref to disallow it. (There linesman didn’t flag.)
5 mins later Gavin did the same again, this time the ref allowed that.
We could have done with a few extra players, but didn’t have a large squad.
I thought they had the better of the second half, and settled the game with a shoot in a crowded area……..
……with 5 mins remaining 3-2.
Thank you to the 13 who turned up and put up a good effort.
Mention a few Nigel and terry in the middle were excellent.
Kev Hirst 3 stone lighter was showing some classes moves, pity he kicked the ball out of touch a couple of times (you had to be there to appreciate it)
Kieran played a good game, his kicking was excellent.
M,o M. Nigel Parker.
Comberton 1 – 2 Hemingford
All in all the game was a hard fought win following the Christmas break and Hemingford really should of won by more. There won’t be many pitches that good to play on this season and the team will be in for a shock when they return to ‘The Hemingford Somme’ next week. Fantastic performance by Kingy, the defence and Sedge in the middle.
Hemingford v Houghton 12.12.21
Hemingford won 10.1.
We were due to play Houghton at home, but they were unable to field a team, so manager king got on the case ,and we ended up getting 8 Buckden players 1 Houghton player and 5 of our team.
Game on, May I say a big thank you to all the players on both teams .
Captain Sedge gave a great pre match speech which got us all charged up and ready for action.
Hemingford started well ,knocking the ball around ,causing a lot of problems Sedge and Matt dictating the play in the midfield
You will have to forgive me with the goals etc,,I remember some of them,
I was so involved in the game,so I will do my best
The 1st goals came after 10 mins ,a lovely ball from Sedge found jack on the left hand side,who ran on and smashed the ball into the back of the net from 18 yds. Couls and jack were causing there defence a lot of problems. Sedge scored the 2nd when he stroked ball home from 12 yds.the 3rd wasn’t long coming ,this time couls chipping the keeper from 20 yds. That really killed the game off they couldn’t cope with all our attacking ,especially from the right hand side with Jason marauding everywhere.leaving his dad to fill in for him most of the time.
Half time 3-0
Kieran in goal didn’t really have a lot to do, but marshalled his defence well.
Left back terry was solid nobody got by him
Gavin and Andy were in total control
Jason excellent in both departments defence and attack
Nigel on the left ,was verbal and worked really hard as always.
Sedge and Matt ,they ran the show ,Sedge pulling all the strings ,with Matt stopping any attacks putting his foot in now and again, and starting attack after attack.
King senior on the right midfield enjoyed the play with Jason, it worked really well,
Jack was busy up top ,never letting their defence settle.
Couls ,plays nice and easy, very rarely gives the ball away .
The second half was a bit of a lottery, the spirit had gone out of Buckden ,and hemingford found it very easy to score goals.
Jack ended up getting 4 goals his second and third both times with only the keeper to beat, and the 4th he bundled it across the line.
Couls, ending up with a hat trick ,both second half goals where he rounded the keeper.
Sedge got his second, again rounding the keeper..I think Buckden had given up, and couldn’t wait to get to the bar for a free drink.
The 10th goal came off the head of Dave, he rose like a salmon at the back post. Good finish.
Jason had left the pitch at half time with a slight back problem,this allowed Stuart to come on ,I think we had the oldest right hand side with Stu 65 yrs and king senior 64 ,can’t be many sides if any to match that.
One extra thing happened with Kieran getting injured when Buckden scored there one and only goal
If was left to king senior to don the gloves for the last 15 mins.
Never again my 1 and only time, I have now played in every position
Kept a clean sheet.
Result 10 1
Went to the bar afterwards great spread by the players, and free drinks .
The m.o.m. was Matt
We have a great bunch of players now. Thank you all for your support.
Just leaves me to wish you and all your family a merry Christmas and a happy new year