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Below-strength Hemsby grab a deserved equaliser

PUBLISHED: 10:46 06 October 2017

Archant

Hemsby welcomed third in the league Earsham to Waters Lane and picked up a 1-1 draw thanks to a second half equaliser from Kristian Sutton.

For a variety of reasons Hemsby were without five players who would have been in the starting line-up but had new signing Jim Beales available for his debut.

The hosts created the first real opening when Sutton latched onto Mikey Grayson’s ball forward and he sent a decent cross over for Lewis Stebbings who couldn’t get his foot round the ball.

There was little else of note until a corner to Earsham in 30th minute which saw Rui Goncalves blocked off. The ball bounced in front of an Earsham player and then hit him on the chest and went into the top corner, with the home side appealing for a foul that wasn’t given.

Hemsby got lucky just before half-time when a slip at the back nearly proved costly as Beales lost his footing and as he tried to get back to the ball, a striker moved it away and Beales brought him down. Luckily Felix Andrews was near enough for the referee not to deem Beales as the last man and only issued a yellow card and the free-kick came to nothing.

A change in formation at the start of the second half nearly paid off as a free-kick was won and Harlen Metcalfe saw his effort excellently saved as it looked like finding the top corner.

Goncalves was called into his first bit of action of the half when he had to make a good save in the 71st minute and Hemsby then made their second change, bringing Tom Tennant on.

The change certainly saw more attacking play and this paid off when, in the 74th minute, a ball played to the edge of the area by Tennant found Reece Hopper.

He somehow managed to weave a way through a crowd of players and put the ball at Sutton’s feet and he and the defender both appeared to get a touch to send the ball past the keeper, with the Hemsby man claiming the final touch.

The home side went in search of a winner and with just a couple of minutes left Stebbings made a great run towards goal but he hesitated on taking an early shot and was forced wide.

Considering the quality of the players missing, those who pulled on a Hemsby shirt could feel very proud of their efforts.

The Fish & Grill man-of-the-match was debutant Beales.

Hemsby are at Old Hall in the Norfolk Junior Cup tomorrow.

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