Controversial penalty leaves Hemsby beaten

Diss Town have a new manager. Picture: Archant

Diss Town have a new manager. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Hemsby made the short trip to Freethorpe on Saturday to face a side having a similar up and down season. Freethorpe won the reverse fixture in the dying minutes, so Hemsby were looking for revenge on a ground that they had not won on for six seasons.

Hemsby started well and from the first meaningful attack in the third minute, Kristian Sutton pressurised a defender into giving the ball away and Mauro Cardoso slipped the ball through for Joe Kenny to finish superbly for 1-0.

Kristian again forced a mistake but Kenny fired wide as he was forced to shoot early.

Freethorpe had plenty of pace in attack and that proved vital as they grabbed an equaliser with 24 minutes played. A ball out wide was crossed and a player managed to get the wrong side of Hemsby’s defence and finished well.

There weren’t too many decent chances created by either side for the remainder of the half. The home side came out firing for the second half and will feel they should have taken the lead within a minute, but the striker missed his chance.

The game then became scrappy with misplaced passes and overhit balls. In the few parts of the half that actually saw decent football, Hemsby rode their luck.

Kenny could have scored his second as he was sent away by some good play between Joe Youngs and Olly McCarthy following a Freethorpe corner, but the keeper just managed to divert the ball round the post.

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A controversial penalty went the way of the home side in the 83rd minute, when a break was halted by Russell Marriott as he cleanly took the ball, only to see the referee award a penalty. The linesman called the referee to inform him of his wrong decision, only to be dismissed and Freethorpe scored to make it 2-1.

With time ticking away, Hemsby threw everything forward and had two very good attempts go close. Firstly a ball into the area from Jonathon Peirce saw Harlen Metcalfe meet it well, but put his header a couple of inches too high. The next attack saw Mauro have an excellent shot from 25 yards, but his rasping effort flew past the post.

Hemsby couldn’t find an equaliser and will feel that a draw would have been a fair reflection of the match. The OPS man of the match was Rui Goncalves.