Depleted Hemsby sunk as Marriott gets marching orders
PUBLISHED: 18:41 15 March 2017 | UPDATED: 18:41 15 March 2017
Hemsby travelled to face an in-form Fakenham Reserves on Saturday and having vital players unavailable for various reasons wasn't the best preparation to play against one of the best teams in the league.
Hemsby gave debuts to Dean Sabine who transferred from Stalham Town and Hemsby thanks Stalham for their part in an easy switch.
Jonathon Williams stepped up from the Reserves and 16-year-olds Felix Andrews and Jacob Davis were called in. They were actually making their adult football debuts and the match was a tough game to be thrown straight into, but both came out of with lots of credit and aching limbs.
The home side started very well, but it Hemsby that had the first effort at goal when Kristian Sutton closed down a defender and the ball came out for Mauro Cardoso to play in Joe Kenny. But he fired just wide.
It was then a case of backs to the wall as Fakenham upped their game and piled on the pressure creating good chances that were either spurned, or saved by Rui Goncalves, having another fine game between the sticks.
Hemsby did manage another good break in the 35th minute when Ryan Hopper played a fantastic ball for Joe and he will know that he should have done better and that was to be the last action of the half.
The deadlock was broken when Fakenham’s and the league’s top scorer was presented with a chance two minutes after the restart and he took his goal well. Reece Hopper was unlucky when the home keeper made a rare mistake, but he was helped out by a defender who just managed to get in the way.
The game totally changed and Hemsby’s task became much harder as Russell Marriott made a fantastic full length save to deny a certain goal. Unfortunately he was not in goal and was sent off and Fakenham doubled the lead from the resulting penalty.
Things went from bad to worse as Hemsby also lost Joe and Mauro to injury and Fakenham added two further goals although the final goal was with the last kick of the game.
Hemsby can take heart from the fact they never gave up and played over a third of the match with 10 men, included having three players under 17. The OPS man of the match was Rui Goncalves.