Game 36: Bemerton Heath Harlequins 3.1 Downton (Wessex Premier)

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Game 36: Bemerton Heath Harlequins 3.1 Downton (Wessex Premier) 22.04.14

This local derby was billed as a must win for Downton ahead of the game to ensure their survival in the Wessex Premier league for another season. However it was Bemerton who got stuck into the match from the start and they scored two goals in a minute within the first 6 minutes of the half. The first goal came from an unmarked header from a long cross to the far post, the second saw a great passing move to play in a Bemerton player who outpaced his marker and slotted the ball past the keeper. We then saw a 10 minute break as the official on the far side was hobbling and couldn’t continue – luckily there was an experienced replacement on hand in Football League referee Brendan Malone. Bemerton added another goal from close range and were so full of confidence that they deployed an overhead kick to clear the ball from their goal line when the keeper was beaten.

The second half saw Mr Malone replaced on the line by a younger official – the first time I’ve seen four assistant referees used in one match. After some of the brillance of Bemerton’s attacking play in the first half, the second half was an anti-climax and we only saw one goal. The experienced McGregor claimed it for Downton, a powerful header gave the keeper no chance as McGregor used the pace of the cross to his advantage.

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