After all the various Cup excitement and disappointment of the previous week, the last 7 days have been pretty quiet. Although if you were down at the Specsavers on Tuesday night supporting the Under 18s, which 164 of you were (plus more as the 1st team players and management also stayed on after training to support the lads), the cheers that greeted the goals and players at the end of the match were definitely not quiet. I am sure the youngsters found the atmosphere and overall support very welcome and you could clearly see the team spirit as the goals went in!
Havant & Waterlooville Under 18s were the latest team to take on a Hammers team that have literally steamrollered everyone up until now. After Gosport were beaten 6-0, the next round of the FA Youth Cup was expected to be a much tougher affair and so it proved. A pretty even first half with few clear cut chances was going towards a 0-0 half time but just after the half hour mark, the Hawks managed to get beyond the Hammers' defensive line and go 1 up. This was something new for the Under 18s, what did they have? The answer was....plenty. Cam Munn again showed good skill and eye for goal as he managed to get the vital equaliser just before the break, perfect timing!
Could either team push on in the 2nd half? Whether it was H&W's lack of playing time together or just the steady, constant work rate put in by Hamworthy, it was the home team that gradually took control of the game, constantly probing, looking for the 2nd goal. It eventually came when George Ashby rose unmarked at the far post to head into the net from close range after good work on the right wing. The relief was clear to see. This of course sparked the visitors into life, but apart from a few half chances, no clear cut chances came and Ashby got his 2nd and a game clinching 3rd goal for Hamworthy late on to seal the win.
It was a great evening of viewing with some talented lads on show from both sides and was played in the correct spirit too.
Next up in the FA Youth Cup is a trip to Eastleigh and what one would expect to be another step up in quality. Good luck to the Under 18s!!
2 days prior to this, fielding a vastly different side, the Under 18s had a league match against Dorchester Town and came away with an 8-1 victory. A hat-trick for Jack Simpson, 2 each for Alfie Matthews and George Ashby and a first U18 goal for Jamie Luther got the job done and 3 points in the bag.
Next up for the Under 18s is a league match at home to Bournemouth Poppies on Sunday 27th with ko at 12.30pm. I'm sure they would love to see you all again for support. The bar will be open (seated service only) for refreshments too.
The only other fixture last week saw a much better performance from the Development team managing to see off Romsey Town 5-2. After their heavy defeat in their first match, the side are now putting together better performances and results and have 4 points from 3 games in their league. Kyle Davis and Jamie Kemp saw the Hammers go 2 up before Half time. The visitors pulled one back but further goals came from an own goal and 2 from substitute Joseph Robinson to seal the 3 points.
This Saturday sees the Development team in action in the Challenge Cup taking on QK Southampton. Kick off is at 3pm down at the County Ground and the bar will be open (seated service only). Entry is £4 / £3.