A few days after...that...game, and Wimborne Town were welcomed to the County Ground. Here's the match report and videos of the goals. (sorry for the lateness, finally got Covid and been isolating in the wrong room with no pc access!)
Hamworthy United 2 Wimborne Town 1
Dorset Senior Cup Semi-Final (Tuesday 18th January 2022)
With both teams arguably having bigger fish to fry at the moment, rotations were made to their normal starting eleven. For the Hammers, Jack Lovell, Matt Neale and Lee Francis were facing their former club, while keeper Tommy Scott had recently played one game for the Magpies. The Town keeper Gerard Benfield started his playing career at Hamworthy, and Dan Cann, a late Magpie substitute, was no stranger to the County Ground.
On a misty cold evening, the first real effort on goal came from Wimborne’s Dan Bartlett. His shot moved in the air, and so Tommy Scott wisely elected safety first, and parried the ball wide before it was cleared. The hosts now started to gain control. Benfield had already made one fine near post save with his trailing leg before Hamworthy drew first blood on 22 minutes. A neat spell of play on the right, and some uncertain Town defending ended with a low cross by Matt Neale that found Lee Francis. The United captain's deft near post flick eventually found the net via the unlucky Benfield's hand, the bar and finally the left post.
The Magpies responded positively, but Scott ably held onto a shot at his near post. At the other end Benfield did well to collect a high effort by Jack Lovell. Play again switched ends, and a 30-yard free kick by Bartlett beat the wall, but just missed United’s left post. Benfield then managed a remarkable save to keep out a powerful close-range header. Perhaps it was undeserving to him, that it was all academic as an offside flag had already been raised. The Town keeper then did enough on the stroke of half time to thwart a United man who was put clean through. The resultant lose ball was finally put just wide. There was still time just before the whistle for Town man Jo Freak's strong effort to hit the side netting, and Scott to gather a long bouncing shot.
The Magpies did start the second period with more intent. On 51 minutes, a long patient move, which utilized the width of the pitch, finally ended with a short cross by Curtis Young. This set up Regan Mason to rifle the ball home just inside the right post to level the score. Good chances were now appearing at both ends. Magpie substitute Jez Bedford forced a neat diving save by Scott, whilst his opposite number Benfield came off his line well to deny Jack Lovell with his legs. The Town soon almost took the lead when a brilliant last-ditch tackle by Billy Walker prevented Freak from nudging a headed-on ball over the line. Bartlett's effort from just outside the penalty area was then well gathered in by Scott. The pendulum was now swinging back towards United. Lovell had what looked a good shout for a penalty turned down after an abrasive clash of legs with Curtis Young. Benfield first blocked Tony Roll’s header from a Beasley corner, before holding on to Matt Neal’s follow up attempt. A delicate chip by Lovell then just cleared the bar. In the 80th minute United's pressure finally told. Neale followed a fine run by slipping the ball through to Jack Lovell on the left. Lovell in turn shook off the challenge of Curtis Young before dinking the ball over Benfield and into the far corner of the net from a tight angle.
The visitors fought hard for a late equalizer, with substitute Harry Morgan coming close. Keeper Benfield pushed himself up for a very late Town free kick, but it was teammate Scott Arnold whose header again passed just wide. The Hammers held on to take the win in what had been a tight and sometimes bruising affair. This was their second cup success against higher grade opposition from the Southern Premier League this season. This now sets them up for what should be a lucrative final against their immediate neighbours Poole Town another Southern League side.
Hamworthy United: T Scott, H Wright (D Eccott-Young), J Beasley, J Filkins, B Walker, T Rolls, E Hodge, L Francis (c), J Lovell, M Neale (S Lanahan), M Finch (C Munn)
Unused Subs: M Buckler, R Galeg