Tuesday night saw the small matter of the FA cup begin. Tim Sills and the team are holding off on getting their suits....just for now! Here's a match report courtesy of Tony and edited by Roger Nicholson:
The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round (Tuesday 1st September 2020)
Both teams were no doubt fired up for this F.A. Cup encounter, their first competitive match since the start of lockdown in March. At that point, our visitors were top of Toolstation Western Division One, and were unfortunate not to be promoted because the league was declared null and void. Hamworthy's "friendlies" had also gone well, but cup football is all about what happens on the day. United had a few players out, but, bolstered by some shrewd signings in the close season, were still able to field a strong team.
In front of a good crowd, it was the hosts who always looked the more likely to break the deadlock, but the ball would just not go in. In the 10th minute, Eddie Hodge, in a good position, screwed his shot just wide of the right post. This was after being superbly set up by the highly effective Matty Neale. Five minutes later visiting keeepr Adam Clatworthy kept his team in the match, diverting into touch a ferocious low shot from just outside the penalty area by Neale. He then added to his heroics by pushing over Tony Rolls' emphatic close-range header from Neale's corner. It was not until the half hour mark that Shane Murphy was called into serious action, gathering cleanly a well struck bobbling shot from Matthew Jenkins. However, he had to be at his best five minutes later when Josh Bright showed immense skill to carve himself a one-on-one opening. The home stopper though did enough to frustrate the Calne man, the ball finally rolling slowly towards the goal before being cleared.
On 40 minutes the Hammers must have wondered if it was ever going to be their day. From the edge of the six-yard box, again with Neale the architect, Hodge could only slam the ball against the left post. It somehow rebounded straight into the arms of Clatworthy who was facing sideways no doubt expecting to pick the ball out of the net. On the stroke of half time, Hodge saw another effort destined for the far corner pushed away by Clatworthy. United must have been wondering how they were not at least two up at the break, having dominated possession and having created so many chances. The visitors relied more on the long ball, but this was easily handled by a well organised Hammers' defence.
H/T 0 -0
It took just five minutes into the 2nd half for the home fans to witness the back of the opposing net bulge. Connor Cocklin escaped his marker and rose superbly at the far post to power home a header from Neale's corner. This time the keeper had no chance. The Hammers, in cruise control, doubled their lead on 60 minutes, with a fine team effort. Ollie Davis has been fed a fine ball towards the right bye-line, and, although clearly obstructed by Jamie Norman, still managed to get in a decent cross. After neat touches by Dan Cann and Hodge, Max Buckler's clinical finish found the net at the near post. The referee deserved much credit for playing a very good advantage. In the 68th minute, the hosts virtually put the result to bed. Hodge's shot rebounded off a defender into the path of Matty Neale, who duly fired the ball across the goal into the far corner. Even though the hosts did take their foot off the gas a little from that point, their chances continued to flow. Substitute James King on 80 minutes soon made his presence felt, executing a neat diagonal cross which Neale headed just over. A few minutes later Cann completed a good move heading the ball into the net, but was ruled offside. A quick long throw by the same player then set up a teasing cross by King, which the home defence did well to scuff over their own bar. Rolls also went close again, before substitute Cam Munn saw a blistering high shot well held by the keeper. A jinxing run in injury-time by Lee Francis was not matched by his finish which just eluded the far post. United could feel well satisfied with their performance, with the bonus of £1,125 prize money. Although the Town never gave up, with their keeper Adam Clatworthy and Josh Bright inspirational, once the Hamworthy had belatedly broken the deadlock, there always looked to be one winner. The Hammers now visit Southern Premier outfit Hartley Wintney on Saturday September 12th, two levels higher in the non-league grading, but on this performance the Hammers are certainly not going just to make up the numbers.
Full Time 3-0
Hamworthy United: S Murphy, T Rolls, D Randall, M Buckler, C Cocklin (J Filkins 85), A Costello, O Davis (J King 80), L Francis (c), E Hodge (C Munn 70), D Cann, M Neale
Unuse Subs: T Rees, D Eccott-Young