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Hamworthy Recreation 1 Hamworthy United 1

HT Score: 0-0

Hamworthy United scorer: James Guthrie (89)

Hamworthy United: S Jones, R Watkins (N Patrick 85), J Gleeson, H Cooper, C Cocklin, D Randall, H White (D Dyer 80), L Francis (S Roushbairi 75), J Guthrie, C Beard, B Randall (P Smith 70)

United were seeing out their final friendly game at their DPL neighbours, Hamworthy Recreation Club. The Rec. have enjoyed perpetual success at that level over the years, and this has driven ambitious plans to move into the Wessex Premier League. This will be after the planned new flood lights are in place, and having had new drainage system installed last year.

With United having several strong contenders for first team places missing, a more competitive game than Saturday could be expected. For extra spice, the hosts included in their playing squad ex-Hammers Brad Hill, Sam Carter, George Webb, David Legg, and Ricky Walden, with former County Ground men Nick Collins and Gary Williams also assisting on the management side.

An even start

The game started very evenly, the first significant chance falling to Hammers' man James Guthrie on 20 minutes. He was set up by a fine ball by Brandon Randall, but Guthrie saw his shot on the run tipped round the far post by Recreation stopper Aaron Robertson. The Rec responded positively, but they were unable to take the chances that they had created. Play then switched back to the other end, but United's Brandon Randall saw his final effort rebound off the legs of Robertson following a good run down the left wing. The home side had their chances to take the lead, but were again unable to take them. On the stroke of half time, United's Brandon Randall saw his pinpoint free kick headed well over the bar by Cameron Beard.

United take control but fall behind

Although the Rec applied the early pressure after the break, United, who were possibly assisted by a sudden favourable wind, started to take control. Ryan Watkins saw a good cross well held by Robertson, before Guthrie's low free kick passed just wide of the post. Beard then hit the near post with a clean strike, before another Guthrie effort was well parried out by Robertson. The game then hit a sour note when a reckless challenge on Lee Francis forced the United man off. The Rec tackling at times was perhaps a little over zealous for what was supposed to be a "friendly". The deadlock was eventually broken on 77 minutes. A long ball by Jamie Gleeson across the midfield appeared to catch Declan Randall in two minds, and under pressure lost the ball to ex-Hammer Sam Carter. Carter then took the ball forward a few strides, and executed an unstoppable low shot that found the net off the right post.

A late equaliser

Sam Jones then showed what a great acquisition he is for the Hammers, with a superb double save. Both were at full stretch and the second effort was cleanly held despite the worsening light. It looked as if the Rec had done enough for the win as the game neared the end. However in the last minute of normal time, and following a slick passing move, Hammers' James Guthrie just beat Robertson to a long ball on the edge of the area. He slipped it past the keeper and into the unguarded net.

A draw was probably a fair result overall, in what was a very even, and hard fought game. It was perhaps a fitting result for the two Hamworthy outfits who have always shared a close bond.

Hamworthy United: S Jones, R Watkins (N Patrick 85), J Gleeson, H Cooper, C Cocklin, D Randall, H White (D Dyer 80), L Francis (S Roushbairi 75), J Guthrie, C Beard, B Randall (P Smith 70)

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