Here's a write up of last weekend's final pre-season friendly from Roger Nicholson:
This was the last chance for the United players to impress Manager Tim Sills before the season starts with an FA Cup game in three days time. They would have to be at their very best against a team that plays two leagues higher than them and strengthened with two new impressive signings this week.
The game started as it was to continue at a high rate and end to end football. Hamworthy were unlucky not to have taken an early lead when Ed Hodge started a jinxing run that took him past several defenders. His shot from just outside the penalty box looped just over the keeper, but dropped onto the roof of the net. From the goal kick, a quick break down the left saw Wimborne go close with a low shot just past the foot of the post. The Hammers were looking very strong both defensively and in mid-field, winning most of the fifty-fifty balls and breaking out quickly. Jamie Gleason who is not known for his shooting forced a brilliant diving save by the young (Bournemouth U/18 keeper) with a rasping shot from at least 35 yds out. Ed Hodge had another chance to open the scoring when he was picked out unmarked in the six-yard box with only the keeper to beat. Unfortunately, he scuffed his shot as he tried to guide the ball into the corner and the keeper made another good save with his feet. When the half time whistle blew Tim Sills must have gone in the happier of the two managers having seen his team edge the play and creating the better chances. In fact, they were unlucky not to have been in front.
The Hammers continued in the second half as they did in the first, but this time it took them just seven minutes to take the lead. A break down the left-wing, and a cross from the impressive Matty Neale found the unmarked Connor Cocklin who timed his run and headed home and giving the keeper no chance. Wimborne were still creating chances, but never really gave the United keeper Shane Murphy much trouble. He did have to act as another sweeper from time to time, and come out of his area to clear with his feet. A long clearance by Shane Murphy picked out Ed Hodge in the clear, and left him one on one with the Wimborne keeper, who once again kept his side in it by saving with his feet. A Town defender was lucky to escape with just a yellow card following a dangerous tackle on Hamworthy’s youngest player 17yr old Cam Munn. In time added on Wimborne had a chance to equalise but a joint effort by substitute keeper Tom Reese, and his defenders managed to clear their lines. The Hammers almost doubled their lead in the dying seconds of the game when a cross into the six-yard box just failed to connect with Connor Cocklin’s outstretched leg, and Cam Munn following up.
The score-line did not flatter United in a game they were always in control and never really looked like losing. We are told you should never read too much into a Friendly game, but this was certainly one of the best Hamworthy United team performances for quite some time. It can only give them confidence for the season which starts next week.
Team: S. Murphy (T. Rees), C. Clarke, D. Randall, T. Rolls, A. Costello (Capt), E. Hodge (D Eccott-Young, J. Gleeson (C. Munn), M. Buckler, D. Cann (C. Cocklin), O. Davis (J.King), M. Neale