Last Tuesday saw the 2nd round of the Wessex League Cup match played, the report follows:
Hamworthy boss Tim Sills used this cup game to as an opportunity to give match minutes to our emerging Under 18 player Christie Ward. He also gave some of his first team squad players who have yet to break into what is becoming a highly settled and successful starting eleven, a chance to prove themselves. The two clubs had in fact locked horns in the recent league fixture at Stoneham Lane. United were victorious that day by the odd goal in five. Kick-off was preceded by an impeccably observed minute's silence for the recent passing of Former Chairman Steve Harvey, without whom HUFC would not have progressed as they did under his guidance and hard work.
When play got going, United received a very early scare, Matt Bainbridge's well struck effort for the visitors rebounded back to safety off the right post. The Hammers however drew first blood after only four minutes when James Guthrie collected a fine through ball from Max Buckler. He then moved it forward a few paces before firing across Purps' keeper Tom Parker-Trott into the right corner of the net. From that point on, Hamworthy looked strangely out of sorts, and their play became a little frantic, finding it hard at times to keep possession. Stoneham, meanwhile, relying heavily on the long ball were unable to put away some very good chances. This included Scott Hills flicking a well delivered free kick from Matt Bainbridge just over the bar. Shortly after Duarte Martin intercepted a header back from Tony Rolls, and in front of Murphy. The United keeper fortunately scrambled back just in time to palm the ball off the line. It was no surprise when Stoneham were back in business on 28 minutes. United still seemed to be following social distancing rules when they allowed Cal Laycock ample space to nod in Duarte Martin's corner. It was against the run of play when the hosts restored the lead on 43 minutes with a strike that will give young Christie Ward no shortage of confidence. From a United free kick some 25 yards out, and towards the left of goal, the Under 18 player's superbly swung a free kick that nestled in the top near corner of the net, giving Parker-Trott no chance to save. This gave the Hammers a half time lead in a game that the visitors could and should have been at least two goals to the good.
The Purps again came out with some intent after the break. An early and hectic goal mouth scramble in the United box finally ended after a free-kick had been awarded for a foul on the United keeper. At the other end, Parker-Trott did very well to push over a scorching shot by Cam Munn, stemming from a quickly taken free kick by James Guthrie. The visitors though remained on top and restored parity for a second time on 68 minutes. Shane Murphy, although under pressure, uncharacteristically dropped a cross, with Matt Bainbridge on hand to ram the loose ball into the net. There was a suspicion from some of the United camp that the United keeper had been elbowed, but their appeals fell on deaf ears, and they soon got on with the game. The scoring pendulum swung back in the Hammers' favour on 75 minutes. After excellent work by Guthrie on the left, Jamie Beasley fired, a first-time unstoppable shot into to top left corner of the net. A United win though was never certain. The visitors continued to create chances, winning most of the second balls, with United lacking tightness in their play. The Purps too easily got in a number of low crosses which forced United into some desperate defending and clearances, with Murphy pulling off another good save. The Hammers however managed to hold on to seal the victory. Stoneham can take credit that they had arguably been United's toughest opponents at the County Ground this season, and will no doubt play a lot worse and win.
Hamworthy United: S Murphy, T Cooper, C Clarke, M Buckler, D Randall (c), T Rolls, B Beasley, C Ward (J Filkins 65), J Guthrie (K McCrow 90), C Munn, S Chilman (E Hodge 75)
Unused Subs: L Francis