The first home game in over 6 weeks and it was our nearest local derby, report follows:
Sydenhams Premier League (Tuesday 15th December 2020}
Derby games are always passionate affairs, but this one took on extra significance, Hamworthy knowing a win would guarantee to keep them in top spot. Meanwhile Bournemouth, lingering in 13th place, were looking to stem a five-game losing run. Tim Sills made four changes to last Saturday's successful starting eleven, endorsing his policy to utilise his large squad with a high density of important games ahead.
Hamworthy started the stronger, and took the lead after only 8 minutes. Poppies' keeper Sam Jones, an ex-Hammer, had just done well to push wide a cheeky back flick from Bailey Rowe. The ball was then cleared into touch by Lewis Harvey. Tom Cooper's resultant throw from the right quickly made its way to Steve Devlin. The United man made space for himself before his powerful left footer from 25 yards found the bottom right corner of the net, just beating the dive of Jones. Although not quite at their best, United created further good chances before the interval. Following an articulate ball in from Devlin, Cam Munn's low diagonal effort just evaded the far post. On 26 minutes Jones and his defenders somehow repelled a spot of pin-ball, with Munn and Rowe (twice) firing against Poppies' armoury. The lively Devlin then again shot into the midriff of Jones.It was not until 34 minutes that Poppies' managed their first serious shot, Lewis Harvey's decent 20-yard free kick being very well turned around the post by Shane Murphy. This was proving to be a frustrating half for United in front of goal, who missed yet another good chance on the stroke of half time. Following a good pass down the left flank from Connor Cocklin, Munn just overran the ball, allowing Jones to safely gather.
The hosts, as they so often do, moved up a gear after the break, and soon doubled their lead on 53 minutes. A long and high diagonal ball from Cocklin found Jamie Beasley in space on the left. Beasley ran the ball to the edge of penalty area before delivering a low cross, the path of which was curiously diverted by the hand of the grounded Zach Phelps. A penalty was the only possible decision. United's record from spot kicks this season though has been nothing to write home about. However, new boy Steve Devlin showed just how it should be done, blasting the ball hard low just inside the right post with Jones committed the other way. It was against the run of play that Poppies were back in the game on 58 minutes. From a lucky bounce into the penalty area, Jack Voisey reached the ball just ahead of the advancing Murphy and lobbed it over his arm and into the net, despite a determined retreat by Cocklin. Despite this the Hammers remained on the front foot. Cocklin headed Cooper's cross just wide, before the hosts netted again on 73 minutes from another penalty. This had been awarded after Rowe's burst into the box had been cynically impeded by the red carded Zach Phelps. Again, Steve Devlin made no mistake, choosing the same spot as before, although this time Jones was not too far from it. That goal and loss of player seemed to knock the stuffing out of a hardworking but tiring Bournemouth whose goal now led a charmed life until the final whistle. Beasley saw another effort well blocked by Jones, with Francis' follow-up hitting a defender. A long effort from Davis was then unorthodoxly diverted over by Jones, before Beasley headed another Cooper cross onto and over the bar. The busy Jones then stood up well to thwart Neale, clean through after a defender had allowed Cocklin's long ball to slip through his legs. A deflected Cooper effort was parried wide by Jones, before Rowe's clever chip was headed off the line by Harvey, after a faint touch by the keeper. Cocklin then lobbed a bouncing ball against the bar. It surprisingly took until injury time for United to add to their score. Substitute James King found Bailey Rowe who shrugged off a couple of challenges before beating Jones all ends up with a crisp shot just inside the near post. With the news coming through that Lymington had lost at home to Bashley, this ended a perfect night for the Hammers, now sitting three points clear at the top.
Hamworthy United: S Murphy, T Cooper, C Clarke, S Devlin, C Cocklin, A Costello, E Hodge (M Neale 75), L Francis (c), B Rowe, C Munn (O Davis 75), J Beasley (J King 85)
Unused Subs: D Randall