Here's the match report from Saturday's Wessex League match:
Hamworthy United 3 Alton 0
Sydenhams Premier League (Saturday 28th August 2021)
Following their FA Cup success last weekend, it was back to League business for United, as they looked to keep in the leading pack. With several players unavailable or carrying knocks, the importance of having a large squad now showed its worth. Former Hammer Tom Rees donned the gloves, making him our third keeper this season. He was just one of three changes to the starting eleven from last weekend. The newly promoted Brewers were also going well in the League, and they would no doubt be fired up by their own midweek FA cup victory against Bradford Town.
Once play started the similarity in form-book counted for little, Hamworthy quickly took charge and created a host of chances. Billy Walker soon latched onto the pickings of a Lee Francis header but put the ball just wide. Soon after that, Francis glanced Jamie Beasley's teasing corner against the bar and back to safety. The Brewers' keeper Henry Woodcock then made good saves from Harvey Wright and Lee Francis. The Hammers' best chance so far fell to Beasley, who was put clean through by Max Buckler, but agonizingly fired just wide of the right post. The Hammers finally found a way through on 27 minutes. Buckler, just inside the Alton half, threaded the ball forward to Matty Neale. Neale in turn slid the ball through to pick up Jack Lovell's run on the right. Lovell ran on before dinking the ball over the dive of the onrushing Woodcock to nestle in the far corner of the net. United remained in control and doubled their lead on the stroke of half time. The Brewers however could rightly feel gutted that they had not equalized seconds before. The visitors certainly had a very strong case for a penalty when Billy Walker appeared to handle a low cross into his penalty area, but the referee allowed play to continue. The ball immediately broke down the right of the pitch, culminating in Lee Francis' cross being stroked in by Jamie Beasley at the far post. This had been a good half for United, with constant surges down both flanks, but perhaps they could have been more clinical in front of goal. Alton by contrast were unable to match their hosts for pace, looked bereft of ideas, apart from the long ball, and were only able to work Tom Rees into a couple of easy catches from headers.
The second period started where the first had left off. An early Neale cross was well dummied by Francis, only for Cann to fire a gilt-edged chance over the bar. The Hamworthy camp were now
becoming increasingly frustrated at Alton players appearing to go down too easily and be awarded fouls. It was against this background that Lovell was directed to the sin bin on 65 minutes. Ironically, it was then after an apparent clear infringement (not given) on Connor Cocklin that the visitors were able to create their best opening of the game, but the chance was put wide. It was with some concern for the Hammers on 75 minutes, ahead of next weekend's important Cup game, when substitute Cam Munn had to pull up after rolling on his ankle in a complete accident. Despite United taking their foot of the gas a little in the final stages, they continued to keep Woodcock busy, and the Visitors finally did manage to up their game a little.
However, Hamworthy netted again moments before the final whistle. Lovell sent in a low ball from the left which Cann tried to convert, but lost control of. The ball fell nicely though to substitute Jamie Filkins to ram it home beneath the keeper. That goal at least gave a more realistic outcome to the match and one that confirmed United in 3rd place. They must feel however that they they should have won by an even greater margin in a game they dominated.
Hamworthy United: T Rees, D Eccott-Young, H Wright, M Buckler, C Cocklin, B Wallker, J Lovell, L Francis (c), M Neale, D Cann, J Beasley (C Munn 55) (J Filkins 75)
Unused Subs: A Costello