A write up of the latest friendly for the 1st team last Saturday, courtesy of Roger Nicholson:
For the first time since lockdown began, the Hammers were able to play a game in front of a crowd. United played against Badshot Lea from the Southern Counties Combined Premier League, which is at the same level as the Wessex Premier. This was not the first Friendly between the teams; they met before about five years ago when the visitors proved to be very tough opponents. The match ended in a draw, but in all honesty United were more than a little lucky that day. Tim Sills and his opposite number were once strike partners at Aldershot in their professional playing days, and so know each other well.
Hamworthy very much controlled the first fifteen minutes of play, before a quick break out and cross from the left wing into the middle, allowed Badshot Lea the easiest of chances to take the lead in the 16th minute. However, a minute later it was all square again following a flurry of blocked shots that ended with a good strike from Sammy Chilman. Eddie Hodge replaced Dann Cann and soon put United ahead with a shot from just inside the box that hit the underside of the bar before going in. Hamworthy continued to have the better of the exchanges and, and on the balance of play took in a deserved lead at the break.
After the break as usual in friendlies both teams made changes. The visitor’s job became that much harder when one of their two very large defenders received a second yellow card, and so reduced their numbers to ten. To their credit they continued to make it a decent contest, but fell further behind in the 76th minute, when the ball fell to Olly Davies who made sure with an excellent strike. From this moment on the Hammers appeared to take their foot off the pedal, which the opposition took full advantage of. The ten men upped their work rate, and for the first time in the game most of the football was now being played in the United half. It came as no real surprise when the visitors scored in the 77th minute with a header from a good run and cross. Badshot Lea were now very much encouraged, and went looking for the equalizer, This came just five minutes later when a long ball from the halfway line found its man. He then outpaced the United defence to score, and draw a game that at one point did not look possible. Much credit must go to the opposition who never gave up. In the end it made the result a fair one by their performance in the latter part of the game. I am sure that Tim and his Management Team would have also learned a lot about their squad, both good and bad in this entertaining Friendly. That is what these games are all about, and much more important than the result