It was a little bitter to be fair and the wind was determined to play its part but both sets of players were out there to win, here the match report from Tony & Roger:
Hamworthy United 0 Blackfield & Langley 0
Sydenhams Premier League (Saturday 27th November 2021)
Hamworthy were looking to extend their unbeaten league start of 17 games, and to remain in the leading pack. Meanwhile, their Solent based visitors who are now managed by ex-Hammer Fawazi Saadi, fielded a couple of ex-United players, and were hoping to build on their solid start to the campaign. Hammers' boss Tim Sills had also been a player-coach of the Water-siders in 2016/17. With gale force ice-cold winds blowing it was sure to make playing conditions difficult.
It was the Hammers who were seeing more of the ball in the early stages, but they were lacking their usual quality in their play. Such was the wind however; their first real chance came when Shane Murphy's long clearance kick took just one bounce to reach his opposite number Jay Morris. The keeper still needed two attempts to gather the ball with Max Wilcock close at hand. Shortly after Eddie Hodge had a wind assisted corner that curled onto and over the bar. As the game progressed it was the visitors who created the better chances. Owen Fee found himself clean through before shooting just wide of the far post. The United keeper then saved well from Gerson Da Costa Ramos, who was again found free and in on goal. At the other end Hodge was put through by Cam Munn, but following a determined run he put a decent chance over the bar. It was still the Wartersiders who although kicking against the wind still looked the more dangerous of the two teams. Following a lapse in the home defence, Fee set up Da Costa Ramos for a clear run at goal, but again good positioning by Murphy forced the Blackfield man to steer his shot inches wide of the far post. Domenico Panesar-Dower's cross from a short corner was then met with a delicate header by Jack Barton, but it was well pushed over by Murphy. Although the elements were not conducive to good football, this would not be a half the Hammers would want to remember, with not much composure in their play. Blackfield & Langley also would themselves have been disappointed not to have put away at least one of their clear-cut chances.
Now playing into the wind, which can sometimes be an advantage, the Hammers did liven up their play a little after the break. Almost from the restart, a pull-back from Jamie Beasley to Matt Neale was well pushed out by the keeper. Morris then showed some confident handling, with two good catches from high crosses by Munn and Beasley. A cynical trip on Munn just outside the area, led to a booking for Jack Barton, and this presented another chance for United to open the scoring. However, the keeper had lined up his three-man wall well, and forced the normally reliable Neale to shoot wide of the near post. The visitors did come more into the game late on, with Shane Murphy ably gathering a number of ground shots. Connor Cocklin was also having a fine game, winning many vital headers. Very late on the Hammers produced probably their best bit of play in the half which so nearly led to a goal. This was when a superbly flighted ball down the right side by Declan Randall put Neale is space near the corner. After some neat ball control under pressure, Neale laid the ball sideways to set up a free strike for Lee Francis. The United captain hit the ball well, which the diving Morris saved, but could not hold on to. Jack Lovell following up was then penalised for a foul on the keeper, but many thought the decision harsh as the ball was there to be won. The Hammers despite performing better in the second half will happily take just the point. It was a result they would certainly have accepted at half-time. With Horndean and Brockenhurst the two teams above them also both dropping points, the result in context was not so bad. Both their pre-match objectives can also be said to have been met.
Hamworthy United: S Murphy, D Randall, C Clarke, M Neale, C Cocklin, T Rolls, E Hodge (M Buckler HT), L Francis (c), M Wilcock (S Lanahan 80), C Munn (J Lovell 70), J Beasley
Unused Subs: H Wright, A Costello