You've seen the after match interview and notes from Josh Buck, but here's our intrepid reporter's view on last night's events:
Hamworthy United 2 Hythe & Dibden 1
Sydenhams Premier League (Tuesday 23rd November 20210
After their battling weekend FA Vase win, it was back to league business for United, knowing their games in hand on the leading two clubs would count for nothing if these are not turned into points. Newly promoted Hythe & Dibden have struggled in the Premier Division, but would be hoping that three signings in the last few days, all from established clubs, could yet turn their season. For Hamworthy's first league match under lights since mid-August, young goal getter Cam Munn would be hoping to shine on his return from a nasty injury. This was one of four changes made by Tim Sills to Saturday's starting eleven.
The Hammers kicked off facing the school end, and were soon creating the early chances. On the quarter hour, a rasping long shot by Munn came back off the near post, before being put out for a corner. The same player then headed Declan Randall's cross just wide of the far post. It seemed nothing more than par for the course when the Hammers took the lead on 20 minutes. Max Wilcock tried to connect with a hard cross into the goal-mouth by Munn. More by luck than design, he only succeeded in heading it backwards to Matt Neale who slammed the ball into the net from close range. United looked on course for a hatful when Cam Munn lit up his evening three minutes later. Picking up Jack Lovell's through ball, his jinxing run into the penalty area ended with a perfect finishing dink into the back of the net, doubling his team's advantage. The hosts' pressure did not relent. Another long low effort by Munn, followed a lay-back from Jamie Beasley, but this time it was turned round the near post by the busy Boatmen keeper Edas Juskelis. Juskelis than got down well to push out a fierce shot by Neale. Another exquisite Beaseley cross was headed just wide at the far post by Jack Lovell, before a long diagonal shot by Munn was parried into touch by the Hythe stopper. Hamworthy were well worth their two-goal interval lead, which could so easily have been more for all the decent chances they had created.
After the break good work by Munn, Neale drew yet another good save by Juskelis. However, the Boatmen soon started to move up the gears, and were now seeing much more of the ball as Hamworthy defended deeper. A Cain Prentice header from a pinpoint cross came back off the bar. Shane Murphy then had to be alert to hold on to a hard driven long shot by recent signing Sam Woodward. Hythe & Dibden were now looking a different team and pulled a goal back on 66 minutes. Whilst trying to play the ball out from the back Connor Cocklin, under pressure from Sam Woodward lost his footing after a short pass out from Murphy. This allowed the ex-Blackfield & Langley man to gain possession and squeeze the ball home between Murphy and the right post. United's one goal advantage now looked rather tenuous, and another excellent long shot by Woodward had to be watched all the way by Murphy before it narrowly passed over the bar.
Fortunately, the Hammers did manage to recompose themselves late on, forcing the Hythe keeper to make a couple of more good blocks. A clear trip on Beasley was also adjudged to be just outside the penalty area. Not the first time his season, Hamworthy had to hang on for a narrow win when they should have been out of sight by half time. None-the-less their remarkable unbeaten league start, now stretching to 16 games, and remains intact. Hythe, it must be said, put on a much better showing than in the reverse fixture in September, and could well have caused an upset. Continue to play like they did, especially in the second half they will surely be ok.
Hamworthy United: S Murphy, D Randall, C Clarke, C Munn (B Walker 75), C Cocklin, T Rolls, J Lovell, L Francis (c), M Wilcock (S Lanahan 75), M Neale, J Beasley
Unused Subs: H Wright, E Hodge, D Eccott-Young