A home game!!! The Hammers opened their Dorset Senior Cup campaign with a visit from last Tuesday's Wessex League opponents:
Hamworthy United 3 Shaftesbury 1
Dorset Senior Cup First Round (Tuesday 2nd November 2021)
It was refreshing to see the local County Cup competition back on the agenda, after its suppression last season for well-known reasons. With a stack of important games on the horizon, and several aching limbs needing either treatment or a deserved rest, United Boss Tim Sills used the opportunity to look at some of the young and upcoming Reserve team players. Five of the six in the squad were to see action on the night. Shaftesbury, managed by ex-Hammer Ollie Cherrett also had several of ex-County Ground men on the pitch. They too had rotated a few of their players in their squad.
It was Hamworthy who started the stronger, and drew first blood after only four minutes when JackLovell picked up Harvey Wright's ball from the left. The United danger man then did well to squeeze the ball into the far corner; the bounce just beating the dive of the experienced Max Frampton. The Rockies keeper then made light of his 40 years by shutting out the shot of a clean through Lovell. At the other end Asa Phillips had Shaftesbury's first real chance of the game, heading hard and just wide a good cross by Jordon Foot.The hosts however doubled their lead in the 16th minute after another fine move. Jamie Beasley's deft turn on the left took out his defender, before he switched play to Jack Lovell on the right. Lovell then toe poked the ball into the path of youngster Ethan Quarchioni who superbly drilled the ball into the far corner of the net from a tight angle. Play quickly switched ends again, Tommy Scott this time cushioning a long and well hit shot by Luke Delaney. United gave themselves clear daylight when they added a third on 25 minutes; again with new young blood involved. Jack Lovell just beat Frampton to Eric Mukambi's bouncing through ball. The keeper, knowing a robust challenge would probably see him off the pitch, did at least manage to force Lovell wide, but the United man still did enough to find the net with defenders chasing back. A fairly even and hard-fought end to the half saw no further goals, but there was more injury heartbreak for Hamworthy on 35 minutes. This being when Drew Eccott-Young had to pull up with a twisted ankle, but the player himself after the game was confident the damage was not too serious. Territorially it had been a fairly even first half, but the experienced Hammers defenders prevented Shaftesbury from any clear-cut chances whilst making the most of their own.
As the second half progressed the United's youngsters, playing their first game at this level, started to tire, and so this allowed the visitors more possession. This led to Tommy Scott having to now make more saves, but they were ones that he would be expected to make. This included pushing an acute angled Ash Pope effort onto, and over the bar, and finger tipping another good strike by Harry Wilkinson also just over. However, the visitors did manage to pull a consolation goal back in the 85th minute. Tommy Scott had just pushed Luke Delaney's shot round the far post. From Ash Pope's resulting corner Asa Phillips stole in at the far post to find the back of the net. Pope himself then put a fierce effort just over the bar. It was a hard-fought game, but few could deny Hamworthy deserved to win it. They defended better and took their chances when they came. They now have another home fixture against Bridport in the next round. The win maintains United's interest in four competitions, and will have been a valuable learning curve for the youngsters, one scoring and one providing an assist.
Hamworthy United: T Scott, D Randall (J Gentle 75), H Wright, D Eccott-Young (A Trodd 35), B Walker (c), T Rolls, E Mukambi, J Wearden, J Lovell (M Willcock 75), E Quarchioni, J Beasley
Unused Subs: C Cocklin, C Le Clercq