First match of 2022 and a "local" derby. Here's the report:
Portland United 1 Hamworthy United 5
Sydenhams Premier League (Monday 3rd January 2022)
Hamworthy and Portland United met at the Camp & Satherley Stadium, in this local derby. A win for the Hammers; subject to other results, could push them into second place in the league table. On the other hand, Portland, although reasonably safe from the bottom three, would be looking to stem the blip that has led to them taking just one point from their last three league games. However, just before that they enjoyed a resounding 3-7 victory at Fareham in early December. Chris Senior controlled affairs from the dug-out, with Tim Sills again unavailable.
Both teams had good chances in a sprightly opening. Hammers' man Jamie Beasley, rounded the keeper, only to see his fierce shot bravely headed off the line by Ryan McKechnie. At the other end, Blues' man Joel Hewitt had his header from a corner hacked off the line. Shane Murphy then had to be at his best to push wide a strong effort by Greg Borthwick. It was the Hammers though who opened the scoring on 19 minutes. Cam Munn was left with the easy task of nudging the ball past the grounded Michael Edgar following good approach play down the middle by Drew Eccott-Young and Lee Francis. Two minutes later a gift from the Blues doubled the visitors advantage Munn, picked up a low diagonal ball by Eccott-Young on the right, and then saw his low cross turned into his own net by the luckless Ollie Lowes sliding in. The Hammers now took the game to the hosts and they made it three on the stroke of half-time. Following a corner by ex-Portland man Beasley, Max Wilcock was clearly impeded by Ryan McKechnie just inside the area as he was preparing to shoot. The spot-kick was well converted by Cam Munn to complete his first half brace. However, within a minute Portland gave themselves a lifeline. A slip in the Hammers’ defence allowed a rapid Blues' break down the left by Greg Borthwick and Matt Burrows. Burrows played the unmarked Joel Hewitt through on goal, and he kept his cool to slot the ball home to the left of Shane Murphy.
Hamworthy continued to be the stronger team after the break, but it took a bizarre goal for them to restore their three-goal cushion in the53rd minute. There seemed no danger as Edgar prepared to clear a rolling ball up the field, but he only succeeded is smacking it into the back of Max Wilcock. The ball then somehow gently spun into the far side of the net just under the bar. Midway through the half, Hamworthy substitute Mickey Finch showed great feet to make space for himself and set up a glorious chance in front of goal for fellow substitute Sam Lanahan. Lanahan's effort however drew an excellent block by Edgar. Soon after, Edgar again denied Lanahan following an articulate ball by Munn that put the visitors two to one, in on goal. On 71 minutes Billy Walker was perhaps lucky the card was only yellow after appearing to raise his hands at Matt Burrows after Burrows had bundled Tony Rolls into the pitch hoarding. If the Hamworthy's fourth goal was bizarre, the fifth was down to pure quality in the 80th minute. Another perfectly weighted through ball by Munn was picked up by Sam Lanahan whose twisting run forward ended with a sublime finish into the bottom left corner. There was more drama on 83 minutes, when McKechnie was rightly shown a red card for deliberately handling Jack Lovell's flick would again have put Lanahan in free on goal. Hamworthy had no trouble seeing the game out for a well-deserved win. Portland had battled hard, but were not helped by two freak goals of the five conceded. However, they never really gave themselves a platform to launch a proper recovery. The visitors certainly saw more of the ball and always had that bit of extra quality in their approach play and in front of goal. With Brockenhurst unexpectedly losing at Christchurch, only goal difference now keeps the Hammers below the leaders Horndean, but with a game in hand.
Hamworthy United: S Murphy, T Rolls, H Wright, D Eccott-Young, C Cocklin, B Walker, E Hodge (J Lovell 70), L Francis (c), M Wilcock (M Finch 65), C Munn, J Beasley (S Lanahan 65)