FA Vase Second Round Proper (Saturday 2nd November 2019)
Hamworthy United: O King, D Randall, R Watkins, H Cooper (B Randall 70), C Cocklin, T Rolls (J Filkins 60), O Davis, L Francis (c), E Hodge, D Cann, F Saadi (A Pope 55)
Unused Subs: S Cooper (gkp)
Goals: Cann (x3), Saadi, Cocklin, Francis
MOM: Ollie King
Hamworthy's late entry into the FA Vase this year was their reward for reaching the fourth round (last 32) last season. The Oxfordshire based hosts, uncharted territory for most of the Hammers' team, were sitting in a handy fourth place in the Hellenic League Division One East, one level below Hamworthy in the non-league pyramid. Chris Senior continued as acting manager, with Tim Sills still on holiday, but would have to make do without the unavailable Jamie Gleeson in defence. The lush state of the Northcourt pitch meant this fixture was never in doubt despite the continuing downpours.
The game took no time at all to come to life, with the Hammers creating the early mayhem. In the opening minute, the Abingdon stopper Jack Griffiths had to dive low to his left to keep out a Fawzi Saadi strike, before cleanly holding onto a tricky low cross by Ollie Davis. Dan Cann then had the ball in the net but was adjudged offside. However the hosts then came more into the game, forcing Ollie King into an excellent tip-over save on the quarter hour.
Midway through the half, Abingdon were awarded a controversial penalty after what appeared to many a fair tackle by Ryan Watkins, but King somehow diverted the fierce spot kick over the bar with his legs. With both teams now creating chances, it was Hamworthy who broke the deadlock on 31 minutes. Ollie Davis sent a high ball forward into the box which eluded both the jumps of Dan Cann and a jostling defender, before hitting the hand of the backing up defender. A penalty was correctly awarded for an avoidable hand ball.
This was taken by Dann Cann himself who rammed the ball into the left corner of the net, sending the keeper the wrong way. The Hammers doubled their lead only four minutes later. Again the architect was Ollie Davis, whose cross from the left was only cleared into the path of Fawzi Saadi. The Hammers' danger man took full advantage to return the ball with interest. His superb half volley on his weaker right foot found the far right corner of the net. The visitors remained in complete control and bagged a third goal on 41 minutes. Yet another Ollie Davis cross, this time from the right, was flicked into the roof of the net by Dan Cann who pounced on the ball just ahead of the keeper. Hamworthy heaped even more misery on their hosts with a fourth strike a minute later. Connor Cocklin jumped well to head home Saadi's well floated free kick into the top right corner of the net.
Abingdon gave themselves a glimmer of hope pulling a goal back three minutes into the restart when a menacing in-swinging cross towards the far post was forced into the net. The hosts, spurred on by their goal, upped their game for a period. However, despite winning a few free kicks in dangerous positions, the hosts were unable to take their chances, with King continuing to have an inspired game. Normal service resumed for the Hammers on 63 minutes, resulting from an excellent build up. A ball from defence was played down the right channel to Declan Randall, who in turn pushed it through to Ollie Davis. Davis beat his man before his precise square ball took out the keeper, allowing a straightforward conversion for Dan Cann, completing a well deserved hat trick. Both keepers were kept busy as chances came and went at each end, but the next goal again fell to a claret and blue shirt on 86 minutes.
Ash Pope's free kick appeared to deceive the keeper as it bent in flight, and he could only get a fist onto the ball after having to change direction. In a little spell of pin ball, both Francis and Can saw their shots charged down, before Lee Francis was finally able to force the ball over the line. This was an excellent performance and result by Hamworthy few would have predicted.
The turning point was arguably Ollie King's penalty save which, if converted, would have given the hosts confidence and something to build on. As it was, once Hamworthy opened the scoring, they remained in complete control. King was deservedly Hamworthy's man of the match, not only for a fine save at a vital time, one of many, but also for his good all round positioning, and distribution from his kicking.