Sydenhams Premier League (Tuesday October 1st 2019)
Hamworthy United: O King, J Filkins, R Watkins, H White, C Cocklin, T Rolls, A Pope, L Francis (c), J Gleeson, D Cann, C Beard
Subs Used: D Dwyer, O Davis, H Cooper
It was events off the pitch that had been taking centre stage of late for the County Ground men. However, on it the manager-less Hammers were hoping to arrest a slide which had accumulated just two points from five games.
This followed a very bright start which included a convincing FA Cup defeat of Bashley. The hosts themselves were also not firing in the league, with lowly Solent University managing to return from Bashley Road with their first league win, by the odd goal in three, on Saturday. Bashley included ex-Hammer Jason Collins between the sticks, with three of United's line up donning Bash colours last season.
After an even opening, It was the hosts who took the lead on 13 minutes when Harry McGrath stroked a rolling ball home from the edge of penalty area. However, Hamworthy gave themselves hope by equalizing midway through the half. Following a rather contentious free kick awarded to United, Jamie Gleeson played the dead ball into the path of ex-Bashley man Cameron Beard, who did well to find the net. The Bash though restored their advantage on 32 minutes. After some remarkable pin-ball in the danger area, which included some heroic United blocks, Harry Bunce was in the right place at the right time to rifle the ball home. Spurred on by their second goal, it was the hosts were playing the better football leading to the interval, moving the ball well.
With the Hammers upping their game after the break, Bashley's Jason Collins was soon called upon to keep his team's one goal advantage intact, saving well with his feet on 57 minutes to block a United break towards goal. With United always looking for an equalizer, but prone to leave gaps, much of the second period remained very open, with the final outcome hard to predict.
However, all that changed on 85 minutes, the Bash putting the result to bed after the ball reached Harry McGrath on the edge of the box. He fired it into the top corner of the net to complete his brace and open a clear two goal lead for his team. This third successive defeat now drops United into the bottom half of the league on 12th, Bashley bypassing them to move up to 10th.
One consolation for their manager-to-be is that United will have plenty of home games in the bank once their currently unusable County Ground, which has not seen a league game for several weeks, is deemed safe again once the damaged flood lamp is repaired