Sydenhams Premier League (Saturday 7th September 2019)
Hamworthy United: S Jones, J Filkins, R Watkins, H Cooper (H White 45), D Randall (c), T Rolls, B Randall, L Francis (D Cann 70), C Beard, E Hodge (O Davis 75), A Pope
Unused Subs: M Steer, C Senior
Third placed Hammers were hoping to bounce back after dropping their first league points last weekend. Neighbours' Poppies understandably have yet to match the results that saw them finish in a very creditable third place last term. They have since lost most of that team to other Clubs including Hamworthy, and are now very much in the process of rebuilding. In August they made United work very hard for their narrow 2-1 victory at the Specsavers County Ground. The Hammers still had a few out, but danger man Dan Cann was now fit enough to make the bench. This was after a long term injury picked up in that recent Bournemouth game. Ex- PoppiesSam Jones and Harry Cooper would be back at their old stomping ground today.
Early on neither side was really able to impose themselves on the game, as it struggled to come to life. The first real chance fell to Bournemouth's Rafael Santos on 12 minutes. With United's players all pushing up, he was allowed to run unhindered down the left wing. He could have taken the ball an extra few more paces, but his final effort from just inside the penalty area missed the near post. The hosts again came close when Kevin Forman picked up a ball out on the far left played out to him by Louis Coulson.
He cut in before his cross-come-shot had to be pushed over the bar by an alert Sam Jones. United now began to come much more into the game. Eddie Hodge forced a good parry from home stopper James Mayo on 25 minutes. At other end an excellent build up by Jamie Trimble and Karol Rog, finished with Santos curling a long diagonal shot just wide of the far post. Hamworthy’s Brandon Randall then tried his luck from distance on a loose bouncing ball. However his decent effort was collected from just under the bar by Mayo. Overall the first half was fairly even, but unfortunately without much good football being played. It was probably just shaded by the Hammers on chances. Poppies were more physical, and preferred a slightly more direct approach. United tended to opt for the more inventive build ups but, much as in the earlier game at the County Ground, they rarely threatened when it mattered.
(Photographs by Trudy Lay)
Play did liven up a little up a after the restart, but with neither side looking likely to break the stalemate. Poppies wasted a good chance on 62 minutes. Karol Log laid the ball back to Tyrone Carkeet, but the Poppy man fired well over. In the 65th minute Poppies were temporarily a man down after Santos was sent to the Sin Bin for ten minutes for dissent. However as the game progressed it was United after some substitutions who now started to gain control. Dann Cann, although still not yet looking fully fit, created more energy up front with his long throws and hold up play.
The recently returned Ollie Davis also began to show some of his best form. United's best chance came after Eddie Hodge had showed great determination to win the ball near the left corner flag. He superbly played it across to Jamie Filkins who was free and in plenty of space. However the United defender hurried his first time shot which finished well clear of the bar. Following a scramble from Ash Pope’s corner, Declan Randall's shot was saved by Mayo. Filkins then headed Ryan Watkins' cross just wide of the far post. Poppies did create one late chance that followed a good cross by Davidson Borges, but Levi Ridealgh could only fire into the side netting. The Hammers were certainly the stronger outfit in the second half, but it was perhaps a little disappointing that they could not finish off any of their many late chances.
Sam Jones by comparison only had one shot to save throughout. However one point is better than none and positives can still be taken. In particular Tony Rolls set up some good chances with some accurate balls forward, and at times showed excellent understanding with his keeper in containing crosses. Sam Jones' also showed good positioning, and handling of high balls, when called upon.
Alan Lay's reaction