When the reverse fixture was played in mid-October Brockenhurst were occupying 2nd place in the league. However following United’s 3-2 win the Badgers have gradually slipped down the league and are now eleventh, 2 places and 1 point above the Hammers. The home team’s starting line up included two ex Hamworthy players Chia Khinder and Brad Magoogin. They also had Harrison White on the bench who had started the season at the County Ground. A strong wind and a sticky uneven pitch made the playing conditions difficult. This meant that there was not going to be a lot of quality football played, and this was how the game turned out.
After two minutes the Badgers’ Tom Baily set up a glorious chance for Freddie Bullard, but he could only fire the ball wide of the post. At the other end Keeper John Webb parried away Connor Cocklin’s header from a well directed Fawzi Saadi free kick. Chances were far and few between, but after 30minutes a teasing ball was put into the Hamworthy danger area. This created a 50-50 situation between United keeper Ollie King and Bullard. King showed commendable courage to reach the ball first, and under considerable pressure grabbed the ball at his second attempt. Hamworthy were playing the better football, but were unable to finish off their approach work.
Cam Munn carved himself a good opening, but his effort lacked power and was saved by the keeper’s legs. The same player cleverly back heeled the ball to Dan Cann, but he shot wide. Playmaker EddieHodge who was not playing at his best had a free kick comfortably saved. With half time approaching Saadi was taken out by what looked to many a dangerous late tackle. The Referee however only awarded a free kick to United. This resulted in Saadi getting sin-binned for showing his annoyance that no card had been shown for the tackle. Ten men Hamworthy had no trouble seeing out the rest of a poor first half for both sides.
Play did in fact liven up a bit after the break. Tickle ended a good run with a low shot that was well held by King. This was quickly followed by the Badgers keeper tipping over an awkward cross come shot from Ollie Davis. Saadi returned from the sin-bin a few minutes before Brockenhurst’s Tom Sykes replaced him there.
This led to United having much more of the play. Munn drew a good save from Webb, before Hodge both saw decent shots blocked by defenders. Hamworthy deservedly broke the deadlock in the 58th minute with the first bit of real quality so far in the game. Lee Francis spotted space to set up Saadis run down the left flank. His first time cross found Ollie Davis at the far post, who then hit the ball back across the keeper and into the net.
Unfortunately for United Cocklin who had been having a good game had to leave the field due to feeling dizzy from an earlier clash of heads. The Badgers play improved after making a few substitutions. One of them Harrison White set up James Shorey whose low shot was tipped round the post by King. At the other end Jamie Gleeson dangerous looking run and shot came to nothing when Webb gathered the ball in at the far post. The home side were now back to full strength only for substitute Ben Kemplin to be sent to the sin-bin in the 75th minute.
Despite this the Badgers pushed players forward in search of an equaliser, King was not to know that his very well executed save from Dylan Manufor’s header had already been ruled offside. As the game neared its end Brockenhurst threw caution to the wind, with even their keeper popping up in the United box for a corner. Despite this it appeared that the Hammers were content to sit back and try and defend their narrow lead, instead of exploiting the spaces left.
In the 3rd minute of added time they paid the price for this. Saadi failed to deal with a high ball down the right which left Shorey in the clear to cut in and steer the ball past King, and into the far corner. This left the home side in raptures, getting a point that over the ninety minutes they probably really didn't deserve
Hamworthy Team: O King, T Cooper, F Saadi, J Gleeson, C Cocklin (T Rolls 65), A Costello, O Davis, Lee Francis (c), E Hodge, D Cann, C Munn (H Cooper 80)
Unused Subs: J King, T Sills
Goal: O Davis