REPORT: Christchurch 0-1 Hamworthy UTD

Sydenhams Wessex Premier League

(Sunday 3rd March 2020)

Hamworthy were hoping to make it four straight league wins in a row, but with the Church challenging for the title, and unbeaten at home in this league campaign, the odds were against them.

However, it was perhaps of some comfort to United that Christchurch were not strictly at "home", the game being moved at short notice to nearby New Milton due to pitch concerns at Hurn Bridge. There has always been a lot of player movement between these two neighbouring clubs, with Christchurch boss Ollie Cherrett himself an ex-Hammer. United also welcomed back Crit Clark, starting on the bench after returning from Portland.

The first quarter hour was quite even, with no clear cut chances at either end. The Church then started to win more possession, and with it looked the more threatening. Their first real chance came on 24 minutes; Max Wilcock at the far post headed a long cross from Ron Frost just over the bar. Five minutes later, one of many long teasing throws by Frost was glanced against the bar, by Wilcock, before the ball was scrambled clear. The same player fired another good chance hard but wide Tom Cooper then did well to deflect Matt Neale's close range header out for a corner.

This had been an uninspiring first half, with neither goalkeeper yet to make an actual save, but certainly the omens were now favouring the hosts.

Christchurch carried on after the break where they had left off playing mostly the long ball game. An early Church free kick from just outside the area was rammed into the wall before the rebound was put just wide. The Hammers continued to defend resolutely. Their task though was made that bit harder when Jamie Beasley was sent to the sin bin midway through the half, rather unnecessarily as United had already been awarded the free kick. Five minutes later Christchurch’s Manny Ohameje's near post header from Kyle Graham's cross just cleared the bar. As so often happens in this sort of game, it was Hamworthy who finally broke the deadlock in the 83rd minute with a very quick and well worked move; and certainly the best bit of football in the game.

Substitute striker Jamie Filkins picked up the ball in his own half, before his sudden deft pass on the turn picked out the run of substitute Fawzi Saadi. Saadi then cleverly threaded the ball forward to the unmarked James King, who ran on to beat the Church stopper Lewis Gunstone-Gray with a cool shot from the edge of the area, that finished just inside the far right post. The hosts came back with some intent but United held firm. Deep into injury time it looked, at least to those watching from the side that Christchurch substitute W