Sydenhams Premier League (Saturday 31st August 2019)
Hamworthy United: S Jones, J Filkins, R Watkins, H Cooper (H White 70), D Randall (c), D Dwyer, A Pope (O Davis 70), B Randall (C Senior 80), C Beard, E Hodge, M Steer (D Cann 75)
A comfortable win would be expected for United against their recently restructured opponents who ply their trade in the DPL two levels below that of the Hammers. None-the-less it was an opportunity for United to restore confidence after their excellent start to the campaign had been tarnished by two successive defeats, while giving a run-out at some point to those players on their way back from injury. The clubs had already met in a pre-season friendly at the County Ground, won by the hosts 6-0.
The match soon went to script, Ash Pope finding the far corner of the net on 15 minutes from an acute angle following a good ball by Cameron Beard. Beard then turned goal scorer ten minutes later slotting the ball home into the opposite corner after being set up by Matt Steer. Sam Jones came out well to deny Clive Makoni, always a threat with his pace, but United remained in control, with Eddie Hodge pivotal in many moves. They would have added more goals, but for some fine saves by Bournemouth stopper Ed Jenner, first from Brandon Randall and then Ryan Watkins. In almost the last action of the first half, the visitors against the run of play did manage to pull a goal back. Mike Oxford attacking down the the right was given the time and space to deliver a low cross into the box. This found Mat Newbury at the far post whose shot rebounded off a defender. The ball however conveniently fell to James Bergin to smash home.
(Photographs by Trudy Lay)
The Sports encouraged by their goal, came back stronger at the start of second half. However normal service resumed for the still dominant Hammers on 59 minutes. A good build-up ended with Ash Pope tucking the ball home just inside the left post for his second of the night. The visitors responded well, but Makoni's low shot on the run was well gathered by Jones. At the other end, Ash Pope completed his hat-trick on 65 minutes, cutting in from the right wing before his cracking shot from 20 yards found the narrow gap between the static keeper and the near post. In the latter stages, with the visitors appearing to tire,
United were able to bring on and their substitutes two of which have been out with long time injuries. Dan Cann showed some good touches on his return from injury, including playing a measured through ball into Beard, only for Jenner to save well. Chris Senior, still under treatment for an injured shoulder, also made his mark in his first action of the campaign. After rounding a defender on the bye-line his low cross to Ollie Davis was played back into Cann, whose shot cannoned off a Bournemouth player. Jenner did well to come off his line and close down the advancing Ollie Davis. He then just stretched high enough above his head to collect the ball from the United man’s attempted lob. This was soon followed by a long distance effort by Senior that just missed the post.
The final score was a fair reflection of play, in a match played in the right spirit with plenty of good football. The visitors raised their game and played well, but the gulf in leagues was always going to tell in the end. The win puts United into the Quarter Final.