Sydenhams Premier League (Saturday 21st December 2019)
Hamworthy United: O King, T Cooper, F Saadi, J Gleeson, A Costello, D Randall, O Davis (J King 55), L Francis (c), E Hodge, D Cann (E Hartnell-Baker 75), C Munn (H Cooper 65)
Unused Subs: J Filkins, T Sills
Goals: Cann, Saadi, Francis (2), Munn, King (2), Hartnell-Baker
MOM: Cam Munn
Match sponsored by: TeamJobs
A recent poor run has seen the Hammers recently drop slowly down the table faced a visit from Solent University. The visitors form, meanwhile, had started to pick up after another poor start to the season. This included a 7-1 defeat against United on the opening day of the season. However in the last month they have had away wins at Portland and Cowes and have drawn with Horndean at home. Fit again Lee Francis was back captaining the Hammers, with Cam Munn also returning quickly after breaking his nose last week. Solent made only two changes from their winning team at Cowes the previous week.
The Hammers started on the front foot from the word go, and took only four minutes to open their account. A delightful long ball played across the pitch by Cam Munn found Ollie Davis on the right bye-line. He perfectly teed the ball up for Dan Cann to tuck it home at the near post. United remained in control and doubled their lead in the 9th minute. Fawzi Saadi's corner, one of many that caused grief in the visiting defence, somehow found its way into the net.
Although the Hammers continued to press forward, the students did come more into the game towards the middle of the half. Ollie King held onto a firm shot before again doing well to tip Ryan Penny's effort around the post. However the hosts added a third goal on 28 minutes. The Solent keeper mishandled a back-pass, which allowed Munn to gain possession and pick out Lee Francis for an easy finish from about eight yards. Declan Randall was called to make a good block in front of goal to a solid effort by Jean-Pierre Alexander. Just before the break Solent stopper Dominic Oakes also did well to push a Saadi effort wide, following a fine through ball from Eddie Hodge.
Yet again, Hamworthy fell prey to an early second half goal. With only 9 seconds gone, Ethan Taylor found himself in space to scoop a bouncing ball outside the reach of the King and into the net from about 20 yards. However, the Hammers restored their three goal advantage 4 minutes later. The alert Cam Munn was on hand to poke in the rebound after the keeper was unable to hold onto a strong shot by Francis. The students did manage to rally and come back into it for a brief period.
Alexander fired inches wide of the far post, before a good effort from distance by James Goodey just cleared the bar. From then on, however, United dominated play, and netted their fifth on 66 minutes. Cann's unselfish ball across the goal took out the keeper and presented an easy tap in at the far post for substitute James King. Five minutes later, the Hammers made it six. A sweeping high ball across the pitch by Cann found Hodge. He weaved his way forward before delivering a low ball across the face of the goal, which was steered into the net from the tightest of angles by a determined James King. United were able to equal their opening day result on 78 minutes. Substitute Elliot Hartnell-Baker's all important touch to a clever through ball by Cooper, was just ahead of the keeper and crept inside the far post. The Hammers even went one better on 85 minutes, Lee Francis converting from close range after some good approach work by Saadi and Hodge.
Sooner or later somebody was going to receive the backlash from the Hammers' recent run of poor results. Discounting some sloppy defending at times, these had generally not matched the quality of their performances. However this time the back-line was far more effective both in its defending and its creativity when moving the ball forward. Jamie Gleeson reverted back to his more traditional creative midfield role, and Dan Cann was now able to win a lot more of the ball and spread the play well. This was an excellent all round performance.
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