Although, in the previous round, Downton had lost to Bashley by the odd goal in seven, they were later awarded the tie after it had transpired that the New Forest team had fielded an ineligible player in Cameron Beard. Beard had in fact had played for Hamworthy in their First Round victory against Bournemouth Sports Parley back in early September. On paper, lower league Downton would be expected to be less formidable opposition for United, but the Robins are going well in Wessex One. They are 3rd and level on points with the top two teams. With a few players’ cup-tied or resting knocks, the Hammers were able to give some of their squad and development players a chance to impress.
Neither team was able to get a hold on a very even game with very few chances, with United perhaps just shading the early possession. However on ten minutes, Robins' stopper Ernie Osie saved well at his near post from Ollie Davis's shot on the run. This was after being put through by a good ball from Cam Munn. However Diago Romero was proving to be a real handful and it was Downton who took the lead in the 25th minute. Fawzi Saadi as in the recent Brockenhurst game misjudged a high ball down the left and allowed it to go over his head. James Clarke in space was able to cut in, and, whether by accident or design, found his Captain Tom Moseley. The advancing Ollie King could only get a faint touch to the ball which enabled Moseley to finally force the ball over the line despite the efforts of King to get back and retrieve the situation. If Saadi was at blame for the goal conceded, he certainly made up for it with a gem of a goal on 44 minutes. There seemed little danger when the Hammers were awarded a foul some 30 yards out following a tackle from behind on Eddie Hodge. Saadi's exquisite free kick however managed to curl into the net off the right post, leaving Osie, who was having a fine game, clutching air. Later Dan Telfer's free kick for the visitors was well caught by Ollie King. On the stroke of half time, Osie back-tracked to push over a long looping shot from Davis, which left the game very match in the balance for the second half.
The Hammers did up their game a little after the break, but still lacked a real sting in front of goal. Dan Cann carved an early opening, but by the time he was able to pull the trigger the angle was so tight that Osie was able hold on to his powerful shot. A loose ball then fell perfectly for Hodge some twelve yards out who agonizingly fired just wide. Cann was then caught offside for the second time after finding the net. At the other end Moseley charging through looked set to score, before a determined Tony Rolls forced him into a hasty shot over the bar. Downton managed to regain the lead on 65 minutes with the second telling free kick of the match. This followed a hand ball by Declan Randall. Dan Telfer's excellent shot from about 20 yards flew into the top right corner, giving the static King no chance. However it did leave questions about the positioning of the wall, not for the first time this season.
In the 70th minute, the mere emergence of Downton’s substitute Matt Steer running onto the pitch was to have profound implications, even before he had touched the ball. The more astute Hamworthy observers were soon scouring their mobiles to confirm Steer had also played for the Hammers against Bournemouth Parley Sports in that first round, and indeed he had. Assuming the BDFA apply the same logic as that which proved Bashley's undoing, it would be United who would be going to the final whatever happened later in this game. As it was, despite all their substitutes playing their part, the Hammers just could not find a way through a second time. The Robins in fact could possibly have inflicted more damage with a couple of very late scares. If, as expected, it is the Hammers who progress to meet Brockenhurst in the final, the club none-the-less extend their sympathy to Downton whose hard fought and well merited the win which made light of their lower league status.
Hamworthy Team: O King, J Filkins, F Saadi (D Madouyat 70), T Rolls, D Randall, J Gleeson (M Oliver 80), O Davis (K McRow 75), L Francis, E Hodge, D Cann (E Hartnell-Baker 85), C Munn (J Delves 65)
Unused Subs: None
Goal: F. Saadi