The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round (Saturday 10th August 2019)
Hamworthy United: S Jones, R Watkins (C Cocklin 85), J Gleeson, H Cooper, D Randall (c), T Rolls, H White (B Randall 75), L Francis, J Guthrie (E Hodge 60), M Steer, C Beard Unused Subs: J Tregaskas (gkp), J Filkins
Hamworthy Goals: Steer (x2), Beard MOM: Declan Randall
WATCH: All three goals against Bashley
Hamworthy welcomed their league near neighbours Bashley to the Specsavers County Ground. This time it was for action in the FA Cup, with a luring £2,250 in prize money for the winners. Last season the fixtures between the two clubs ended in narrow 2-1 wins for the home teams. Both clubs have made good starts to this season, with United in top place with two good wins. The Bash have had a win and a draw, and so another close battle could be expected. Hammers' line-up featured Cameron Beard, Tony Rolls and Harrison White, all signed from the visitors in the close season. Jamie Filkins, and Dan Cann were both injured.
The game was always going to be made more difficult by a gale force wind that favoured Bashley in the first half, as they attacked the Irvin Brown end. Not surprisingly, the United end saw more of the action. However it was to the Hammers' credit, from the goalkeeper to the forwards, that they always looked the more likely to open the scoring. Home keeper Sam Jones soon emanated confidence to his defenders, holding onto a difficult wind assisted ball despite Jamie Webber’s close attention. He then cleanly gathered in a long angled long shot by Hugh Dathan at his far post. It was the hosts however who so nearly drew first blood in the 12th minute, James Guthrie's fine effort ramming the bar, after the ball was laid back to him by Matt Steer. After Jones had comfortably held Webber's header at the other end, Hammers' man White fired just wide following a neat build-up. With Hamworthy only threatening in odd bursts, the visitors continued to keep Jones on his toes, but rarely troubled him. Bashley's best chance came on 41 minutes. A pinpoint cross by Lewis Ross fell perfectly to the unmarked Ollie Smith just a couple of yards out from the far post, but his powerful header cleared the bar. United boss Alan Lay must have been highly satisfied that the United goal had still not been breached by the interval, and his team now had the advantage of the wind in the second period.
Although it was the visitors who applied most of the early pressure after the interval, the Hammers finally opened the scoring on 65 minutes, but not without a little bit of luck. Matt Steer's short corner was played back to him by substitute Eddie Hodge. Steer then made himself some space before sending the ball high towards the far post. Bashley keeper Ollie Bull at first looked well positioned, but a sudden gust of wind took the ball over him, and into the net.
Only a minute later, Bashley would have equalised, but for the remarkable skill of Declan Randall. Harry Morgan looked bound to score when running in with the goal at his mercy. However the United captain won the ball off him with a perfect sliding tackle, which brought applause from the spectators. Home keeper Sam Jones had been encouraged by his manager at half time to make full use of the wind, and look for openings. He duly obliged on 70 minutes. His long goal kick down the middle fell directly into the path of Matt Steer in plenty of space. With keeper Bull having taken up a position some way off his line, he took the opportunity to lob the ball over him and into the net, completing his brace. With the hosts remaining in control, and Hodge showing some nice touches, United put the icing on the cake in injury time.
With Bashley players pushing up, Lee Francis sent a long ball forward to Cameron Beard. He shook off a defender, before slotting the ball into the net under the legs of Bull as he tried to narrow the angle. United thoroughly deserved the win, playing as a complete team all the way back to the goalkeeper, organized in defence, winning the midfield battle, and taking their chances at the front. Bashley, were no mean opposition, but it is the Hammers who will now visit neighbours Portland United on 24th August in the next round.
Reaction from Matt Steer on his brace
Reaction from Manager Alan Lay