Only the 7 games to recap over the last 7 days with 5 of our teams in action with just the Under 23s sitting out (next game is this Thursday away to Brockenhurst U23s).
Let's start with the Under 18s and their FA Youth Cup adventure.
Last Thursday, the Under 18s travelled up to Eastleigh for what would surely be their toughest assignment to date against a full-time National League Academy side. In wonderful settings which left the Hammers' Directors dreaming about the future, Martyn Poucher and Dave Abbott had picked their starting 11 and off we went in front of an impressive 251 official attendance.
What was going to be a tough ask became much harder within 2 minutes when a fantastic 20 yard strike from Eastleigh found the top corner and it was 0-1. The hosts had started well and the Hammers were having to dig deep early on. They were just getting going probing the opposition keeper with some good crosses when a loose ball was pounced upon and their striker was played through to finish well beyond the keeper to make it 0-2 with only 16 minutes on the clock. The next quarter of an hour saw the game settle down with so decent approach play by both sides without any further clear cut chances, but on 31 minutes the game was put seemingly beyond doubt when an Eastleigh forward found himself with space in the box to nett the home side's 3rd goal. Work to do in the half time team talk!
The players immerged from the changing rooms and the Hammers had made a change and shuffled a few players around. Could this make a difference? Just 5 minutes into the half, a cross from the left was inadvertently put into his own net by an Eastleigh defender and the Hammers were on the score sheet. Was this the piece of good fortune the team needed to believe a positive result was still attainable? The game had now changed and was already becoming more open and the Eastleigh goalkeeper was now in the action stopping a low shot in the 59th minute. The Hammer's keeper was next in action saving a shot from an Eastleigh corner and then the game got really interesting! On 75 minutes, debutant Christie Ward stepped up and slammed an unstoppable free kick from 25 yards into the top corner....game on!!! The final quarter of an hour was understandably a bit loose all round as the Hammers now fully believed they could at least force penalties which of course opened the defence up and Eastleigh hit the bar in the 81st minute, but there was still time. The clock said 90 minutes were up when a Hamworthy corner was swung in from the Hammer's left and the ball ended up in the back of the net with the Hamworthy players all turning away in delight having what they thought scored a dramatic equaliser. But.....the referee had blown. I and many others have seen the video of said corner on Social Media and heads are scratching as to why it was chalked off, but the referee was at a different angle to the rest of us and must have seen something we couldn't from the filmed angle. In the dying minutes of injury time, Eastleigh managed to pounce on an error to net a 4th and the final whistle blew soon after.
All in all, a very enjoyable game in which our Under 18s showed great belief and character in coming back from what was a sorry position at 0-3 after 30 minutes to push a higher ranked side all the way to the final whistle. Let's hope they can lift their head back up and carry on their great league form.
Talking of which, they returned to league action on Sunday when Simon Francis Academy were the visitors to the County Ground. It was near top versus bottom and the Hammers would be looking to return to winning ways. Goals from Alfie Matthews, Jack Orchard and James Webb ensured that the 100% league record remains in tact.
Next up for the Under 18s is more league action at home to Redlands Rebels on Sunday 18th, so come on down and support the lads, the bar will be open.
The 1st team returned home after a month on the road last Tuesday evening welcoming Shaftesbury for a Wessex League game. They have made their best start to a Wessex campaign and will be looking to carry this on with a run of 3 home league games on the bounce. The match report is elsewhere in the news section so to summarise, it was a solid performance by the Hammers winning 5-0. After the 1st goal went in, their was little doubt as to the final outcome with the Rockie's keeper keeping the score down with a good performance. 2 from Eddie Hodge, a penalty from Dan Cann and strikes from James King and Lee Francis saw the 3 points go to Hamworthy.
On Saturday, Baffins Milton Rovers made the trip from Portsmouth looking to be the first team to take points of the Hammers since Christchurch on the opening day of the season. The reverse fixture a fortnight ago saw Hamworthy run out 4-0 winners after a goalless 1st half. You can read the full report on the news page but Hamworthy rattled off their 5th straight league win with another 4-0 victory thought this one was a little bit more feisty than the first affair with 1 player from each side seeing red and a member of the opposition management team also being dismissed. Eddie Hodge continued his good form with another brace and Matty Neale also scored twice with Shane Murphy again keeping a clean sheet. The defence is proving difficult to beat with only Christchurch and Stoneham managing to penetrate them in the league so far and Tony Rolls is rumoured to be needing some more pockets as he keeps finding opposition strikers in the ones he has!!
Next up for the 1st team is a visit from AFC Stoneham in the Wessex League Cup 2nd round tonight (Tuesday 7.30ko) and perhaps a chance for some of the squad players to feature with the Hammers having 11 games in a 36 day period!! Then on Saturday 17th, Alresford make the trip down to Dorset for a return to Wessex League action.
The Development side after a couple of less than welcome results travelled to Petersfield on Saturday looking to return to winning ways. With a 16yo making a debut and some others returning from injury and unavailability, it was a different looking side to the one turned over by Laverstock & Ford. Manager Mick Wearden's tweaks paid off as the Hammers returned home with a solid 5-0 win and their 1st clean sheet of the season to round of a good day. Scorers were 2 for Galeg and one each for Mallett, Seglo and Delves. The win moves the Development side back up to 4th in the league and this Saturday sees another trip, this time to Totton & Eling.
This leave the 2 younger Hamworthy Youth sides, the Under 14s and Under 16s. The latter were in County Cup action and hosted Poole Town in the 1st round. In what sound like an exciting match, the Hammers eventually got the victory in Extra time and progress to the next round to play Dorchester Town in November. The final score was 4-3! This Sunday, Portland Utd are the visitors and you can see this match at the County Ground! This match a warmup for the League Cup fixture the week after to be played at Portland.
Finally, the Under 14s were also home in the league this time to Dorchester Town, 2 undefeated teams! In a very high scoring game, Hamworthy Utd continued their fine early season form and won 10-4!! The goalscorers were:5 for Finn Richardson, 2 for Brandon Williams and 1 each for Finlay Moss, Elliott Birtwhistle and Harvey Thompson. This week, the short trip to Sturminster Marshall to try and keep the winning train ploughing on.
Well done to all the Hamworthy teams this weekend, 5 out of 5!!
Good luck for all the fixtures this week, busy, busy, busy!!