The 1st team's latest string of Away days is in full swing and two more matches were completed this week, a tough trip to Moneyfields on Saturday and then a long trip for a Tuesday to replay the Hamble fixture. Here are the reports:
Moneyfields 1 Hamworthy United 2
Wessex Premier League (Saturday 16th October 2021)
This was going to be a big test for the Hammers. Moneyfields had elected to return to their Wessex roots after four comfortable seasons in the Southern League Division One South. The majority of the current team however, along with their manager, migrated from promoted U S Portsmouth in the close season. United, who were missing a few key players, simply had to keep on winning to stay in touch with Brockenhurst. They would also hope not to receive the backlash of the Moneys' rather disappointing mid-table start.
Just like a week ago, the game kicked off in pleasant sunshine with both teams looking for the early goal. This time however, it went against United. In the 8th minute, James Franklyn was put through after Moneyfields had won a decisive tackle in the middle of the park. He went on to find the right corner of the net with a good strike from about 15 yards. The hosts started to get on top, with two glorious chances going begging midway through the half. In the first of these, Chad Cornwell's fierce drive from ten yards, set up by a clever back-flick, but it was somehow pushed over by Tommy Scott. Then Franklyn beat the offside to find himself through on goal, but he could only steer his shot a yard wide of the far post. At the other end, Max Wilcock then headed onto and over the bar following good work by Jamie Beasley and Connor Conklin’s cross. Hamworthy were back on level terms after 36 minutes when Tony Rolls's looping cross from the right was met by Max Wilcock's powerful header across the goal. The home keeper Tom Price got a hand to the ball, but could not prevent it crossing the line. Hamworthy raised their game after the equaliser. However
on 40 minutes, Moneyfields' Tom Cain's free header to the far post, from a dangerous corner, had goal written all over it. Scott had other ideas and produced a second excellent save, by leaping instinctively to turn the ball one-handed around the post. The half time score was probably a fair reflection of play, both times having created some good chances, and the outcome could certainly still go either way.
The second period continued in the same way as the previous one. The first good chance again fell to the hosts. This time Rolls took the ball off the toes of Steve Hutchings just as he was about to pull the trigger from a good position. With play remaining very even and open, it was the Hammers who edged in front on 67 minutes. Lee Francis's low cross from the left was superbly slipped just wide of the keeper and inside the far post by Drew Eccott-Young. From this point United did start to take greater control. As well as tightening up at the back they were more creative upfront, but the Moneyfield's keeper Price was also in good form; holding on to the many incoming dangerous crosses. Cocklin at the heart of United’s defence sadly had to come off after 75 minutes having taken the full force of Franklyn's free kick. The remaining minutes saw action at both ends; Moneyfields Hutchings after being put clean through saw his effort just miss the far post. Wilcock for United also fired just wide of the far post after a good ball from Harvey Wright. The Hammers managed to see the game out, and on the balance of play just about deserved the three points, having taken their chances the better, but they certainly knew they had been in a fight. This was a close fought even game and a credit to the Wessex League They remain 8 points behind leaders Brockenhurst (again winning) with 4 games in hand.
Hamworthy United: T Scott, T Rolls, C Clarke, M Buckler, C Cocklin (A Costello 75), B Walker, D Eccott-Young, S Devlin, M Wilcock, L Francis (c), J Beasley (H Wright 80)
Unused Subs: M Neale
Hamble 0 Hamworthy United 2
Sydenhams Premier League (Tuesday 19th October 2021)
This was a game the Hammers needed to win for two reasons. The first was to keep their unbeaten run in the League this season going. The second was to wipe away the memory of having the game cancelled, when leading 0-5 when this fixture was first played two weeks earlier. The weather that night was atrocious and perhaps should not have been started, and this time it was certainly not good with drizzly rain, but certainly playable. Despite still having a few injuries to key players Tim Sills was still able to field a strong starting line-up and bench due to his strong squad and rotation options.
The Hammers settled in well and soon had most of the possession. In the twenty-first minute they took the lead. Drew Escott-Yong had a shot that rebounded back to United skipper Lee Francis ten yards out to score with the follow up. Hamworthy continued to have much the better of things, but after some good approach-work they could not make that final pass tell. However, they did double their lead in a more direct fashion in the 44th minute. Jamie Beasley picked up the ball out on the left wing and from twenty-five yards out drilled in a low shot. The ball skidded off the wet turf which took it over the Hamble keeper and into the net to score United’s second. When the half-time whistle blew neither Manager could have been too disappointed with their teams’ performances so far.
The second half continued in much the same way as the first with the Hammers having as much as 80% of the possession, but the final pass still too often going astray. Hamble to their credit played so much better in this game, but still had very few chances to score against a solid defence. Their best chance came right at the end of the game when Tom Scott had to make his only really difficult save of the Match. At the end of the game no-one could complain about the winners. The Hammers will be happy with another win which takes them to second place in the Table; five points behind Brockenhurst but with three games in hand. Hamble will be pleased that they did much better in this game especially against a strong experienced team like Hamworthy. Tim Sills will be hoping that there will be no further injuries and his team can continue their unbeaten run at Cadbury Heath in the F.A. Vase on Saturday.
Hamworthy United: T Scott, H. Wright, C Clarke, S. Devlin, A. Costello T. Rolls, D. Escott-Young, M Buckler (J. King), M Wilcock, L Francis (c), J Beasley (J. Lovell).
Unused-Subs: B. Walker, E. Hodge