The Hammers were on their travels once more, this time to the Centre of Portsmouth to play the reverse fixture against US Portsmouth having just set a new club record of Wessex League games undefeated on Tuesday. Here's the report:
U S Portsmouth 0 Hamworthy United 3
Sydenhams Premier League (Saturday 30th October 2021)
The Hammers were hoping to extend their unbeaten league start to 13 games. This, despite an even greater casualty list following their hard-fought draw at Shaftesbury in midweek. They could at least recall Shane Murphy in goal, also Connor Cocklin and if only for an hour, Matt Neale. Declan Randall was also welcomed back to the bench after taking a break. A victory at the Victory Stadium would also keep Hamworthy up in the leading pack. However, United Services, after three successive defeats, were looking to climb back up the table and avenge their 5-0 defeat in the reverse fixture in September.
Hamworthy made the brighter start of the two teams. Following a Jamie Beasley corner; an early Connor Cocklin effort, came back off a defender. Tony Rolls followed it up but his effort was saved by the homer keeper Dylan Kramer at the second attempt. Jack Lovell then headed another Beasley corner just wide of the far post. United soon managed to find a way through however on 11 minutes. A measured through ball by Drew Eccott-Young put Max Wilcock free, and he planted the ball home into the far corner as the keeper came out to narrow the angle. With the visitors still in the ascendence, Kramer did well to push over Adam Costello's free kick and reach Connor Cocklin's header towards the far post. Following a good ball by Lee Francis, Matt Neale's crisp effort took a deflection before it was again well held by the keeper. U.S. Portsmouth had broken forward in fits and starts and so nearly equalized on 37 minutes. Dan Sibley's teasing low cross was spooned onto the bar from only a couple of yards by Lamin Jatta. The ball bounced down only a whisker in front of the line, before being claimed by a thankful Shane Murphy. The visitors doubled their lead just before the break. The referee deemed that Connor Saunders' apparent trip, that had grounded Harvey Wright as he sped towards the box; worthy of a second yellow. The player's pleas that he had made only minimal contact as he tried to pull out of the challenge, fell on deaf ears, and he was sent off. Meanwhile his teammate Lamin Jatta was sent to the sin-bin for voicing his disapproval. This left the hosts temporarily down to nine men. When the free kick was finally taken, Adam Costello's well taken shot found the net off the far post.
The visitors were quickly back into action after the restart. Wright soon forced another good block by keeper Kramer; who then superbly held onto Beasley's dangerous in-swinging corner. With United almost nonchalantly creating pressure on United Services goal, Lovell so nearly made it three from an excellent move he himself started. After some fine work by substitute Eddie Hodge; that Wilcock followed up with a good cross. Lovell's sublime header to the far post found the net, but the "goal" was chalked off for offside. The dominant Hammers did manage to find the net legally on 74 minutes. This was when another Beasley corner was this time misjudged by the keeper. This allowed Max Willcock to put away a simple free header for his second goal of the game. It was largely thanks to the busy Kramer that United's advantage never turned into a rout. This included using his body to force a clean-through Lovell effort over the bar, after being put through by Hodge. Many other Hammers' efforts flew just wide of the target, or just lacked that final connection. This was mainly from the many crosses and deft balls played in from the left by Beasley. Upon the final whistle It was very much job done for United who never really needed to get into top gear. They remain in third place with games in hand, and maintain their unbeaten record. Returning keeper Murphy hardly needed to wash his kit.
Hamworthy United: S Murphy, T Rolls, H Wright, D Eccott-Young, C Cocklin (D Randall 70), A Costello, J Lovell (E Quarchioni 75), L Francis (c), M Willcock, M Neale (E Hodge 55), J Beasley