Hamworthy United 1 AFC Portchester 3
Sydenhams Premier League (Saturday 14th October 2017)
Hamworthy were hoping to stop their run of bad results, but they could expect no favor’s from their ambitious visitors who have always proved a formidable opposition, and had won their last five games on the trot. Conor Jevon, recently signed from Dorchester Town, was making his Hammers' debut, with Jamie Filkins now fit enough to make the bench. Steve Smith and Harry Montague were resting knocks.
Both teams had early chances. Andy Knights saved well with his legs from Rob Evans before United’s Nick Swann found himself in a good position in on goal. However he wanted far too long to get his shot away by which time it was blocked and put out for a corner. After Joe Noakes had fired just over the visitors, Nathan Walker saw his double effort twice well saved by Royals' Ex-Eastleigh stopper Lewis Noice. The Hammers continued to create the more chances without ever showing much conviction in front of goal. That did not however apply to Portchester who almost scored on 35 minutes. Bobby Scott's thirty five yard free kick was hurtling towards the top right corner of the goal, but the alert Knights at full stretch turned it past the post. It was however the resulting corner that led to the first goal. Two Hamworthy defenders stood marking nobody, watched as a short pass was laid off to the unmarked Evans. His cross into the six yard box was dispatched into the far corner of the net by the head of Dan Hayes, who showed great determination to reach the ball first ahead of two United defenders, and took a knock for his troubles. The Hammers did try to fight back, and on the stroke of half time a quick throw by Dan Cann set up a decent chance for Carl Preston. His near post effort at least had pace, but was beaten away to safety by the goalkeeper. United certainly had something to build on for the second half, but would need to be more clinical in front of goal.
Following some early pressure by Hamworthy after the break, Portchester fought back to double their advantage in the 59th minute. Bobby Scott found the net with a cool low finish, and with the United defence appealing in vain for offside. Shortly after a great shot by the Royals' Steve Ramsey just cleared the bar. On 70 minutes, the Hammers gave themselves hope. Noice shouted for space to push out a high ball into the six yard box, but his clearance however was not the best. Hammers' substitute Billy Walker, with his first touch, was on hand to stab the ball into the net and reduce the arrears to one. Hamworthy tried hard to find a way through for the equalizer, but in truth they never looked like penetrating the Portchester defence for a second time. The Portsmouth based team were also looking a threat on the break. Indeed Knights had to be at his best to turn another good strike by Scott round the post. Portchester however put the result to bed on 89 minutes. Dan Cann had looked to have been fouled as he was dispossessed after dwelling on the ball in the middle of the pitch, but the Referee allowed play to continue. The ball quickly found its way to Bobby Smith who drilled it low and hard into the net, just wide of the exposed Knights. Seconds later Rob Evans scooped the ball just wide of the far post to avoid heaping further embarrassment on the Hammers. Unlike the unlucky reverse in midweek, it is hard to cover up for United after this latest defeat. Quite frankly the visitors deserved their win, always looking that bit sharper than the home team, having more pace and able to hold onto the ball for longer periods. Hamworthy at times crafted some good moves, and perhaps even shaded the amount of chances that were created, but as Brendon King put it, let themselves down in both boxes where it really mattered.
Hamworthy United: A Knights, D Randall, D O'Sullivan, M Buckler (B Walker 70), N Walker (C), S Clarke, J Gleeson, N Swann (E Zanin 60), D Cann, C Jevon (R Wilson 75), C Preston
Unused Subs: J Filkins, B Randall