Andover 1 v Hamworthy Utd 2
Two Goals from Nathan Walker gave Hamworthy Utd the win away against league leaders Andover
Sydenhams Premier League (Saturday 2nd December 2017)
Hamworthy travelled to the Portway Stadium knowing a fourth successive league win could lift them to third place. However, with Andover ten points clear at the top, this looked a very tough proposition. Despite several players being unavailable, the Hammers were able to welcome new signing Chris Clarke from Dorchester Town, with Eddie Hodge again making the journey from University. The Town line-up included former Hammers Conor Cocklin and Micky Hubbard. After an even opening on a good looking pitch, the hosts opened the scoring on ten minutes with a freak goal. A 30 yard free kick by Mike Gosney looked to be well covered by Nick Jones, before bouncing off the head of Jamie Filkins and into the opposite side of the net. The early goal seemed to open the game up, with chances emerging at both ends. Andover stopper Luke Cairney was called into action with a comfortable waist high save from Eddie Hodge, and a decent tip-over from Dan Cann. Meanwhile his opposite number Nick Jones did well to block the onrushing George Hallohan's close range effort after a deft lay-off lay off by Zach Glasspool. The Hammers levelled matters on the half hour with another strange goal. As Cairney came out to gather a routine cross by the impressive Darren Watts, he collided with his own teammate Conor Cocklin. He then dropped the ball right into the path of the anticipating Nathan Walker who duly dispatched the ball into the unguarded net. The half time whistle came with the Hammers now looking to have the momentum.
Five minutes into the second half, Jones again rescued Hamworthy by spreading himself and getting a vital boot on the ball, as Glasspool tried to steer in Hallohan's low cross. This was followed by a period of United dominance. Chris Clarke fired just off target from Carl Preston's corner, and an exquisite outward bender from Preston ended just shy of the far post. Nathan Walker then dodged past two players before firing the ball low and wide. Billy Walker just failed to connect with Preston's corner at the far post, whilst Cairney made some good saves at his near post. However, half an hour into the half, the home team regained the initiative with some quick breaks. After the Town had spread the play well from the back, Gosney saw his 25 yard effort from the left agonizingly come back off the far post. Jones then had to be at his best to push Reece Rusher's fierce effort out for a corner. The Town had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down by referee Mr Clinton, who felt it was case of ball to hand on Nathan Walker, although it was certainly a close call. The large base of home fans had arrived surely expecting a routine three points, but were left to grimace on 87 minutes when United edged in front. Town defender Luke Dempsey was rightly shown a red card as he handled over the bar a close range header by Billy Walker. Nathan Walker kept his cool to fire the resulting spot kick just beyond the valiant dive of Cairney. It still took another excellent save by Jones at the death for United to hold onto the win, getting a decisive touch to tip Glasspool's venomous shot over the bar. This was a most satisfying outcome for the Hammers, and one nobody really expected. A draw might have been a fair result. Hamworthy were awesome at times, and had that belligerent look about them. Equally the Town were left to rue a combination of bad luck and some excellent goalkeeping by Nick Jones.
Hamworthy United: N Jones, J Filkins, C Clarke (C Jevon 85), E Hodge, N Walker (C), B Walker, J Gleeson, M Buckler, D Watts, D Cann, C Preston
Unused Subs: N Swann, S Smith