HAMWORTHY UNITED 2 BROCKENHURST 2
Sydenhams Premier League Saturday 10th March 2018
With the highly placed Hammers in good form, and with their New Forest guests well down the table, another three points looked to be very possible. However the visitors had comfortably won their last two games, and the last two encounters between the Clubs. United welcomed back Max Buckler onto the bench, but they were still missing the impressive Eddy Hodge.
Although the Hammers applied most of the early pressure, their play was unusually labored, and lacking in pace. It took 25 minutes for United to produce a goal attempt of any real quality. A fine move ended with Jamie Beasley's cross being met by a powerful header by Dan Cann. This enticed a superb one-handed save by Luke Deacon, but perhaps a little undeserving on the keeper, the save turned out to be academic as Cann was caught offside. The visitors were always a threat with United prone to give the ball away cheaply. They took the lead on 33 minutes with a fine goal in a rare Badgers' break. Mitchell Speechley-Price played an intelligent ball forward to Matt Sheedy who after sending Nathan Walker the wrong way, sent an exquisite curler sailing beyond Knights into the top right corner of the net. United did up the tempo a little after that, with Deacon having to make a couple of good saves, and Darren Watts' chipping just over the bar, but they were still not really at the races at the half time whistle.
It took only four minutes after the restart for the visitors to double their lead. United gave the ball away cheaply in attack, and it quickly found its way down the pitch to Will Tickle in space on the right. Tickle's low cross then found Mitchell Speechley-Price unmarked on the far side of goal. He picked his spot well to beat Andy Knights at his far post. The Hammers day got worse when Nathan Walker was deemed to be the culprit in a shirt pulling incident that appeared to involve both players, but only he received a yellow card. He will now miss the next two vital home games. Coming back from the jaws of defeat is nothing new to the Hammers this season, and they now began o look like the force that they can be. In the 63rd minute a long free kick by Declan Randall took one big bounce into the penalty area before deceiving everyone, including the keeper, and hitting the underside of the bar before being scrambled clear. From the corner Cann saw his firm header from two yards out agonizingly cleared off the line by Speechley-Price. United finally found a way past the inspired Deacon on 69 minutes. Jamie Beasley, put through by Cann, stole in from the left before rifling the ball into top far corner of the net. After 77 minutes the hosts restored parity. A long throw by Cann on the right eluded everyone except Super Sub Edgar Zanin on the far side of the goal. Zanin's first time strike was not the cleanest but found the net at the near post. With still almost a quarter of an hour to play, it was perhaps a disappointment that the dominant United could not find the net again, despite numerous very near misses.
Boss Brendon King admitted that although his team had shown good character to come back from two goals down, they should still have won with all the chances they had created. Andy Knights, apart from conceding two goals which he could do little about, only really had crosses to deal with. However, with AFC Portchester losing, a top four finish is still possible.
Hamworthy United: A Knights, D Randall, J Filkins (C Clarke 75), D Watts, N Walker (c), S Clarke, J Gleeson, B Walker (M Buckler 60), S Smith (E Zanin 60), D Cann, J Beasley