HAMWORTHY UNITED 2 HORNDEAN 4
Sydenhams Premier League Tuesday 20th March 2018
A somewhat depleted United were hoping to bounce back from their recent blip in results, and also avenge their 6-0 drubbing in the reverse fixture in early October. Keeper Andy Knights had to withdraw having injured his back at work, so striker Steve Smith donned the gloves. Eddie Hodge (university), Crit Clarke (holiday), and Darren Watts (work) were also unavailable.
After a kit mix-up for the home side had delayed the start, on what was to prove a difficult evening behind the scenes, both sides also struggled on the pitch to keep the ball in the early stages. However, as the game settled, the home team looked the more composed, with Jamie Beasley's long distance grass cutter agonizingly rebounding back to safety off the post. They later broke the deadlock on 21 minutes when Beasley's corner was met by a decisive header to the far post by Sam Clarke. The Deans leveled matters on 25 minutes. A teasing ball was played forward by Mark Smith. His teammate Harry Jackson just beat makeshift keeper Smith to the ball on the edge of the area, before slotting the ball home into the unguarded net. Three minutes later the Hammers were back in front. Beasley, deep in his own half and almost on the right touchline, scooped a high ball forward into the path of Dan Cann. His clever lob over the tall Hordean stopper Lloyd Thomas fell gently into the back of the net to make it 2-1.The game then opened up more. Steve Smith had to beat out a fierce shot from substitute Jack Maloney on his far post, but it was United who without looking lethal, created most of the chances. This included a long distance Beasley effort which had Thomas at full stretch to push out for a corner. On the stroke of half time, the referee unfortunately pulled a hamstring, but he endeavored to see out the remaining minutes. This allowed time for new arrangements to be put in place during the break
After hectic reorganization at the break, assistant Paul Barber took the whistle, with Nick Hodge, father of Hammers' absentee player Eddie Hodge, now running the vacant line. United continued to apply most of the pressure, but the Horndean defence was easily able to and prepared to soak it up. The Deans then restored parity for the second time on 65 minutes. Steve Smith contested a high bouncing ball, on the edge of the area, with Harry Jackson. The United stopper, in attempting to punch the ball clear, made accidental and seemingly soft contact with the Horndean player, and Mr Barber pointed to the penalty spot. There was nothing soft though about Miles Everett's finish into the bottom right corner of the net past the valiant dive of Smith. Things got worse for the Hammers twelve minutes later. A low cross from the right by Jackson was put away with aplomb by Mark Smith in acres of space in front of goal. Although Dan Cann had successive shots blocked and cleared off the line, the visitors put the game beyond United's reach on 85 minutes when again sloppy defending allowed Harry Jackson to fire in a fourth goal. This was a disappointing performance by the Hammers. They defended poorly in the second period, given that they had a lead to hold on to at half time. While at the other end, possibly lacking the support of the absentees, they again failed to convert their numerous chances. This is not the way to win matches.
Hamworthy Utd: S Smith, D Randall, J Filkins (N Swann 80), B Walker, N Walker (c), S Clarke, J Gleeson, M Buckler. E Zanin (L Ansell 80), D Cann, J Beasley
Unused Subs: D Pidgley