Amesbury Town 3 Hamworthy United 4
Sydenhams Premier League (Thursday April 19th 2018)
Sydenhams Premier LeagueThursday (19th April 2018)
Despite the Hammers failing to win in their last four games, three points on their trip to Wiltshire could still give them a shout of a top five finish. On the other hand, Amesbury favourites to beat the drop over last-but-one Newport, could also do with the points to steady their anxiety. United's Luke Ansell, Sam Clarke and Jamie Gleeson were working, with Nathan Walker still suspended and Eddie Hodge back at University. This gave a chance for some of United's squad players to shine on what had been the warmest day of the year.
On a difficult pitch, the hosts drew first blood on six minutes. Connor Millar, after a precision through ball by Luke Greenway, found himself clean through on Shane Cooper, and beat him as he narrowed the angle with a low crisp shot into the left corner of the goal. United restored parity on 22 minutes, when a looping cross along the byline by Edgar Zanin was nonchalantly poked home, past the static keeper, by Dan Cann. This was despite having a posse of home defenders around him. One at least should have thumped the ball clear, but they all seemed to leave it to each other. Just before the break, Blues' Millar put an easy chance just over the bar from a fine ball by Greenway. The even score-line at a half time was a tad harsh on the hosts who had created the more clear cut chances in what was a very open game. The Town's experienced if stocky 35 year old keeper Danny Harrison, called in at the last minute when the first choice keeper failed to show, certainly did not let his team down, producing some fine handling at times under pressure.
The hosts gave United an early scare after the break. Millar's effort after a clear run in on goal, came back off the bar, and into the hands of Cooper. Although from that point the Hammers took control of the game, the Town managed to restore their lead midway through the half. Cooper and Greenway competed for a high bouncing ball on the byline from a free kick by Marcus Roper. The Blues' forward was however unceremoniously hauled down by the young United keeper, and Greenway himself had no trouble putting away the resulting spot kick. The Hammers had always looked likely to score again, and restored parity for the second time on 75 minutes. A twenty yarder by Dan Cann found the net off the right hand post after good work by Jamie Filkins and Edgar Zanin. Two minutes later United went in front for the first time. Steve Smith showed great determination to win and keep hold of the ball near the byline. He then released Dan Cann who after muscling his way past a couple of defenders (and to his credit stayed on his feet) was finally tripped for a clear cut penalty. Cann himself put away the spot kick to complete his hat trick and record a remarkable 23rd strike of the season. The now rampant Hammers made it four on 80 minutes with the best worked goal of the night. A delightful ball was played diagonally down the pitch by Darren Watts. It found Zanin whose touch across the goal took out both goalkeeper and defender, setting up an easy finish for Steve Smith into the gaping net. However United's porous defence was yet again another matter, allowing the Blues the last say in injury time. Cooper was penalized for holding on to the ball too long with a Town player standing right in front of him. The indirect free kick just inside the area was tapped to Connor Millar who’s first time hit found the top left hand corner of the net. This time the Hammers did manage to see out the nervy final minutes to complete their second narrow win this season over the Town. The uneven pitch did not suit their natural style, so to carve out the goals they did, with no shortage of grit, was all the more creditable and deserving of the three points. With the news that Horndean had lost, a top five finish is now within their hands.
Hamwothy United: S Cooper, D Randall (L Bragginton 85), J Filkins, D Watts, M Buckler, B Walker (c), E Zanin, B Randall, S Smith, D Cann, J Beasley (O Nicholson 85)