Hamworthy United 2 Bashley 1
Three points just.
Hamworthy United 2 Bashley 1
Sydenhams Premier League (Tuesday 7th August 2018)
United welcomed their New Forest neighbours to the Specsavers County Ground hoping to get their first points on the board. With four key players unavailable, and, as it turned out, three more having to retire with knocks during the game, manager Callum Brook’s policy of a large squad in depth looked justified.
The game started off with the Bash having the vast majority of possession, closing down the Hammers at every opportunity. It was no surprise when they opened the scoring on 13 minutes. Nasim Meddah broke past two united defenders down the right before his teasing cross was tapped in Dan Munday. This was after he got a vital touch to the ball ahead of both defender and goalkeeper. The game soon lost its thread for a while pending two time consuming treatments to United players, giving new physio Laura Jamison a busy night. On the quarter hour Ryan Watkins suffered a nasty bleeding gash to his head that later required stitches, after a collision with Harry McGrath. Ten minutes later Chris Senior was knocked cold when a Bash player accidentally spun into him after an aerial challenge. He did thankfully look ok after the match. United at least had able replacements in Declan Randall and Jamie Filkins. When play did get going, it was the visitors who still looked the more threatening, although their finishing did not live up to their approach work. Tom Rees was much the busier goalkeeper, ably dealing with a number of low shots. Most of United's threat came from crosses and aired shots, with ex-Hammer Jason Collins showing exemplary handing when called upon. On the stroke of half time, the Bash came very close to extending their lead, Munday at the far post headed Sam Jackson's cross onto and over the bar.
Callum Brooks must have welcomed the opportunity to reorganize his team set up which clearly did not work in the first half. After the restart Nathan Walker was pushed up, with Nat Peprah-Annan dropping back, as the Hammers went in search of an early goal. Unlike Saturday, the change was soon to pay handsome dividends. However, this was not before Bashley were awarded a penalty on 50 minutes when Nat Peprah-Annan caught the legs of Harrison White. However Tom Rees moved superbly to his right to beat out Brad Strickland's fierce spot kick. The danger was not over with four Bash players queuing up for the rebound, but amazingly first in line Meddah blasted the ball high and wide when it looked easier to score. This seemed to galvanize the hosts, who were now getting their tackles in quicker and winning more second balls. The equalizer duly came on 54 minutes. A superb long diagonal ball by Sean Wright found Ollie Davis whose precision cross was nodded just inside the far post by Captain Nathan Walker. A few minutes later the crowd were appreciating the combination of an excellent long range strike by Darren Watts thatb was heading for the top corner, and an equally fine push-over by the diving Collins. On 62 minutes Filkins somehow blazed over an open goal, following a fumble by Collins. However five minutes later, United deservedly edged in front. A determined charge towards goal by River Smith ended with the Hammers' man, despite going to ground under the heavy challenge from Collins, just managing to squeeze the ball to Nathan Walker, who duly converted his second goal from close range. Walker then missed the chance of his hat-trick and to finish the game off by striking the ball wide in front of an empty net and the goal at his mercy. With Rees equal to everything, United tended to hold back a little in the final few minutes, doggedly defending their slender lead until the final whistle.
A much improved second half performance won the points for United in a close tough game of two different halves. Bashley having won the first, and Hamworthy the second.
Hamworthy United: T Rees, A Costello, R Watkins (D Randall 15), S Wright, N Walker (c), C Senior (J Filkins 30), O Davis, J Gleeson, R Smith (B Randall 75), D Watts, N Peprah-Annan
Unused Subs: O Nicholson, P Smith (G/K)