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Hamworthy United Football Club
Sat 22 Dec 15:00 - League Full time Attendance 68

Horndean 0 Hamworthy United 1

Sydenhams Premier League (Saturday 22nd December 2018)

Horndean 0 Hamworthy United 1
Sydenhams Premier League (Saturday 22nd December 2018)

United have not fared well on recent trips to Five Heads Park, and omens looked no better with Adam Costello, Luke Stone and Sam Bayston all unavailable due to the seasonal sick bug around the club. To add to their woes against the 3rd placed Deans, in-form Ollie Davies aggravated an ankle injury in the warm up, although his replacement Micky Finch would no doubt be wishing to seize his opportunity to start the game.
Kicking down the slope in the first period, the Hammers made their advantage count, creating most of the early threats. Their first real chance came on 12 minutes when Eddie Hodge slipped a neat ball forward to Dan Cann, who was then upended by Luke Heard on the edge of the penalty area. Cann himself took the free kick which just cleared the bar. Against the run of play, Tom Rees did well on the quarter hour to hold onto a low pacey cross from Tafa Kanjanda just ahead of the lurking Connor Duffin. He was soon called into action again, getting his legs behind Kanjanda's close range effort, after being played in by Benny Read. The Hammers finally made their pressure count on 31 minutes with a fine goal. An excellent long ball from the right by Brad Gale fell precisely at the feet of Micky Finch on the edge of the six yard box. Finch though still had work to do. His first touch took the ball to the right of goal. His second was a superb finish, squeezing the ball just inside the far post across Ross Casey. United missed two gilt edged chances to extend the lead just prior to the interval. Finch set up a measured through ball for Cann who had only Casey to beat. However, the Horndean keeper read Cann's shot well to tip it around the right post. Then Jamie Gleeson, following up a couple of neat one-twos, found himself in space to convert from close range, but agonizingly he fired a foot wide of the target. The Hammers had certainly had the better of an entertaining first half, with action at both ends. However, about to forfeit the slope in the second period, they may have wondered whether they may later have to pay the price for missing all those good chances.
H/T 0-1
The visitors' task became that bit harder when Cann was forced off with a calf injury, although his replacement Sean Wright has proved in recent games that he too can find the net. From then on, the United goal lead a charmed life, many shots being charged down or deflected, and it became a question of whether United could hold out, or perhaps catch the Deans on the break.
On a rare United counter Gale's early cross-come-shot just missed the target, before a poor clearance by Casey quickly found its way to Wright, who then put his effort just wide of the far post. On 70 minutes, Chris Senior got a good head to Finch's corner at the far post, but was just off target. On 75 minutes, the Hammers' job effectively became a full rearguard action, after Gale saw red for alleged bad language to one of the referee's assistants. However, with their defence well organized, and playing two banks of four, surprisingly little got through to Rees. Rees did however do well to push wide a fierce shot by Jack Maloney, with Read just off target with the rebound. Deans' keeper Casey came up for three late corners, but United managed to hang on until the final whistle with heroic defending, including a clearance off the line. Although United could so easily have put the game to bed in the first half with all their missed chances, in the end it took one fine goal and a battling second half performance at the back to earn the three points. This was against a team that had won the corresponding fixture last season 6-0, part of emphatic double. The double this year was United's, and perhaps a measure of the strides Callum and his management team are making.
F/T 0-1
Hamworthy United: T Rees, C Senior, D Randall, J Filkins, N Walker (c), M Jamison, M Finch, J Gleeson, E Hodge, D Cann (S Wright 50), B Gale
Unused Subs: N Patrick

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