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First Team - Match centre

HAMWORTHY UNITED
BAFFINS
Tue 22 Jan 19:45 - League Full time Attendance 74

Hamworthy United 3 Baffins Milton Rovers 2

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Sydenhams Premier League (Tuesday 22nd January 2019)

Hamworthy United 3 Baffins Milton Rovers 2
Sydenhams Premier League (Tuesday 22nd January 2019)

Ninth placed Hammers stood just one point and two places below their Portsmouth based guests, having played a game more. A second successive home win would therefore see them leapfrog Baffins, and potentially rise two or three places up the league. Both clubs had also done well to carry the Sydenhams Wessex flag into the fourth round of the FA Vase (last 32), before falling short against tough opposition. Boss Callum Brooks chose exactly the same squad as for the last game, and who could blame him after their five star performance?
On a cold windless evening, with a very thin layer of frost, United struggled to produce the fluency of the previous game. The visitors were certainly moving the ball better, and it was no surprise when they edged in front on 11 minutes, although assisted by some poor Hamworthy defending. A long ball by Dale Mason looked a routine clearance for Ryan Watkins, but he dwelt on the ball and was too easily outmuscled by Callum Dart. Dart's shot on the turn was well parried by Tom Rees, but the Hammers' keeper was powerless to stop Carel Kayembe's follow up. Even when not at their best, the current crop of Hammers never gives up the fight, and they were back on level terms on 26 minutes. A well placed long ball forward by Nathan Walker found Dan Cann in space. The United goal machine ran on to drill the ball home, hard and low, and to the right of Baffins' stopper Cameron Scott. The home defence was again found wanting as Baffins restored their lead with a well worked set piece on 42 minutes. A corner was played short by Tommy Leigh to his namesake Aston Leigh who was allowed too much time and space to turn and whip in a low cross to the near post. Kayembe at the near post then reacted well to flick the ball into the net and complete his brace. This resulted again from being given too much room by the home defence. The Baffins' joy though was again short lived. In first half added time, and following a neat ball by Sean Wright, Olly Balmer found the far corner of the net with a good finish. The Hammers must have been relieved to enter the break on parity, having levelled with almost the last kick of the half. Until then they had never really got into a proper rhythm, and were certainly struggling at times to pick up the Baffins' runners.
H/T 2-2
United did up their game after the interval and were soon getting on top. An early cross by Cann was just a little too high for Balmer who was well positioned in front of goal. However, it was something of a fluke goal in the 63rd minute that allowed the Hammers to take the lead for the first time. Ryan Watkins, under pressure, put in what appeared to be a cross to the far post, but somehow the ball ended up sailing into the top far corner of the net. Keeper Scott will perhaps feel that he should have done better. United were now playing with much greater confidence, with their defence and well structured midfield now looking much more effective. However, in a spell of very late Baffins' pressure, it took a remarkable save by Rees to keep the lead intact. Tommy Leigh's low header to the right corner of the net had goal written all over it, but somehow the United keeper managed to leap across and claw the ball out. It was a relieved, but very satisfied Hammers when the final whistle came. This was an unusual match that had only few clear cut chances, but had relatively high scoring, and could have gone either way. The United win, coupled with results elsewhere, pushed them up to a very satisfying sixth place, with games in hand and half the season still left to play.
F/T 3-2
Hamworthy United: T Rees, D Randall, R Watkins, S Wright, N Walker (c), A Costello, O Davis (J Filkins 80), B Gale, O Balmer (L Stone 70), D Cann (E Hodge 85), S Bayston
Unused Subs: J King, M Finch

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