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Hamworthy United Football Club
Baffins
win 4 - 4 on penalties. Tue 26 Mar 15:00 - Cup Full time Attendance 105

Hamworthy United 2 (5) Baffins Milton Rovers 2 (6)After Penalties

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Sydenhams League Cup Semi Final (Tuesday 26th March 2019)

Hamworthy United 2 (5) Baffins Milton Rovers 2 (6)
Sydenhams League Cup Semi Final (Tuesday 26th March 2019)
Having battled past three Wessex One clubs so far, United were now against Wessex Premier opposition in the Semi-Final, their last chance of silverware this season. United still had to be favourites, having narrowly won the recent corresponding league fixture, while being six points and four places above Baffins in the League. However, with the hosts now in a period of transition, and with the one-off nature of cup football, nothing could be taken for granted. Connor Cocklin stepped in at the last minute for Chris Senior still troubled by his shoulder, with Ollie Davis now available and back among the substitutes. James King was cup-tied.
United made the perfect start with only two minutes gone. A weak header back to the keeper from Baffins' Cory Burns was latched onto by Olly Balmer who ran on to slot the ball home in the near corner. Remarkably, the visitors were back on level terms three minutes later after a comical mix up in defence. Starting with what looked a too short a back pass from Cocklin to Tom Rees, a series of attempted clearances hit bodies before the ball fell conveniently to Callum Dart for an easy finish into an empty goal. After a powerful 20 yard shot by Dart had been well beaten out by Rees, the visitors took the lead on 18 minutes. No United defender had picked up Max Paddon's run to meet Dart's clever through ball down the right flank. Paddon then cut in well before firing the ball low and hard into the net across the dive of Rees. With both sides playing positive open football for the remainder of the half, and both keepers equal to anything on target, the game took a fractious turn just before the break when Baffins' man Tommy Tierney was dismissed for allegedly swinging his arms into the face of Eddie Hodge.
H/T 1-2
Now a man up and starting to take control, United were awarded a penalty only 4 minutes into the restart, when Luke Stone's burst into the box but came to a halt under the challenge of Aaron Grimshaw. The visiting players and their camp strongly protested that the ball had been won fairly, with two yellow cards resulting. However, to the credit of the referee, he was very well positioned and made his decision quickly and firmly. When all had settled, Olly Balmer's firm spot kick gave Cameron Scott no chance to save. Sadly for Hodge, who decided to test the fitness of his worsening hamstring at start of the half felt unable to continue, but at least the Hammers had a capable replacement in Ollie Davis. The reminder of the half was a story of a catalogue of misses by a now dominant United. Davis soon made his presence felt, his 20 yard strike being well tipped around the post by Scott. Stone's cross was then just a touch too high for Jamie Filkins' jump. Stone then fired just wide, as did Kieran Roberts after a neat lay back by Balmer. Davis in space then produced another good parry from Scott, before Stone blazed over on an awkward bounce. Davis also put the ball just wide on his weaker foot, before Stone headed a perfect looping ball from Cocklin over the bar. Countless low crosses from Balmer were crying out for a connection which never came. Although Baffins did apply a little late pressure, they must have been mightily relieved to see the game out into a penalty shoot out, which may have been their objective.
F/T 2-2
Each keeper made a good save from the first spot kick faced. Each strike was then put away until United's Ryan Watkins needed to score with the very last kick. However, Scott made a good stop diving to his left to win the tie. It is now Baffins therefore who meet Portland United in the final at AFC Portchester in early May. While United deserve credit for three good cup runs, this exit (unlike the other two) must be tinged with some disappointment. It was certainly a game they could and should have won, such was their second half dominance, but chances in any football game have to be taken.
After Penalty Shoot Out 5-6
Hamworthy United: T Rees, J Filkins (R Watkins 65), D Randall (c), S Wright (B Randall 70), C Cocklin, A Costello, O Balmer, J Gleeson, L Stone, E Hodge (O Davis 50), K Roberts
Unused Subs: S Cooper (gkp)

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