Match Reports by John Hutchings

Match Reports 2018/2019

Photograph (c) Steven Harris 2019

14.3.20. Senior Trophy. Gillingham Town 2 Ham Rec 5

Three goals in the last ten minutes clinched victory for Rec in an entertaining encounter played at Blandford’s 3G pitch. The result suggests a comfortable win, but it was far from that, with Gill pushing Rec all the way, but that late goal surge settled it. Sam Carter was the hat-trick hero, taking his season’s tally to 26.

Gill started well and could have gone in front with a low shot across the face of goal. But on 18 minutes the visitors were in front. George Webb’s free-kick drew an error from the home keeper, with the ball running to Rikki Walden, whose ball in was neatly turned in by CARTER.

The lead only lasted four minutes when Gill dangerman Rodriguez showed good control and a clinical finish to make it 1-1. The hosts almost added another soon after, but a curling shot was just over.

Rec were back in front on the half-hour, when Brad Hill’s cross was fumbled by the keeper, under pressure and CARTER stabbed in from close-range. But right on half-time Rodriguez played a delightful ball into the box and it was 2-2 at the break.

The second half was an end to end affair, with Carter going close for Rec and Gill then thwarted by a great block from Aaron Robertson in the Rec goal, who then saved well again in a goalmouth scramble.

Gill were dealt a big blow when they were reduced to 10 men. George Webb was hauled down when through on goal - a red card the obvious outcome.

But on 82 minutes Carl Edwards broke down the right and supplied a great ball to CARTER who finished for his treble. And two minutes from time sub George Deem’s low cross was stabbed in by EDWARDS, at the far post, before GEORGE WEBB profited from another goalkeeping error to make it five, in the last minute. FT 2-5.

3.3.20. League. Ham Rec 3 Blandford United 3

A disappointing evening for Rec as they dropped their first points of the season to a very competitive Blandford side. Rec were the better team in the first half and went two up within half an hour, but they failed to capitalise on this and allowed the Royals back in the game. The second half saw Blandford notch an early equaliser and as Rec ran out of ideas the visitors defended well and deserved their draw.The match was played at the County Ground, with thanks to everyone’s co-operation.

Rec started confidently and had chances, but had to wait until the 21st minute to take the lead, when Brad Hill threaded a glorious through-ball to SAM CARTER who ran on and beat the keeper. Six minutes later it was two when GEORGE WEBB thumped his penalty high into the net after Hill had been upended.

Blandford reduced the arrears immediately with a close-range header from a corner, only for Rec to add a third with the Webb’s combining to set up CARTER for a clinical, low finish from the edge of the area. George Webb tried a curler, but was inches wide, before Blandford struck again with a great long-range shot over Aaron Robertson, to make it 3-2 at the interval.

Rec were caught cold right at the start of the second half as the visitors strolled through a static defence to make it 3-3. It took a fine save by Robertson, in the home goal, to prevent another for the visitors, before a classy Rec move saw George Webb’s shot brilliantly saved by the keeper.

Robertson was forced into another vital save, this time with his feet, as Blandford looked to win it. Rec kept up the pressure, but never really looked like breaching a well organised defence. Carl Edwards attempt was easily saved and George Webb saw his free-kick hit the wall, with the rebound going wide, as Rec ran out of ideas and were forced to settle for a point. FT 3-3.

29.2.20. DPL Cup. Bournemouth Sports Parley 0 Ham Rec 1 AET/p>

Rec are through to the semi finals if the DPL cup, but, as expected, this was a tough battle against a good Bournemouth Sports side who made it difficult for Rec all game. With the sides locked at 0-0 on 90 minutes Rec clinched victory with an early extra-time goal from Ash Boyt, who had a great game, but for the second week running it was keeper Aaron Robertson who took top billing with a string of top class saves to thwart Sports and send Rec through.

The game was played throughout in gale force winds, which meant this was never going to be one for the purists, but both sides worked hard and produced a decent game for the spectators.

It took both sides a while to settle, but Rec’s first venture forward of note saw Carl Edwards feed George Webb, whose dangerous ball in was well held by the home keeper. In fact, the home custodian was the busiest person on the pitch, dealing with George Webb’s free-kick and Edwards snap-shot, before tipping over Brad Hill’s effort. Sports best attempt was a header from a corner easily saved by Robertson. HT 0-0.

Rec spurned an early second half chance when Sam Carter’s shot was inches wide, before slack defensive play set up a chance for Sports, only to be denied by a smart save from Robertson. And the Rec keeper was in action soon after, diving low to his right to preserve the stalemate.

Boyt saw his first-time shot fly just over and Carter’s header was saved, but Robertson, again, was in action to pull off a brilliant one-handed save following a good Sports move. FT 0-0.

The only goal of the game came 3 minutes into extra-time when a George Webb corner on the right found its way to BOYT, who cooly stroked the ball low into the corner, to break the deadlock. This spurred Rec on and George Webb was unlucky with a clever lob clipping the top of the crossbar.

Rec played out the final 15 minutes with only ten men when sub Josh Bennett was forced off with a nasty head injury and it was backs to the wall stuff, with Sports pouring forward, but apart from a defensive slip, bringing about another great save from Robertson, Rec held firm to book their place in the Semi Finals. FT 0-1.

22.2.20. League. Ham Rec 2. Gillingham Town 0

A goal in each half earned Rec another vital win against a very capable Gillingham side, in an entertaining encounter. The continued wet weather conditions meant the match was switched to Slades Farm, on the artificial surface and both sides adapted well to the unfamiliar surroundings, to produce a good contest.

Rec were in the driving seat on 6 minutes when John Webb hit a glorious through-ball for SAM CARTER to run onto and cleverly lob the advancing keeper to put Rec one up. Rec were on the front foot and John Webb saw his goalbound shot deflected for a corner, before good work by Brad Hill set up another chance for John Webb to fire wide. But Gill were looking dangerous on the break and goalkeeper Aaron Robertson produced a fine save to preserve Rec’s lead.

Carl Edwards fine run and cross saw Carter head over, before Hill was inches away from adding a second. HT 1-0.

Gill started the second half strongly without really threatening the home goal, but George Webb and Carter were both denied by the alert Gill keeper, before the game was decided on 51 minutes. Robertson produced a great one-handed save when it seemed certain Gill would score and Rec immediately went down the other end and good work by Josh Pratt set up CARL EDWARDS, who kept his cool and hit a good low finish to make it 2-0.

Hill’s shot was only inches wide and George Webb’s cross was cleared for a corner, before Robertson made two good tip overs. But Gill’s best chance came soon after when they blazed over, following a corner.

Rec had weathered the storm and almost added another, but Ash Boyt curled his shot narrowly wide and John Webb blazed over after being set up by Pepe Smith. But Gill refused to lie down and Man of the Match Robertson made another good save to preserve Rec’s clean sheet. FT 2-0.

8.2.20. League. Wareham Rangers 2 Ham Rec 4

After three weeks of inactivity this was never going to be a classic - and so it turned out. Rec raced into a two goal lead within the first ten minutes and looked impressive. But they then went off the boil and Wareham deservedly came back into the game to draw level at the interval, but two goals early in the second half secured the win for Rec - now 14 on the spin.

The visitors were in front after only 3 minutes when, from a corner, the ball fell to CARL EDWARDS, who fired through a ruck of players to make it 0-1. And it was soon to be two when, on 8 minutes, RICHIE SANDS hit a beautiful dipping shot from the edge of the area, over the keeper and into the net.

To their credit Wareham refused to roll over and fought their way back into it. After having two attempts go wide they pulled one back on 40 minutes with a quick break and a tap-in at the far post for 1-2. Rec looked to re-Instate their two goal lead, but George Webb’s shot was saved by the keeper. But right on half time Wareham were level when another good move resulted in a powerful shot from the edge of the area for 2-2.

Rec needed an early goal to restore some confidence and it came on 52 minutes when Brad Hill’s cross to the far post found SAM CARTER who cooly drilled in his 20th goal of the season to put Rec back in front. And it was 2-4 just two minutes later when EDWARDS chased what seemed to be a lost cause, won the ball and finished from close-range for his 10th of the season.

Wareham pushed forward again and drew a great reaction save from Aaron Robertson, in the Rec goal, before Edwards just failed to get on the end of a Hill cross as Rec looked to add another. John Webb had a good chance saved by the keeper and Edwards missed out on a deserved hat-trick when he fired over from a corner.

FT 2-4.

11.1.20. League. Portland United Res 0 Ham Rec 5

A highly impressive showing from Rec as they ran in five goals against a Portland side who last week beat Westlands, one of Rec’s main rivals. Given the strong wind throughout the game and the delightful football played at times, this has to be one of Rec’s best performances of the season. Five great goals were all scored from outside the penalty area, with a couple of “Goal of the Season” contenders amongst them.

Early chances for Rec saw Brad Hill just fail to get on the end of a Carl Edwards cross and Sam Carter head over from a corner. Portland, playing with the wind at their backs, tried a 30 yarder, just over and then drew a good save from Aaron Robertson, in the Rec goal. But on 36 minutes Hill was felled, just outside the area and GEORGE WEBB cleverly drilled the free-kick beyond the wall and into the far corner for 0-1.

Rec were playing some classy football and it was nearly two when a great move saw Carter’s header saved by Green, in the home goal. HT 0-1.

Within three minutes of the re-start Rec got the goal their superiority deserved - and what a goal! Tom Hutley created a half-chance for CARTER, who cooly stroked the ball home, first-time, from fully 25 yards for the second. The congratulations had barely finished when, on 50 minutes JOHN WEBB lashed another first-timer, from 40 yards which screamed over Green for 0-3.

Rec were in their element and Hill and Carter combined, with the latter’s shot narrowly wide. But on 77 minutes it was four when ASH BOYT, who had been superb in midfield, rifled in a free-kick from 30 yards, passed the bewildered Green.

To their credit Portland continued to press forward, but the Rec defence kept them at bay and a fifth was added seven minutes from time - another sublime 25 yard shot from CARTER, to complete a memorable day. FT 0-5.

A great team effort, all round, but the Roving Reporter’s MOM award goes, jointly, to Richie Sands and Ash Boyt - superb!

4.1.20. League. Ham Rec 3 Balti Sports 1

A game of football at last!! After a month of no action and two and a half months since their last league match Rec maintained their winning ways in a tough game against a very capable Balti side. After such a long period of inactivity this was never going to be a classic- and so it turned out. After going in front early on Rec eased off and allowed their opponents to draw level. But a goal on the hour proved decisive and despite having a man sent off, they held on despite Balti pressure and added a late third goal.

It was an ideal start for Rec when, on 5 minutes, a good move saw Brad Hill play a perfect pass into the box for GEORGE WEBB, who cooly planted his low shot into the far corner for 1-0. Rec were on top and the lead was nearly doubled when Hill’s shot drew a fine save from the Balti keeper.

Balti then had a shout for a penalty turned down, before Rec suffered the same fate when Sam Carter was bundled over. But on 35 minutes it was 1-1 when Rec carelessly gave the ball away at the back and a Balti forward strode through for the equaliser. This spurred on the visitors and a long-range effort was only just over. HT 1-1.

Rec spurned a great chance at the start of the second period when Hill’s shot following a neat move was well saved by the keeper. Then Sam Thompson’s shot was blocked, at the expense of a corner, from which Rec re-took the lead. SAM CARTER’S close-range header finding the back of the net, to the relief of Rec players and supporters.

Back came Balti and a long-range attempt was well saved by Aaron Draydon, in the home goal, who then did well to push a free-kick away for a corner.

But on 77 minutes Rec were dealt another blow when Chris Bryer-Ash was sent off for a second yellow card, but Rec re-jigged and stood firm at the back and still created chances for George Webb, Sam Thompson and Carl Edwards and with the game well into stoppage time the two Webb’s combined to set up CARL EDWARDS to cooly stroke the ball inside the post to put the icing on the cake for Rec. FT 3-1.

7.12.19. Senior Trophy. Ham Rec 2 Blandford United 1

Two goals in the last ten minutes secured Rec’s passage to the next round of the Senior Trophy, but it was certainly a struggle. Blandford have been in good recent form and despite having several regulars unavailable gave Rec a tough game. The hosts never played to their full potential against some dogged defending by the visitors, but Ash Boyt and John Webb scored the goals to take them through and maintain their unbeaten record.

Rec had the ball in the net early on, when Brad Hill created a chance for Sam Carter, only to be narrowly ruled out by an offside flag. A defensive slip by Rec gifted Blandford a half-chance, only to be denied by a smart block by Aaron Robertson,in the home goal.

Richie Sands got in a crucial challenge at the back for Rec and promptly got himself injured - limping off a little later. The hosts best chance came courtesy of another Hill cross which saw Sam Thompson’s close-range header blocked. On 37minutes Rec were awarded a penalty, but Carter’s spot kick was well saved by the keeper, diving low to his right.

Carter was looking the most likely to break the deadlock, with a run and cross cleared and a long-range effort inches wide. HT0-0.

Chris Bryer-Ash tried his luck from 30 yards, only to be easily collected by the keeper and Josh Pratt’s run and shot suffered the same fate, in fact Rec lacked quality with the final ball into the box, never really testing the keeper, but they went close when Carter turned the ball across the face of goal and a goalmouth scramble cleared by the plucky visiting defence.

Blandford were having few chances, with Rec skipper Rikki Walden superb at the back, but they did force a great save from Robertson, tipping over a goalbound shot, before a free-kick came to nothing.

But on 80 minutes it was 1-0 with ASH BOYT stabbing the ball in after good work by George Webb. It was nearly two when the same players combined, with Boyt’s shot blocked. But the lead was doubled on 88 minutes when Boyt and George Webb set up JOHN WEBB to hook the ball home from close-range.

There was just time for Blandford to net a consolation, curling a glorious free-kick over Robertson. FT 2-1.

30.11.19. League Cup. Ham Rec 2 Merley Cobham Sports 1

Steven Harris's photo album

Rec made it through to the next round of the league cup - but only just! This was a great battle between the league’s top two sides, with Rec clinching it thanks to two great strikes from Brad Hill - one early and one late.

Rec started well, but Merley fought their way back into it and at 1-1 looked the more likely winners for periods of the second half, but a late rally from the hosts proved decisive and secured the win when extra-time was looking probable.

It was the perfect start for Rec when, in the first minute Rikki Walden sent Richie Sands away on the right and as his cross was headed clear the ball fell nicely for HILL, on the angle of the penalty area, who hit a screamer past ex-Rec keeper Andy Knights for 1-0.

This set up a period of dominance, with Carl Edwards unlucky with a one-touch attempt, just over and George Webb’s shot also too high. But Merley settled and looked dangerous on the break, forcing Rec keeper Aaron Robertson into a great save, from a header, before the hosts scrambled the ball clear, from another good move.

The visitors blazed another good chance over the top, before Edwards’ first-timer was blocked. HT 1-0.

Within nine minutes of the re-start Merley were level, Matt Groves firing low into the net from a tight angle to make it 1-1.

Rec were struggling to settle, but substitute, Sam Carter livened things up, sending a curling effort round the post, before ex-Rec favourite Jamie Moore’s got in a vital clearance, at the expense of a corner. Back came Merley and Robertson made another vital save to deny Groves and then made a great double save - pushing away a cross and blocking the follow up.The home keeper was in action again soon after, claiming the ball in a goalmouth scramble.

But just when it looked like extra-time was beckoning Rec scored the decider, on 83 minutes. Ash Boyt played a classy return today HILL, who drilled a beauty into the far corner, to the delight of his teammates and supporters.

Merley were still not finished and a good move on the right ended with a shot flashing across the Rec goal and just wide. FT 2-1.

A good advert for the league - two good teams and played in a great competitive spirit throughout.

16.11.19. Senior Trophy. Ham Rec 4 Balti Sports 0

Rec returned from their “Autumn Break” to record an emphatic win over a plucky Balti side. The visitors made it difficult for Rec and held out until just before the interval, but an early second half goal and two more in the closing stages completed Rec’s passage to round three.

Rec started on the front foot and showed few signs of the recent weeks inactivity. George Webb ( twice ), Sam Carter and Sam Thompson all went close, before the latter had the ball in the net following Brad Hill’s cross, only to be denied by an offside flag.

Balti replied with a long-range shot just over and another attempt pushed over by Aaron Robertson, in the home goal. Josh Pratt’s delicious cross went begging and George Webb fired over from a free-kick and just when it looked like being a goalless first half Rec struck, on 41 minutes, when George Webb’s corner found HILL, who fired home from an angle, to put Rec in front. HT 1-0.

The lead was doubled on 52 minutes when Pratt’s cross from the right was effortlessly side-footed in by GEORGE WEBB, for his 16th goal of the season.

Balti were not finished and a neat move saw Robertson tip a goalbound shot round the post. But it should have been three for Rec when John Webb teed up Carl Edwards, only for him to blaze over the top. Edwards nearly made amends with a good shot on the break well tipped over by the keeper.

But on 88 minutes George Webb broke down the middle and unselfishly set up EDWARDS to tap in the third and right at the death THOMPSON thumped in number four against a tiring Balti defence. FT 4-0.

A good performance against a decent side on a very heavy pitch.

19.10.19. League. Ham Rec 7 Dorchester Sports 2

Another emphatic win for Rec in an entertaining game against a very capable Dorchester Sports side. The Magna Road pitch held up well, despite the week’s downpours, but the going was heavy and all credit to both sides for putting on a good spectacle. The game was a personal triumph for Sam Carter, who scored four times to take his season’s tally to 16 already.

It was the perfect start for Rec with a goal in the first minute - a well-flighted cross from Brad Hill was beautifully headed in by CARTER for 1-0. Sports responded with a powerful shot beaten away by Aaron Robertson, in the home goal, before a header from a corner was only just over the Rec crossbar. Robertson was soon in action again, turning over an angled shot from the edge of the area.

But on 27 minutes Rec won their first penalty of the season when George Webb was bundled over. CARTER duly dispatched his spot-kick low into the net to double the lead and five minutes later it was 3-0 when George Webb and Richie Sands combined to set up CARTER for a tap-in at the far post.

A poor defensive lapse gifted Sports a goal on 39 minutes, but straight from the re-start GEORGE WEBB latched onto a through-ball and coolly converted to make it 4-1 at the break.

Within two minutes of the second half it was five, when John Webb’s low cross was converted at the far post by that man CARTER.

George Webb shot over from close-range before Sports pulled another back on 74minutes, only for Rec to respond three minutes later when Hill took advantage of a defensive slip to tee up captain for the day SANDS to slam in the sixth.

Rec were well in control, despite the visitors playing some neat, spirited football and it was seven on 84 minutes when SAM THOMPSON notched a deserved first goal for the club, touching in a Callum Charlton low ball into the danger area. FT 7-2.

5.10.19. Dorset Senior Trophy. Wareham Rngs 0 Ham Rec 3

Rec are through to the next round of the Senior Trophy after this comfortable win at Wareham. It was far from a vintage performance, but given that Rec had several players unavailable, coupled with the fact that Wareham have improved in recent weeks, this was a pleasing result.

Both sides took time to settle, but Rec carved out the best chance, with Chris Bryer-Ash and John Webb denied a shooting opportunity. But on 19 minutes it was 0-1 when Bryer-Ash broke on the left and set up CARL EDWARDS to side-foot low into the net, for the opener.

Wareham were struggling to mount any threatening attacks of note - their best chance going wide. Sam Carter had two attempts deflected away for corners, before Rec doubled the lead on 39 minutes when Lewis Proudley sped down the left and supplied a perfect low cross for JOHN WEBB to fire in the second. HT 0-2.

Webb’s early second half attempt was tipped over the bar and Brad Hill’s free-kick only inches too high. Rec were having all the play and Bryer-Ash fired just wide following good work by Edwards and Carter.

But the game was settled on 65 minutes when Dan Blackburn’s long, raking ball found EDWARDS, who showed great control and waltzed his way past defenders and walked the ball in, to make it 0-3.

The nearest the hosts came was a shot hitting the bar, but they never really troubled the Rec defence, with Rikki Walden and Dave Legg solid at the back. Edwards, in search of his hat-trick, was denied by a good save from the home keeper, as Rec strolled to victory. FT 0-3.

21.9.19. League. Ham Rec 5. Westland Sports 0

An impressive win for Rec as they made it 10/10 against a team certain to be one of their main rivals this season. Rec led 2-0 at the break and both sides had a man dismissed in the second period, but three goals in the last ten minutes secured the victory. Rec were without striker Sam Carter, but hardly missed him as George Webb helped himself to a hat-trick, to make it 14 for the season and Chris Bryer-Ash, coming on as a late sub, notched a brace.

Rec produced a neat move in the opening minutes with Ash Boyt firing just over, before Westlands responded with a free-kick blocked and a dangerous cross cleared for a corner. But on 14 minutes the hosts were in front with a glorious goal. GEORGE WEBB took a free-kick from outside the area and curled a beauty over the wall and into the top corner, for 1-0. Just five minutes later the lead was doubled when GEORGE WEBB tried his luck from distance. Despite not connecting cleanly, the ball was fumbled by the keeper and ended up in the net, to put Rec firmly in control.

Rikki Walden and George Webb, again, both went close, before Ash Boyt’s shot from the edge of the area was palmed away by the keeper. HT 2-0.

Westlands were dealt a blow early in the second half when they had a man sent off for a lunge on John Webb. Rec looked to take advantage and Brad Hill, Rikki Walden and Carl Edwards all went close, before Rec were themselves reduced to 10 men when last defender, Dave Wrixton brought down an attacker and saw red. The resulting free-kick was blocked as Westlands sought a way back into the game. But it was still Rec who looked the more likely, with George Webb and Brad Hill both unlucky with their attempts.

But the game was secured on 80 minutes when GEORGE WEBB showed his class to round the keeper and coolly plant his shot in off the post, to complete his treble. The icing on the cake came late-on when Ellis Greenslade and Ash Boyt combined to set up CHRIS BRYER -ASH to make it four, on 86 minutes and two minutes later the same player showed good skills and composure to slam in his second and the team’s fifth. FT 5-0. A good day all round - five goals, a clean sheet and three points against a main rival.

14.9.19. League. Corfe Castle 2 Ham Rec 3

Another win for Rec, but as in last weeks game they were made to work hard for the points. After taking an early lead they dominated play, but wasted good opportunities to add to it. Corfe equalised on the half-hour, but Rec added another two before the break to round off a good first-half, but play became scrappy in the second and a late goal for the hosts meant Rec were holding on for the final minutes.

It took just 3 minutes for Rec to stamp their authority on the game when Brad Hill slipped in John Webb to set up GEORGE WEBB for a neat, low finish inside the post. This set up Rec for a period of dominance and John Webb was just beaten by the home keeper to a Sam Thompson cross, before a defensive mistake let in George Webb, only for his shot to be headed away.

Rec had other chances which were wasted, before they were grateful to keeper Aaron Robertson for a vital save in Corfe’s first real attack of note. But on 32 minutes they were made to rue those misses when the hosts equalised with a neat move down the left and a close-range finish for 1-1.

Back came Rec and on 36 minutes GEORGE WEBB combined with Ash Boyt to drill in his 11th goal of the season and five minutes later JOHN WEBB ran on to a through-ball and cleverly beat defender and keeper to make it three. HT 1-3.

Sam Thompson had an early chance beaten away, before Robertson produced his second important save to deny the plucky hosts. Thompson had a good first-time effort saved, before Hill blazed over following good work by John Webb.

Corfe were getting men behind the ball and frustrating Rec and play became scrappy, but the hosts set up a nail-biting finale when they scored a second on 84 minutes following another good move down the left, but the nearest they came to getting a point was a long-range shot pushed away by the ever alert Robertson, for a corner as Rec held on for the win. FT 2-3.

31.8.19. League. Sturminster Newton United 1 Ham Rec 7

Rec made it seven wins from seven with this emphatic victory at Honeymead Lane. After taking an early lead the result was never in doubt, but all credit to a very young Sturminster side, who played some neat football and certainly have several players for the future in their ranks. Manager Kirk Grice gave a first start to Joe Swallow, who impressed in midfield in the first half, but unfortunately picked up an injury and had to go off at the break.

Rec were ahead on 10 minutes when SAM CARTER continued his goalscoring form, collecting the ball and firing home from inside the area for 0-1. Rec were playing their usual neat football and George Webb, Carl Edwards and Brad Hill all went close, before the lead was doubled on 29 minutes when a surging run by Josh Pratt set up GEORGE WEBB to hit a great strike from the edge of the area, to put Rec firmly in control. Carter saw his blistering shot tipped over the bar, before Stur had two free-kicks - the first punched away by Aaron Robertson, in goal and the second easily saved. HT 0-2.

Stur started the second period brightly and Robertson punched away a dangerous corner, but on 51 minutes it was three when George Webb played an early pass to EDWARDS, who neatly scored from a tight angle.

Rec were pushing forward and it was four on 55minutes when Carter teed up GEORGE WEBB to tap in his second. But just two minutes later the plucky hosts got on the scoresheet, courtesy of a bizarre own goal - a great diving header from Chris Bryer-Ash !

This inspired the Cherries, but they still struggled to threaten the Rec goal and in fact the visitors had more chances with Ash Boyt, George Webb and Carter going close. But fifteen minutes from time CARTER’S deflected shot found the net for 1-5, before the same player rattled the bar in his search for a treble, which eventually came on 87 minutes after unselfish play by Edwards. And in the last minute Carter played a delightful through ball to GEORGE WEBB, who kept his cool and completed his hat-trick. FT 1-7.

Another good all-round performance.

24.8.19. League. Sherborne Town Res 0 Ham Rec 2

Another three points for Rec in the blazing heat at Sherborne. Given the weather conditions this was never going to be a classic - and so it turned out. But Rec took plenty of positives from the game, playing some neat football, dominating possession and keeping a clean sheet. As in the previous match, the final pass was often disappointing. Ash Boyt had his best game of the season, dominating midfield and behind many of Rec’s best moves and Dave Legg continued his impressive form at the back.

Josh Pratt was denied a shot at goal by a timely late intervention and Sherborne saw a cross from the right flash across the face of the Rec goal, before the visitors went in front on 9 minutes. ASH BOYT received the ball around 25 yards out and with few options decided to try his luck and his shot deceived the keeper and flew low, into the corner - 0-1. It should have been two, soon after, when a neat move ended with George Webb setting up Carl Edwards, only for him to turn the ball just past the post.

Rec were on top, but many crosses were being overhit and passes going astray. George Webb’s free-kick was blasted into the wall, before a home free-kick brought a good save from Aaron Robertson, pushing the ball away for a corner. HT 0-1.

The lead was doubled three minutes into the second half when the impressive Boyt instigated the move which saw Edwards’ low cross from the right touched in by GEORGE WEBB, to make it 0-2.

John Webb’s half-volley was narrowly wide and Edwards’ near post header saved, as Rec looked to make the game safe.

Sherborne were putting in a plucky performance, but rarely troubling the Rec goal and the lead was nearly increased when Dave Legg’s long- range attempt was tipped onto the bar and over, by the home keeper and George Webb’s neat turn and shot, inside the area, was blocked by the busy home custodian. FT 0-2.

Good result and first clean sheet of the season.

20.8.19. League. Ham Rec 3 Holt United 1

Rec made it four wins from four with this victory over old rivals Holt. As in last Tuesday’s match this was far from a vintage Rec performance, with passes going astray and the final ball lacking quality. Having built up a two goal lead within the first half-hour Rec’s level dropped, allowing Holt to come back into the game. Indeed, the visitors pulled a goal back and spurned a chance to level things and it took a great goal by Josh Pratt, near the end to settle Rec nerves.

SAM CARTER carried on his form from Saturday, when he struck after just 2 minutes, hitting a sweet low shot from outside the area, deceiving the keeper and nestling inside the far post to put Rec one up. Holt immediately had a chance, but blasted wide from inside the area. Ash Boyt’s free-kick was inches away, before Rec made it two on 25 minutes when a promising move saw Carter’s shot strike the post, with the rebound falling nicely for CARL EDWARDS to bundle over the line, from close-range. Holt then missed another presentable chance with a header going wide. HT 2-0.

The Bulls started the second half with a free-kick on the edge of the area which was drilled over, before Pratt’s dangerous low cross was well dealt with by the keeper.

Play became, generally, scrappy and Holt reduced the lead on 73 minutes when their best move of the match was rounded off with a thumping shot to make it 2-1 and set up a nervy finale. The visitors then forced Rec keeper Aaron Robertson to dash from his goal, to clear a chance.

But 8 minutes from time JOSH PRATT produced the goal of the game ( and second goal of the season contender! ) when he attacked on the right, cut in and drilled a beauty into the net to clinch it for the hosts.

Holt immediately missed a great chance of a second, blazing over the top following a scramble, before John Webb tried his luck from 25 yards, only for the keeper to push away for a corner. FT 3-1.

17.8.19. League. Swanage Town & Herston 1 Ham Rec 8

Another impressive performance from Rec as they ran in eight goals at Swanage - their first victory at Days Park for several seasons. Star striker Sam Carter led the way with four goals ( and it should have been more! ) and it was another good all-round team performance.

After Swanage had a dangerous cross cleared for a corner Rec went in front on 3 minutes. George Webb swung in a corner and CARTER rose to head firmly home for 0-1 and just six minutes later the lead was doubled when Carter played a delightful ball to fellow striker CARL EDWARDS who ran through, kept his cool and fired low into goal.

But just a minute later a speculative shot from thirty yards caught keeper Aaron Robertson off his line and flew into the net, for the hosts to halve the deficit.

Rec were playing some classy football and made it three on 12 minutes when CARTER headed his second, from a George Webb free-kick. The Rec hot-shot was giving the home defence a torrid time and had another header, from a great cross by Lewis Proudley diverted for a corner and a volley fly just wide. But his hat-trick came soon after with another header from Josh Pratt’s cross, to make it 1-4.

Rec were looking dangerous in virtually every attack and Carter and George Webb both went close before great work on the right by Pratt teed up another chance, only for Carter to lift his shot over the bar, from close range. HT 1-4.

If Swanage hoped Rec would ease up in the second period they were sadly mistaken as right from the re-start it was five, with the goal of the game. Persistence from Pratt set up CARTER who fired a sublime right-footer, first time, over the keeper and into the net ( first goal of the season contender! ).

Edwards was a constant threat to the home defence and his hard work set up JOHN WEBB to slam in number six. Pratt and Carter combined again, with the latter denied by a good save, before Swanage had their best attempt well saved by Robertson.

Rec finished strongly and on 80 minutes GEORGE WEBB ran on to a through-ball and produced a classy finish for his first goal of the season, to make it seven and in the last minute, from brother John’s corner, he drilled in a beauty, with a low shot from the edge of the area. FT 1-8.

13.8.19. League. Ham Rec 2 Bournemouth Sports Parley 1

Rec made it two wins from two with this victory over Bournemouth Sports Parley, but it was far from a vintage performance. The visitors made it difficult for Rec from the start and were unlucky to go a goal behind. Despite not being at their best Rec stuck to their task and a goal in each half saw them grind out a result. Sports consolation goal came right at the end.

Sports started brightly and were chasing and hassling Rec, not allowing them to settle into their normal passing game and they nearly went ahead early on when Sports dangerman Makoni outfoxed the home defence and drew a good save from keeper Aaron Robertson.

But on 8 minutes and somewhat against the run of play Rec went in front. Dave Legg’s free-kick was played wide, to the left, where LEWIS PROUDLEY headed across the face of goal and into the far corner for the opener.

This settled Rec and they began to get on top. John Webb drilled just wide following a mistake by the keeper and Carl Edwards’ shot was turned over after good work by Sam Carter. Carter then had a goalbound header, from a corner, blocked before Sports redressed the balance with a good free-kick and a header saved by Robertson. HT 2-1.

Rec nearly doubled the lead early in the second half, but Carter’s header from a free-kick was inches wide. Sports were far from out of it and caused danger in the home defence with another free-kick, before Edwards blasted a great shot against the woodwork.

Play was generally scrappy and Rec needed a second goal to settle things and it came on 75 minutes when Legg found Edwards who went on a dangerous run into the box and unselfishly pulled the ball back for JOHN WEBB to smash in off the bar for 2-0.

The hardworking Edwards had a chance to get on the scoresheet soon after, but his header from Webb’s free-kick was over the top. Two minutes from time Makoni’s trickery proved too much for the home defence as he slammed in a consolation goal for Sports. FT 2-1.

Not pretty, but another good three points.

10.8.19. League. Gillingham Town 2 Ham Rec 5

An excellent start to the new season for Rec with this impressive win at Gillingham. The Gills have been Rec’s bogey team for the last couple of seasons, but that was laid to rest by this showing. A good all-round performance saw Rec produce some classy football, especially in the first half when they could easily have been four up. Sam Carter showed his undoubted talent with his best game for the club, helping himself to a brace of goals and there were plenty of other good performances.

Gill started well and Rec were indebted to young keeper Callum Watson for a great reaction save to a close-range effort that could have altered the course of the game. But Rec soon settled and looked dangerous going forward with Carl Edwards, Callum Charlton and Sam Carter giving the home defence a torrid time.

George Webb’s glorious through-ball found Carter, whose shot was Inches over the bar, before Rec went in front on 23 minutes. Richie Sands’ pass was chased by EDWARDS who took advantage of a defensive slip and coolly shot low into the net for 0-1.

Carter then headed narrowly wide, before a home free-kick in a dangerous area came to nothing. On the half-hour the lead was doubled when Sands’ pinpoint cross was firmly headed in by the impressive CARTER.

Rec were now well on top and Carter had another attempt blocked before Rec were brought back to earth. A terrible defensive mix-up, in the 40th minute led to a penalty for the hosts, which they duly converted, but all credit to Rec who responded in the best way possible with a third goal right on half-time. Carter’s shot was parried by the keeper and SANDS was on hand to head home the rebound from close-range. HT 1-3.

Gill got off to a great start to the second half, with a goal in the first minute. A cut in from the right and a good low shot made it 2-3. Back came Rec and on the hour it was 2-4. George Webb went on a determined run and his shot fell nicely for CARTER to notch his second and it was five on 74 minutes when Edwards and George Webb combined to set up JOHN WEBB to fire home. It could have been six soon after, but Edwards’ close-range attempt was inches over.

A great start to the season!