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Cornick calls the tune as Christchuch claim derby spoils
CHERRIES prospect Harry Cornick snaffled a dramatic winner as title-chasing Christchurch battled back from two goals down to win 3-2 at Hamworthy United last night.
The fleet-footed winger latched on to Ben Osborne’s neat touch to slot under the onrushing Andy Knights with eight minutes to play, settling a pulsating encounter at the County Ground.
Victory saw Priory climb to second place in the Wessex Premier, two points behind leaders Downton, and came after Hammers had bossed the first half, deservedly leading 2-0 at the break through Joe Shovelton’s well-taken brace.
Sam Pekun saw a third Hammers goal controversially ruled out for offside but the tide quickly turned as soon as Russell Cook got a goal back on the hour before substitute Osborne rattled in a spot-kick following Greg Horlock’s foul on Sam Griffin.
Cornick then completed the comeback, leaving Priory boss Graham Kemp a relieved man. Kemp took the team for the first time following the untimely death of his father Tony a week ago.
He told the Daily Echo: “For 60 minutes, we were second best and didn't look like getting back into the game but Russell Cook showed a bit of brilliance and the whole game turned on that moment.
“At 2-2, Harry’s pace took him from the halfway line to skip through and slot it under the keeper. That is what separates him from the rest.
“He didn’t have his best game and he found space hard to come by, but Hamworthy had put so much into the first half we knew they would tire.
“I must give credit to my lads for the fightback because the last thing they wanted on a Friday night was to be 2-0 down to their mates.”
The pre-match talk from Hammers boss Simon Browne had been about the “soap opera” surrounding Kemp’s future at Hurn Bridge, but the Christchurch manager insisted his tenure will finish at the end of the season.
Kemp added: “I accept it has dragged on a bit, but it has worked out that I am staying until the end of the season and not beyond that.
“I’m not going to leave the lads or the club in the lurch because Christchurch would never hang me out to dry and I won't do that to them, but I will definitely be leaving at the end of the season.
“There are a lot of personal reasons that I have given to the chairman and a lot of people don’t know the whole truth about my circumstances. I want to spend more time with the family and recharge my batteries.”
Meanwhile, beleaguered United boss Browne bemoaned his side’s inability to see out the game.
He said: “We were naïve in the way we approached the game in the second half after being well worthy of our two-goal lead.
“We told them to just go out and be difficult to beat but, unfortunately, we went chasing the third goal when we didn’t need to. We made it too easy for them to get back into the game.
“The players need to realise that a 2-0 win against Christchurch is a great result, it doesn’t need to be 3-0 or more. There are a few youngsters in there and they need to start learning because it has happened two or three times now.”
Hammers: Knight, Murray, Hester, Horlock, Ayling, McCormack, Penny (Bassirki, 90), Wyatt, Shovelton (Chudy, 77), Pekun (Bradley, 66), Lanahan. Unused subs: Muller, Sturgess.
Priory: Frampton, Yelland, Magookin, Legg, Lloyd, Cullen (Puckett, 77), Smith, Griffin, Cook, Burden (Osborne, h-t), Cornick (Crutchley, 90). Unused subs: Dand, Collins (g/k).