A FIRST strike from Eddie Hodge proved enough for Hamworthy United to take the loot against other Wessex Premier Brockenhurst title hopefuls.

Hodge’s winner, combined with a Shane Murphy penalty save, guided the Hammers to a 1-0 victory at County Ground.

Without boss Tim Sills and assistant Chris Senior, Ben Sullivan took the reins of the hosts’ canoe.

And with just five minutes on the clock, Sullivan’s team had their noses ahead. A high, looping cross proved difficult for Brockenhurst goalkeeper James Mayo to manage, allowing Hodge to poach the game opener.

The Badgers returned, with Murphy on alert to thwart Silvano Obeng, before Mayo turned down Max Wilcock.

The visitors had a golden chance to equalize, receiving a penalty when Murphy knocked down Alex Haynes.

But the keeper quickly made amends, brilliantly saving Obeng’s low shot.

Brock dominated for long stretches under difficult conditions but couldn’t find the most important equalizer as Hamworthy’s strong defensive record came to the fore.

Hammers sit third in the standings, three points behind Brockenhurst and leaders Horndean, with two games in hand.

Christchurch’s match against Bashley and Poppies against Hythe & Dibden have both been postponed due to waterlogged pitches.

In Wessex One, New Milton Town scored twice in the final 20 minutes to come back from behind and win 3-2 at Verwood Town.

In a match where both teams ended with 10 men, Diop Evans had Verwood in the lead at the break.

But a brace from Chris Long, combined with a penalty from Ben Cooper, secured Verwood’s victory, with Joe Freak’s effort proving to be just consolation.

Ringwood Town drew 3-3 at Downton thanks to goals from Ryan Hamm, Callum Horton and Harry Smith.