Ledgister Double Puts Beavers On Double Digits

Joel Ledgister scores twice on his debut to lift The Beavers off the foot of the Conference South Table.

Hampton & Richmond Borough v Eastbourne Borough, Saturday November 5th 2011

Hampton & Richmond Borough entertained mid-table side Eastbourne Borough in a match they must have thought they could win before kick off. With star players JJ O’Leary, James Simmonds and Dave Tarpey starting, along with loanee Joel Ledgister making his debut, and the reliable centreback pairing of Dean Inman and Matt Ruby in place, three points was a real possibility.

The Beavers got off to a bright start, enjoying more of the posession than their visitors, and a good attack ended with Simmonds mistiming his shot and sending it off target in the first few minutes. The first real chance presented itself soon after, when a corner was fumbled by Eastbourne ‘keeper Clark Masters. The ball arrived at Dean Inman, but the defender couldn’t keep his shot down and the ball went over. It was a difficult chance to be fair, as the ball never really came down enough and he was under pressure from defenders.

Eastbourne’s first chance of the game also came from a corner, with a header bringing a decent save from home keeper Craig Ross on ten minutes. The visitors then started to work themselves into the ascendancy, and took the lead on 31 minutes, Ben Watson firing home with supreme confidence. Hampton didn’t let their heads go down though, and could have equalised four minutes later, but were denied by a world class save from Tarpey’s stretching volley. Watson could have had his second just before halftime, but he raced clear only to hit his shot rather tamely straight at a grateful Ross. Half time: Hampton & Richmond Borough 0-1 Eastbourne Borough.

As in Hampton’s last home match against Havant & Waterlooville, the second half was a completely different story. Debutant Joel Ledgister got Hampton level two minutes after the restart. Tarpey floated a freekick to the far post, and Ledgister headed in off the post. It was a very good finish under challenge from defenders. Ten minutes later, and Hampton had turned the game on it’s head. A delightful ball chipped into the box was expertly finished by the impressive Tarpey, who coolly lobbed the visiting ‘keeper from fifteen yards. He was mobbed by his teammates, who knew just how important that goal could be.

Dave Tarpey (no.11) celebrates his goal

The home side visibly grew in confidence, and left back JJ O’Leary was tearing Eastbourne’s right hand side apart as he continuously marauded forward, looking to get crosses in the box at every opportunity. On another day, his deliveries would have been rewarded with goals. With fifteen minutes left, Tarpey hit a freekick from all of thirty five yards out, which looped up off a defender’s boot and landed on the roof of the net. Tarpey again had a good chance to seal the points, but his turn and left foot effort was off target. The home fans did get their third, though, as the game ticked towards stoppage time. Joel Ledgister capped his impressive debut with a superb second goal, as he showed some good skill before placing his shot into the top right corner to immediately make him a hero to Beavers’ fans. The final whistle came, and the full time result was Hampton & Richmond Borough 3-1 Eastbourne Borough.

The win, coupled with a loss for Thurrock, saw Hampton lift themselves off the bottom of the table, and give themselves confidence for the next couple of matches. The next game for Hampton at The Beveree is against Thurrock, so that could be a huge match when it comes around. For now, though, the crowd of 441 will be largely happy with the day’s proceedings.

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About James Bartaby

Hey, I'm James and I'm relatively new to non-league football, having only taken in my first match in September 2011. Despite it being a 0-4 defeat for Hampton & Richmond Borough, I became a huge fan of the club and NL in general. So much so that they are now the first club that I mention when talking about which team I support! I just got massively disillusioned with top flight football in this country and the attitudes of the lawmakers and top clubs in general, and I wanted to start taking my son to see decent football. I am now the club's Deputy Press Officer, and loving every minute!

Posted on November 6, 2011, in UTL Archive and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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