Beavers Downed By The Fleet
It was family day at Hampton & Richmond Borough on Saturday 19th November 2011, with Under-12s free, and the accompanying adult only being charged £3 to get in. Unfortunately, the goodwill spread onto the pitch as The Beavers allowed their visitors to leave with all three points after leaving their shooting boots in the dressing rooms.
The opening ten minutes passed without an awful lot to report, until James Simmonds cut in from the left and hit a powerful right foot shot from twenty yards which was parried away by the visiting ‘keeper. Unfortunately for the home side, the rebound evaded the onrushing Joel Ledgister and Dave Tarpey and the ball was cleared. A few minutes later, and Thurrock had their first chance of the match, when Lee Boylan glanced a header wide. His day would get better though.
Hampton manager Mark Harper had to make a change after just twenty minutes when influential midfielder Simmonds came off with an injury, and was replaced by Aaron Morgan. JJ O’Leary floated in a free kick, which everyone misjudged, and the Thurrock defence were pleased to see the ball skim the bar and go over. Just minutes later, and Thurrock were in front through a super finish from Boylan, who latched onto a long clearance to score. Hampton’s defenders were looking for an offside flag, but none materialised. Straight from the kick off, and Dave Tarpey should have equalised, but dragged his shot wide when it would have been easier to net. This little flurry of action took place in the 28th minute.
Thurrock, and Boylan, could have had their second on 35 minutes, but the striker’s wonderful long range shot clipped the bar on the way over. A minute later, and Tarpey again had the goal in his sights, but after linking well with Nathan Collier down the right, he cut inside only to hit his shot off target. Half time came, and yet again Hampton went in one down. The fans were left hoping that they would see their team perform a second half comeback.
The home team had the best of the early second half exchanges, and Joel Ledgister certainly should have put one of his two chances away. He was unlucky with his first, a decent twenty yard drive that went narrowly wide, but he should have done much better with his second. After being put through by Tarpey, Ledgister only had the goalie to beat, but dragged his shot well wide. Boylan then wasted a good chance when he dragged a shot wide, but he didn’t have long to wait for his second. He finished confidently after being put through by Jamie Guy with fifteen minutes to go.
Hampton kept pressing, as they tried to get back into the game, but Thurrock held on to win 2-0 and take the points back to Essex. More immediately worrying for Hampton, though, could be the injury to JJ O’Donnell in the last minute. He went down after a firm but fair challenge, and after several minutes of treatment was stretchered off. It remains to be seen how long he will be out for. Couple that with the earlier injury to Simmonds, and it wasn’t a good afternoon for manager Harper.
The attendance was 590, which is around 130-150 higher than in recent weeks, so the offer got a few more fans through the gates. It is to be hoped they saw enough to come back and cheer the boys on again in the coming weeks. The result puts Hampton back into the bottom three, while Thurrock lifted themselves off the bottom after the win.