The Magic Of The Trophy

Dave Tarpey was the two-goal hero as Hampton & Richmond Borough beat opposition from a division higher for the second week running.

This first round FA Trophy tie between Hampton & Richmond Borough and Hayes & Yeading United was the second week in a row that the two teams had met. The week before, goals from Louie-Rae Beadle and Charlie Moone saw Hampton record a 2-1 win in the Middlesex Senior Cup. It also saw a lot of fringe players given a chance to show what they could do, and Beadle, along with Paul Johnson, were rewarded with starts in this Trophy match.

Before the game, the fans were asked to observe a minute’s silence in remembrance of long serving Hampton groundsman Bob Morford, who passed away last weekend following illness. The silence was impeccably observed by both sets of fans, and the game got underway. It took both sides a little while to get themselves into the match, although it was a lively and feisty opening. The first sniff of a chance fell to the home side, as a good move ended with Dave Tarpey drilling the ball across the penalty area. Joel Ledgister wasn’t alive to the cross, however, and the chance was gone. Just a few minutes later, the assistant referee angered the home fans by wrongly flagging for offside as Tarpey raced clear.

There was little in the way of goalmouth action, as any crosses were intercepted, blocked or caught by the ‘keepers. The first decent chance didn’t come until the 25th minute, when Tom Hickey cut inside after more good play by Borough but curled his shot wide. Hickey had only been on the pitch for about seven minutes after replacing the injured Paul Johnson.

For the last ten minutes of the first half, Hayes & Yeading enjoyed their only real period of dominance in the game. During this time, they will definitely feel that they should have scored, as they had seven or eight efforts on goal. Wayward finishing, along with some heroic last ditch defending and saves from Hampton ‘keeper Craig Ross, kept the scoreline blank at halftime. During the fans’ customary end-change during halftime, I did wonder how Hampton would be able to withstand another period of sustained pressure like that.

I needn’t have worried. Hampton, as they have done so often this season at The Beveree, came out for the second half looking like a different side. James Simmonds, who had a superb game in midfield, went agonisingly close with a curling freekick just a couple of minutes into the second half. Hampton weren’t to be denied for long, though. Tarpey scored his first to break the deadlock on 53 minutes. Joel Ledgister put his strike partner clean through, and Tarpey lifted the ball over the onruching Hayes ‘keeper to send the home fans into delirium.

The visitors had the ball in the net after 62 minutes, but the assistant’s flag cut short the Hayes fans’ celebrations. As I was at the other end of the ground, I have no idea if the decision was correct! Ledgister then should have put Borough two up, but he opted not to take the shot on, and the defenders and goalkeeper combined to clear the ball. Just a minute or so later, however, and Hampton did have their second goal. More super play led to Beadle having a shot which was saved, but the rebound fell at the feet of the lethal Tarpey, and he gleefully smashed in his eleventh goal of the season.

The home side continued to play some lovely football, and maybe showed that they should be nowhere near the bottom three in Conference South. Matt Ruby met a Simmonds freekick with a header, but it was straight at the ‘keeper. Hayes did press towards the end of the game, but the home defence stood strong and repelled the attacks to take the game 2-0. The big worry could be Tarpey, who was taken off late on after colliding with the visiting goalkeeper.

The result means manager Mark Harper will eagerly await the draw for the second round, and will be confident of progressing further in the competition.

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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 December 10, 2011, in UTL Archive and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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