Derby Misery For The Beavers

An entertaining match at The Beveree ended in disappointment for Mark Harper’s team, as visitors Staines hold on to take the points.

Monday, December 26th 2011

Hampton & Richmond Borough 1 – 2 Staines Town

Attendance: 629

If ever there was a “six-pointer”, this was it. Third bottom Borough against second bottom Staines Town. With three points separating the sides prior to the match, manager Mark Harper would have been hoping to put some daylight between his team and the bottom two.

The game started at a good pace, with Staines hitting the crossbar in the opening couple of minutes. Ali Chabaan showed some good skill and pace to get himself into position, and was unlucky to see his shot hit the underside of the bar and bounce away. Hampton then came into the game and had some good pressure, and were victim of a refereeing blunder after eight minutes. Dave Tarpey turned in the box, and was fouled by a Staines defender. However, the referee booked the striker for diving, and in the process set the yardstick for his performance. Let’s say he wasn’t a referee who favoured the home side!

Hampton continued to press, and Tarpey was in the thick of the chances. First, he cut inside onto his right foot, but his curling effort was tipped away by Staines ‘keeper Rhys Evans. From the resulting corner, a scramble ensued and the ball fell to skipper Matt Ruby, but he blazed over under pressure. Just a couple of minutes later, Tarpey again had an effort saved, although his volley hit the keeper rather than it being saved. Karle Andrews had a decent effort from twenty yards, but it was deflected for a corner. From the corner, the ball fell to Tarpey, but his effort was also blocked.

Then, three minutes of madness saw Staines take a decisive two goal lead. First, Marc Charles-Smith saw his looping header tipped over by Craig Ross. However, from the resulting corner, Smith headed Town into the lead. In the 31st minute, it was two as a cross from the right hit Ross and went in for an embarassing own goal. In between the two goals, Borough did have a glorious chance to equalise. Nathan Collier got clear down the right and cut the ball back to Charlie Moone, but the striker blazed his first time shot well over the bar, when he had plenty of time to control it.

After the second goal, it was backs to the walls for the Hampton defence, and Ross had to make a good save to turn Simon Jackson’s long range shot behind for a corner. The halftime whistle did come, and bring an end to a very disheartening first half with the scoreline not looking good at all.

All Borough fans were hoping for an early goal in the second half to give the team something to build on, and impressive left back JJ O’Donnell duly delivered with a contender for goal of the season in the first minute of the second half. He ran unchallenged all the way into Staines territory, and hit an unstoppable thunderbolt from twenty five yards into the top corner that left Evans clutching at thin air. This really got the fans going, in anticipation of another comeback from the team.

Straight from the restart, Hampton regained possession and launched another attack, which ended with a Tarpey effort going straight at the keeper. O’Donnell then tried to relive his wonder goal, only to see his long ranger go over. With about half an hour to go, Hampton manager Mark Harper made a substitution, bringing off Charlie Moone and replacing him with Louie-Rae Beadle. This seemed to destabilise the team, and they looked fragmented after that. In fact, Staines could have got a decisive third on a couple of occasions, but a good save from Ross, and then some superb tackles from Dean Inman kept the score down.

Hampton did have a couple of other chances in the last twenty minutes, Tarpey missed his kick when presented with an excellent chance, then his brilliant run ended with the ball breaking to Beadle, but the keeper was out quickly to smother. Josh Huggins had the last chance for Borough, but he blazed over a difficult chance, when he perhaps should have left it to the better positioned Beadle.

The final whistle went, and confirmed the win for Staines Town. Their fans among the 629 crowd went home very happy, while Beavers fans will be very worried ahead of the return match at Wheatsheaf Park on New Year’s Day.

My conclusions? Hampton are sorely missing a big striker after Joel Ledgister was recalled from his loan early by his parent club Sutton United. The unexplained absence of Dan Thompson from the squad has left us very short upfront. Three points on New Year’s Day are essential in the battle against relegation.


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 27, 2011, in UTL Archive and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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