Beavers Triumph In The Staines Swamp

Hampton & Richmond Borough exacted revenge on their rivals Staines Town, and gained three valuable points in their fight against relegation.

Staines Town v Hampton & Richmond Borough

Wheatsheaf Park, Staines

Sunday, January 1st 2012, k.o. 3pm

On a day when the rain fell heavily and solidly from well before kick off until the end of the match, it was The Beavers that came out on top against a Swans side that looked distinctly uncomfortable in the water. The fact that the match went ahead in the first place caused some surprise in the stands, but the sizeable away support came away delighted that it had!

It didn’t take long to figure out the troublesome areas of the pitch, the spots where the ball didn’t roll, most notably the edge of the penalty area that Staines were defending in the first half. And it didn’t take long for the conditions to play havoc, as Staines centre back Jake Goodman was booked as early as the fourth minute for a challenge that was made to look worse than it was by the pitch. Nathan Collier had the first decent effort of the game, as he hit a fine effort from out side the box, bringing a good diving save out of Staines keeper Rhys Evans to deny him.

In the eighth minute, though, Hampton took the lead. A long throw from captain Matt Ruby landed in the soggy penalty area, and instead of bouncing, it just stopped. Dave Tarpey was on it in a flash only to see his effort saved by Evans. Luckily for Borough, the ball arrived at the feet of Louis-Rae Beadle, who couldn’t miss from eight yards. The goal settled Hampton down, and they started to get to grips with the conditions. Staines did have their chances, most notably for Andre Scarlett, who managed to completely miscue from ten yards with the goal at his mercy. Ali Chabaan did force a fine near post save from Borough keeper Craig Ross with a low drive half through the first half, but apart from that, they offered little in the way of goal threat. Tarpey maybe should have done better a little earlier, as he capitalised on a defensive error but fired wide from the edge of the box.

At half time, the game was still finely poised at 1-0 to the visitors, although on reflection they maybe should have given themselves a little daylight in the first period.

As has been the case on numerous occasions this season when I’ve seen them play, Hampton were much better in the second half, and Staines just could not deal with the pace of Collier, Beadle or left back JJ O’Donnell. The Luton loan man had a fairly quiet first half, but was absolutely key in the second. Before his involvement, though, Hampton had got their second through a Dave Tarpey penalty. The award for a foul on Beadle seemed a little harsh, but the away fans did not care a jot, and were singing in the rain at Tarps’ twelfth of the season. Evans did go the right way, and was very close to saving it, but the striker had put the ball right in the corner, and doubled Beavers’ lead.

The Travelling Hampton Fans Brave The Conditions

Just two minutes later, and the result was beyond doubt. O’Donnell swung a corner into the near post, and Matt Ruby crashed home a header, leaving Evans with no chance. After this, the home players all but gave up the ghost, and Tarpey had two good efforts for a fourth. First he raced clear after the Staines defenc eagain failed to deal with the conditions, but Evans was out smartly to deny him. Then, he hit a spectacular free kick from nearly thirty yards that Evans did well to push away. However, Hampton did get a fourth with a little over twenty minutes left. Another O’Donnell corner was the source, and with Evans coming for it and missing it completely, the ball dropped behind him and ricocheted in off substitute Charlie Moone’s thigh. It was the striker’s first touch, although he knew very little about it!

After this, Hampton took their foot off the pedal a little, and Staines worked a few opportunities for themselves. A cross looped off the crossbar, and a header from Goodman sailed over before they were awarded their own dubious penalty, which was duly despatched by Chabaan for the home side’s consolation. The final few minutes were played out comfortably, apart from a dust up between players and staff towards the end which saw a player from either side booked.

One Of The Goalmouths At The End Of The Match

So, the final whistle went to bring to an end a miserable afternoon for the home fans, but it was music to the travelling Beavers’ supporters, who had just witnessed their side triumph in apocalyptic rain and atrocious playing conditions. The win gives Hampton a little bit of breathing space over the bottom two, but they need to follow it up with a win against Tonbridge Angels in their next match to really make it count.

Hampton & Richmond Borough: Ross, Ferrell, O’Donnell, Inman, Ruby (c), Huggins, Collier, Johnson, Tarpey, Simmonds, Beadle.

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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 January 3, 2012, in UTL Archive and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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