Hampton Through To Semi Finals
Hampton & Richmond Borough overcame tough opposition to reach the last four of the Middlesex Senior Cup, where they will play Hendon FC.
This was my first visit to The Beveree Stadium since the Boxing Day defeat to Staines Town due to work and weather, and I was full of optimism, and a little excitement to be back at the ground. I was delighted to see that manager Mark Harper had selected as strong a team as he could have done, with the only absentees being the ineligible Joel Ledgister, who rejoined the club on a permanent deal the day before the match, and the injured Ruby and Collier.
The opponents for the game were Bedfont Town, who play in the Southern League Division One Central, two divisions below Hampton. Although, as the game unfolded, it became hard to distinguish which club plays at the higher level. Bedfont started the game brightly, with Sean Lucien causing all sorts of problems down the right wing. For the first few minutes, Hampton struggled to get out of their own penalty area, with Dean Inman making several blocks and tackles to stem the tide. Bedfont left back Joel Jacobs hit a good free kick which went straight to home keeper Craig Ross, before Lucien cracked a shot over from the right side of the penalty area.
It was eighteen minutes into the game before the home side started to get back into the match, and they scored the opening goal soon after. Tarpey chased a long bouncing bomb of a clearance, and even though he couldn’t get the ball under control, he still managed to get a shot away that forced the Bedfont keeper Gary Ross. From the resulting throw in, Charlie Moone fired a shot that deflected into the bottom right hand corner to give Hampton the lead against the run of play. It was the striker’s third goal in two games in the competition, having scored both goals to beat Hayes & Yeading United in the previous round.
Bedfont continued to dominate proceedings, and striker Reis Stanislaus embarked on a good run, but his final shot was hit tamely straight at Craig Ross. A couple of minutes later, and Hampton came very close to doubling their lead. Tarpey didn’t give up as he chased a long clearance that looked destined to go out of play and fired the ball across the six yard box. Unfortunately, Moone couldn’t quite get his toe to the ball and the chance went begging. It wasn’t long until Hampton did grab a second, though. Tarpey’s first shot was blocked, but he got to the loose ball and fired home from twelve yards to make it 2-0 after 33 minutes. There were a couple of other chances in the match, with Lucien firing a long ranger straight at Ross, and then Charlie Moone volleying wide after he latched onto a loose header. Half time came, though, and it was Hampton & Richmond Borough 2 Bedfont Town 0.
The second half kicked off in much the same vein as the first, with Bedfont proving to be much better in possession without really making it count. However, on 55 minutes, Joel Jacobs hit a spectacular free kick to halve the deficit. Craig Ross, at full stretch, had absolutely no chance as the ball hit the top corner of his net. This could have deflated the home side, but they were the ones to have the next chances, and indeed the next goal. A good move down the left involving Esmond James and Moone ended with the ball coming to Tarpey who cut inside onto his favoured left foot but his shot was well wide.
The skillful striker was not to be denied his second for long, as within a minute he brilliantly restored the two goal cushion. A flick on from Moone put Tarpey clear, and as the goalkeeper came rushing out, Tarpey kneed the bouncing ball over him, before outpacing and outmuscling the defender to slide the ball home for 3-1. This was just after the hour mark, and within five minutes Bedfont had once again reduced the arrears as O’Sullivan scored an impressive header that gave Craig Ross no chance.
Ross then just about kept out a long range shot from Aaron Clarke, fumbling the ball out for a corner, and that proved to be the last real effort on goal. The match ended 3-2 to Hampton & Richmond Borough, and they will now play Hendon FC at The Beveree in the semi final on March 6th. Hendon overcame Hanworth Villa 1-0 the previous night in their quarter final. The other two quarter final ties are scheduled for Tuesday, February 28th, where Wingate & Finchley host North Greenford United, and Wealdstone face AFC Hayes.