Frustration For Beavers

Hampton & Richmond Borough left Pilot Field feeling as though they dropped two points in this goalless draw with Hastings. The home side, though, had some good chances to take the points themselves.

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This was my first trip to The Pilot Field, and I have to say I really like the place. As you drive down the steep hill that is Elphinstone Road towards the ground, you can just about see the sea on the horizon. Upon entering the ground, you are greeted by friendly people all over the place; the turnstiles, the golden goal and programme sellers, the club shop and the tea bar. They are a credit to their club. The pitch, while in excellent condition for the time of year, seems to be somewhat open to the elements, so I’m quite surprised that there haven’t been more postponements.

The excellent large board that displays the lineups

The excellent large board that displays the lineups

On the pitch, and Hampton were much the better side for most of this game, and should have been a couple of goals clear before half time. James Simmonds was the first to have a clear cut chance when he drove into the box from the left, but he could only fire straight at Hastings keeper Daniel East from a narrow angle. Gary Holloway then drove a great shot towards the top corner after Charlie Moone teed him up, but again East was equal to it.

At the other end, it was a case of half chances for United; Elvis Hammond, on loan from Woking, fired well off target from the left, and a free kick twenty five yards was blasted well over by Bailo Camara. Prior to the match, I was not only dismayed to see Hammond in the lineup for the opposition, but also to see the name of Dee Okojie. The speedy winger was superb for Hastings in their epic FA Cup second round replay with Harrogate Town, when he scored the decisive penalty in the shootout. He was involved in most of the home side’s attacks, and set up Sam Adams, but the midfielder shot straight at Borough keeper Rodney Chiweshe.

Midway through the first half, Billy Jeffreys headed wide from a corner taken by Alan Bray, and this signalled Hampton’s dominance for the remainder of the half. A lovely move on the half hour almost brought the breakthrough. Tom Hickey played a lovely high ball forward, Ryan Moss flicked it on to top scorer Charlie Moone who shot first time, but East saved well to deny Moone his 24th goal of the season. East then produced a stunning fingertip save to deny Joe Turner, and James Simmonds unleashed a thunderbolt that smashed off the angle of post and bar. Overall, it was a very frustrating, but at the same time encouraging, first half. Half Time Hastings United 0 HRBFC 0

James Simmonds is denied early on by Daniel East

James Simmonds is denied early on by Daniel East

The second half was a little more even, and in fact it was Rodney Chiweshe who was the hero on more than one occasion. Two minutes into the half, he saved a header from Ben Judge, but again Hampton pushed forward looking for the opening goal. Moone fired high and wide after a great move. Turner played the ball in to Simmonds, and his pull back was dummied by Gary Holloway, allowing the ball to run to Moone. Unfortunately, his shot was off target. Ryan Moss then had a glorious chance on 62 minutes, getting onto a delightful through ball by Holloway. He got to the ball just before East, but under heavy pressure, he could only stab the ball wide.

Both managers made double substitutions with around twenty three minutes left; Okojie and Adams were replaced by Jack Dixon and Danny Ellis, while Hampton swapped Bray and Simmonds for Anson Cousins and Tony Taggart. And it was Cousins who was involved first, playing a freekick into the Hastings box. Darren Powell headed the ball down for Holloway, but the midfielder volleyed wide. Rodney Chiweshe enjoyed his place in the spotlight, making several brilliant saves to keep his sheet clean, including an amazing flying fingertip save to keep out a long range effort. In added on time, there was a scare for Hampton, as Charlie Moone went down injured while chasing a long ball. He was taken off, replaced by Mo Bettamer, but thankfully Moone has confirmed to me on twitter that he is ok and will be available for Borough’s next match. Joe Turner had the last effort of the match, but his shot was saved comfortably by East at his near post. Full Time Hastings United 0 HRBFC 0

Next up for Hampton is a tough home match with eighth placed Met Police at Beveree Stadium on Tuesday, March 5th.

Charlie Moone challenges Daniel East in the second half

Charlie Moone challenges Daniel East in the second half

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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 March 3, 2013, in UTL Archive and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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