Beavers Dominate But Fail To Win. Again.
Hampton & Richmond Borough were, not for the first time this season, much the better side in this Isthmian League Premier Division match with Concord Rangers, but again failed to register a win, although Charlie Moone did net his fifteenth league goal of the season.
It was a case of frustration once more for the home faithful at Beveree Stadium, as both sides scored a penalty to share the points on a freezing night for the 139 brave souls who ventured out of their warm homes to see some proper football. Hampton were largely the better side throughout the match, putting together some good moves, but not finding the final delivery when it was needed.
After just thirty seconds, Charlie Moone got in behind the Concord backline, but fired off target from a rather narrow angle. On six minutes, Moone chested the ball down for Joe Turner, but the midfielder’s shot was straight at Luke Chambers. Turner had, the day before this match, played for England Universities against their Welsh counterparts, and helped them to a 4-0 win in Wales.
The visitors were forced into an early change, with John Easterford taken off with an injury, to be replaced by Ade Ofisuwa. Hampton continued to enjoy the upper hand, and James Simmonds had a shot deflected for a corner, from which Gary Holloway headed wide. Moone then hit a freekick over, and also had a brilliant goal correctly disallowed for offside. He raced onto a Hickey flick on and volleyed the ball left footed into the far corner, leaving Chambers stranded. Unfortunately, the flag was up and the goal chalked off.
On the stroke of halftime, Concord took the lead from the penalty spot. Billy Jeffreys was adjudged to have blocked a shot with his hand, and the referee pointed immediately at the spot. Danny Glozier smashed the ball home emphatically to give the visitors the lead with their first shot on goal. There wasn’t time for the home side to respond before the break, although Tom Hickey was booked for a mistimed challenge seconds before the half time whistle. This instigated a mass confrontation between the players, with several Rangers players trying to persuade the referee to produce a different colour card for the young midfielder. It was Hickey’s eleventh yellow card of the season, and he is already suspended for the next two league games. Half Time HRBFC 0 Concord Rangers 1
There was very little action of note in the second half, with only half chances at either end. James Simmonds fired high and wide for Hampton, while Concord skipper Tony Stokes shot tamely at Chiweshe. It wasn’t until the referee had a spot of deja vu that Hampton pulled level. With twenty minutes to go, Moone’s shot was blocked by a hand in almost the exact same place as the one in the first half, and again the referee pointed straight to the spot. Up stepped Moone to despatch his second successful penalty this season, and grab his 24th goal of a very good personal campaign.
Borough pushed for a winner, with Ryan Moss going close twice with headers, but it wasn’t to be a victorious night for the Beavers. It’s now eight games since home fans witnessed a league win, and with eight of the remaining fourteen matches to be played at Beveree, the alarming slump in form needs to be addressed. Next up for Hampton is a long trip to high flying Lowestoft Town on Saturday, with the Suffolk club still in with a chance of winning the division if they can win their five games in hand. After that, it’s a trip to Bognor Regis next Tuesday.