Borough Beaten By Boys In Blue
Hampton & Richmond Borough (can we just start calling them Hampton FC again please!) suffered another defeat, but played well and were unlucky not come away from Imber Court with at least a point.
Caretaker managers Darren Powell and Paul Barry were forced into two team changes; Alan Bray replaced Powell in central defence, while Mo Harkin came into midfield after Gary Holloway failed a fitness test. I’m led to believe that this would be the first time this season that Holloway hasn’t started a league match.
Unfortunately, I cannot give you any inkling as to the Met Police team, as there were no teamsheets, or any such information offered, unless you were stood within six inches of the announcer, who was sealed off in a glass box! After the teams came out to “I Fought The Law” (seriously), the game got underway in lovely sunshine which may just have signalled the arrival of Spring, finally.
Borough were the better side for most of the game, putting together some lovely moves, with the final product letting them down on many occasions. The home side, meanwhile, had several corners, and looked dangerous from all of them, having efforts blocked and cleared off the line from a number of deliveries.
The first chance came for Hampton after seven minutes, when a lovely through ball released Mo Bettamer. However, he seemed to be caught in two minds, and his half cross, half shot fizzed across the face of goal. Young Matt Reece, starting his second successive game, couldn’t make up the ground in time to get a touch. At the other end, a shot from their number eleven went wide, while Reece drilled a shot into the side netting after being released by James Simmonds.
There wasn’t much else in terms of chances, but Hampton were playing well in their lone striker formation without creating anything particularly clear cut in terms of goalscoring opportunities. The general consensus among the large travelling support was that the game was there for the taking, and that there was puzzlement as to how the hosts were chasing the playoffs. Half Time: Met Police 0 Hampton 0
Met Police started the second half the better team, and duly took the lead on 56 minutes. After an almighty scramble in the Hampton box, the ball was dinked back to the far post, where the number eight volleyed into the roof of the net. Four minutes later, the goalscorer hit a twenty five harder, but Chiweshe did well to hold onto the swerving effort as he flew away to his right. One for the cameras you might say!
The response from the Hampton bench was to revert to a 442 formation by bringing on Ryan Moss in place of Mo Harkin. This change seemed to ignite the away side, with Moss in the thick of the chances for the remaining half hour. Tom Hickey broke up a Police attack with a wonderful tackle which released Simmonds, who in turn sent Moss through, but the striker fired over. Four minutes later, Moss headed tamely at the home goalie after another good ball from Simmonds.
Twenty minutes from the end, there was a let off for Hampton, Met Police’s number fifteen ghosted into the box, and in acres of space he somehow contrived to send his shot over via the top of the bar. Then, their number eleven hit a shot which Chiweshe dealt with easily by throwing his proverbial cap on it. He then bowled the ball out to Joe Turner, and the impressive winger ran the full length of the pitch, evading tackles before hitting a tame shot straight at the keeper. He deserved a goal for his performance, but the run took the strength from his legs.
Malvin Kamara then drove forward before firing well over, before the last couple of frantic minutes failed to yield the deserved equaliser. Turner drilled a shot agonisingly wide after getting to a loose ball, before Moss was denied at point blank range by the goalkeeper. Alan Bray then glanced a header narrowly wide from a Tony Taggart free kick.
It was not to be for Hampton, and means that my jinx remains firmly in place. I now have not seen a league win for the Beavers since November 3rd!
Metropolitan Police FC 1
Hampton: Chiweshe, Kamara, Taggart, Hickey, Jeffreys, Bray, Simmonds, Harkin (Moss 61), Turner, Bettamer (Wain 77), Reece.