Rocks Bash Beavers To Keep Playoff Hopes On Track
East Thurrock United capitalised on surprise home defeats for Lowestoft and Concord Rangers by beating Hampton & Richmond Borough 3-0 at a swampy Beveree Stadium.
After a morning pitch inspection, and some hard working volunteers armed with pitchforks, this match was able to go ahead despite incessant rain for the whole ninety minutes. East Thurrock will certainly be glad it did go ahead, as they were able to brush aside their hosts comfortably, thanks to a quickfire brace from Sam Collins, and what would have to go down as an own goal from Beavers’ goalkeeper Rodney Chiweshe.
After scoring seven goals in their last two home games, and gaining their first home league win since October, the signs were that Hampton had finally got themselves back on track in front of their home fans. However, on a pitch that is looking increasingly like a ploughed field, and has two more matches to host in midweek, that form unravelled. Despite some good approach play, the final product was just not there for the Beavers.
Chiweshe was the busier of the two goalkeepers for most of the match, and as early as the sixth minute he was saving a shot from Kye Ruiz, and then on seventeen minutes he denied James Lawson at the far post, saving the midfielder’s stretching effort from point blank range after a good cross from Sam Collins.
As I said, Hampton were putting together some good moves without an end product to go with it, but on twenty five minutes they almost took the lead. A good break from James Simmonds down the left led to him finding Joe Turner, but the England Universities international fired his shot narrowly wide. Just a minute later, Turner again found himself in a shooting position, but this time his shot from the edge of the box was straight at ETU keeper Elliott Justham.
Around the half hour mark, and a two goal salvo from Collins gave the visitors a slightly flattering lead. The first came from a low cross from the right by Sam Higgins, and Collins slid in at the back post to bundle the ball home. After a collision with Chiweshe, Collins needed some attention from the physio, but he soon picked himself up to double the lead. After being released on the left, he arrowed a powerful shot across Chiweshe into the far corner. Hampton’s only further effort of the half was from Simmonds, but his dipping twenty five yarder was straight at Justham. Half Time: HRBFC 0 ETU 2
Hampton came out of the blocks quickly in the second half, a cross from Simmonds being deflected and almost catching Justham out, but the visiting keeper held the ball on his line. Minutes later, Simmonds released Ryan Moss, but the striker fired over. East Thurrock then sealed the points on 52 minutes. James Lawson crossed rather tamely from the left, but Chiweshe fumbled the ball over his own line.
Hampton made three changes in quick succession; Harkin, Bettamer and Lovelock all came on, with Holloway, Turner and Reece making way. And it was Mo Bettamer who seemed to spark some life into the Hampton attack. Midway through the second half, he found space in the box, but his shot was repelled by Justham. The ball landed at the feet of Lewis Lovelock, but the youngster could only find the side netting with the follow up. Tom Hickey then volleyed wide from twenty yards after a corner was cleared to him. And the Hampton midfielder had the last shot of the match with three minutes to go, but his effort was straight at Justham.
Another frustrating afternoon in the life of a Hampton fan, and my personal jinx continues. I have now not seen a Beavers league win since October, and the free scoring exploits of recent games goes up in smoke when I’m in attendance. I’ve missed them score three, four and five goals in games since I last saw them score on March twelfth! And the player that scored that goal, Charlie Moone, isn’t at the club anymore! Oh well, onto home games this Tuesday and Thursday, providing the pitch can recover.
East Thurrock United 3
Collins 28 & 31
Chiweshe (og) 52
HRBFC: Chiweshe, Taggart, Wells, Hickey, Jeffreys, Powell (c), Simmonds, Holloway (Bettamer 61), Turner (Lovelock 63), Moss, Reece (Harkin 54). Subs not used: Paul, Wain.
ETU: Justham, Sammons, Stephen, Peddie (c), Sheehan, Parmenter, Lawson (Wood 84), Clifton, Higgins (Menoa 64), Ruiz, Collins. Subs not used: Gorbell, Keith.