Beavers End Season With A Win
Hampton & Richmond Borough ended a disappointing 2012-13 with a fine performance and win against Bognor Regis Town which saw them leapfrog their opponents in the Ryman League Premier Division table.
New joint managers Darren Powell and Paul Barry, appointed on a permanent basis earlier this week, have got the team playing an attractive brand of attacking football, and this was again evident as the majority of the third largest crowd of the season left happy.
The only change to the starting lineup saw Malvin Kamara returning at right back, replacing Tony Taggart who limped out injured against Canvey Island on Thursday night. It was the visitors who started the match as the better side, looking a threat upfront right from the off. As early as the third minute, Terry Dodd turned on the edge of the box, but his shot went over. Sam Pearce then headed just wide from a corner two minutes later.
It was ten minutes in before the home side mustered an effort on goal; Joe Turner nicked the ball away from Pearce, and raced clear to find himself one on one with Craig Stoner. Despite a good shot from Turner, the Bognor keeper was equal to it. Dodd then showed good strength to hold off a challenge before shooting wide, while a great cross from Kamara was glanced wide by Mo Bettamer.
Borough keeper Rodney Chiweshe was called into acrobatic action on the half hour, producing a wonderful save to keep out Dodd’s header, which looked for all the world that it would nestle in the back of the net. It was a pulsating end to end match, and a good break from Bettamer saw him play a one two with Matt Reece. The Libyan striker’s shot was saved by Stoner, and from the resulting corner Gary Holloway had a header saved. Moments later, Billy Jeffreys headed over from another corner. After the game, the defender became the first player to sign up for next season, putting pen to paper on an actual contract!
The action barely let up for the remainder of the half; Bettamer had a shot blocked by Bognor skipper Sam Pearce, while Reece had a shot saved after a nice layoff from James Simmonds. Reece had the final effort of the half in stoppage time, firing over after good buildup involving Simmonds and Bettamer. Half Time: Hampton 0 Bognor Regis Town 0
No sooner had the second half started, and Stoner produced an excellent near post save, tipping Joe Turner’s fierce drive wide. Billy Jeffreys rose to meet the resulting corner, but his header went narrowly wide of the mark. The game became a little bogged down for the next twenty minutes or so, before a moment of true quality. Mo Bettamer broke down the right, before pulling the ball back perfectly to Turner. He curled a lovely shot beyond Stoner and in off the underside of the crossbar to open the scoring. The goal came on sixty four minutes, and two minutes later Bettamer almost doubled the lead. Reece fed him the ball, and a powerful shot bounced up off Stoner and over the bar. It was to be Bettamer’s last meaningful contribution, as he was replaced by young Alvin Pilgram for the final seventeen minutes.
After Ollie Pearce had been denied by a timely last gasp block from Jeffreys, Pilgram and Simmonds combined well, but as they both bore down on goal, Stoner got down to smother the chance. Simmonds and Gary Holloway were replaced by Jordan Wain and Lewis Lovelock for the final ten minutes, as the management took the opportunity to have a look at a few fringe players with a view to next season.
It was Pilgram who impressed the most of the substitutes. With two minutes remaining, and Bognor leaving themselves a little short at the back as they surged for an equaliser, Pilgram beat a defender to a clearance and raced clear. He pulled the ball back to Reece, who controlled and fired towards goal. He was unfortunate to be denied his first senior goal by a goalline clearance from Josh Warren. There was to be no further action, and Hampton held on to finish the season with a flourish.
There was not even one below par performance from the Hampton team. Alan Bray and Billy Jeffreys were superb at the back, not allowing ex-Hampton striker Dan Thompson a sight of goal. The midfield and attack were excellent, linking superbly and putting together some great moves, and Chiweshe in goal was strong and decisive, making some good saves when needed. It really does garner hope of a good season in 2013-14.
Hampton & Richmond Borough 1
Bognor Regis Town 0
Hampton: Chiweshe, Kamara, Wells, Hickey, Jeffreys(c), Bray, Simmonds (Wain 80), Holloway (Lovelock 80), Turner, Bettamer (Pilgram 73), Reece. Subs not used: Powell, Paul.
Bognor Regis Town: Stoner, Warren (Cody 58), Kempson, Stockford, S Pearce(c), Wollers, Tuck, Willis, Thompson, Dodd, O Pearce (Kilpatrick 89). Subs unused: Crane, Marzetti, Boyle.