Beavers Robbed By Police!
The Beavers somehow exited this season’s Robert Dyas League Cup after a 3-1 defeat against Metropolitan Police at Imber Court. Club captain Billy Jeffreys made his welcome return to the first team after three months on the sidelines, and was partnered in central defence by Nick Grosvenor. Kofi Halliday and Luke Wanadio were on the wings, with Dan Thompson and Reis Stanislaus upfront.
The hosts got the perfect start, taking the lead after just five minutes. Rodney Chiweshe saved a shot from Jordan Bird, but the ball fell kindly to Billy Bennett to tap into the net. Hampton almost replied immediately, but Karle Carder’s header from Luke Wanadio’s cross was straight at Stuart Searle. However, on twelve minutes the hosts doubled their lead when Jonte Smith fired in a volley from a left wing cross. Smith then missed a gilt-edged chance when he put a free header wide.
After going two down, Hampton started to assert themselves on the match. Tom Hickey had a header flash past the angle of post and bar, while Dan Thompson met a Wanadio cross with a superb volley which Searle somehow turned away. In first half stoppage time, another cross from Wanadio found it’s way through to Kofi Halliday at the back post. He managed to squeeze a shot away, only to be denied by Searle. Several times durting the half, Searle flapped at crosses and was lucky to be bailed out by his defence, but Hampton just could not find the breakthrough. Half Time: Met Police 2 HRBFC 0
The second half saw Hampton create countless chances as they sought a way back into the match. Billy Jeffreys had an effort that Searle initially fumbled but then gathered at the second attempt. Stanislaus then brought a fantastic save from the home keeper, as Searle flew to his right to keep out the striker’s header. Charlie Moone replaced Stanislaus soon after. A long shot from Carder was fumbled once more by Searle, but again he was able to gather at the second attempt. With twenty five minutes remaining, Joe Turner replaced Thompson and joined Charlie in attack. Three minutes later, Luke Wanadio had the goal his superb performance deserved. Racing clear of the home defence, he opened his body out and finished expertly past Searle to register his first goal for the club.
After the goal, it really seemed as though Beavers would be taking the game to penalties at the very least. Charlie Moone had a shot saved, then Joe Turner’s effort squirmed under Searle and somehow wide. As so often happens, the team doing all the attacking doesn’t get the reward, and in the last minute, Jonte Smith notched his second, again being in the right place to tap home after a shot rebounded off the bar.
So, out of the tournament we go, but for joint managers Paul Barry and Darren Powell, along with the travelling faithful, it will be a while before we figure out just how we didn’t win!
Metropolitan Police 3 (Bennett 5, Smith 12 & 89)
Hampton 1 (Wanadio 68)
Hampton: Chiweshe, Brewer, Taylor, Hickey, Grosvenor, Jeffreys (Brewster 88), Wanadio, Carder, Thompson (Turner 68), Stanislaus (Moone 62), Halliday. Unused subs: Wells, Mills.
Man of the Match: Luke Wanadio. A stellar performance from the right winger. Time and again he showed brilliant footwork to beat his man consistently, and his crossing was superb. A top finish for his goal capped a brilliant individual performance.