Hampton & Richmond Borough were defeated in a match they started dominantly on Canvey Island, with John Sands netting a brace for The Gulls on his debut.
The day saw plenty of rain in the morning, and several postponements up and down the leagues (even Concord Rangers’ home match was called off!), but the pitch at Prospects Stadium was in fine fettle for the clash. And it was Hampton who started the brighter of the two teams, with Charlie Moone firing The Beavers in front after just six minutes. A fine move, one of many in the first half hour, saw Belal Aite-Ouakrim spray the ball out to Joe Turner on the right. Turner’s first time volley cushioned the ball perfectly into the path of Moone, and the club’s top scorer fired a first time shot through the legs of Canvey keeper Joshua Vickers. It was Charlie’s seventeenth goal already this campaign, and his eleven league goals make him the second top scorer in the Ryman Premier. The home defenders, and fans, felt there was a strong hint of offside about the goal, but it stood and Hampton were ahead.
The Beavers dominated the opening exchanges, but were unable to add to their lead. Just three minutes after the goal, Karle Carder and Aite-Ouakrim combined well, before the ball was worked out to Turner. The winger shot, but a deflection looped the ball harmlessly into Vickers’ hands. It wasn’t until the 26th minute that we saw the home side have their first chance, John Sands firing wide, wasting a very presentable chance.
Another good break from Hampton saw a pacey curling cross from Turner met by the head of Moone, but the striker’s glancing header went wide. The next chance again fell to Moone, this time a left foot half volley on the turn that went over the bar. The shot was the culmination of good buildup play involving James Simmonds and Aite-Ouakrim.
As is so often the case, though, the home side equalised on forty minutes, somewhat against the general run of the game. Like Hampton’s opener, it had more than a hint of offside about it. John Sands – signed for an undisclosed fee from Bury Town, where he was the league’s top scorer last season – latched onto a good through ball and powered an emphatic shot past Rodney Chiweshe. Sands then had a chance to put the hosts in front before the break, but his scissor kick went wide. Half Time Canvey Island 1 Hampton 1
If it was Hampton who started the first half the brighter, it was the home side who came out of the blocks quickest in the second. A long range shot from skipper Matt Game was straight at Chiweshe, but just minutes later they were in front. Sands hit a volley from distance which Chiweshe tipped away. However, the ball was put back into the box, and after an almighty scramble ensued, Sands smashed the ball home from close range to make it 2-1.
Charlie Moone had a chance to equalise just before the hour, but he dragged his shot wide. Marcus Rose then almost gifted Canvey a third as his loose pass allowed Harrison Chatting a clear run on goal. As he bore down on goal, Chiweshe came out to meet him and close down the angle, eventually gathering the ball bravely at the winger’s feet. Warren McBean then got on the end of a cross from the right, but his header went straight to Chiweshe.
Luke Wanadio, on as a substitute for Simmonds, went on a driving run and hit a powerful shot that narrowly missed the angle of post and bar. The last couple of Hampton chances fell to Moone, but on both occasions he dragged his shot wide. In fact, Canvey could have made it 3-1 in the dying minutes, but Chiweshe tipped over Simon Thomas’ shot.
Canvey Island 2 (Sands 40 & 56)
Hampton 1 (Moone 6)
With three home matches in seven days, the next week could well be pivotal if the Beavers are to make an immediate return to Conference South. Read the rest of this entry
As a football fan, the summer is normally the worst time for every one of us. It’s the empty space where nothing really happens until July kicks in and transfers start to get agreed and signed. But to be honest, even in the top flight with transfers it can be very quiet. Non-league though, that’s a different story. Now I’ve been getting back into non league football over the past few years, and this summer is the first where I’ve really been a part of what is happening and seen some of the stuff that goes on behind the scenes. It’s been a hell of a lot livelier than any off-season I’ve seen as a West Ham fan (well maybe except for when we signed Tevez & Mascherano).
First off, there was the great news that as a team Concord had secured the services for the coming season of players like Tony Stokes, Harry Elmes, Reece Harris, Arthur Lee and Kurt Robinson. Kenny Brown, a former West Ham player, had also joined the club as an assistant manager to Danny Cowley, after Danny Scopes had decided to knock it on the head. Scopesy will still be around the club though, which is great as he’s been a big part of what made the place so welcoming to people, myself included! Two new signings were also announced, with Guyana international Chris Bourne and experienced goalkeeper Michael Jordan (no, not the basketball legend) coming on board. James White, a solid midfielder from Thurrock FC, was also brought into the team.
One eye is always kept on the noisy neighbours down the road at Canvey Island FC, and this month has been no different. The first bit of noise from them this summer was the news that former Concord right back Ashley Miller had signed for them. Obviously this was a surprise to me and a few within the CRFC team. But to be honest, fair play to him, he’s a quality player and I wish him all the best for the future, whoever he ends up playing for when the season starts. Canvey also “signed” Adam Wickenden, Concord’s physio from last season. Anyway, other news down the road at the club de la King was that signings were being made over the managers head, so Glen Alzapiedi decided enough was enough, leaving his position as CIFC manager. Add to that the news that 4 players have all decided to leave as well, those being Jason Hallett, John Easterford, Steve Sheehan and Alex Rhodes.
Now I wrote that last paragraph about Canvey for a good reason! Kenny Brown didn’t stay at Concord for long, as he’s now gone on to Barnet to be their assistant manager. Best of luck to him as well! That left a hole to fill, and although Nicky Cowley has been promoted to player/coach, Concord needed an assistant gaffer. A 4 hour meeting took place this past weekend, and out of that came the appointment of Glen Alzapiedi to the position of Concord Rangers assistant manager! I think that’s a great bit of business from the club, and I am sure that Glen will add a different but positive dimension to the management team at Concord.
As for the players that left Canvey, John Easterford is one that previously played for Concord Rangers, leaving in 2010 to go across the Island. Well I for one am happy to say that he has seen the light and made the short trip back across to the Aspect Arena to play for Concord once again. A starting CB for Canvey, he’ll be sorely missed by them and greatly appreciated by us! Welcome home John! It wouldn’t surprise me if more make the move across either, given the perception of the state of affairs over at Canvey, I don’t hold high hopes for them! Given the calibre of the players leaving, can anyone say sinking ship?
Preseason training is already underway, and before the season starts in earnest I can see a lot more twists and turns coming for the teams on the island. The fixtures will now be out on the 18th July, and I know my first looks will be towards the first & last games, and of course the derby games against Canvey! Non league football is a fantastic thing to be involved in, even just as a fan; I would not change a single part of it! You Are My Concord!
This article has been reproduced with the full permission of the author, Alan Jessup-Peacock, who originally published it on his excellent blog. You can find the original article here. You can also follow Alan on twitter by clicking this link