Crusaders repelled by forceful Beavers
Hampton continued their great start to the season with a comfortable victory over fellow league newcomers Hungerford Town at Bulpit Lane yesterday.
Playing down the slope and against the wind, the Beavers wasted no time in getting on the front foot and on 6 minutes took the lead.
Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick made use of his pace and clever feet as he took on the full back down the Hampton right. His cross was met by Brendan Kiernan at the back after Nicke Kabamba had made the run to the near post; his sliding contact wrongfooted Legg in the Crusaders goal and the shot went inside the far post and into the net.
The Beavers were harrying the home team in all parts of the field and midway through the first half, turned that pressure into a second goal. A corner won on the Hampton right was met in the box by Jay Gasson; his header looked to have been cleared off the line by a Hungerford defender, but the referee, on advice from the assistant gave the goal.
Just after the half hour, the Beavers made it three as Nicke Kabamba found himself completely unmarked at the back post to head home Jamal Lowe's cross from the left.
The home team were now fearing the worst but just before the break, having managed to hold the Beavers at bay, they got a goal back.
With seconds to go before the half time whistle, Aaron Howe misjudged a long wind-assisted shot, which flew off his hands for a corner. From Preen's cross, Mike Jones managed to get his head to the ball and it beat Howe just inside the post.
After the interval, Hungerford came out with more purpose and with the slope in their favour plus the wind dying a little, they put the Beavers under some pressure.
Just before the hour mark, they looked to have got a second goal as a free kick flew over Howe and into the net, but the referee decided otherwise and ruled it out for a foul on the keeper, which looked a little fortunate for the Beavers.
Hampton hadn't quite yet settled for the 3-1 scoreline and Jamal Lowe forced an excellent save from Legg after he'd turned Jones for the umpteenth on the edge of the box.
The game slowly entered a lull as the game wound down, the Beavers keeping the home team away from goal, comfortably at times although by the end the squad looked tired playing up the slope.
Despite that, the Crusaders presented the Hampton defence with little danger although substitute Goodger managed to get on the end of a cross at the back post, his attempt was never troubling the Hampton goal.