3 up for Elliott on debut sends Stones crashing to defeat
Elliott Charles' 13 minute demolition of Wealdstone starts New Year off for the Beavers in top form
Elliott Charles made his first appearance in a Hampton shirt a memorable one with a hat trick in just 13 first half minutes as the Beavers rolled the Stones over in a comprehensive manner, and it could so easily have been an even wider margin of victory.
Hampton looked comfortable from the start and created early chances but then in the 16th minute, Charles lashed home his first of the day. Following smart interplay with Max Kretzschmar down the Hampton right, he hit the half volley first time from 12 yards out and Stones keeper Jonathan North was left diving in vain to his left.
5 minutes later, Charles doubled the score with one of the better finishes you'll see in the division. Taking advantage of Taofik Olomowewe's slip on the wet turf out wide, he took the ball inside the box, and coolly lifted the ball over a diving North and into the net.
Hampton then turned it on for the third just before the half hour as some neat passing ended up with Brendan Kiernan scooping a through ball into Charles' path, who was in plenty of space and North was left diving in vain again as Charles completed a quality hat-trick, firing home from 12 yards.
The home side by now looked like dazzled rabbits and Hampton kept the pressure up. 10 minutes before the break, Brendan Kiernan's powerful shot was only just over the bar as the Beavers midfield were controlling matters throughout.
Wealdstone were so out of the game that it took until the 42nd minute for them to create a bona fide chance, Olomowewe's header drifting wide of the post.
The second half began in much the same way as with just a few minutes on the second half clock, Kiernan striking the post with North beaten, following a tricky run to the edge of the box.
Shandon Baptiste almost got his first goal for the Beavers a few moment later, as he chased down Charles' knock down, but the angle got too acute and his attempt rolled across goal and wide.
Wealdstone were now showing some fitful signs of life and just before the hour, Sam Howes had to block a point blank header on the goal line as the Beavers had to do some defending.
They weathered the squall and retook the initiative, Jack Cook being the next to threaten the Stones goal with an attempt at the back post from a corner, but it went the wrong side of the post.
For all he had a hat-trick, Charles hadn't stopped and with 20 minutes left, he got on the end of an excellent Ben Wynter cross, as the Wealdstone defence was conspicuous by its absence. However, the header was just wide as the Beavers continued to give the hosts the run around.
Inside the last 10 minutes, and Hampton were looking comfortable; Kiernan nearly got on the end of a long ball to apply further punishment to a Stones defence but the ball was just too long.
With added time to play, Kretzschmar burst into the box after winning the ball, but his shot went straight at North as the Beavers kept up the intensity right to the end.
As a result of this comfortable win, the Beavers now sit in 3rd in the National League South, 2 points behind leaders Dartford, and are very definitely contenders now with the unbeaten league record now stretching to 18 games.
Saturday will see them tested once more at Beveree, this time against Hemel Hempstead Town, who currently sit in 7th place following a 2-0 victory over St Albans City.