Beavers Fortunate in Fleet
Beavers eventually shine in the sun as Jesse Kewley-Graham nets only goal.
This was Beavers' last friendly before the new league season kicks off next Saturday at Margate. With both Rob and James not able to make the game, loyal supporter Alec Barry has stepped up to the plate with this report.
Hampton started off well, some early pressure allowing Charlie Moone into a scoring position, but he dragged his shot wide. The first half was largely fought in midfield, with some hefty challenges flying in, particularly from the home team. One such challenge left Luke Wanadio needing treatment for a blow to the leg. However, he was soon up and flying again, and almost gave Hampton the lead; his lobbed effort dropping narrowly wide. Luke was providing a good outlet, and he fired over from another long ball.
The first half closed out with the home side well on top. First, a quick break resulted in a handball shout, but the referee waved away the penalty appeals. Then a succession of corners saw the ball cleared off the line on two occasions, the second time by Tommy Brewer. The first occasion led to the Fleet players appealing that the ball had crossed the line, but to no avail. Half time Fleet Town 0 Beavers 0.
The second half was far more lively than the first. Luke Wanadio had the first effort, but shot over, while Charlie Moone headed straight Fleet 'keeper Ryan Pryce from a lovely chipped ball by Kewley-Graham. The impressive midfielder then almost scored himself, but Pryce tipped his effort wide when it looked destined for the corner of his net.
The home goalkeeper was on a personal mission it seemed, and he produced another superb save to deny Charlie's excellent lob. From the resulting corner, Max Hustwick headed just wide. Hampton were now the better side, and had a penalty appeal of their own, when Luke clashed with the goalkeeper. As with the Fleet appeal in the first half, the referee waved away the appeal.
Still the Beavers attacked, though, with Paris Mason and Karle Carder both going close before possibly the move of the match almost resulted in the opening goal. Luke floated a cross to the far post, where Charlie was lurking. He nodded it down to Gareth Chendlik, who was denied by another good save.
Fleet had a great chance to take the lead, when the referee did award them a penalty following a foul from Tommy Brewer. However, Warren Carter pulled off a good save to keep the scoresheet blank. It wouldn't stay that way for long though, as Hampton broke directly from Carter's save, and Jesse Kewley-Graham hit a shot from distance that took a slight nick on the way through and nestled into the bottom corner of the goal, leaving Pryce wrong-footed.
There were a couple of half chances in the remaining minutes of the game; Brewer heading over from a pass by Kewley-Graham, while Jerome Federico shot over after beating three Fleet defenders.
The win provides more encouragement for Paul and Darren, and all that remains now is the start of the new season next Saturday.
Many thanks to Alec for this report.