Beavers take the Shield
The Beavers opened their season with victory in the Isthmian League Charity Shield over near rivals Kingstonian at Beveree last night.
Kingstonian started faster and could have been a goal up inside the first 5 minutes as former Beavers Ryan Moss managed to get on the end of a through pass, but a combination of captain Jay Gasson and keeper Billy Bishop forced the ball away as Moss tried a shot.
Hampton then started to assert themselves and Greg Akpele was finding the game much to his liking out on the left. On 11 minutes, his strike on goal was easily saved by Rob Tolfrey before he set up Nicke Kabamba, but the striker's connection was soft and it dribbled through to the keeper.
However on 23 minutes, the combination worked. Akpele's cross was admittedly a bit of a mishit, but Kabamba anticipated the ball and volleyed home as the K's defence stood still, looking for an offside flag that never came.
The Beavers took control of the rest of the half and gave the visitors little opportunity, while still trying to make chances for themselves. Aaron Lamont made a driving run just before the break, but his long range shot brought the best out of Tolfrey, whose diving save pushed it wide.
The Beavers stepped up their game in the second period and immediately had the K's under pressure.
On 50 minutes, Akpele latched onto a long Kamara cross, went to the bye-line but his cross-shot was blocked by Tolfrey at the near post.
Jamal Lowe was brought on just before the hour and immediately created a couple of chances he would be disappointed to miss as the Beavers were looking comfortable.
With 20 minutes left, Christian Jolley could have sealed the game for Hampton as he was picked out by a delightful ball from Harold Odametey - who impressed all game. The forward's shot beat the keeper but rolled wide of the post for a goal kick.
Just after, Kingstonian should have been level, as ex-Beaver Joe Turner drifted into space to meet a cross from the left, but his header went straight at Bishop who had the easiest of saves.
The Beavers collected themselves and with 10 minutes to go, won a penalty as Jamal Lowe was upended as he bore down on goal.
The dynamic forward picked himself up and placed the ball on the spot, but Tolfrey decided to be party-pooper and saved the kick to his left.
For all their effort, Kingstonian couldn't break down the Beavers defence, and at the end, it was left to Jay Gasson to lift the huge shield, assisted by kitman James Glassup, to the fans at the end.
Hampton & Richmond Borough (1) 1
Nicke Kabamba 23
Kingstonian (0) 0