In form Beavers defeat the Hillians in the FA Cup
Goals from Chris Dickson, Rhys Murrell-Williamson and Matty Whichelow secured Hampton's place in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup.
The Beavers secured their place in the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round with an assured 3-0 win against Burgess Hill Town.
The visitors had started the game with an air of positivity, but the Hampton defence were on hand to thwart the Hillians’ counter-attacking threat in the early exchanges.
The Beavers grew into the game and their first notable chance came when Rhys Murrell-Williamson picked up the ball some 30 yards from goal and then launched a speculative effort that soared narrowly wide of the near post.
Murrell-Williamson continued to cause trouble on the right flank and he next tested the Hill defence when Ricky Wellard threaded the ball in his direction. The winger then played a smart ball inside to Chris Dickson on the edge of the box, but the striker’s effort drifted just over the bar.
The hosts were dictating the tempo at this stage and nearly capitalised on their dominance when Simon Downer’s neat, lofted ball found Zak Joseph who was well-positioned in the box. Joseph managed to outmuscle the defender and created enough space to get a shot away, but he dragged his effort just wide of the far post.
As the half drew to a close, the Beavers eventually made their pressure count as they took the lead in the 41st minute. The goal was manufactured by the lively Murrell-Williamson who collected the ball on the right wing and picked out Dickson with a fine, bending cross. Dickson then expertly nodded the ball beyond the reach of the keeper and into the bottom corner to put the Beavers in front.
Hampton picked up where they left off before the interval and should have doubled their lead when Murrell-Williamson’s low cross was met by the onrushing Joseph, who thundered his effort against the post from close range.
Minutes later, Joseph was again at the centre of the drama as he dispossessed Gary Chapman and found himself clean through on goal. However, his low attempt was well-blocked by James in the Burgess Hill goal.
At this stage, the Beavers were pushing hard for a second goal that would put the game beyond their opponents. And they nearly managed just that when Matt Whichelow burst forward and danced his way past two of Hill’s defenders only to see his shot blocked.
The Hillians almost made the hosts pay for their failure to capitalise on their possession when Keiron Pamment’s low, curling cross was met by Ben Pope who fired over from point-blank range.
However, Hampton were quick to assuage fears that their lead may slip as they scored a second goal moments later.
It was the same two players involved in the production of the first goal that were at the heart of play once again. On this occasion, Dickson turned provider as he slipped the ball through to the arriving Murrell-Williamson. The winger took a touch and then fired an excellent shot that clipped the underside of the bar before nestling home. This led to exuberant celebrations around the Beveree Stadium as the Beavers’ secured the two-goal cushion that they had so craved.
The hosts continued to enjoy the lion’s share of the second half possession and, with five minutes remaining, they bagged a third goal in sublime fashion. Tyrell Miller-Rodney had progressed forward from defence and he then laid the ball back to substitute Matt Whichelow on the edge of the box. The midfielder had time to weigh up his effort before he coolly finessed a calculated strike into the bottom corner.
Hampton continued to create chances deep into stoppage time but were limited to the three goals as they ensured progression into the next qualifying round of the FA Cup.
“The first goal settled us and I thought we then started to play with a little more composure and more quality”, said manager Gary McCann to the club’s Twitter. “I thought there were more chances than the score line suggests.”
“A clean sheet and a 3-0 win. It’s pretty hard to criticise.”