Beavers End Winless Run
Dowse welcomes three points as a late show sees the team come from behind to beat Harrow Borough.
Alan Dowson added two new faces to his matchday squad in time for this game, with striker Ben Hunt partnering Charlie Moone in attack, and goalkeeper Liam Batch on the bench.
The match took a long time to get going, as neither side created a single scoring opportunity in the first thirty minutes. The first effort of note came after thirty two minutes in fact, as Ben Hunt was barged in the back. Jake Rose curled the freekick into the side netting, leaving supporters in the main terrace and stand thinking it had gone in. The only other moment of note occurred right on half time, and brought with it huge controversy. Matt Drage upended ex-Beaver Michael Bryan outside the box, with even the Harrow players lining up the ball for a freekick. However, referee Paul Howard saw something nobody else did and pointed to the spot. Up stepped Nik Salapatas to fire the spotkick home and give Harrow the half time lead.
The second half was better, with a few chances of note created. Three minutes in, Charlie Moone met a left wing cross with a decent side foot volley, but a deflection diverted it for a corner, which came to naught. At the other end, Salapatas put a low cross into the box, and Lewis Driver scuffed a shot goalward, but Mark Smith reacted well to smother. Smith made two more really good saves as he continues to build up his burgeoning reputation. First, he got down brilliantly to save - and keep hold of - Anthony Maissiat's powerful volley. The save was made all the better by the ferocity of the shot, and the fact that Mark must have seen it awfully late.
Seven minutes from time, Smith showed how good he can be in a one-on-one situation. Michael Bryan broke clear and played in Raheem Sterling-Parker with a well timed pass. Smith raced off his line to narrow the angle, and was able to stop Sterling-Parker's shot with his foot.
It proved to be a crucial save, as the second half ended even more dramatically than the first. Hampton pushed hard for an equaliser, and we saw maybe the save of the season from Harrow keeper Nicky Jupp. A corner was cleared to Jake Rose twenty two yards out. Rose thumped a sweet volley that was heading straight for the cliched "postage stamp." It looked for all the world to have brought us level, but Jupp somehow flew - and I mean flew! - to his left to not only claw the ball out of the top corner, but also round the post for a corner.
However, from said corner an almighty scramble ensued. The ball eventually pinballed its way to Mark Onyemah, and he lashed the ball into the roof of the net to the delight of the home support. And things got even better in the first minute of stoppage time. Matt Drage, playing upfront as an extra striker, found himself in possession twenty yards out, and with his back to goal. He got the ball out of his feet, and in one movement turned and curled a stunning shot into the bottom right corner to claim what could turn out to be our most important win of the season, as it puts eight points between ourselves and Harrow.
Next up is Tuesday's visit of title chasing Maidstone United, with a 7:45pm kick off.
Hampton & Richmond Borough 2(0) Onyemah 88, Drage 90+1
Harrow Borough 1(1) Salapatas 45(pen)
Hampton: Mark Smith, James Richmond, Mark Onyemah, Ben Osman (Tom Collins 61), Matt Drage, Kieran Murphy(c), James Simmonds, Archie Nkumu (George Wells 61), Ben Hunt (Paris Mason 73), Charlie Moone, Jake Rose. Unused subs: Liam Batch, Marcus Johnson-Schuster. Cautioned: None.
Harrow: Nicky Jupp, Danny Dyer (Sekou Kaba 63), George McCluskey, Julian Smith, John Sonuga, Anthony Maissiat(c), Michael Bryan, Ryan Hope, Lewis Driver (Raheem Sterling-Parker 70), Carl McCluskey, Nik Salapatas. Unused: Kamaron English, David Taylor, Michael Kinsella. Cautioned: Julian Smith.