Beavers held off by Vickers
By Rob Overfield
The Beavers lost the chance to stay in touch with leaders as they couldn't hold on to a Nicke Kabamba lead at VCD yesterday.
After Tuesday's defeat to Staines, it was important that the Beavers picked themselves up and picked up a win at Oakwood against the Vickers.
Josh Casey passed a fitness test pre-game and kept his place with new signing Rheo Joseph lining up on the right hand side.
It was the hosts who began to press in the open 20 minutes, with Seb Brown having to make 5 saves in as many minutes. First from Niko Muir, whose shot was straight at him; then Sam Bantick tested Brown's agility as his shot took an awkward bounce which was palmed away.
A couple of minutes later, Muir again brought a save out of the keeper before Bantick once more made Brown dive to make a good save.
It was not looking good for Hampton at this point, but the table soon showed signs of turning as Tom Jelley won a free kick just outside the box; his curling shot beat the wall and forced keeper Budd to push the ball away two handed for a corner.
Two minutes later, it was 1-0 Beavers and it was the simplest of goals. Rheo Josephs cross from the bye-line, having beaten the full back, was met cleanly by Nicke Kabamba some 8 yards out and the header left Budd stranded. An easy finish, due to the excellent cross from the young midfielder, who showed promise all game.
The Beavers consolidated their position for the rest of the half and the nearest VCD got was when Muir was lurking at the back post, but his header was well wide.
It was nearly two for the Beavers early in the second half, as a long Josh Casey free kick was met by Moussa Diarra, having got the better of the defender. Budd had to stretch to his utmost to push the ball away from goal.
Just on the hour mark, the Vickers equalised and it came out of almost nothing. A long ball forward looked to be well covered by Eddie Hutchinson despite pressure from Austin Lipman, but the defender completely misjudged his low header. Lipman couldn't believe his luck and gleefully took the ball round Brown, side-footing it into an empty net.
Both sides, sweltering 30c heat notwithstanding, decided that they would try for the win. Hampton's best chance was on a fast counter attack some 5 minutes after the equaliser. Kabamba chased the ball down the right and his long pass into the middle found Josephs in some room, he elected to hit the shot early but it flew over the bar.
60 seconds later, Muir then Lipman had chances in quick succession; Muir hitting the post with a header, and in the scramble afterwards, Lipman's piledriver of a shot from the edge of the box crashed into Hutchinson before being cleared.
With a few minutes left, the Vickers had the last chance of the game as Muir cut in from the left. Seeing the space, he tried to curl the ball round Brown from 25 yards, but he couldn't curl it enough, the shot striking the post and rolling away for a throw.
The one pleasing aspect to the game was the welcome return of Kieran Murphy to the defence for a 10 minute cameo at the end.
VCD Athletic (0)
Austin Lipman 60
Hampton & Richmond Borough (1)
Nicke Kabamba 21
1 Rob Budd, 2 Elliott Cox, 3 Ashley Probets, 4 Aaron Wickham, 5 Louis Tozer, 6 Ricardo Joseph, 7 Richie Graham, 8 Mathias Bakare (14 Alex Teniola 58), 9 Niko Muir, 10 Austin Lipman (15 Adam Ramadam 77), 11 Sam Bantick.
Subs: 12 Paul King, 14 Alex Teniola, 15 Adam Ramadam, 16 Giannoulis Fakinos, 17 Max Fitzgerald.
1 Seb Brown, 2 Michael Kamara, 3 Tom Jelley, 4 Moussa Diarra (12 Kieran Murphy 81), 5 Joe Hicks, 6 Eddie Hutchinson, 7 Jerome Federico, 8 Dean Sinclair (14 Jake Rose 39), 9 Nicke Kabamba, 10 Josh Casey, 11 Rheo Josephs (16 Dan Thompson 78)
Subs: 12 Kieran Murphy, 13 Matte Pierson, 14 Jake Rose, 15 James Richmond, 16 Dan Thompson