Only a point at the Market for Beavers
For the second time in a fortnight Hampton & Richmond Borough travelled up the A12 to Suffolk in search of 3 points. - Paul Barker
Alan Dowson was planning to announce the same team for the third match in a row. But an eleventh hour call from Bromley, for the services of Brendan Kiernan, forced Dowse to make one change. Eddie Hutchinson was recalled to the starting line up, with Murphy taking his place on the bench. The inclusion of Hutchinson, meant a more advanced role for skipper, Dean Sinclair, who played just behind the main striker, Kabamba.
Unlike two weeks ago, the team did at least return South West London with something to show for their endeavours. A point a piece was the result of a hard fought contest, which was played in typical autumnal conditions. The Beavers kicked off with a stiff breeze at their backs, and had the better of the exchanges in the first quarter. The visitors forced a number of corners, but were unable to create any clear cut openings. Needham defended stoutly, throwing bodies in the way to block attempts on their goal.
During this opening period, Gay in the home goal was kept busy, using every part of his frame to keep the visiting attack at bay. His right leg was used to deflect an effort by Kabamba for yet another corner.
Having survived the early pressure “The Market Men” gradually came more into the game, forcing the Hampton & Richmond defence to concede a number of corners. Then on 29 minutes, Needham were awarded a free kick on the right, which was only cleared as far as Newson, who shot across the face of Brown's goal, with no one from the home side on hand to apply the finishing touch.
Needham's Brothers produced a long throw on several occasions as the half was drawing, but the Beavers' back line were in control of the situation and we reached the break goal less.
The second half was a much more even and cagey affair, and we had to wait until 13 minutes into the half before there was any action of note. Josh Casey, who had been involved in most of Hampton & Richmond's brighter moments, tried his luck with a left footed shot from 30 yards that was only just wide of Gay's right hand stick.
Seven minutes later came the break through the travelling fans had been waiting for. Sinclair picked up the the ball in centre field and slide it through to Kabamba, in the inside left channel. The striker hit a left footed shot that Gay parred, only as far as Sinclair on the edge of the 18 yard box. The skipper calmly steered the ball into the net , for his third in three outings.
This stung the home side into action and on 76 minutes Harrison fired a shot from distance that produced a flying tip over save from Brown. Needham's corner count was increasing as they searched for an equaliser, but Hicks, Diarra and the rest of the defence were dealing with all that was being thrown at them.
With eight minutes left on the clock Needham substitute, Thomas, was through on goal. Seb Brown stood his ground and got his right hand to Thomas' attempted chip. Brothers' long throws were back in action as time ticked down. Could The Beavers hold out for another few minutes to go home with all the spoils?
Alas, for the visitors, it wasn't to be as on 84 minutes they failed to clear yet another long throw from Brothers. The ball was eventually bundled in from close range by substitute, Fenn. Charlie Moone was then thrown into the fray in an effort to wrestle back the lead. Unfortunately he was unable to have any impact. In fact, the last action saw Needham nearly snatch all three points. Newson raced clear , but could only find the side netting. This was greeted with frustration from the home contingent and relief from the visitors, in equal measure.
A point won or two lost, that is the question?
Brown, Kamara, Jelly, Hicks, Diarra, Taylor, Hutchinson, (Moone 87 mins) Sinclair ©, Kabamba, Casey, Hippolyte-Patrick ( Federico 74 mins)
Unused Subs: Murphy, Pierson, Pacquette
H&RBFC MotM: Josh Casey