Beavers give Wingate the Blues
Hampton extended their unbeaten run to 6 matches as they overcame a tenacious Wingate & Finchley team, who themselves hadn't played for 10 days.
Alan Dowson had to make some enforced late changes, due to heavy traffic on the way to the game delaying players, but it ultimately made little difference to the performance.
However, the Beavers nearly got caught early as Lee Barney scurried after a long ball from his own half, and his shot had to be well saved by Mark Smith.
On 18 minutes, the Beavers managed to poke their noses in front as Brendan Kiernan found himself in the box, with the ball at his feet; he spun and hit a precise shot on the turn past Metcalf and into the bottom corner.
Hampton were keeping Wingate at bay as the defense dealt with anything the Blues could throw, and even created further chances. Charlie Moone's shot following a bout of pinball in the box went over the bar, as did Harry Taylor's shot from the edge of the box with just 10 minutes to go before the break.
They couldn't quite manage to hold out as Tejan-Sie's cross from the right was met by a leaping Ahmet Rifat at the back post, whose close range header was too much for Smith.
Wingate couldn't manage to create enough pressure to break open the Hampton defence in the second half as the Beavers still looked comfortable on the ball, both Hippolyte-Patrick and Kiernan not making the most of half chances, but on 68 minutes the Beavers did finally convert.
A long Mark Smith free kick fell to the feet of Charlie Moone and the striker showed the instinct he's known for in burying the ball past Metcalfe from 12 yards.
Although Smith was tested by swerving, dipping crosses by Goodman and then Watson, it was Hampton who settled the match with an excellent goal. Harry Taylor gathered the ball midway inside his own half and made a forceful run through the Wingate midfield beating 3 players, before finding Kiernan, whose crisp finish from the angle of the box gave Metcalf no chance.
Hampton even had time to miss a penalty just 5 minutes later as Charlie Moone was upended in the box by Wingate captain Marc Weatherstone. Kiernan stepped up to claim his hat trick, but the spot kick was well saved by Metcalfe.
The Beavers had to be content with the result but you got the feeling they'd have liked to have done more...
Wingate & Finchley (1) 1
Ahmet Rifat 44'
Hampton & Richmond Borough (1) 3
Brendan Kiernan 18', 80',
Charlie Moone 68'.
Wingate & Finchley
1 Jack Metcalfe, 2 Mark Goodman, 3 Kyle Watson, 4 Leon Solomon, 5 Marc Weatherstone, 6 Ahmet Rifat, 7 Dan Brown, 8 Tommy Tejan-Sie, 9 Lee Barney, 10 Karl Oliyide, 11 Billy Healey.
Subs 12 Martel Powell, 14 Reece Tison-Lascaris, 15 Marcus Rose, 16 Alfie Bartram, 17 Brad Marriott.
1 Mark Smith, 2 Michael Kamara, 3 Kieran Murphy, 4 Eddie Hutchinson, 5 Moussa Diarra, 6 Harry Taylor, 7 Brendon Kiernan, 8 Charlie Moone, 9 Nicke Kabamba (17 Dean Sinclair 52), 10 Josh Casey, 11 Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick (14 Tom Jelley 88).
Subs 12 Richard Pacquette, 14 Tom Jelley, 15 Jerome Federico, 17 Dean Sinclair, 17 Seb Brown
Photo by kind permission of Martin Addison