Beavers denied by defiant Lucas
By Rob Overfield
The Beavers left Rookery Hill wondering how they lost as the Rocks defiantly held on despite being under pressure for a lot of the 2nd half.
With the blustery wind at their backs, East Thurrock started the quicker as Ryan Scott had a couple of decent chances within the first 3 minutes but the Beavers managed to stem the tide and on 12 minutes, Charlie Moone created a good chance, which keeper Lucas Lidakevicius blocked at the near post.
After Lidakevicius had easily saved Dean Sinclair's attempt a minute later, it descended into a stalemate, which was broken out of the blue by the Rocks.
A quickly taken free kick was met by Scott, and his first time shot caught out Mark Smith, whose dive was a fraction late, the shot slipping underneath his arm and into the net.
Hampton were still just about on top as half time approached but they got caught out by a combination of a contentious free kick decision by the referee and the wind.
Michael Kamara was just about in possession of the ball when Tom Wraight came into make a challenge and after the player fell to the ground, the referee decided it was a foul, which surprised the hosts and angered the Beavers.
Lewis Smith took advantage of the following wind, striking the ball cleanly. Mark Smith managed to touch it onto the bar, but Harry Honesty was quickest with the follow up and had the easiest of tap ins to make it 2-0.
The Beavers felt hard done by, and it was hard to disagree with them. They got right back into the match with only seconds played in the second half as Simon Peddie's back header to Lidakevicius was too high and the wind floated it over the stranded keeper and into the net.
Hampton now pushed on and started to take control over the game, having possession for long periods.
Just after the hour, Moussa Diarra flicked on a long Casey free kick, it fell to Moone, whose shot was saved by Lidakevicius.
Hampton had already had a goal ruled out for offside in the first half and a couple of minutes later, another was chalked off after Moone's shot was parried by Lidakevicius, falling to the on-rushing Brendan Kiernan, who finished well. However, the assistant on the nearside decided he had been in an offside position when Moone fired in the shot. A TV replay, had it been available, might have suggested otherwise.
60 seconds later, Kiernan tested the keeper with a delightful shot on the turn but it was tipped over for a corner. Moone then brought down a long Mark Smith kick but once again Lidakevicius was in the right place to save the shot.
The hosts were still trying to catch the Beavers on the break and with just 20 minutes to go, they nearly made it 3-1 as a deflected cross looped up into the wind and Mark Smith had to stretch to claw the ball away over the bar.
With 5 minutes left, it looked like the Beavers equalising goal was on the cards as first Peddie blocked a shot on the goal line and then Lidakevicius, who was clearly the Rocks man of the match, had to block another point blank attempt before clearing the ball.
The keeper wasn't done yet, as a Kiernan cross was deflected towards his own goal by full back Sammy Knott, and Lidakevicius had to reach to his full height to claw the ball away for a corner.
It was one of those days for the Beavers, meeting a keeper who put in his best performance of the season to deny Hampton a point, leaving manager Alan Dowson wondering how he'd lost.
East Thurrock Utd (2) 2
Ryan Scott 24'
Harry Honesty 45'
Hampton & Richmond Borough (0) 1
Simon Peddie (OG) 46'
East Thurrock United: 1 Lucas Lidakevicius, 2 Ryan Sammons, 3 Sammy Knott, 4 Simon Peddie, 5 Rickie Hayles, 6 Ben Wood, 7 Lewis Smith (Tom Anderson 80'), 8 Daryl Robson, 9 Ryan Scott, 10 Harry Honesty, 11 Tom Wraight
Subs: 12 Mitchell Gilbey, 14 Ashley Miller, 15 Tom Anderson, 16 Freddie Warren, 17 Darren Phillips
Hampton & Richmond Borough: 1 Mark Smith, 2 Michael Kamara, 3 Tom Jelley, 4 Kieran Murphy, 5 Moussa Diarra, 6 Harry Taylor, 7 Brendan Kiernan, 8 Dean Sinclair, 9 Josh Casey (Eddie Hutchinson 83'), 10 Charlie Moone, 11 Jerome Federico
Subs: 13 Seb Brown, 14 Eddie Hutchinson, 15 Joe Hicks, 16 Rylan Myers