Mousa unravels Tanners with late goal
Moussa Diarra's late header picked the lock of a stubborn Leatherhead defence to give the Beavers a hard earned point at Fetcham Grove.
New signing goalkeeper Joe McDonnell made his debut between the posts and his first touch of the ball was to pick the ball out of the back of the net as the Beavers were caught still in the dressing room.
A precise ball through the centre of the defence found penalty box predator Frannie Collins in enough space to clip a shot across McDonnell and into the corner with barely 3 minutes played.
10 minutes later, the Tanners scored a second as Kiernan Hughes-Mason got his head to a cross from the far side and guided the ball past McDonnell from about 15 yards, leaving the Beavers looking like they were the side nearer the bottom of the table.
However, the Beavers clawed their way back into the game as Jamal Lowe struck a neat shot from just inside the box that flew straight at keeper Louis Wells.
Leatherhead were giving an impression of a team that was looking to hold onto what they had gained and the Beavers began to have a measure of dominance as they started to create openings.
Just before the half hour, Nicke Kabamba managed to beat the Tanners offside trap and advanced on goal, but he was isolated and the shot was easily saved by Wells.
Minutes before the break, the Beavers had a great gilt-edged chance as a Kabamba cross was met at the back post by an unmarked Dean Sinclair but he couldn't get over the ball and his header flew over the bar.
Word got round that Dulwich were amazingly losing at Lewes and the Beavers faithful began to think that if the team got an early goal, there might be a way back into the game and extend the lead at the top.
For all the Hampton possession, they couldn't carve out clear openings and all they had to show for their endeavour was a shout for a penalty from a Lowe shot inside the box, which the referee refused.
It took until the 68th minute for the Beavers to get back into the game and it took a stroke of good fortune to get them in with a shout.
Tom Jelley's cross-cum-shot struck the head of defender Steve Watt, who was under pressure from Kabamba; it looped up and over Wells and into the net, despite the keepers best efforts to keep it out.
This galvanised the Beavers and they ramped up the pressure. 5 minutes after the goal, Kabamba forced a smart save from Wells as the striker cut in from the left hand side.
With a minute to go, it looked like Jamal Lowe had created a great chance for Nicke Kabamba; the pacy cross was met by the striker on the edge of the six yard box but the instinctive finish had the misfortune to be straight at the keeper, a foot to either side and the keeper would have had no chance.
The Tanners had been seriously under the cosh for a lot of the second half but as added time began a fast break saw a great ball into the box; Hughes-Mason looked to likely to reach it but slipped in the Fetcham Grove mud and the ball was past him before he could recover.
The Tanners were immediately hemmed back into their own area and it looked like the Beavers would not be able to break the stubborn defensive door down.
With seconds remaining, Jamal Lowe managed to get to the bye-line, his cross picked out the tall Diarra, lurking in the box with intent. The defender calmly headed the ball across Wells from about 15 yards and into the net to give Hampton a point that they had more than deserved.
Leatherhead (2) 2
Frannie Collin 3'
Kieran Hughes-Mason 13'
Hampton & Richmond Borough (0) 2
Tom Jelley 68'
Moussa Diarra 90'
Leatherhead: 1 Louis Wells, 2 Adam Cash, 3 Adam Green, 4 Paul Semakula, 5 Steve Watt (Gavin Long 90'), 6 Jerry Nnamani, 7 Ryan Mahal, 8 Alex Brown, 9 Phil Walsh, 10 Frannie Collin, 11 Kiernan Hughes-Mason
Subs: 12 Stephen Okoh, 14 Evander Lopes, 15 Gavin Long, 16 Kiye Martin, 17 Lenny Pidgeley
Hampton & Richmond Borough: 1 Joe McDonnell, 2 Tom Jelley, 3 Josh Casey, 4 Kieran Murphy, 5 Moussa Diarra, 6 Tom Beere, 7 Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick (Charlie Moone 83'), 8 Dean Sinclair, 9 Nicke Kabamba, 10 Brendan Kiernan, 11 Jamal Lowe
Subs: 12 Joe Hicks, 13 George Legg, 14 Eddie Hutchinson, 15 Charlie Moone, 16 Michael Kamara