Beavers run riot through Market
Hampton narrowed the gap on leaders East Thurrock with a crushing 5-0 defeat of Needham Market at Beveree, thanks to a dominant first half display.
Boss Alan Dowson brought in Leon Solomon into midfield to partner Tom Beere and re-signed keeper Mark Smith took the place of Joe McDonnell in goal.
The Beavers got on the attack very early and with just 90 seconds on the clock, they took the lead. Nicke Kabamba managed to get to a long ball before Needham keeper Daniel Gay, his touch was enough to take it past the keeper, leaving him with a simple tap in.
Hampton were definitely not satisfied with that as they doubled the lead almost soon afterwards as Moussa Diarra rose highest to nod home a Josh Casey corner with not even 10 minutes played. This took the defender to 10 goals for the season, a staggering total.
Needham were struggling to get back into the game and on 25 minutes, they found themselves with a mountain to climb. Josh Casey swung in another corner and captain Kieran Murphy planted a firm header at goal; it looked to have been cleared off the line by Jake Dye, but the assistant on the far side immediately flagged to indicate the ball had crossed the line.
The Beavers were staying on the front foot throughout and it was no surprise when they made it 4 before half time with the goal of the game.
Tom Beere was having a good game in the midfield; he capped with it when he gathered the ball in midfield and made a strong run to the edge of the box. His shot from 20 yards flew past the diving Daniel Gay and into the top corner to effectively take the Marketmen out of the game and the game hadn't even reached half time.
Needham came back into the game strongly in the second half, Patrick brothers managed to get a shot off the flew wide of the post just after the restart.
The pressure was weathered by the Beavers and just before the hour, they made it five.
Nicke Kabamba manged to get off a shot in the box and the deflection took it to Jamal Lowe, who managed to prod the ball past Gay amidst loud shouts for offside from the disappointed Needham defenders.
Needham came close to scoring in the last 20 minutes as the Beavers took their foot of the accelerator and it took a Tom Jelley block on the goal line to prevent the Marketmen's Patrick Brothers scoring.
With 5 minutes to go, Needham had their best chance as keeper Mark Smith had to backtrack quickly to tip over the bar a looping Patrick Brothers shot from 25 yards.
That was as good as it got for the visitors as the Beavers registered their first clean sheet for a month and improved their goal difference, bringing them right back into it and making Tuesday's visit of VCD Athletic pretty important.
Hampton & Richmond Borough: 1 Mark Smith, 2 Tom Jelley, 3 Josh Casey, 4 Kieran Murphy, 5 Moussa Diarra, 6 Leon Solomon, 7 Jerome Federico (Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick 46'), 8 Tom Beere, 9 Nicke Kabamba (Charlie Moone 69'), 10 Brendan Kiernan, 11 Jamal Lowe (Joe Hicks 63')
Subs: 12 Joe Hicks, 14 Eddie Hutchinson, 15 Dean Sinclair, 16 Charlie Moone, 17 Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick
Needham Market: 1 Daniel Gay, 2 Jake Dye, 3 Darryl Coakley, 4 Joe Whight, 5 Ian Miller (Oliver Mann 63'), 6 Sam Nunn, 7 Luke Ingram, 8 Kemal Izzet, 9 Michael Brothers, 20 Billy Holland, 11 Jordan Patrick (Regan Pelling 72')
Subs: 12 Oliver Mann, 14 Oliver Brown, 15 Regan Pelling, 17 Nathan Munson