Tanners tough but Beavers win
By Rob Overfield
The Beavers regained their winning form with a hard earned but richly deserved 2-1 victory over Leatherhead.
Hampton needed the win, and they had to work pretty hard to get it as they were kept in check by a stubborn Leatherhead team..
A tight first half didn't really get going for a while and it took until the 25th minute for a shot on target.
Brendan Kiernan's well timed run saw him on the end of Mark Smith's long clearance; facing Wells, his shot was just about knocked away by the keepers feet and Nicke Kabamba couldn't do anything with the rebound.
Tom Beere was having a sound game in midfield and his was the next chance as he met Kabamba's knock down, but the volley from the edge of the box flew just over the bar.
The game livened up in the second half as the Beavers knew they would have to be more creative and assertive to break the Tanners down.
Jamal Lowe and Kabamba both had chances before the hour mark: Lowe's shot flew over the bar and Kabamba's header from a Josh Casey corner was wide of the post.
It took a bit of good fortune to break the deadlock and it came through the predatory instinct of Kabamba to be in the right place.
A corner was cleared out by Leatherhead, Brendan Kiernan took on the ball and cut inside the defender. The shot was half saved by Wells, and it looked to have been stopped on the line, but Kabamba had followed up, Leon Solomon half a step behind, and the striker forced it home.
This put a bounce in the Beavers step and from then on, the Tanners were second best.
A bouncing ball on the edge of the box was met by Kiernan, whose well struck volley forced an agile save from Wells to his right.
In a season of goals, there have been many memorable ones and the 84th minute goal that sealed it for the Beavers is right up there. A foul on the edge of the Leatherhead box saw Jamal Lowe line up the shot and fancy his chances where you might have seen Tom Beere step up. But Lowe's accurate strike was inch-perfect as it rounded the wall and Wells' dive to hit the back of the net to send the players off dancing.
It could have been three for the Beavers with a couple of minutes left as Kiernan broke through the defence. One on one with Wells, his shot was well struck but it was just 6 inches too wide as it clipped the post and ran out of play, which would have been the cherry on a gritty performance by Hampton.
Hampton & Richmond Borough (0) 2
Nicke Kabamba 66'
Jamal Lowe 86'
Leatherhead (0) 0
Hampton & Richmond Borough: 1 Mark Smith, 2 Tom Jelley, 3 Josh Casey, 4 Joe Hicks, 5 Moussa Diarra, 6 Leon Solomon, 7 Jerome Federico (Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick 61'), 8 Tom Beere, 9 Nicke Kabamba, 10 Brendan Kiernan, 11 Jamal Lowe
Subs: 12 Dean Sinclair, 14 Eddie Hutchinson, 15 Michael Kamara, 16 Charlie Moone, 17 Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick
Leatherhead: 1 Louis Wells, 2 Adam Cash, 3 Adam Green, 4 Nathan Campbell, 5 Steve Watt, 6 Jerry Nnamani, 7 Matt Bodkin, 8 Paul Semakula, 9 Phil Walsh (Kiernan Hughes-Mason 68'), 10 Frannie Collin, 11 Ryan Mahal (Alfie Paxman 90')
Subs: 12 Josh Hare, 14 Kiernan Hughes-Mason, 15 Alfie Paxman, 16 Jordan Gallagher, 17 Calum Davies.
photo (c) Andy Nunn