Fallen Saints humiliated by Beavers
...as Hampton do the double over the Saints, scoring 4 goals once more.
The Beavers won only their fifth home league game of the season, with a comprehensive beating of second placed St Albans City, who were reduced to 10 men with 15 minutes to go.
The Saints had the stronger start with Morias creating panic in the Hampton defence within 60 seconds, and Montgomery had fired wide soon after but returning keeper Billy Bishop took charge at the back and Hampton then began to weather the storm.
Bishop parried away a Theophanous cross but the pick of the saves was his full length dive to push Montgomery's attempt round the post.
On 28 minutes, the Saints thought they'd taken the lead but Morias was flagged for offside, which looked to be a comfortable call for the assistant. It was as close to the lead as the visitors got.
Just over 60 seconds later, the Beavers had got that important opening goal. Brendan Kiernan's free kick from the left was parried by Russell in the Saints goal, but with good anticipation, Nicke Kabamba was on hand to dab the ball into the net past the defenders on the line.
With 10 minutes to go to half time, Bishop had to block Morias' well taken shot from a free kick, which no doubt stung his palms as the Saints tried to get back on level terms, despite the Beavers just about controlling the game.
Kiernan was enjoying himself and nearly scored what would have been a classy goal just before the break. Beating 3 defenders on the edge of the box with a nutmeg, a wiggle and a shimmy, his curling shot looked goal bound but it struck the bar as the defender on the line looked beaten.
He nearly had the final word of the half as he forced Russell into another save with seconds remaining, a goal then would have effictively finished the game.
Just 5 minutes into the second half and the Beavers extended their lead and it was another keeper's error.
Jamal Lowe, in his final home game for Hampton before his move, broke free down the middle. His attempt was blocked by Russell, and the defence momentarily switched off. Kiernan had not, and chased the rebound down, Russell trying frantically to prevent the midfielder bringing it inside. Brendan had spotted a red and blue shirt on the edge of the box and found Nicke Kabamba in space.
The confident striker instantly weighed up his options and threaded a neat shot through the panicking defenders into the back of the net from just inside the box.
Hampton then began to show why they are in the playoff spots as they switched on another gear.
5 minutes after the goal, a fast break starting with Lowe, through Kabamba, found Kiernan speeding to the edge of the Saints area, but the midfielder's shot was high, letting keeper Russell off the hook,
The Saints were looking second best at times as they tried to hold the Beavers at bay, and on 73 minutes, they nearly did as Montgomery once more had a powerful shot from distance; Bishop having to throw himself to his left to palm the ball wide.
That was the last action on equal terms as with 15 minutes to go, the Saints were reduced to 10 men.
Hampton had broken through once more and in preventing a 3rd goal, a sliding Tom Bender clearly used his hand to block the goal-bound shot inside the 6 yard area. The referee had no option but to dismiss the player, leaving Tom Jelley with the spot kick.
His kick was saved though by Russell, but the right back had presence of mind enough to follow up and stab the ball past the prone keeper.
The game was now up for the Saints and the Beavers knew it. Jelley had another attempt after a surging run down the right which Russell had to push wide for a corner. That corner from Kiernan was cleared back out to him, and taking a step inside, he coolly drove a low shot through the crowded box and into the bottom corner to give Hampton a 4 goal advantage.
It was nearly 5 in added time as Josh Casey forced a hurried save from Russell from a shot corner routine; the left back's shot looking to be sneaking in just inside the post as the Saints were struggling in the final seconds.
This win will give the Beavers confidence ahead of their holiday season double header against Hemel Hempstead Town; the first match is at Vauxhall Road on Boxing Day before the return at Beveree on New Year's Day.