No January Blues for Hampton
Despite going down to 10 men with the dismissal of debutant Wesley Fonguck on 60 minutes, Hampton cruised to a comfortable win over Bishop's Stortford.
On a soft, but definitely playable Beveree surface, the Beavers looked a lot sharper after having an enforced 3 week break, and early on, a Brendan Kiernan effort served notice of his intentions as a free kick from just outside the box only just cleared the bar.
Hampton then took the lead on 14 minutes as Kiernan picked up the ball on the edge of the box and tracking along the 18 yard line, clipped a crisp half volley over Voss but under the bar to give the Beavers a great start.
This was extended just 2 minutes later as slack marking from Bishop's Stortford left debutant Alfie Pavey in space inside the 6 yard box, allowing the young striker to easily head home Josh Casey's corner from close range.
The Beavers were by now on a roll and soon made it 3-0 less than 10 minutes later. Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick had made a darting run into the box, and the shot was scrambled away for a corner by Voss. This time, the deeper Josh Casey corner was met at at the back post by Nathan Collier, whose firm header beat Voss from close range.
Bishop's Stortford look somewhat shell-shocked at this but soon gathered themselves with Greg Cundle's attempt only just going wide as the Hampton defence looked comfortable, Nathan Collier showing his versatility in defence.
Despite Bishop's Stortford coming out with more purpose in the second, Hampton continued to create chances, and on 54 minutes forced an almighty scramble in the box. Twice a Beavers shot was blocked in the melee, Voss saved another before a fourth shot was deflected wide for a corner.
Two minutes later, they made it 4.
Josh Casey's powerful shot from the edge of the box was saved by Voss, Alfie Pavey then battled away recovering the rebound, and the ball fell to Kieran Murphy who finished from close range.
The game took a turn 5 minutes later, as Fonguck was dismissed for a handball in the penalty area, the referee giving the penalty. Given the number of bodies in and around the the 6 yard box, the red card was seen in some eyes as a bit harsh as the referee chose to deem it a clear goal scoring offence.
Blues substitute Shomari Barnwell then stepped up and fired it past keeper Sam Howes.
Brendan Kiernan was relishing his attacking role and was involved in creating many chances. Just after the penalty he fired just wide after Hippolyte-Patrick had created enough time down the left to cross in.
On 73 minutes, Pavey could have stolen a second goal. Meeting a Josh Casey free-kick at the back post his downward header was only blocked by Voss's trailing left boot before it being scrambled away.
With 10 minutes left, Stortford finally did create a clear chance, but Rodgers' header from the back post looped over the bar as Howes kept it covered.
That was about it for the visitors as the introduction of Tom Jelley late on allowed the Beavers to barricade the gates and stop the Blues, who never really looked like they had cutting edge enough to score throughout the afternoon.