Beavers back on winning trail
Report by Phil Weller, HRBFC Supporters Trust
The Beavers made hard work of beating an ordinary Poole side, but secured the 3 points needed, as those around us also won their games.
We took the lead on 5 minutes when, following a careless foul, Casey curled in a free kick from wide right, which Wassmer met at the far post to head in on the first bounce.
Far from giving us confidence to push on, the effect of the goal was to inspire Poole into a 15 minute period of dominance.
Dieng produced a stunning save from a curling free kick - managing to tip the ball onto the left post. Then , soon after, he stood tall to parry a fierce shot aimed at the near left top corner, from a tight angle. Both of these Poole attempts were the result of over zealous challenges on players already under pressure.
We managed to produce a couple of half chances, when, firstly, Baptiste nearly wriggled through a packed defence, and secondly when Jeffers turned well, but scuffed his shot.
It was another free kick that saw Poole come close to drawing level just before half time. A precise inswinging delivery from wide left eluded everyone and looked destined to curl just inside the far left post. Dieng had to hold his position in anticipation of contact on the ball, but then reacted brilliantly to palm the ball away at the last moment and scramble to regather the ball in the face of approaching attackers.
The second half saw increasing Hampton dominance.
Roberts, looking lively following his absence, was thwarted by the keeper diving at his feet. Kiernan then saw his well struck shot from the D fly straight into the arms of the keeper. Just a few minutes later Jeffers found a yard to send in a right foot curler high right, which was well directed, but lacked the power to beat the goalie.
Poole were largely relying on the break now; and did so to good effect ending with a powerful header past Dieng from a right wing cross. The attacker was correctly judged to be a couple of yards beyond our defensive line.
Around the 55th minute Baptiste took a heavy fall by the far touchline and was immediately escorted to the dressing room. Mulley came on as a like for like replacement and we continued to have the upper hand, but with efforts on target, from either side, at a premium.
Deep into the last quarter Jelley and Kamara came on for Odoi and Kiernan.
Poole managed to deliver several high crosses towards their giant substitute striker, but Dieng consistently came out to claim the ball. He completed his contribution with a comfortable save from a shot on the turn.
Having concluded several breaks by heading for the corner flag, with mixed results; the fifth and final minute of added time saw Roberts feign to do the same, before cutting back from the left touchline and crossing to the feet of Jeffers, 8 yards out in front of goal.
He declined to shoot with his right foot, choosing to cut back to successfully wrong foot both the keeper and a closing defender. Then with the goal at his mercy he unaccountably lashed the ball onto the underside of the cross bar. A follow up header was gathered by the keeper, but, mercifully, the final whistle blew before Poole could launch a final attack.
A fast, free flowing game, on a surprisingly good pitch, bringing a vital win for Hampton, and one that leaves Poole with a real challenge to survive.