Four wins on the bounce for fiery Hampton
Zak Joseph secured the three points for the Beavers in a convincing 3-1 victory over Weston-super-Mare.
Hampton started off brighter out of the two, with in-form Chris Dickson taking the first shot within two minutes. The ball fell awkwardly from Dickson who struggled to challenge the goalkeeper, but the play typified the intent from Hampton to create more chances as the game progressed.
Weston-super-Mare had the best spell of the first half in the opening fifteenth minutes, which was exemplified through a dangerous corner tactic that Hampton struggled to contain when utilised, however, still, nothing materialised.
The first critical chance fell once again to Chris Dickson in the 7th minute, who found himself through in on goal, however his touch was not enough to get it beyond the defenders on the line as well as the oncoming goalkeeper.
Hampton maintained the ball for the much of the next five minutes until the Seagulls launched a rapid counter-attack, beginning with the goalkeeper and finding its way to the striker, who had space to take a shot on goal. When he did, his powerful effort from the edge of the box was blocked, although it was likely to threaten the goalkeeper.
In the 18th minute, Hampton had the clearest opportunity of the half so far. The ball was played from the right side to Dickson, who looked destined to score – partly due to the heaps of space and his five goals in the past five games. However, the goalkeeper saved the first shot, before it rebounded to Matty Whicelow, whose effort was saved once again, and his second effort, the third shot altogether, was then cleared off the line.
However, only a minute later, Craig Dundas dispatched an effort - his second goal in two games - from a deflected effort from the edge of the box. Great work down the right hand side from Tyrell Miller-Rodney opened the opportunity, as his low cross to the edge of the box was met by Dundas, who did enough to open the scoring.
Another chance materialised for Hampton with the ball falling kindly for Dickson on the left-hand side of the penalty box, who directed the ball to the centre, where Danny Uchechi was lingering, unmarked, however the ball was too high for him, and subsequently he headed the ball way over the bar.
A minute later though, Chris Dickson doubled the Beavers’ lead and increased his tally to seven in only nine games in his maiden season for Hampton. Zak Joseph played an integral role in the play, picking the ball just beyond the halfway line and sliding it through to Dickson, who had a free run for him to go one-on-one, where he slotted the ball past a helpless Luke Purnell in goal.
With 30 minutes gone in the game, the Seagulls were through one-on-one, however Nathan Mavila stood his ground exceptionally well and timing his tackle to perfection, allowing Hampton to break.
The second half was initiated by a substitution from the Weston-super-Mare manager, Marc McGregor, in an attempt to introduce some danger in the final third.
To counter, Gary McCann took up a more pragmatic approach to the second half with his main intention to seal the game and claim the vital three points in Hampton’s early push for promotion, which eluded them last season.
Not much happened in the second half until the 55th minute. It was Joseph and Dickson, who combined on the right flank, where it soon fell to Dickson on the right-hand side of the penalty box who crossed the ball to a well-placed Matty Whicelow from 18 yards, who mishit the ball into the ground, allowing the Seagulls to regroup and reorganise from the goal-kick.
“Cometh the hour cometh the man” however, and Zak Joseph certainly did that. The piece of play began from a throw-in in Hampton’s defensive third, where Joseph got to the first ball, heading it high and beyond his marker to a free Dickson, who could control the ball effortlessly before returning the ball to Joseph to complete the one-two. After receiving the ball, Joseph was too strong for his man, moving seamlessly beyond him for a clear shot on goal, where he thumped the ball to the goalkeeper’s right-hand side, whose efforts were futile to prevent Joseph from scoring his second goal of the season.
On the 66th minute of the game, Mavila brought down Jarrad Welch, providing Jamie Lucas with the opportunity to grab a goal from 12 paces. He stepped up and placed the ball perfectly in the top right-hand corner, beyond Tom Lovelock’s reach. With only 24 minutes remaining,
Weston-super-Mare began to dominate the possession, however were still unable to maintain their momentum from the goal due to the aggressive press from the Beavers, which lasted until the very last minute of the game. The Seagulls were forced to resort to long-range efforts as their most likely source of a goal, however, Lovelock was untroubled and comfortable between the sticks.
Substitute Rhys Murrell-Williams also hit the post in the 90th minute, turning his man from a throw-in, and even though his effort beat the goalkeeper, it could not beat the post.
The second half was much quieter than the first, but also very mature from McCann’s well-organised and extremely disciplined Hampton and Richmond Borough FC, who saw out the result accordingly. Hampton remained calm despite the penalty mid-way through the second half and continued to attack and create chances and secured the three points.
Gary McCann was very pleased with the ‘solid, dominant performance’, but re-enforced that Hampton were only able to pick up such a result due to the ‘collective performance’, as he explained to the Media Team.
In reference to Hampton’s progression to third in the table, now with 17 points altogether and four wins in the last four, he was adamant to stay level-headed, insisting ‘only nine games have been played’ and many games are still yet to be played.
After Zak Joseph’s breath-taking performance, consisting of a goal and an assist, Gary McCann is also confident ‘there is more to come from him’.
Gary finishes by emphasising the importance of the team, which was the distinctive feature of this dominant and emphatic performance over Weston-super-Mare, who were too much for the Seagulls who remain at the foot of the table with two points from nine games.
Report by Robbie Sweeten