Billericay Breach the Beaver's Dam
Hampton lose for the first time in nine matches after two headed goals from Jake Robinson and Joseph Kizzi handed the visitors all three points.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon, second placed Billericay Town travelled to third placed Hampton and Richmond and scored either side of half-time to give the visitors all three points.
The match boasted two of the best teams in their division and the quality was on show early on, with both sides having good possession of the ball and creating opportunities.
The fast start brought the first goal of the game, with Billericay Town taking a 1-0 lead inside five minutes. The men in blue found some space down the left-hand side and a ball whipped into the box was met with a run at the near post by Jake Robinson, who nodded it towards the far post to give his side an early lead.
There was almost an immediate response from the Beavers, who worked the ball well down the right before rolling it into the feet of Ricky Wellard, whose shot just flew over the bar.
As Hampton grew in confidence and saw more of the ball, Billericay began to find space on the edge of the area for shots at goal, however they failed to trouble keeper Tom Lovelock too much.
Robinson continued to find some joy in dangerous areas; faking a shot, turning to his left and dragging it back onto his right foot only to see his curling effort go wide of the post.
After half-time, the game was largely controlled by the visitors who doubled their led with a header from Joseph Kizzi on the hour mark.
With half an hour left, Hampton started to create opportunities with Matt Whichelow making a difference after his introduction for Zak Joseph. His deflected effort went out for a corner as the Beavers continued to mount the pressure in the final 20 minutes of the game, but there was nothing to show for it as the home team had a goal disallowed for offside after goalkeeper Alan Julian made a good save.
The final score leaves Hampton and Richmond three points behind their title-chasing rivals, who now go to the top of the table after Woking’s 2-2 draw at Torquay.
After the game, manager Gary McCann spoke about his encouragement from the first half performance, but disappointment for the goal they conceded.
McCann: “I think we were in the ascendancy and on the front foot. It was a poor goal on our part, and a throw in we never switched on from.
“It gave them the opportunity to manage the game and with the experience they had they’re very capable of doing that.
“The second half was as poor as we’ve been. As good as the first half was, we deserved to be level on chances, we were poor in the second half. We need to dust ourselves down, we need to go again, we’ll be looking at this week and getting ourselves ready and prepared for the next game.”
The Beavers will look to bounce back with a positive result when they host AFC Hornchurch in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup next Saturday.