Dickson’s double downs the Wings
Chris Dickson’s two goals either side of the break helped Hampton to an unlikely win against promotion-chasing Welling United.
By Darren Barnard
Dickson’s 10th goal of the season came in fortuitous fashion after Dan Wilks spilled a cross at his near-post in the first-half.
Welling’s failure to deal with a Jack Connors’ corner in the second half led to the forward’s 11th of the season which propels him to third overall in the hunt for the golden boot. The win for the Beavers places them just three points off the play-off positions.
Hampton started the game well, determined to string passes together despite the treacherous conditions. The scintillating football sparked this comment from the terrace: “This is the best we have looked for a while – we’ll probably lose 2-0.”
Despite the positive start, Gary McCann’s side nearly conceded a goal in the opening 20 minutes again when Bradley Goldberg’s deflected effort dropped onto the bar after a melee in the box.
Both teams strived to keep the ball on the ground as every clearance seemed to hang in the air for a lifetime. Dickson looked to be through on goal as one long ball eventually landed beyond the Wings’ defence but the striker couldn’t capitalise.
One of the joys of the game was seeing Craig Dundas back in red and blue after his brief spell at Sutton United. The number nine brilliantly held the ball up and invited others into the game – an asset that Hampton have been lacking as of late.
Debutant Liam Sole and Jack Connors offered superb width throughout the game. Sole’s footwork was as almost as electric as his fluorescent boots and looked a real find for the Beavers before being substituted for Ryan Hill in the final few minutes.
In the last attack of the half, the MK Dons loanee unpredictably went on his less-favoured left foot to deliver a cross which should have been regulation for Wilks but the wet conditions got the better of him, gifting Dickson a tap-in.
A superb tactical decision to swap Connors and Sole over early in the first half cannot go unmentioned. Connors also helped his right-back out endlessly throughout the game – the type of work you probably wouldn’t want Sole wasting his energy on when he’s so dynamic going forward.
Just eight minutes into the second half Dickson had another contender for his simplest goal of the season when he back-heeled a loose ball on the goal-line from Connors’ corner.
Both teams struggled to play in the second half with the pitch worsening, Hampton substitute Daniel Uchechi brilliantly used Luke Ruddick’s overlapping run as a decoy but his left-footed effort went over.
Uchechi tirelessly worked when he came on, which was consistent for all three of McCann’s substitutions.
An honourable mention must go to Tom Lovelock, who had the sympathy of every Beaver fan on the terrace in the difficult conditions. He was called into action with a fantastic save in the 78th minute from Danny Mills’ effort.
Mills got the better of Lovelock three minutes later though, when he toe-poked in a loose ball after Hampton fluffed several clearances from a series of corners.
Fortunately for Hampton the goal was only a consolation in a game that could have been easily been abandoned on another day.
After such an invaluable win, Gary McCann said: “It was nervy at the end just simply because we had switched off from a set-play which was disappointing. But the level of effort, determination and will to win was clear to see.”
Feature Image: Ben Harrison