Beavers Cuffed by Met Police
Hampton fell to another disappointing defeat, this time against Met Police, in another anonymous performance in the Ryman Premier League.
This now leaves them with just one league victory in the last 7 games, in stark contrast to their fine run in December.
Managers Paul Barry and Darren Powell made changes to try and get the team back on track. Stuart Lake dropped back into defence in place of Powell, Jake Hicks taking Lake's midfield place. Midfielder Ben Osman came in for his first start, as Belal Aite-Ouakrim was pushed upfield into his favoured forward position. Dave Tarpey partnered Aite-Ouakrim up front in place of Charlie Moone as Aaron Wickham was relegated to the subs bench.
A largely quiet first 15 minutes had both teams sizing each other up, and the Police were the first to show on 19 minutes. The Beavers conceded a free kick some 5 yards outside the box and Police's Tom Bird stepped up to curl a precise shot around the wall, the ball hitting the inside of the post before going in.
The Police were creating the better chances, as the Beavers struggled to make much that would trouble Police keeper Searle. With just 5 minutes before the break, Ty Smith launched himself into a flying volley, which flew wide as Police served clear notice of their intentions.
2 minutes into the second half, the Police extended their lead in a somewhat unfortunate fashion for keeper Rodney Chiweshe. A complete mishit of a cross from Elliott Taylor looped into the goal mouth, and normally Chiweshe would have caught it without thinking. However, as he backpedalled to gather the ball, his feet slipped from under him and all he could do was watch the ball drop over him and into the back of the net.
The introduction of Joe Turner added some urgency and drive to the Beavers attacks, and on 68 minutes, the Beavers were back in the match. A free kick from a spot not far from where Bird hit his, Karle Carder then stepped up and drilled in a powerful drive into the opposite corner of the net, leaving Searle helpless.
The Beavers now stepped up the pace, and on 82 minutes, it looked as if they would equalise as Dave Tarpey broke through the defence and took the ball into the box. Many would have thought it a formality, but Searle blocked Tarpey's low shot with his right foot, leaving the striker in despair.
2 minute later the game was effectively over. A loose cross from the Police right was picked up by Hudson-Odoi just outside the left corner of the box. He proceeded to beat Tommy Brewer and then planted an accurate shot across Chiweshe into the opposite corner of the goal.
Once again, Paul and Darren will have to pick up the team and try to get them ready for Saturday's visit of Billericay Town to Beveree; the Essex club will be an even stiffer test for the Beavers who will need every ounce of our support.
Hampton & Richmond Borough 1
Karle Carder (68')
Metropolitan Police 3
Tom Bird (19')
Elliot Taylor (47')
Bradley Hudson-Odoi (83')
Hampton & Richmond Borough: 1 Rodney Chiweshe, 2 Tommy Brewer, 3 George Wells, 4 Jake Hicks, 5 Marcus Rose (Joe Turner 59'), 6 Stuart Lake, 7 Ben Osman (Tom Hickey 62'), 8 Karle Carder, 9 Belal Aite-Ouakrim, 10 Dave Tarpey, 11 Luke Wanadio (Charlie Moone 71')
Subs: 12 Tom Hickey, 14 Joe Turner, 15 Jack Barton, 16 Aaron Wickham, 17 Charlie Moone
Metropolitan Police: 1 Stuart Searle, 2 Elliot Taylor, 3 Tom Bird (Ricardo Joseph 83'), 4 Will Salmon, 5 Steve Sutherland, 6 Ryan James, 7 Charlie Collins (Howard Newton 70'), 8 Tyrone Smith, 9 Jordan Hibbert, 10 Bradley Hudson-Odoi, 11 Nigel Neita (James Aldred 75')
Subs: 12 Howard Newton, 14 Ricardo Joseph, 15 James Aldred, 16 Tyrone Pink, 17 Dave Smalley
Image (c) Ashley Mitchison