Beavers Break The Rocks - And Their Bad Run
Joe Turner's fine finish earns Hampton their first win in four matches in a much improved performance.
Paul and Darren's side came into this match on a run of form that has seen them drop too close for comfort to the relegation zone. Stuart Lake and Luke Wanadio returned to the starting lineup following the disappointing defeat to Billericay at the weekend, while Dave Tarpey was restored to the attack in place of Belal Aite-Ouakrim.
East Thurrock came into the game off the back of a thumping 6-1 victory against Hendon on Saturday, but their hattrick hero that day, Sam Higgins, was kept largely quiet in this match. However, East Thurrock were lively in attack, and had the first half chances of this game. David Bryant dragging an early shot wide, while Higgins shot tamely at Rodney Chiweshe.
Hampton's first chance came on eleven minutes, when ETU goalkeeper David Hughes fluffed a clearance. Taroey was first to the ball, and played a first time pass to strike partner Charlie Moone. Charlie's instant volley on the turn from out side the box was hit well, but was straight at Hughes. Moone then combined well with Joe Turner as they worked the ball into the six yard box for Tarpey. However, he was well marshalled and his effort deflected wide. From the resulting corner, the ball was only partially cleared to Luke Wanadio on the left corner of the penalty box. He controlled the ball before fizzing a powerful drive goalwards. The ball took a nick on its way through and was well held by Hughes.
Mitchell Gilbey was a threat to the Beavers defence, and he missed their best chance of the first half after nineteen minutes, skying his shot from eighteen yards when in acres of space. Charlie and Tarps both had a chance to open the scoring as the half wore on; Moone with a lob that wasn't powerful enough to cross the line and was cleared, while Tarps hit a fierce half volley narrowly over after latching onto a poor clearance.
As with the first half, it was the visitors who registered the first effort on goal in the second period. Neil Richmond connected beautifully with a cross from the left, and was desperately unlucky to see his volley clip the top of the bar and go over with Chiweshe well beaten. And three minutes later, they were made to rue the miss.
Tarpey went up to challenge Hughes for a freekick, leading to the 'keeper only partially clearing. Joe Turner latched onto the loose ball and struck a brilliantly controlled half volley into the corner of the net to give the Beavers a decisive lead.
Rodney Chiweshe, at fault for the goal against Billericay, made his usual world class save with a little over twenty minutes to go, as he acrobatically kept out Steve Sheehan's powerful header. The rebound fell to Nicky Symons, but he fizzed the rebound just over.
East Thurrock applied plenty of pressure in the final fifteen minutes as they looked for a vital equaliser in their battle with relegation. Sam Higgins volleyed a low cross into the penalty area, setting up Bryant perfectly. However, the midfielder scuffed his shot badly and it rolled tamely to Chiweshe. He did better with his next effort - the last of the game - but his hooked curler was again straight at Chiweshe.
Referee Adrian Gillet - who didn't issue a single caution on one of his easier nights - blew the final whistle to the relief of the majority of the 136 in attendance. The result keeps us in seventeenth, but crucially we are now fourteen points above the bottom four.
Next up is a trip to Essex, and a visit to Grays Athletic. Don't forget that they play at Aveley's Mill Field ground, the address for which can be found here.
Hampton & Richmond Borough 1 (Joe Turner 55)
East Thurrock United 0
Hampton: Rodney Chiweshe, Tommy Brewer, George Wells, Stuart Lake(c), Darren Powell, Justyn Roberts, Luke Wanadio (James Simmonds), Tom Hickey, Dave Tarpey (Ben Harris 76), Charlie Moone (Aaron Wickham 90), Joe Turner. Unused subs: Ben Osman, Jack Barton.
ETU: David Hughes, Ryan Sammonds, Tom Stephen, Simon Peddie, Steve Sheehan(c), Nicky Symons, Mitchell Gilbey (Ross Parmenter 64), David Bryant, Sam Higgins, Neil Richmond (Sam Letchmere 64), Lewis Smith. Unused subs: Connor Witherspoon, Joe Keith, Tom Anderson.