Great Moone Rising Finishes Greens
A stoppage time goal from Charlie Moone clinched the points at a rain-soaked Earlsmead in another 7 goal thriller vs Hendon.
Previous matches between the teams this season had produced goals in plenty and this was no different.
Changes had to be made for the Beavers with a number of players either injured or otherwise not available, not least co-manager Darren Powell, whose ban from the touchline came into force and couldn't be involved in any part of the game. This meant George Well slipping into the centre and Joe Turner moving to left back. Charlie Moone was given a spot on the bench to presumably allow Ben Harris a chance to gain some match fitness for a couple of week’s time.
Despite the downpour, the game was played at a decent pace, both teams making light of the wet pitch, passing the ball well and it wasn't long before the Beavers started to take command of the game, Ben Osman and James Simmonds controlling the midfield, and the first goal wasn't far away.
On 17 minutes, Dave Tarpey swung a free kick to the back post, the ball came back across goal, and Tommy Brewer bundled the ball home from close range for 3rd goal of the season. No match on Saturday’s, but it was as equally as important.
The Hendon midfield was looking somewhat lost under the bustling efforts of Simmonds, Osman and Luke Wanadio, whose pace and tricky wasn't affected by the rain.
Jack Barton was showing he wasn't going to be left out as on 19 minutes, he struck a fine shot that O'Donnell had to be alert to. Even Justyn Roberts tried to get in on the act as his far post header was cleared off the line, a couple of minutes after Barton's effort.
Another goal looked on the cards for the Beavers as both Tarpey and Wanadio both struck shots that flew at O'Donnell but with half time approaching through the rain, it was the Greens who came closest to scoring, as Diedhiou struck a fizzing shot that Rodney Chiweshe had to turn away to safety.
Two minutes later, in added time, it was two for the Beavers. Wanadio found some space on the left and dipped inside, streaking up on his shoulder was Ben Osman, who had space in front of him. Wanadio fed a simple ball in front of him, and the midfielder's powerful shot took a small deflection and flew past O'Donnell to give the Beavers a deseerved half time lead.
As the second half began, the rain dwindled away and the game took on a different turn as Hendon started to play a greater part in the game. On 57 minutes, a Diedhiou header rattled the post and ran clear. Hendon would not be denied, however, and Anthony Thomas got a bit lucky on 59 minutes with his soft shot inside the area, which skidded across the top of the sodden grass and squirmed under Chiweshe.
The Beavers suddenly looked uncertain and the Greens took advantage of that, 90 seconds later. Michael Murray was left in space some 25 yards out and his drilled shot gave Chiweshe no chance at all.
5 minutes later, the Greens took the lead. Thomas ran onto a Smith flicked header, muscling his way past George Wells. Wells battled bravely but couldn't prevent Thomas driving the ball under Chiweshe from the edge of the box as the keeper dashed out.
It would have been easy for Hendon to park the bus, and kept what they had, but it would have been against the pattern of the game and the introduction of Charlie Moone for the worn out Ben Harris turned out to be crucial for the Beavers with 18 minutes left.
Tommy Brewer had been more attacking than usual and with 12 minutes left, he tricked and hoodwinked the Hendon left back as he fought his way to the bye line. He cut his cross back, the ball eventually finding its way to Moone, who clipped the ball past O'Donnell for the equaliser.
James Simmonds and Luke Wanadio both had shots saved by the Hendon keeper as both sides looked for the winner, which you could easily sense was in the offing.
Hendon looked to have created that match-winning chance with 3 minutes left as substitute Oliyide found himself at the far post with time and space, but his hurried shot scuffed wide.
Literally seconds remained as a long punt forward suddenly found Hampton with a two-on-two break, the ball running to Charlie Moone, who ran past the covering defender, who dithered in the challenge. Given the space, it was inevitable that Moone would choose to shoot. The shot wasn't the most powerful, but it somehow went underneath O'Donnell, and rolled into the net.
There was just time for the restart and a few seconds later, the referee blew the whistle to end another classic between the two teams.
After the game, Paul Barry said he was "very proud" of the team.
"It was an amazing effort after the last two games to have the legs and fight to come back and win late from the players last night."
Hampton and Hendon, 3 games, 21 goals between them this season, and 6 of those to Charlie Moone. You might say he loves his Greens...
Anthony Thomas 59' & 64'
Michael Murray 60'
Hampton & Richmond Borough 4
Tommy Brewer 17'
Ben Osman 45'
Charlie Moone 78' & 90'
Hendon: 1 Joe McDonnell, 2 Chris Seeby, 3 Jack Bennett, 4 Dave Diedhiou, 5 Sam Flegg, 6 Kevin Maclaren (Michael Murray 45'), 7 Michael Bryan, 8 Lee O'Leary, 9 Leon Smith, 10 Adam Wallace (Anthony Thomas 25'), 11 Tony Taggart (Karl Oliyide 90')
Subs: 12 Elliott Brathwaite, 13 Karl Oliyide, 14 Michael Murray, 17 Anthony Thomas, 18 Max McCann
Hampton & Richmond Borough: 1 Rodney Chiweshe, 2 Tommy Brewer, 3 Joe Turner, 4 James Simmonds, 5 George Wells, 6 Justyn Roberts, 7 Luke Wanadio, 8 Ben Osman, 9 Dave Tarpey, 10 Ben Harris (Charlie Moone 72'), 11 Jack Barton (Reece Brewster 62')
Subs: 12 Harry Mills, 14 Reece Brewster, 15 Charlie Moone, 17 Luke Edgecombe