As soon as the FA Cup draw was made it was predicted Hampton would have a tough afternoon at The Meadow, home to Southern League Premier Division South leaders Chesham United FC, and those predictions were spot on.
The hosts went into Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round in fantastic form having won 3 on the spin and being undefeated at home this season.
The Generals started the game on the front foot and wasted a good chance in just the second minute, Romario Hart putting his header wide with the goal gaping, a miss he would come to rue later on.
Chesham continued creating opportunities, with debutant Dan Lincoln forced into a fifth minute save following a fiercely hit strike from Dan Martin. The Chesham pressure was constant and they looked particularly dangerous from long throw ins, but Lincoln was always in command of his box and claimed everything with great aplomb.
As the half wore on The Beavers grew into the game and on a couple of occasions almost managed to capitalise on the pace of Hill and Orsi-Dadomo on the break. One particular counter attack from Hill saw him speed past two defenders and break into the box, the wide man then went down under a challenge from Watson, but the referee ruled it to be fair and the danger was cleared away.
After a period of sustained Hampton pressure, Deadfield received the ball from Hill, took a touch and steadied himself before rifling a left footed shot past the despairing keeper into the top corner. Another quality strike to add to The Beavers growing list of goal of the season contenders.
However, the lead was only to last 4 minutes as once again the boys in red were on the wrong side of lady luck. Young tracked his man well only to be all too easily disposed when trying to dribble out of defence, the resulting cross was only half cleared and a further effort was smashed against the post. The loose ball was eventually scrambled in by The Generals skipper Steve Brown. 1-1 at halftime was a fair reflection on the game.
A fairly lacklustre second half finally came to life in the 57th minute, Jake Gray was the quickest to react to a ricochet in the box and nipped in just ahead of Jeanmal Prosper, who missed the ball and stood on the midfielders foot. There were no arguments from the home side as the referee inevitably pointed to the spot.
Top scorer Danilo Orsi-Dadomo confidently stepped up and struck his shot low to the keepers left, he will certainly have taken better penalties in his time, but his effort had just enough to squeeze under Goode in the Chesham net.
Hill had the opportunity to make the final 15 minutes easier on everyones nerves after a superb defence splitting pass from Deadfield. The wide mans run was perfectly timed but his finish lacked the required power and was easily saved by Goode.
Lincoln’s only mistake of the game came with 5 minutes left on the clock and caused panic in the Beavers box, the otherwise excellent keeper came for, but missed a long throw, leaving the Chesham forward the easiest of headed chances, only for Kirby to somehow head the ball backwards and away from danger.
As the game wore on The Generals got desperate and threw everyone forward, but Lincoln returned to his usual confident self and dealt with everything thrown at him, including a well hit free-kick from Pearce, that he parried to safety.
The final few minutes were seen out in relative comfort for The Beavers and on they march into the Third Qualifying Round, only nine games to Wembley!