RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
HAMPTON & RICHMOND – 3 [Barnsby 28. Williams 70.89]
SUTTON UNITED – 1 [OG 23]
Just a little excerpt regarding Hampton from my report for the earlier meeting at GGL between the two sides “…but they’re expected to be in the bottom half again this season and to let teams like that come from behind TWICE at home isn’t acceptable.”
Well, no offence meant to our oppo on Saturday. Besides, they’re far from ‘bottom half’ this season. Sitting comfortably in the top 5 for this visit to the Beveree, whilst we look like we we’re going to struggle to stay out of that bottom half ourselves. I never learn, that’s my trouble.
So we headed over the Thames, with the ‘Beavers’ seemingly on acid. 2 strikers with nearly 30 goals between ‘em, coupled with their league position did’nt make for an overflow of confidence on our part. In fact, after the crap we saw tuesday at Uxbridge, a draw was probably the best we were hoping for.
The gang meet up at the Kingston Wetherspoons and enjoy a pint before hopping on the 111. The missus ain’t looking forwards to her latest dose of the U’s. In fact, she’s wishing she’d gone to Gillingham to watch Grimsby before we’ve even left the pub! And she’s only seen 2 games this season. Both 5-0 wins!! Pah, no pleasing some people eh?
We amble into the ground and bag some munchies. Sarah’s already low opinion of non-league footy is compounded when we point out Hampton’s ‘small-bloke-in-a-beaver-outfit’ mascot thingy. Even I’ll admit it’s a touch dodgy!
To see just what a crap season this reall has been, just compare the two U’s line ups from our two meetings this season. You’ll find some NINE differences! Yes NINE! What chance have we got if we can’t keep a side together?? And despite all these new faces, we still have’nt got that fucking midfield sorted. It was slightly aggravating then. It’s not even funny now, just pathetic.
The game gets underway with both teams not doing anything remarkable, but Hampton are at least managing a little bit of concerted pressure which brings them what seems like hundreds of corners. We meanwhile struggle to string more than 2 passes together until about 15 minutes in, when an all too brief spell of passing breaks out. It’s during this spell that we take the lead, probably against the run of play and even then we don’t score it! Haworth turns and lets a through ball run, before chasing after it. Having left the defender trailing, he’s rather cynically fouled. Quite how their bloke escapes a card is beyond me. Bolt lines up the free-kick and swings it into the box hoping to pick out Haworth. The big striker arrives in the right place at the right time, but so does the Hampton No5. He gets just in front of our man only to power a great header indside the near post. Haworth celebrates and claims the goal, but there’s just NO way he got a touch.
Our hosts are obviously a bit miffed at this although not for long. 5 minutes later, yet another corner finds the previously unfortunate No5, Barnsby diving in unmarked at the near post to angle a header in off the underside of the bar. Bugger. That’s us knackered……
The home side then try their utmost to snatch the lead. But a combination of constant offsides and being unable to convert another 10 or so corners means we go in level.
We nip off to the bar for some scores and find that Oldham are 2-1 up and Grimsby are 0-0. This cheers the missus up, who’s none too impressed with out largely toothless 1st half performance. And she ain’t the only one!
The second half is much the same as the first. Hampton do most of the attacking as our awful midfield constantly wastes possession and keeps our already strung out defence under more pressure. Bolt is subbed, much to his displeasure, for McCormack. But a minute or so later, we’re behind as Hampton finally find a way past our offside trap. Another lumbering Sutton attack fails and the ball is swept out to the right hand touchline. From there, the ball is swung over to the far post and Williams in 5 yards of space, takes a touch and slips the ball between Howells and the post. Arse. 2-1 down and with NO visible route back into the game. And it’s started to sodding rain. Oh dear.
Williams does provide us with some entertainment by getting himself booked for his celebration. Tearing his shirt off and discarding it enroute to his run towards the corner flag.
Whitmarsh then sums up our day by blowing a complete sitter not too long afterwards. Haworth’s hard work pays off and he latches onto a defenders hesitant touch and bursts for the byeline where he pulls the ball back to the near post for his partners late run. But despite this, he screws his shot a good yard wide.
It’s shortly after this we abandon our position behind the goal and head for shelter. The only further action of note is of course courtesy of Hampton. Another sweeping attack and a low ball evades TWO Sutton defenders and Williams tucks away his second tap-in of the day to seal a rather straight forward win.
I’m cheered slightly when we stop for a drink & to warm up in the Worlds End pub up the road. SKY shows Oldham have won 5-1. The bad news is K’s have won 2-0 at Donny and even the Scummers have drawn. Brilliant. NOT.
Pesky bloody rodents. Where’s that Yellow Pages?
MAN OF THE MATCH : Rob Haworth. Tried hard with little or no support.
ENTERTAINMENT : 7 if you’re a ‘Beaver’. 2 if you’re not…….
TEAM : Howells, Palmer, Boothe, Horner, Brooker, Baker, Harlow, Ekoku, Bolt, Whitmarsh, Haworth SUBS : McCormack, Smith