Defeats to Bath City and Aveley gave Mel Gwinnett and his team plenty to think about as we enter September
Saturday saw Hampton & Richmond head back out west to face an upbeat Bath City. After an even opening to the game, Bath struck first on 19 minutes when a great cross-field ball by Luke Russe picked out Clark and his cross was fired into the roof of the net by Wilson. Ollie Wright produced a good stop with his legs shortly after this but City were good value for their narrow advantage at the break.
And this lead was doubled just before the hour mark. A swift break saw Jordan Thomas’ attempted pass to Cody Cooke blocked but Wilson stepped up to curl the ball home from 20 yards. Hampton came close on a couple of occasions to getting back in the game but another high quality strike put the game beyond them on 71 minutes. Clark cut inside from the right flank before giving Desbois no chance from 20 yards. Despite the quality of all three goals the biggest cheer of the afternoon was reserved when Fletcher replaced Cook with five minutes left.
Three minutes from time Hampton & Richmond were awarded a penalty following Wright’s challenge on Seymour, only for the referee to reverse his decision after consulting with his assistant. However, they did grab a consolation goal three minutes into stoppage time through Hall’s neat finish.
Two days later, the TW12 side were back in action against an impressive Aveley side, still buzzing after their promotion to the National League South.
The game had a pretty uneventful first half, symptomatic of both teams having played less than 48 hours previous. Even so, Aveley were the side edging proceedings. Right on the verge of half time, Hampton & Richmond succumbed to late pressure as Benton smashed home from the edge of the box.
With the game very much up for grabs, Mel would be disappointed by his sides lacklustre start, as Aveley earned themselves a penalty just two minutes in. Despite Adam Desbois' best efforts, Odelusi sent him the wrong way to double the hosts lead.
Despite a series of changes, the Beavers were unable to affect the scoreline, and Aveley continued to create chances. With 20 minutes to go, Hernandez fired home to make it 3-0 to the hosts.