BY JULIA ANDERSEN
A seven-goal thriller was won by the Beavers in injury time after a goal from captain Jake Gray in front of the crowd of 1,181. The win brings the Beavers level on points with Dartford and sitting just below them in the table on goal difference.
This was the first time this season that Hampton & Richmond have won two games in a row, scored more than three goals in a game, and two goals in consecutive games.
The excitement started in the 23rd minute as Gray and Ben Seymour linked up well down the right wing and earned a corner for Hampton & Richmond. Sam Deadfield sent a great ball into the box where Dean Inman rose above the Dartford defence to put his header in the top right corner in the 24th minute.
There was a small scuffle one minute later after a foul on George Hunt by former Beaver Brandon Barzey, but no card was given. Just two minutes later, Barzey was given a yellow for another foul.
Dartford’s first shot on target came after a breakaway by Luke Coulsen in the 28th minute, with Adam Desbois making a simple save.
Isaac Pitblado put the Beavers up 2-nil in the 41st minute after his shot came off the post and under the keeper’s arm. He was assisted by Seymour.
Desbois made a great save in the 1st minute of added time at the end of the first half to keep the Beavers two-up going into half. Dartford then made two substitutions at half, taking off Jayden Boulton and Paul Rooney for Archie Woods and Lewis Manor.
The away side started the second half well and it didn’t take long for them to level the score. Harvey Bradbury scored in the 54th minute after Barzey ran down the right and found Bradbury in the box. Only three minutes later, Joash Nembhard headed in from a corner to make it 2-2.
A penalty was given to the Beavers in the 67th minute for an incident during a corner. Seymour slotted into the bottom right for his third goal of the season and gave the lead back to Hampton & Richmond.
The lead didn’t last long as only 5 minutes later, Dartford substitute Manor scored from a backheel flick, making the game 3-3 in the 72nd minute.
The Beavers made two substitutions in the second half, taking off goalscorer Pitblado and Hunt and bringing on Jordan Cheadle and Alfy Whittingham.
Dartford earned a penalty in the 83rd minute after Desbois slid through Manor. Bradbury stepped up but Desbois came up with a big save with his feet to keep the score 3-3. The away side took Barzey off immediately afterwards, being replaced by Luke Allen.
The game’s unpredictable manner carried on when seven minutes of stoppage time were given, to the surprise of the crowd. Captain Gray was the hero of the afternoon as he slotted home in the 90+3rd minute, giving the home crowd something to celebrate as they headed home.
Hampton & Richmond will hope they can make it three wins in a row when they head down south next Saturday to face second place Taunton Town.