The new year sees Hampton & Richmond host Slough Town in the reverse fixture of our intense Boxing Day clash.
Both sides remain heavily in form and looking to bring that winning feeling immediately into 2024, with the Beavers looking to maintain their position in second place in the National League South, and Slough hoping to make their equally impressive run a starting point to a play-off charge.
A Boxing Day 3-3 thriller at Arbour Park saw Hampton go two down, before a rejuvenated second half handed the Beavers a 3-2 lead in the 85th minute. Ultimately, the pressure told and a 95th minute equaliser meant points were shared.
The first ten minutes saw Slough Town have the better of the chances, with wide man David Ogbonna finding space down the right. Hampton were limited to long balls as Bloomfield and Seymour worked hard upfront.
On the 16th minute Temi Eweka went into the book for kicking the ball away after fouling Jordan Thomas.
Slough’s first shot on target gave them the lead. Ogbonna cut in from the right, finding Mickel Platt. The initial shot was blocked by Dan Wishart but the ball fell to M8nashe Sundire whose heavily deflected shot beat the ‘keeper and handed Slough the lead.
It was a quick one-two from the hosts in the 21st minute as, once again, David Ogbonna cut in from the right and found a Slough player in the box. The shot was saved onto the bar but Nathan Minhas was there to head the ball in to an empty net.
Another booking for Slough in the 29th minute as Wishart broke away down the left and Scott Davies chopped down the fullback.
In the 45th minute Slough Town looked set to make it 3-0 as a wasted set piece saw Minhas break away, one on one with Adam Desbois. However, the ‘keeper pulled off a heroic save to keep Hampton in the game.
It was deja vu three minutes later as Desbois denied Ogbonna acrobatically before Platt’s unmarked header sailed over the bar.
Halftime saw the first change of the afternoon for Hampton as Sam Dreyer was replaced by Dominic Revan.
Slough Town were forced into their first substitution in the 52nd minute as an injury forced goalscorer Mickel Platt off to be replaced by Slavi Spasov.
Mel Gwinnett made his second change of the afternoon in the 56th minute, replacing George Hunt with Josh Anifowose.
Hampton’s first chance of the half came in the 64th minute as Donaldsons through ball found Ben Seymour in the box. Slough defended well as the number nine’s shot was blocked.
In the 66th minute Hampton & Richmond got a foothold in the game thanks to a Jake Gray goal. Anifowose burst into the box, beating two Slough Town players. His def;edged shot landed at the feet of Jake Gray who duly dispatches the ball into the net.
Gwinnett made is final change in the 75th minute as defender Jordan Thomas was replaced by winger Rob Hall.
In the same minute, goalscorer Nathan Minhas was played through on goal. However, the number nine blasted his shot over the bar where it looked easier to score.
In a much more action-packed half, Hampton went up the other end and equalised through Ben Seymour who neatly headed in Ruaridh Donaldson’s delivery in the 78th minute.
Suddenly Hampton & Richmond looked a completely new side and, in the 85th minute, Rob Hall’s corner was flicked onto the boot of Mason Bloomfield who put the Beavers ahead.
The 90th minute saw Sam Deadfield forced off with a head injury, but with Mel Gwinnett already having used all three subs, Hampton & Richmond had to defend with ten.
The pressure finally told in the fifth minute of added time as a cross was met by Slavi Spasov to save a point for the hosts.
The previous time we faced the Rebels, It was Mel Gwinnett's first home game in charge. Still deep in relegation trouble, the Beavers succumbed to a 0-1 defeat, courtesy of former loanee Francis Amartey.
The two sides have faced off 31 times since 1972, with tomorrow's hosts certainly enjoying the rub of the green. Slough have won 13 of those encounters, losing just eight, The last victory for the Beavers coming at the end of the 21/22 season, when a Donaldson double and a goal from Leo Hamblin set the TW12 side up for a 3-1 victory in front of 1300 at the Bev.
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