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Hampton & Richmond Borough 3
Kabamba (78'), Murphy (83'), Moone (89')
1 Kingstonian
Morgan (2')

Inns Sees Red as K’s Beaten By Late Beaver Trio

There’s such a thing as a perfect 1-0 away win. You grab an early goal, withstand a constant barrage of pressure from the home side, get lucky, rile up the opposition and hang on with heroic defending and poor finishing. Away fans leave delighted with three hard-earned, but scantly deserved points. There’s no way of knowing when such a treat of a result is going to arrive, but it’s unmistakable when it does.

For 70 minutes, Kingstonian’s trip to visit old friends at the Beveree felt like it was going to result in a sweet, gloating journey home. Aaron Morgan bundled home from a corner (the Ghost of Kingston Past and current Hampton manager, Alan Dowson, described it as the worst goal he’d ever seen) after only two minutes but Ks then faced an aerial assault from corners and crosses. It was peak Dowseball: brutal and oh-so-close to being effective.

The fact Kingstonian went into half-time with a lead was thanks to that glorious combination of goalkeeping heroics (never leave, Rob Tolfrey), Hampton profligacy and generous bounces of the woodwork. Chances were hit over, deflected or, on a couple of occasions, completely air-kicked. Everything was going Ks’ way. And in this, so far, cruel season, it was never going to last. All the while, a chippy game was brewing. George Wells and Sam Page earned their place in the referees book and for Hampton, Josh Casey acted in exactly the same way he had while at Ks. And similarly to how he had at Ks, his antics (diving, moaning, fouling) drove the opposition fans to breaking points.

Hampton continued to press as the second half began, but just as Ks were beginning to look comfortable, it, IT, happened. Alan Inns stepped out to intercept a fairly harmless-looking ball on the edge of the Ks’ area, but when the ball struck his upper arm, the ref pointed to the spot before, to the shock of everyone, dismissing the Kingstonian captain. Surely, the game was up…

Of course not! This was an away day miracle! This was Rob Tolfrey! A magnificent save from Tom Jelley’s penalty preserved Ks’ lead and set up an almighty back-to the-wall effort for the last 30 minutes… Surely this was to be one of the all-time great away day performances?

Nope. Instead, as the clock ticked into the last 15 minutes, Hampton got their breakthrough. Sean Bonnett-Johnson’s slip allowed Nicke Kabamba the freedom of the Ks area, and he made no mistake, slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

The second followed five minutes, as Kieran Murphy got the final touch to a Josh Casey free kick that seemed to bounce of a few heads before ending up in the back of the net. Josh Casey seemed more concerned with celebrating in front of Ks fans than he did about celebrating with his own team. You’ve got to choose your own victories, I guess.

There was still time for further Ks misery as Charlie Moone’s fantastic finish into the top corner sealed the deal. There are no miracles, no perfect away wins, just the Ryman, and one way or another, the Ryman always wins.

Match report by Jamie Cutteridge.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018