Hampton & Richmond Borough 2-1 Fleet

Fleet were frustrated after Hampton seized all three points with a goal in time added on, after the visitors had come from behind late on to equalise.

Dennis Kutrieb’s side should have led at the break when Rakish Bingham’s conversion at the far post was deemed offside despite him appearing to be at least level with two covering defenders.

Hampton took advantage of a defensive slip to make the breakthrough on 68 minutes but Bingham set up substitute Michael West for the equaliser nine minutes from the end.

Kutrieb was able to name an unchanged starting lineup, looking to build on Tuesday night’s vibrant attacking performance.

Fleet made a couple of early forays upfield, Bobby-Joe Taylor’s useful delivery headed out for a corner by Luke Ruddick.

The pitch caused the ball to stick when played in behind and twice Jordan Holmes lost his footing but recovered well as Niko Muir’s through ball was dangerous. And it was Muir whose 10th minute turn and shot provided the first real chance, but Holmes got down well in the corner to grab it.

Fleet became increasingly frustrated with referee Michael Ryan’s decisions and Alfie Egan and Chris Solly found themselves in the book before 20 minutes were up.

Bingham’s shot in the box was blocked on 21 minutes and Adam Mekki’s follow up took a deflection but Alan Julian held that. Tackles were flying in midfield but with the pitch cutting up, it was more through misjudgement of the surface as anything bad-tempered.

Hampton should have been ahead on 27 minutes when Muir again took advantage of the surface to steal a march on the Fleet defence but with only Holmes to beat, the visiting keeper proved too much, getting a good hand to the shot.

Fleet had a couple of efforts blocked, Mekki’s cross from Taylor’s break a good one and then Paxman thumped one at Ruddick after Tobi Adebayo-Rowling did well to create the opening on the edge of the box.

The visitors went one better from a corner 10 minutes from the break when it was helped goalwards by Taylor and fell to Bingham at the far post. He made no mistake in converting it but the assistant referee took a huge call in raising his flag with two or three Hampton defenders appearing to play the Fleet striker onside.

And Fleet had the final chance of the half as Will Wood’s energetic run carried him to the byline. He cut the ball across into the six-yard box where Mekki was lurking but it ran over his foot and clear.

The second half began as a scrappy affair and while Fleet dealt with the conditions the better of the two sides, it proved difficult to get a passing game going. Wood made himself a decent chance on 52 minutes, hooking an effort wide after controlling the ball in mid-air.

But Hampton carved out an excellent opening two minutes later, Taylor blocking an initial shot before the home side created three more chances to shoot, the final one going in from Tyler Miller-Rodney before Holmes saved the day with a superb reaction dive.

Wood got another effort on target from his right flank but Julian was behind it before Chris Sally’s pass was intercepted and Kahraman was forced to pull Muir back at the cost of a card.

Come the hour mark and Fleet had two excellent openings as the game opened up. First Paxman’s quick feet unsettled the home defence and he squared a ball into the box for Wood whose shot was blocked from 12 yards.

Wood turned provider moments later, delivering an inviting low pass into the six-yard box where Bingham was denied by a last-ditch Sam Cox tackle at the far post.

The game could have swung either way at this point with both sides getting forward frequently but Hampton got the break they needed on 68 minutes. And there was an element of good fortune as they broke down the left and a crossfield pass towards new signing Mauro Vilhete skipped under Taylor’s feet.

That left Vilhete as the only man forward and he was able to advance to disguise a shot that went over Holmes for the opener.

Fleet introduced Iffy Allen and he drew a save from Julian but despite good attempts by Allen and Paxman to unlock the back line, the visitors were frustrated.

That was until nine minutes from time when, from a header, Bingham drove forwards down the right, fought off his marker and timed his shot to perfection with Julian advancing. It was possibly heading in despite the goalkeeper getting a touch that looped it high towards goal but West, with his first touch after coming on as a substitute, helped it over for the equaliser.

Fleet sensed the game wasn’t done with yet and Allen, Mekki and Paxman tried to get up in support of Bingham to get the visitors some added impetus.

But with the game in time added on it was Hampton who struck the killer blow. One last attack afforded them a throw-in down the right and Jake Gray slung in a fetching cross that substitute David Fisher met with a last-gasp run and he was able to bury it past Holmes for the winner.

Fleet had barely two minutes to respond and though Allen mustered one last run and the visitors forced a late corner, Hampton held out for the points.

EUFC: Holmes, Adebayo-Rowling, Taylor, Kahraman, Chapman (West 80), Solly, Egan (Allen 70), Paxman, Wood (Eirich 70), Mekki, Bingham. Subs not used: Dobson, Hadler
HRBFC: Julian, Ruddick (Smith 90), Donaldson, Cox, Carvalho (Fisher 71), Deadfield, Gray, Muir (Minhas 78) Miller-Rodney, Farrell, Vilhete. Subs not used: Bowman, Smith, Coleman de Graft

Man of the Match v Hampton & RB (a)


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Ed Miller

Ed Miller

Ed Miller has been Ebbsfleet United's communications manager and programme editor since 2014 and responsible for the club website since 2007. Contact him on ed.miller@eufc.co.uk

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