Fab four - Spitfires win in style at Hampton

Blue Square Bet South
Match report by Ray Murphy

Eastleigh recorded their best away league victory of the season against the side currently second from bottom of the Blue Square Bet South Division. Hampton had replaced the side that Eastleigh had travelled to in midweek, Staines Town, in that lowly league position and although still below their best performance, Eastleigh produced enough to wipe away their lowly opponents.

With Scott Rogers not available with a bout of the flu, Michael Green found himself relegated to the substitutes bench with Gary Elphick coming in to make his full debut alongside skipper Tom Jordan in the centre of the Eastleigh defence with Andy Forbes moving to left back. Graeme Montgomery was recalled to the side to fulfil one of the two wide roles allowing Daryl McMahon to switch to a central midfield position.

Eastleigh made a fine start being a goal ahead on the fifth minute. McMahon and Damian Scannell combined on the left flank allowing McMahon to plant a ball into the area where Jamie Slabber glanced a header just inside the post.

Tom Hickey sent a long-range effort over Jack Dovey’s bar three minutes after the opening goal though chances were very few for both sides. After quarter of an hour a corner from Ryan Blake was met by the head of Hampton skipper Dean Inman but his effort bounced back off the upright.

Bradley Bubb laid a ball into the path of Montgomery on twenty-four minutes but Hampton goalkeeper Craig Ross saved the midfielder’s shot. On thirty-three minutes taking advantage with a quickly executed free kick, Nathan Collier raced away down the right wing before firing across the Eastleigh six-yard box which David Tarpey was inches away from making contact with. A minute later at the opposite end of the pitch Scannell repeated the action with the cross but again there was nobody in a position to apply a finishing touch.

Ross, who earlier in the season played a couple of games for the Eastleigh Suburban League side, was out of his area on thirty-eight minutes to head away from the onrushing Bubb and clear the danger. The game was then interrupted by assistant referee Rob Smith signalling for the referees attention having to leave the pitch with an injury, the game being held up for nine minutes whilst a replacement from the crowd was found.

Montgomery’s cross in the fifty-fourth minute fell for Slabber who saw his shot saved by Ross. Eastleigh though did add a second on sixty-six minutes. Slabber released Scannell who laid the ball across the face of goal where Bubb was on hand to turn home his seventh goal in six games.

Esmond James had a shot deflected for a corner, the deflection having wrong-footed Dovey, on sixty-nine minutes but that was really the last seen of Hampton as an attacking force. Forbes collected the ball in the left back position on seventy-two minutes, stride forward some thirty-five yards to the edge of the box before placing a shot just inside Ross’ right hand post for the third goal of the afternoon.

On eighty-two minutes a neat exchange between Scannell, Philip Appiah and Jamie Brown set up Richard Gillespie who saw his effort saved by Ross. It was in the first minute of stoppage time that Eastleigh scored their fourth. Brown fouled on the edge of the box allowed McMahon to flight a left footed free kick over the wall into the corner of the net.

Hampton substitute Tobi Alabi had the last chance of the afternoon four minutes into stoppage time but Dovey was equal to the attempt to keep his clean sheet.
Hampton & Richmond Borough - 180212


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