The Beveree, Hampton
So, yeah, six games without a win, I miss the next one and them Hawks slam in four following an early Thurrock goal that initially suggested the day was going to be a long one. Adam, my London Branch colleague, suggested in his update texts that the first half was poor, but in the second we came alive and could have had ten. Our chum Mr Ketchup told me today that it was one of those games where “you’ve got to fight for the right to play football”. Today’s game against Hampton & Richmond was a bit like that, but possibly more about digging in and hanging on to the earnings.
There has been a more than decent amount of calm and a lack of panic on our terraces despite the disappointing start. Without getting carried away, it feels as now the confidence could well snowball, just as it did at the end of the last season.
Sammy Igoe’s performances at this level continue to improve, Jake Newton has come on in leaps and bounds at right back while Manny Williams’ return to the starting XI following injury has certainly helped kick things on. The recommenced partnership between Manny and Mustafa Tiryaki is already bearing fruit and, indeed, worked like a charm here at the Beveree.
After a bits and pieces first half, it was on the stroke of half-time that a long pass sailed over to Muzzy moving out towards the right wing. Taking the cross on his chest like a performing seal balancing a shuttlecock on its nose, despite initially being as stable of poise as a bear dancing on a piano stool, Muzzy quickly made the match ball his prison bitch.
He bypassed his marker and speared in an unambiguous cross that Manny was able to meet with a forehead as stiff as a country gent’s upper lip. In the blink of an eye, the ball had gone from Muzzy’s boot to Manny’s mush and all through Hampton keeper Matt Lovett’s despairing dive. Gorgeous stuff.
The second half, as one might expect, saw the home side try to pile on the pressure, but this was resolutely withheld in a solid defensive performance and if you’re going to do anything in this league, grinding out 1-0 wins away from home will almost certainly play a significant role.