To The Beveree, home of Hampton & Richmond Boro', their last home game in the Premier Division for a while at least. The Beavers are adrift at the foot of the table, having won only twice this season, and relegation was confirmed a couple of weeks ago. Saints have lost their last 4 games on the bounce and it must be better today.
For today, Cookie made changes. White in goal; 4 at the back: Gledhill, De Souza, Moran and Naylor; 3 in the middle: Challinor, Hyatt and Deacon; and 3 up front: Martin, Crawshaw and Mackail-Smith. On the bench: himself, Kean, Young, Lodge and Wilmot.
A disasterous start for Saints as Hampton took a two goal lead within 10 minutes or so. First, White seemed to be impeded from a corner and Rose stabbed home the Beavers first. 5 minutes later, Rose scored again after a Deegan shot came back off White's right hand post. 2-0. Today City heads didn't drop and Mackail-Smith's pace was causing problems for the home defence. Just after the half-hour, Deacon, who will be delighted with his performance today, came through two tackles on the bye-line and crossed to the near post for Mackail-Smith to turn in from close range. Craig's first league goal for the Club after a large number of barren appearances. 1-2.
Just before the break, City equalised when martin took a pass from Deacon on the edge of the area, turned and appeared to have waited too long, but took the ball to his right and slotted home a low shot, his 21st goal of the season. 2-2. H.T.
City took control against a visibly de-moralised Hampton side through the second half. Within 10 minutes, Saints took the lead when a Deacon cross eluded Mackail-Smith but found Gledhill wide on the right who returned the ball for Deacon to meet with a diving header from 12 yards. A fine goal for the 19 year old. 2-3. Several goalmouth incidents followed and either side could have added to the scoreboard but, in truth, the visitors seemed to be in control and the home side's efforts were comfortably contained by the City back 4. F.T. 2-3.
This was not great football but it was entertaining in it's way, and City secured a win against a very poor Hampton side to regain 3rd slot in the League as Hendon were stuffed at Aldershot. Craig will be delighted to have broken his League duck but my Motm award goes to Deacon. A disappointing crowd of around 200 with just 60 or so Travelling City Faithful.
Entertainment 7/10. Atmosphere 4/10. Technical merit 4/10. Referee 7/10.
Report by Awayday