Boro’ not disgraced by table topping Hampton & Richmond

Considering the gap of 21 places and 33 points between the two sides even the most optimistic Boro’ fan could not have approached tonight’s game with a great deal of hope.

Yes, they were beaten, but the final score was rather flattering to the hosts and Boro’ at least deserve some credit for their effort and for making a game of it.

On a bitterly cold night at the Beveree I warmed up on sight of the team sheet to see that Bogdan Vastsuk was back. I hate to say “I told you so” but I did say I would not be surprised to see him return when his recall to Reading was first announced.

As expected, the home side attacked from the start and two minutes in a lobbed ball over the head of Sam Pearce gave Kabamba a chance which was charged down and Federico blasted the loose ball right across the area and out for a throw on the far side.

Boro’ did a bit of pressing themselves and a decent move after 5 minutes ended with a Jack Smith header being saved by Legg.

The home side had a couple more chances when first, Federico was forced wide by Grant and his hurried shot from an angle was too high, then full back Josh Casey was well wide of the mark from distance.

With a little over 15 minutes gone the home side attacked down the left and the cross came over into a crowded area where Referee Tim Donnellan promptly blew his whistle and after a few seconds with players all looking at each other he awarded Hampton & Richmond a Penalty.

There had been no appeal from the home side and I guess most of the crowd were wondering what he had spotted, but Penalty it was and Kabamba made no mistake on 17 minutes. Hampton & Richmond Borough 1-0 Farnborough.

Hampton & Richmond seemed buoyed by taking the lead and enjoyed a period of sustained pressure during which Minter blocked well from Lowe and then saved from Sinclair.

The hosts came close to a second goal when a left side corner came into the six yard box and Minter looked to have been impeded but play was allowed to continue and in the crowded area the ball was cleared off the line by Grant.

Boro’ had been restricted to counter attacks during this spell of dominance, but Vastsuk had reminded us of his ability with a clever flick which put Grant in the clear and he won a corner from which Vastsuk went close.

Just before the break Federico went clear and cut in from the right to go one-on-one with Minter. The keeper stood up well and blocked the shot which rebounded on to Federico again and out for a goal kick.

HALF TIME: Hampton & Richmond Borough 1-0 Farnborough

The home side had dominated for about 20 minutes of the half and the Boro’ defence had held up pretty well.

Hampton & Richmond were clearly dangerous as they used speed to break quickly and their passing was a sign of a team who were in tune with one another.

Boro’ had kept battling and created a few chances. With just the one goal between them there was still much to play for.

The second half commenced at 8:50pm with Boro’ having replaced Krans with Adeniji.

The first 10 minutes or so saw the home side pressing to add to their single goal and the Boro’ defence needed to be on their toes.

Minter punched clear from a corner and then after a looping shot from Kiernan had gone wide, the keeper was quick to claim another cross from the right and clear upfield.

Boro’ slowly began to come more into the game and it was the home side who found themselves with some defending to do.

Bogdan Vastsuk again showed good skill to turn in the box and get a shot on target which Legg saved.

Then Perry Ryan made a good run through on the right only for a couple of defenders to converge on him and bundle the ball back to Legg.

Jeacock had an effort go just wide of the target, then he met a Perry Ryan free kick and Legg turned his header out for a corner.

A partial clearance came out to Freddie Grant about 25 yards from goal and his first time shot fairly rocketed into the far corner of the net for a well deserved Boro’ equaliser on 71 minutes. Hampton & Richmond Borough 1-1 Farnborough.

Boro’ were continuing to press, but Hampton & Richmond were clearly stung by their lead having been lost and they broke quickly within a few minutes and Kiernan restored their lead with a low shot struck through a crowd of players on 74 minutes. Hampton & Richmond Borough 2-1 Farnborough.

With ten minutes remaining Hampton & Richmond made a double substitution with Hicks replacing Kiernan and Hippolyte-Patrick replacing Federico.

Perry Ryan shot wide from 20 yards then Boro’ made a second substitution bringing on Dean Joseph-Whittingham in place of Jack Barton on 85 minutes.

Boro’ were pressing hard to get back on terms and with a minute of normal time left Hampton & Richmond broke at speed and Boro’ conceded a free kick on the left corner of the box.

The well flighted kick was headed home by Kabamba to give the home side a rather flattering 3-1 advantage on 89 minutes. Hampton & Richmond Borough 3-1 Farnborough.

Just into the three added minutes Adeniji weaved his way through the home defence and his effort was fumbled by Legg only to be hoofed away by a defender.

FULL TIME: Hampton & Richmond Borough 0-0 Farnborough

Given the difference in their league standings, Boro’ battled well and certainly made a game of it. No points, but no shame either.

Match Report by Tony Duff.

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