Report – Hampton & Richmond B 1 – 0 Wealdstone
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Wealdstone drew a disappointing line under the 2016/17 season after a 1-0 defeat away to Hampton & Richmond Borough in the Middlesex Senior Cup Final on Tuesday evening.
The only goal of the game came from a combination of two of Hampton’s summer recruits, with Taurean Roberts crossing for Max Kretzschmar to glance a header over Jonathan North just before half time. Stones were without several players including two new recruits that were cup-tied.
Despite the game being moved to pre-season, following last season’s controversial player ineligibility issues by Hampton, the game was anything but a ‘friendly’ with Charlie Wassmer sent off for the hosts for an off the ball incident. But the Stones failed to make the extra man pay.
The game started evenly enough but from the half hour mark the hosts took control. Brendan Kiernan made a mazy run into the box beating Josh Hill before swerving a shot goalward, but North stopped it well.
Kretzschmar, who, ironically, won the Surrey Senior Cup with Woking just two months ago, almost opened the scoring with a double effort, firstly having an effort smartly parried by North before he smashed the rebound into the side-netting.
On 43 minutes the Beavers made Wealdstone pay. Roberts robbed Ciaron Brown of the ball as he tried to shield it out of play and crossed for Kretzschmar who arrowed a perfectly placed header over North.
The Stones best chance of the game came just after the second half kick off. From a corner, Eddie Oshodi had his header deflect into the path of Dan Fitchett but he fired an effort over the bar from close range.
Hampton should have put the game to bed on the hour mark; an incisive counter-attack saw the hosts four versus one on the edge of the box, Kiernan squared to Ryan Moss but he was denied brilliantly by the out-rushing North.
On 70 minutes the Stones were given a lifeline when Wassmer kicked out at Hill right in front of the referee’s eyes who then preceded to send off the defender who had no complaints.
But Hampton remained in control of the game and continued to have the better chances. Sub Duncan Culley had a free kick deflect just wide and Christian Jolley saw an effort fizz across the face of goal.
So Wealdstone lose out in both County Cup finals and food for thought for Wealdstone’s management team as the really serious stuff starts on Saturday week.
WEALDSTONE: North, Oshodi, Okimo, Harwood, Hill, Brown, Whichelow (Godfrey 46), Cox, Benyon, Fitchett (Hunt 83), Wellard. Subs not used: Constable, Anastasiou, Crilley.