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Hampton & Richmond Borough v Weston-super-Mare AFC

Hampton & Richmond Borough 2 - 1 Weston-super-Mare AFC
23 Dec 2023 - 15:00The Rocket Hospitality Beveree Stadium

In Weston’s final awayday of 2023, The Seagulls were defeated at Hampton & Richmond by two goals to one.

However, Weston will count themselves extremely unlucky to return home from Beveree Stadium without at least a point to show for their efforts from an entertaining clash between two good sides.

From almost the first whistle, it was a fast-paced, end-to-end encounter as both teams poured forward in an attempt to break the deadlock.

But it was Hampton who took the lead in the eighth minute in rather strange circumstances. As The Beavers attacked, the linesman waved his flag to highlight a foul from a Hampton player, but it appeared as though the referee failed to notice. Play continued, and Mason Bloomfield played the ball towards Ben Seymour, who slotted in to give the hosts an early lead. The Weston players pointed out to the referee that the linesman had flagged, but the former adjudged that the goal should stand, much to the dismay and frustration of the Weston camp.

But The Seagulls showed their resilience and nearly equalised when Willmott’s lofted cross was volleyed just over by Rex Mannings.

Max Harris made a comfortable save from Seymour before Weston grabbed a deserved equaliser. Some neat and patient build-up play ended with another Willmott cross being met by another Mannings volley. This time, home goalkeeper Adam Desbois was beaten to make it one goal apiece.

Hampton responded by earning a free-kick on the edge of the box for a foul that earned Lloyd Humphries a yellow card. From the set-piece, Sam Deadfield curled the ball just wide of Harris’ post.

Weston weren’t so lucky a few minutes later though, as ex-Weston striker Seymour grabbed his brace with another close-range finish.

Weston had some good opportunities to restore parity before the interval. Willmott and Reuben Reid combined to tee up James Dodd, but his effort from the edge of the area was just over the bar. Jacob Jagger Cane’s low shot looked destined for the bottom corner of the net but it was cleared, and Jordan Bastin, under pressure from home defenders, fired just over.

Half-time: Hampton & Richmond 2-1 Weston-super-Mare AFC

Weston came out for the second-half and enjoyed most of the possession. Reid picked the ball up around 30 yards from goal, and went on a mazy run which ended with him shooting just over, and a little while later the former Plymouth Argyle striker had a chance to equalise but he shot just wide.

James Morton was the next Weston man to narrowly miss the target as The Seagulls ramped up the pressure, and shortly afterwards the former Bristol City midfielder fizzed in a cross from the left that Reid headed just over.

There was then a flurry of yellow cards for players from both sides, and from one of those offences, Willmott curled a 25-yard free-kick just over the crossbar as Weston staged attack after attack.

With time running out, Weston came forward yet again. Reid ventured into the box and was clattered into by Desbois. However, the referee waved play on much to the disbelief of all involved with the visiting Seagulls.

Shortly after, the referee blew his final whistle to signal the end of an entertaining encounter. Although Weston tasted defeat, it was a positive performance from the players ahead of the Boxing Day clash with Weymouth at the Optima.

Full-time: Hampton & Richmond 2-1 Weston-super-Mare AFC (Seymour 7, 26; Mannings 20)

Weston-super-Mare AFC: Harris, Pope, Bastin, Avery, Humphries (c), Jagger Cane (Jackson 85), Morton, Dodd, Willmott, Mannings (Fletcher 75), Reid.

Unused subs: Thomas, Edwards, Purnell.

Man of the Match: Sam Avery. Some excellent tackling from the experienced centre-half.

Written by Rob Hammett.