Eager Beavers Outplay Disappointing K’s
Former manager Alan Dowson seemed to take a particular delight in leading his Hampton side to a 2-0 win over Ks. Whether that was through a perception of proving a point, or just because he had steered his faltering charges slightly closer to Ryman Premier safety wasn't clear - a bit of both, perhaps - but it has left Ks' playoffs hopes hanging by a thread.
Ks, still without the suspended Pico Gomez, never really got going in the game, with clear-cut chances at a premium on a bobbly pitch. Dan Sweeney fired well wide early on while Charlie Moone headed over for Hampton and then Duncan Culley sliced onto the bar.
Hampton should have taken the lead on 27 minutes but Jerome Federico smashed over the bar following a scramble, while for Ks Sweeney and Steve Butterworth were also off target from distance. Butterworth combined nicely with Malachi Hudson only for Hudson's shot to be saved, but shortly afterwards miscontrolled when in a good position.
Hampton took the lead through a very non-league goal. A long punt forward wasn't dealt with by the Ks defence and eventually broke for Brendan Kiernan to slot past Rob Tolfrey.
Ks made little headway after the break and if anything had even fewer chances. Butterworth fed Hudson who appeared to be tripped in the box but he was too sporting in attempting to stay on his feet when going straight to ground would surely have won a penalty.
Tolfrey made a wondrous save from a header before Butterworth sidefooted straight at Seb Brown, the former AFC Wimbledon man keeping goal for Dowson. Moone headed wide and Hudson fired over as Ks became increasingly frustrated at their failure to create a clear opportunity.
A succession of late corners yielded little, and as Tommy Williams threw more attackers on Hampton eventually capitalised with a counter-attack goal for Ryan Newman. Ks' playoff hopes are not quite dead and buried, but nothing less than three wins will do in their final three games; and even then they'll need a slice of luck from other results.
Match report by Simon Grier.