Hampton & Richmond 1 Lowestoft Town 1
The division’s top two teams met on Saturday but could not be separated at the end of a full blooded contest. Although both camps were satisfied with a point each the knock on effect was that the result allowed Margate to take over top spot.
A high tempo start to the game produced two goals and four bookings in the opening 20 minutes. Lowestoft pressed from the start and an excellent ball sent Joe Francis racing away only to be brought down a couple of feet outside the area.
Lowestoft deservedly broke the deadlock in the ninth minute with the first goal the Beevers had conceded in 639 minutes. Francis and Michael Frew combined down the left and although the resultant cross was headed clear, the ball was collected by Andrew Fisk. He knocked it clear to Dan Gleeson whose cross saw Jack Defty rise high to head over the stranded keeper Rodney Chiweshe into the net.
Lowestoft should have added a second moments later as Chiweshe’s poor kicked clearance ran to Frew who raced into the penalty area but with Defty screaming for a square pass with a gaping goal in front of him his strike partner delayed too long and the chance was gone.
Lowestoft were to pay the penalty for that missed opportunity with Hampton equalising in the 18th minute. Chiweshe’s goal kick was touched on to Charlie Moone who sent in a screamer from 30 yards which dipped over Andy Reynolds and just under the bar.
Chances were being created at both ends in an absorbing contest with Scott Mitchell’s low 30-yard free-kick turned round the post at full length by the diving Chiweshe.
A spectacular bicycle kick from Gary Holloway beat Reynolds but hit the inside of the post and ran along the line and out off the other post. Moone broke away down the left but his shot was turned into the side netting by Reynolds.
A teasing cross from Frew had Chiweshe stretching to turn over his bar as the first half came to an end.
Both teams tightened up defensively after the break with few clear chances being created. A cross from Francis had Chiweshe stretching at the far post but as he dropped the ball over his head it hit Defty and bounced inches the wrong side of the post. A Stuart Ainsley free kick again saw Defty dominant in the air but his header dropped onto the roof of the net. Apart from those two incidents there was little of note in the second half until a reckless tackle from Tom Hickey on Fisk three minutes from the end saw him receive a straight red card to leave Hampton with 10 men for the final minutes.
Hampton & Richmond Borough: Chiweshe, Kamara, Jenkins, Hickey, Hustwick, Powell, Benjamin, Holloway, Moone, Simmonds (Bent, 72), Bates (Carder, 88). Subs (not used): Turner, Bray, Inman.
Lowestoft Town: Reynolds, Gleeson, Ainsley, Fisk, Crane, Gaughran, Henderson, Mitchell, Defty, Frew (L Smith, 73), Francis (Cunningam, 82). Subs (not used): Eagle, Jones, Stone.