Hampton and Richmond 1, Gateshead 0

Gateshead travelled to Hampton and Richmond for a pre-season friendly against the Blue Square South team yesterday and Les Rance has kindly allowed the use of his match report, taken from the Hampton and Richmond Forum.

Under clear blue skies and high temperatures Hampton entertained Unibond League side Gateshead in a pre-season friendly. The Unibond team and their officials had travelled down by train from the North East on Saturday morning and were staying up in London after the game returning on Sunday. The Chairman of Gateshead had arranged the game as a bonding weekend for his team, but, many Hampton supporters will recall that Mr Wood is a past chairman of the Beavers, hence the coming together of these two teams despite the 300 mile distance between them.  

With just a week to go before the Blue Square South season gets under way, Hampton had a few surprises in store for included in the line-up were keeper Shane Gore (ex Havant & Waterlooville and Barnet), Nathan Bailey (ex-Reading) and Orlando Jeffrey (ex-Hampton and Hayes)

The Beavers had laid on a lunch for their visitors and perhaps a little too much pasta had been consumed as the match had hardly swung into action before Hampton took the lead with the only goal of the game. Gateshead had seen off an attack when the sylph like Dean Wells (Ed..surely you jest!) sent the ball back into the opposition penalty area where Ian Hodges latched onto the ball, 1-0. The virtue of a quick score was shown as Gateshead were a very resilient and committed side and there were precious few more chances to come Hampton`s way. Alan Inns fired a shot across the face of Marc Bell`s goal midway during the first half. For the visitors Graeme Armstrong was only just off target in the 39th minute.

Early in the second half David Southern for the visitors should have scored but screwed his shot wide. Alex Haddow forced a save from Bell in the 54th minute after good approach work from Lawrence Yaku. Then Barrie Matthews shot into the side netting. With the usual multiple substitutions being made Gore gave Hampton Manager Alan Devonshire food for thought with a good save at his near post. Gateshead substitute Paul Thompson would consider himself unlucky to see his header drop the wrong side of Hampton`s cross bar.

A good work out for both sides and perhaps the opportunity is there for Hampton to make the reverse trip up to the North East next year?

Attendance: 174.