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Hampton humiliated at Maidstone
Hampton & Richmond Borough saw their eight match unbeaten league run left in tatters as they were thrashed 7-2 at Maidstone United.
The Beavers had the misfortune to face a wounded United team, looking to bounce back after a midweek defeat, and they showed why they were promotion candidates as they over-ran the Beavers defence.
The Beavers, with new signings Alex Finney and Lawson Okimeji in their squad, made the best possible start on two minutes when Dave Tarpey opened the scoring for the visitors, but it went rapidly downhill from there.
Maidstone were in no mood to be dictated to, and on 13 minutes, they equalised - Alex Flisher's header found Zac Attwood, who brought the ball under control and finished past keeper Rodney Chiweshe with ease.
Five minutes later, the Stones were in front when free-kick was headed back to Alex Brown whose shot from outside the box flew in off the post.
The game was turning into an attacking, end to end contest and on the half hour, the Beavers levelled the game.
Joe Turner took full advantage of a mistake by the Maidstone right back, and finished mercilessly past Lee Worgan from inside the box.
Both teams were continuing to create chances and on 37 minutes the Beavers were lucky not to go behind again after a massive melee in the box as Maidstone couldn't find their way past some frantic defending by the Beavers inside the six yards box.
However, it was just a matter of time and Maidstone retook the lead just before half time.
Stuart Lake's defensive header fell to Flisher, whose speculative shot sneaked in by the base of Chiweshe's left hand post.
The first goal after the interval was always going to be important and it fell to the Stones.
Mills had managed to acrobatically get past Luke Wanadio, his pass to Frannie Collin gave the striker time to thump a swerving shot, which at first appearance looked to be going well wide; but the ball moved dramatically in the air and deceived Chiweshe at his near post.
By now the Stones had stepped up a gear and the Beavers couldn't match them, hard though they tried.
Chiweshe was the busier of the keepers and he'd already made three or four excellent saves by this time, and on 55 minutes, he had to fly out to block a Collin shot with his legs, the rebound was then pushed wide by Attwood.
The fifth was not long in coming for Maidstone as Jack Parkinson powered a close range header past Chiweshe just before the hour.
It was now clear that Maidstone were in no mood to rest on their lead as on 64 minutes, Attwood found Collin in the box and once again Chiweshe had to resort to blocking the shot with his legs to deny the striker.
The Beavers had had little opportunity to get into the Maidstone box, such was the home team’s dominance and they finally managed to do so with a shot from Charlie Moone, but Worgan was able to push the ball wide.
Chiweshe was on the top of his game, despite the scoreline, and on 77 minutes, he had to push a goal-bound Attwood shot wide for a corner and shortly after, he had to do the same to a Collin attempt.
Chiweshe could do nothing about the Stones sixth goal; Collin fired in an attempt which due to the ball's movement, he could only parry.
The rebound fell to Michael Phillips, who slammed the ball home before the keeper could react.
The humiliation for the Beavers was completed in the 87th minute as substitute Charley Robinson capped off a powerful run by placing a strong shot past Chiweshe's left hand.
The last time the Beavers conceded seven was back in October 1994, and yet the performance this time wasn't one that suggested a 7-2 scoreline.
To their credit the team never gave up, but it's sobering to think that but for Rodney Chiweshe, Maidstone could have scored more.
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