Hampton hit back as Blues suffer spot-kick heartbreak

Brian Jeeves

Southend United v Hampton & Richmond – Isuzu FA Trophy Third Round – Roots Hall Stadium – Report

Southend United 2-2 Hampton & Richmond

(Hampton & Richmond won 4-2 on penalties)

Southend United dramatically crashed out of the Isuzu FA Trophy after Vanarama National League South outfit Hampton & Richmond recovered a two-goal deficit before winning the result penalty shootout on a blustery afternoon at Roots Hall Stadium.

The visitors arrived in south-east Essex enjoying a decent league campaign and provided Blues with a stubborn challenge to reach the third round stage.

Indeed, Blues boss, Kevin Maher, recognised their qualities: “Hampton are going ever so well and they’re in good form – you can’t take anyone lightly,” he explained.

“We’ve been here before with teams we’ve played in the Trophy, and they’ve always been really tight games.”

And so it proved. Maher’s men – afforded the luxury of no less than four substitutes – started brightly, Gus Scott-Morriss fired over after drifting in from the right, while Jack Bridge found Hampton keeper, Adam Desbois, in the way following a sustained spell of pressure.

Desbois pulled off two flying saves within a matter of seconds to deny Oli Coker, while Scott-Morriss’s dead-ball attempt was off target. Noor Husin’s vicious strike dipped over as the home side continued to dominate the opening period.

Skipper, Nathan Ralph, sent a close-range volley over after Bridge picked him out immediately after the restart. Sam Deadfield turned and fired over as the visitors finally offered a threat of their own.

But with their next foray forward, Southend took the lead. Harry Taylor centred for Ralph to head home from close range.

Three minutes later, the Blues doubled their advantage. Desbois pulled down Harry Cardwell and provided Bridge with an opportunity to emphatically thump home the resulting spot-kick.

Blues appeared to be coasting. However, Substitute, Ben Seymoor rounded David Martin, before dispatching neatly from an angle after latching on Brooklyn Kabongolo’s poor backpass. 

Deep into stoppage time, Hampton forced a penalty shootout when Scott-Morriss turned into his own goal following a free-kick from the right from Rob Hall.

Blues were shellshocked. Hampton held their nerve from the ensuing shootout, scoring all four of their penalties, while Desbois rebuffed attempts from Jack Wood and Wes Fonguck.

Southend United returns to Vanarama National League action on Saturday, December 16, when Bromley visits Roots Hall Stadium (3pm).

Southend United: Martin, Scott-Morriss, Ralph (Capt), Kensdale, Bridge (Mooney 90+3’), Husin, Cardwell (Fonguck 70’), Wood, Taylor, Kabongolo, Coker (Vilhete 80’) Sub not used: Andeng-Ndi

Booked: None

Goals: Ralph 53′, Bridge (penalty) 56′

Hampton & Richmond: Desbois, Donaldson (Seymour 61’), Inman (Fernandez 64’), Whittingham, Gray (Capt), Deadfield, Dreyer, Wishart, Dunne, Nunn (Hall 61’), Pitblado Subs not used: Davies, George, O’Keeffe

Booked: Dreyer (foul), Gray (foul)

Goals: Seymoor 77′, Scott-Morriss (own-goal) 97′

Referee: Callum Walchester

Assistants: David Hutton and Jamie Jadviršis

Fourth Official: Richard Joss

Attendance: 2,185 (68 from Hampton & Richmond)

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk