Home league match played on 24 March 2024.
Kicked off at 12:00 PM

Well, our unbeaten home record finally fell against a good Redditch Borough side, who are chasing promotion and look worthy contenders as well.

Today was always going to be close, because Hampton at home have been a force all season, and Redditch have had some great results including a win against top-of-the-league Sutton. Redditch came into this game having won their last 7 games and have 1 defeat in their last 9, which looks a freak result against Redditch Eagles. Hampton also on a great run since losing the reverse fixture 3-2 in December, unbeaten in 6.

Hampton started the game brightly, with Omar breaking clear but pushing his shot wide. Redditch also gave Hampton a wake-up call when their striker broke through (not quite sure why we backed off him all the way to our box) but he also pulled his shot wide. Hampton would strike first, when Rushy found himself with room to run into and slotted past the keeper to put Hampton 1-0 up. It was almost 2-0 when some good work down the right hand side from Fin who pulled it back to Omar but the shot was wide. Redditch again applied some pressure and forced a corner, where they managed to get a clean strike at Harrison who saw it late but kept it out by the skin of his teeth and it trickled wide. A scrappy period in the game gave no clear-cut chances, but a nice strike from Jack was parried wide by the keeper and a fast break from Redditch was covered excellently by Fin.

Half time 1-0 to the Reds.

Half time team talk was as follows:

Do not switch off in the first 5 minutes, keep battling hard and be careful when trying to judge the ball as the wind is against us.

It turns out, Lady Luck seemed to be against us today as well…

We had switched to 4-3-1 in order to try and sure up the defence, but with the wind against us and a lot of Redditch pressure, a little bit of panic crept in and Redditch nicked a corner, which caught Hampton napping and the Redditch player tapped in to make it 1-1. Plenty of scrapping but Hampton had lost some of their usual flow, struggling to break clear and make things happen. Redditch looked the more likely and had their tails up, and would eventually force a mistake where their winger broke free 1v1 and slotted past Harrison to make it 1-2.

Hampton were still in this with 18 minutes left, but we would really need to dig deep and have a bit of luck along the way. Goal kicks were becoming difficult with the wind blowing at us and tiredness kicking in, but there would still be chances… not before Redditch had another chance to wrap it up though, only for Harrison to keep them out and keep us in it. Hampton had 2 more chances, the first falling to Rushy but the keeper was well-positioned to grab hold of, then some great work from Omar forced a corner and we called Harrison up to try and grab something… Ollie did get a head on it but the keeper again well-positioned to save.

The game finished 1-2 and Redditch celebrated, knowing they had earned a terrific result against a really good Hampton side.

In the last 2 weeks, we’ve played what’s now the top 2 teams in the division. We’ve drawn one and lost the other by a fine margin.

The lads have been incredible, and can consider themselves unlucky not to come away with a point today, which I don’t think anyone would argue was fully deserved. However, that’s football and we move on.

5 subs today against a very good Redditch side, was probably my most difficult time in charge of Hampton so far. I tried my best to keep us competitive across the pitch, but so many changes in players and formations (we used 3 different formations today ???????) I don’t think helped the lads at all, and I could see across the pitch at times there was a lot of confusion, which I take responsibility for… I’m learning too.

Again, I am aware of some players not hitting the minutes they deserve and the last 2 weeks has been a tricky period so hopefully back to normal for the remaining games ????.

Some excellent performances across the pitch today, I think Jack was in the running for MOTM last week and this week, great to see him back to his best, with Omar also putting in a real shift (not an easy thing playing football when fasting!) and Rushy notching yet another goal. However, todays MOTM showed his versatility playing on the right and left sides of defence and using his pace to make some crucial interceptions and tackles, showing he’s a real team player, was Finley, well done Fin!

I couldn’t be prouder of the team and how they handle themselves in circumstances like today where a team is celebrating like they did, I know what that feels like as a player and how frustrating it is to be around, but these young men are a credit to themselves, and to you as parents.



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