St Albans City downed by rampant Hampton

Shaun Lucien slots home Saints' first goal of the afternoon. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Shaun Lucien slots home Saints' first goal of the afternoon. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

Hampton & Richmond Borough continued their scintillating start to the season with a confident 4-2 victory over St Albans City.

Saturday afternoon was Non-League Day across the country and a crowd of 1,008 descended upon City’s Clarence Park to support the initiative alongside Prostate Cancer UK, a partner charity.

The home side started brightly with Junior Morias having an effort blocked on the line by a Hampton defender before goalkeeper Aaron Howe did well to tip a Tom Bender header over the bar with quarter of an hour gone.

However, the division’s top scorers soon found a footing in the game and took the lead just before the half hour mark. Hampton’s Brendan Kiernan played a defence splitting pass through to Nicke Kabamba who confidently powered into the area before finishing at the near post.

That goal looked to knock the home side’s confidence, but just four minutes later they were level.

Junior Morias picked the ball up on the left of the area and ran towards the byline before crossing low and into the path of Shaun Lucien, who with one touch powered the ball home.

The game by this point had already become stretched with neither defence looking confident, and the Beavers took full advantage of City’s defensive frailties with two goals before half-time.

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Jamal Lowe, who looked dangerous throughout, played a ball into the box which St Albans struggled to clear, and Kabamaba wasted no time in punishing the home side as he swept the ball home.

Lowe then turned goal scorer five minutes later with the best of the afternoon. The wide-man picked up the ball inside the St Albans half and easily beat full-back Ben Herd before cutting inside and finding the far corner with a perfectly placed effort against his former club.

It was a brilliant fifteen minutes for the away side, who took full advantage as City’s head drops and the confidence which has been present in their last four games quickly ebbed away.

City manager Ian Allinson looked to change things at half time as he introduced former Exexter City man David Noble for his debut.

But despite the changes, Allinson’s side struggled to find a way back into the game, and Hampton looked to have the three points sealed up just past the hour mark when the unmarked Michael Kamara headed Lowe’s cross past the stranded James Russell in the City goal.

However, St Albans again responded and scored just a few minutes later.

A hopeful long-ball was played into Theophanous, who had looked to be coming from an offside position, but with no flag from the assistant on the near side the forward controlled the ball before finding the bottom corner from 20 yards out with an effort which Howe will have been disappointed to concede.

The game looked like it could be turned on its head in the 74th minute when Harold Odometey was shown a straight red card for a foul on Morias.

Despite their man advantage St Albans struggled to find a way through a Hampton side which was determined to keep hold of their two goal lead, and the final 15 minutes was played out in relative calm as the visitor’s resisted City’s attempts to get themselves back into the contest.

The Saints will be looking to return to winning ways tomorrow evening (Tuesday) when Poole Town visit Clarence Park for a 7.45pm kick-off.