Sunday 4 December 2011

Hampton and Richmond - The Beveree Stadium

Hampton and Richmond FC
The Beveree Stadium
Beaver Close
off Station Road
TW12 2BX

0208 979 2456

Ground Number: 184

Saturday 3rd December 2011
Hampton and Richmond 2-1 Hayes and Yeading
Middlesex Senior Cup 2nd Round


The club was formed in 1921 and up until 1999 was simply known as 'Hampton' - the name change coming about as they attempted to draw a wider support base. Early years were spent in the Kingston & District and South West Middlesex Leagues with the former being won twice in the early 1930's. In 1958 they joined the Surrey Senior League, winning the championship in 1964, after which they joined the Spartan League. The success continued with four league titles lifted in the late 1960's.  A couple of years were spent in the Athenian League before Hampton joined the Isthmian League Division 2 as founder members. This was renamed Division 1 in 1977, with Hampton enjoying their best finish of 5th in 1986. Relegation to Division 2 South followed in 1990 and the club suffered a further setback the following season when a 12th place finish saw them placed in Division 3 following a reorganisation. Things soon improved though with promotions in 1992, 1996 and 1998 which saw them reach the Isthmian Premier, their highest ever level of football. Despite some close calls and spending the 2003/04 season in the Isthmian D1 South, they soon bounced back and fortunes improved in their later years in the league. In 2006, Hampton & Richmond Borough finished 5th but lost in the playoff final to Fisher Athletic. The following season saw the club win the league and promotion to the Conference South. Their first two seasons at the higher level saw good finishes but two consecutive playoff failures. Manager Alan Devonshire who had joined the club in 2003 and spearheaded their success left in 2011 to join Braintree Town.  This saw a decline in results and in 2012, Hampton & Richmond were relegated back to the Isthmian Premier.  It took a while for results to improve, but in 2016, the club was crowned Isthmian League champions for the second time, Last season saw a credible 7th place finish in the Conference South and they followed that up this season with a 4th place finish. Victories over Truro City and Chelmsford City have set up the final for my latest game, with the club potentially reaching the top flight of non-league football for the first time.

In the FA Cup, the club has reached the 1st Round twice, losing 2-1 at Barnet in 2000 and 3-0 at home to Dagenham & Redbridge in 2007. In the FA Trophy 2001/02 saw their best-ever progress - victories over Whyteleafe, Harlow Town & Newport County were enjoyed before a 4-1 defeat at Hereford United in the 4th Round. During their time in the FA Vase, their best season came in 1995/96 when Viking Sports, Wealdstone & Ware were beaten before a 1-0 defeat to Collier Row in the 3rd Round. Local honours include the Middlesex Senior Cup on five occasions and the Middlesex Super Cup twice. The club's record win of 11-1 came over Eastbourne United in the 1990/91 season whilst the record appearance holder is Tim Hollands with 685 outings between 1977 and 1995. Peter Allen is the clubs record scorer, netting 180 times between 1964 and 1976. The club also holds the record for the longest ever penalty shoot-out when 42 kicks were taken in a Middlesex Senior Cup tie against Cockfosters in 2016, the visitors eventually prevailing 18-17.

A well-known player in the current squad is ex-Wycombe Wanderers midfielder Max Kretzschmar whilst a famous supporter is Steptoe & Son co-creator Alan Simpson who was president of the club for 50 years before his sad death in February 2017. Actor Paul Merton has also been a fan in the past. The club is based in Hampton, famous for its Palace and maze. Both Rodney Trotter and Trigger from the TV show 'Only Fools & Horses' have got lost in the latter, a fact referenced in the 1991 episode 'Three Men, A Woman & A Baby' The 2011 census listed the population of just under 20,000 and famous past residents have included several members of royalty as well as famous figures Alan Turing and Sir Christopher Wren. Another famous landmark is the water treatment works which are located on the outskirts of the town. 


Wycombe had been knocked out of the FA Cup by Fleetwood in the previous round, and as a result had no game on this, the day of the second round. I had narrowed my replacement down to 2 games - Stourbridge v Plymouth, or the game above that I chose. What made my mind up was that Stourbridge was a bit tight for tickets and I didn't want a wasted journey. As it was I was asked to work and didn't get away till 1PM, so it would have been too late anyway.

After a fairly trouble free journey, with some shopping en route I got to Hampton at around 2.45. I paid £8 to get in and made a small donation for a basic programme. Hayes and Yeading had rested a few players, as this competition was way down their list of priorities. They had not been on good form since I last saw them beat Tamworth, back at the beginning of September and lost 4-0 in the week to Newport County.

After their performance today, you could see why. Hayes and Yeading were very poor and were hardly in the game at all until the hour mark. By that time they were already 1-0 down. It was 2-0 shortly after, despite Hayes having their best period of the game. They did pull one back through former Wycombe man Tom Cadmore in the last minute, but there was no time to try and equalise. Louis Beadle and Charlie Moone got the goals for Hampton, who, truth be told, should have lost by many more. Hampton were a nice friendly club and it was a good game to watch, so I'd give the day the thumbs up.

Braintree Town win 4-3 on penalties

Though I'd visited Hampton & Richmond after I started my blog, I was surprised how little I had written. It amazed me that I’d been blogging and groundhopping for 7 years now and also how my blogs had evolved from the start. Though it was nowhere near the standard of some of the better blogs on the net, it still provided a nice look back, which was the original intention. I settled on a format and layout a couple of years ago, I wish I’d done it from the start after picking up tips from other blogs. The pictures were also not the greatest, so I decided a revisit was in order. The ideal opportunity came with the playoffs and for once the circumstances worked out for me. Weeks ago, I’d worked out the ideal scenario where I could tie in my revisits with meeting some of my Braintree pals. It had already worked out for a nice revisit to Hemel Hempstead in the playoff Quarter Finals where I met Dan & Maurice and then Braintree had progressed through the semi-final at Dartford, winning 2-0. So the final that I’d wanted had been set up and it was on a day when I could make it. I had to buy a ticket in advance though as the game was all ticket, but the costs, even with a booking fee were £13.25 and perfectly reasonable. I was lucky that Dan had brought the ticket situation to my attention as I may have missed out otherwise. Originally, I was going on the train, but with work being less than 30 miles away and the train being far more expensive and inconvenient, I decided to drive. I resolved to get there fairly early as parking was limited, but work wasn’t usually too bad on Sunday.

I went to bed an hour earlier than usual on Saturday night, thanks to no Match Of The Day but I still felt tired the next day. After getting up at 4 am, I did my shift at work, grabbing a BLC and Fries from McDonald's and leaving work at 1.15. The journey went ok and less than an hour later, I was parked up in Ormond Crescent near the ground. After catching up on my phone for 10 minutes, I had another 10 minutes walk to the ground. Getting there at 2.25, the queue was already huge, but thankfully it was moving quite quickly. I eventually got in at 2.45 to find out that kick-off had been delayed until 3.10. I fancied getting some chips, but the priority was to find a decent spot to stand, with the ground filling up quickly. I got a space along the side on the edge of one of the penalty areas. It was a busy day, the attendance was 3,127 in the end but the atmosphere was nice and friendly.

The game started at a fairly respectable pace and it was Hampton & Richmond who took the lead with the first real chance of the game. Eight minutes in, former Wycombe man Max Kretzschmar netted from around 10 yards following a low ball into the area. He had looked really good as a youngster at Adams Park so it was no surprise to see him doing well and being the standout man for the hosts. Braintree were by no means out of it and they had a lot of the play, using a fairly physical style, but just like at Hemel in the Quarter Finals they lacked the cutting edge in the final third. The visitors eventually did equalise just before halftime, Reece Grant heading home a cross from six yards out. The second half started at a lot slower pace, the closest the deadlock came to being broken was when Braintree caught Hampton keeper Semy Dieng off his line, the resulting scramble saw the shot cleared. Former Wycombe man Kretzschmar had to come off with a head injury which won't have done the hosts' chances any good. The scores were level after 90 minutes, so it was into extra time. It was Hampton who had the better of the extra period and following Braintree failing to clear their lines, Brendan Kiernan nearly made them pay.  Braintree had chances of their own in a late push came close to scoring. The standout player in this period was Hampton's Elliott Charles who after coming on as a substitute gave the tired legs of the other players a run for their money. The sides could not be separated though and it went down to the lottery of a penalty shootout. Shaun Jeffers netted for the hosts and it didn't look good for the visitors when Billy Crook blasted their first penalty over. Josh Casey was next up for Hampton but he saw his shot saved by visiting keeper Nathan McDonald. It was all square when Dan Thompson scored for Braintree. Brandon Kiernan missed for the hosts and although Bradley Hudson-Odoi scored for them, Josh Hill, Marcel Barrington and Diaz Wright all converted successfully to send them up to the Conference National.

Jubilant scenes greeted the final whistle and a pitch invasion ensued. It was good to see my mate Dan who I'd not seen for ages on the pitch, but I didn't see any of my other Braintree pals. I decided to hang around for the trophy presentation which took a while to come whilst they cleared the pitch. I got a few pictures, but it was 6.40 by the time I drove home. I got home 50 minutes later, having a nice roast dinner and then spending the evening writing my blog.


THE BEVEREE is a nice place to watch football. The one main problem they have is lack of parking at the ground - there are only around 20 spaces for club officials, otherwise, it's try your luck in the streets around the ground. Once inside the ground, things get a lot better, there is a club shop with a decent range of merchandise and a small programme shed that has a large selection of programmes and a few books. I picked up "Hopping Mad" a book about groundhopping. At £4 it was a little more than I would expect to pay, but I didn't mind as it was for a worthy cause. Hammonds Bar is the clubhouse, on my visit about 5 years ago to take pictures, it was called The Beaver Bar, but has since seen an extensive refurbishment. There is always a real ale on sale for those that like that sort of thing, as well as all the usual drinks you would expect to find in a normal pub. The tea bar was pretty decent too - my big mug of Bovril was most welcome at halftime.

The stadium itself is decent too, with some cover on each of the 4 sides, and seats along the side and behind the goal. The best stand to watch from is the small stand behind the goal, it's elevated nature means that you get a nice view of the game. One side is completely covered and has a mixture of seats and standing. The remaining 2 sides are mainly uncovered but have small areas of cover to protect most crowds Hampton will get from the elements. The ground is surrounded by quite a few trees, which makes it pleasant to watch a game there.



1 comment:

  1. The ground looks splendid with all those lovely autumnal colours on the surrounding trees. It's now on my list of places to visit!

    Keep up the good work, I'm enjoying your blog.