Disappointing Hampton stretch losing run to three matches
Another lacklustre day at the office saw Hampton & Richmond Borough make it three straight defeats thanks to 1-0 reverse to Billericay Town at the Beveree on Saturday.
A second half Richard Halle strike for the visitors ensured the Beavers have now only won once in their past eight Ryman Premier League games - a run that has seen them slip to 17th in the table when they seemed set to launch an unlikely play-off push.
On a day when Hampton Water Works was one of the warmest places in the UK, the football just down the road didn't match the heat as neither side looked like they could use the ball in the final third of the pitch and it took a scrappy and somewhat controversial goal to split the teams.
There was a return for James Simmonds in midfield and Charlie Moone swapped with Dave Tarpey to partner Belal Aite-Ouakrim as Paul and Darren looked to find a combination to lift the Beavers out of the rut.
A pedestrian first 20 minutes saw neither team have a serious shot until a Billericay free kick drifted over the ball on 24 minutes.
It took another 15 minutes for Hampton to get close to the target as Tom Hickey picked up a loose ball after Charlie Moone was tackled and fired a shot that was only just wide of the post.
Neither team appeared to want to give the keepers anything to do and at times, Rodney Chiweshe and Billy Lumley in the Billericay goal were as much spectators as the 325 on the other side of the fence, such was the play.
A couple of scuffed attempts at Lumley early in the second half were as close as the Beavers got to opening the scoring before the Blues snatched the only goal.
On 59 minutes, Rodney Chiweshe came dashing out to punch clear a long free kick into the box but was beaten to it by a Billericay head; the loose ball appeared to be covered as Tommy Brewer looked to head it clear.
However, Billericay's Isaac Layne challenged strongly with Brewer, and the ball was forced home despite shouts for a push on the defender.
The Beavers struggled to raise the firepower needed to get back into the game, with Charlie Moone's deflected shot on 73 minutes as close as it got.
With just six minutes left, former Beaver Joe Benjamin looked to have the time to bury the ball past Chiweshe as he gathered the ball in the box, however, Darren Powell dived in with a last ditch block to keep the Blues from doubling the lead.
In truth, it was a poor game all round, and although there were some signs of improvement in the Beavers, there wasn't enough to break down Billericay.