by Jak Richardson - 'I am an aspiring sports journalist currently studying at UCFB Wembley in multimedia sports journalism. If there’s one thing I enjoy more than watching football, it’s being able to write about it, hence why I am so excited to have the opportunity to be part of The FA Young Reporters' Club. The FA Cup is part of what makes English football magic and I hope to be able to encapsulate that magic in my writing.'
It was heartbreak for non-League side Hampton & Richmond Borough who came agonisingly close to overcoming three-time semi-finalists Oldham Athletic in this Emirates FA Cup first round tie.
The home side came close to achieving the feat, were it not for a late onslaught from the Latics. Rob Hunt and Callum Lang struck late for the away side to cancel out Chris Dickson’s opener and the game ended 2-1 to Oldham.
Pre-match, the atmosphere among home fans and players was understandably electric, with the stadium almost at capacity just an hour before kick-off, but Hampton knew it would be no easy task against ex-Premier League side Oldham. However, with Oldham’s top-scorer Sam Surridge out injured, there was quiet confidence around the ground.
- Emirates FA Cup
- First Round
- Monday 12 November
- Beveree Stadium
- Winners to receive £36,000
Oldham were taken aback by Hampton’s energy and were unable to contain the threat down the right-hand side. Winger Zak Joseph came close on several occasions and right-back Miller-Rodney beat his man well 15 minutes into the game before being brought down for a penalty.
Ex-Ghana international Chris Dickson slotted home the subsequent spot-kick, a goal that was met with a loud roar from the Hampton faithful, bringing the stadium to life.
There was an air of confidence around the ground throughout half time and the early exchanges of the second half, and a feel-good factor among the home side.
The second half produced nowhere near as many chances as the action-packed first. The one constant through the game, however, was the noise emitted from both sets of fans.
The home side kept Oldham at bay without creating any chances themselves, and it looked as if a 1-0 victory was on the cards. However, the game was turned on its head with just 10 minutes remaining.
Oldham scored a quick-fire double to break Hampton hearts, starting with a quick counter that was finished clinically by Hunt, followed by an impeccable turn and well-struck finish by Lang four minutes into added time. The away supporters erupted, while the home fans were shocked into silence.
However, both home and away fans showed their class at full time with both sets of players were given a standing ovation as they left the pitch after a well-fought, vintage Cup tie.
Oldham will travel to Maidstone United in round two.