Hampton & Richmond Borough boss Mark Harper praised returning striker Joel Ledgister after his goal secured three points against Lewes on Tuesday night, writes Tom Ambrose.
The hosts opened the scoring in the first-half when Joe Turner’s rocket beat Lewes’s Kieron Thorpe, but Anthony Thomas drew the Sussex club level, curling in from distance moments later.
Ledgister, who recently re-joined the Beavers from Boue Square South side Chelmsford City, found the winner thirteen minutes from time, stabbing home skipper Max Hustwick’s knockdown, to Harper’s delight.
He said: “Joel gives us another threat up front because to be honest, we haven’t been scoring enough.
“If Charlie Moone wasn’t in such good form, we could be struggling – it’s all about competition for places.
“We looked much better than Saturday and overall I am pleased with our performance.”
Hampton, thrashed 4-0 at Bury Town in the FA Cup on Saturday, made a strong start when Turner’s drive was parried by Thorpe.
A frenetic few minutes followed, starting when Gary Holloway was booked for a late challenge on Steve Brinkhurst after 25 minutes.
A minute later, Hickey’s lofted ball through to Turner set the midfielder up for a thunderous volley to give the hosts the lead.
Before Hampton even had time to draw breath, Lewes’s Thomas took advantage of a fortuitous deflection off team-mate Karl Beckford’s backside, curling in to draw the Rooks level.
Just before the break, Ledgister saw a goal ruled offside after reacting quickest when Moone hit the woodwork.
On 50 minutes, James Simmonds thundered a shot against the cross-bar as the hosts piled on the pressure.
But the breakthrough came after 77 minutes when Holloway’s free-kick was knocked down by skipper Hustwick who found Ledgister unable to miss from close distance.
Lewes created one final chance on 89 minutes, but Nathan Crabb could not keep his shot down.
Hampton boss Harper added: “We got taught a lesson on Saturday – we have to turn up and work hard.
“We were far too complacent against Bury Town, but today we showed signs of improvement.
“It sets us up nicely for Whitehawk on Saturday which ought to be a good battle.”
Hampton & Richmond: Chiweshe, Kamara, Bray (Jenkins 81), Hustwick, Powell, Hickey, Turner, Holloway, Moone (Bent 83), Simmonds, Ledgister (Bettemar 78). Subs not used: Jeffreys, Bates.
Lewes: Thorpe, Conroy, Hamilton, Walder, Robinson, Breach, Crabb, Beckford (Schaaf 64), Godfrey, Thomas (Fergany 83), Brinkhurst (Howell 75). Subs not used: Cooper, Stubbins.
Familiar face: Returning hero Joel Ledgister takes aim on Tuesday night, but this shot was wide of the target
Opener: James Simmonds, left, and Charlie Moone lead the celebrations after Joe Turner's opening strike
In it together: The Hampton players celebrate finding the net against Lewes
Goal threat: Hampton's Charlie Moone was a handful for the Lewes defence on Tuesday
Rock: Defender Darren Powell was again solid at the back for the Beavers