An eventful week at the Arctic Stadium, Badgers Sports Ground closed with Cray Valley PM’s FA Trophy run being ended with defeat at the hands of Hampton and Richmond Borough.

Three days earlier there had been all of the hullabaloo caused by the visit of Charlton Athletic and the BBC2 cameras and crew. For that occasion gantries, a marquee and temporary toilets were put in place, but there was barely a clue that they had been there when Hampton arrived.

Including county cup games, this was the Millers’ eighteenth knock-out tournament match and Steve McKimm has had to manage his squad carefully as he targets the Isthmian League South East play-offs as a minimum. Therefore, injuries and rested players meant that he shuffled his pack for this game.

One player who did start was leading goalscorer Kyrell Lisbie, and he twice drew relatively comfortable saves out of Hampton goalkeeper Adam Desbois in the early stages. Denzel Gayle then had a shot beaten out by Desbois before the visitors looked to take advantage of long free kicks. Alfy Whittingham got on the end of one but floated his header into the grateful arms of Max Ovenden, then Jordan Cheadle met another from the other side of the pitch but headed well wide.

Just after the midway point of the first period, the Beavers went ahead. Rob Hall found George Nunn and he set up Isaac Pitlado who finished from close range.

Looking for an immediate response, Gayle’s shot hit the leg of Cheadle and could have gone anywhere, and the centre-back was relieved to see it fly wide of the near post before another Hampton free kick presented an opportunity that was accepted. Hall delivered to the far post and Dean Inman gave Ovenden no chance with a powerful header.

Tom Chambers hit a shot into the side netting after a clever Lisbie chance and Lisbie was again in the thick of things just before half time when his shot was blocked out as far as Gayle whose first time follow up shot flew over.

Early in the second half, Pitblado hit a fierce drive that just missed the angle of bar and post before Whittingham was thwarted by a good block save by Ovenden. However, the Millers’ goalkeeper was helpless ten minutes in when a long ball over the top sent George Hunt away to finish clinically.

Calvin Ekpiteta might have had more time than he realised when firing over for the hosts, then Gayle had another effort deflected wide.

Connor Kurran-Browne was off target for the visitors before they added a fourth when Nunn bundled a corner home from close range. Four minutes later, they added a fifth when Whittingham burst through and fired high inside the near post.

To their credit, Cray did not fold and pulled one back with ten minutes remaining when Lisbie’s pace and power got him clear and he finished with aplomb.

They might have added another before the end when Sonny Black’s shot rattled the bar.

Although the score-line was harsh on the Millers, Hampton showed the ruthlessness that has them sitting in fourth place in the National League South, and it is they whose number will be on a ball in the bag in the draw for the third round. Meanwhile, the Millers have to play two matches a week until the end of January to catch up in the league in which they have played just six times.

Cray Valley PM: Ovenden, Williams, Chambers, Vigor (Asiedu 67), Oshilaja (Lee 46), Tumkaya, Gayle, Black, Ekpiteta (Ademiluyi 81), Anau, Lisbie. Unused subs: Freeman, Gilchrist, Turner, Wicks.