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Rams Man of the Match - Bayley Brown
Rams continue to stutter in front of goal as Chesham underline contender status
This fixture last season resulted in a crushing 7-0 victory for The Rams and precipitated the arrival of James Duncan & Michael Murray at the Meadow. Since their arrival the pair have steered The Generals away from rock bottom and struggling to relatively comfortable survival and mentions among the pre season favourites for league honours this term. After an eye catching win over Steve Claridge’s Salisbury at the weekend they arrived at Holloways Park full of confidence for the local derby with Gary Meakin’s Beaconsfield, who were still smarting from a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Dorchester.
The game opened fairly tamely for a local derby and was really only notable for some petty refereeing from Mr Danaher - marked by inconsistency throughout and pedantic application of minor laws producing a fractured disjointed encounter, punctuated by outbursts of furious over reaction to anything approaching a strong tackle and a succession of cheap free kicks resulting from minimal contact.
After eight minutes Luke Neville will consider himself a little unlucky to have been penalised as he stretched to dispossess the pacy Karl Ollyide taking man and ball. Mr Danaher took the view that it was more man than ball and awarded a free kick just outside the box on the right. The resulting cross was tame and cleared for a throw in. This was launched to the edge of the six-yard box where Mark Kirby backed onto and out maneuvered Reece Yorke to flick on for Dernell Wynter to head unchallenged past McCorkell from close range.
Chesham, buoyed by the goal, continued on the front foot with Jeanmal Prosper and goal-scorer Wynter a constant threat down the right and Adcock linking defence and forward line with quick and incisive passing whilst out of possession The Generals were quick to close and press, hurrying the home side into errant or under hit passes. The Rams defence though stood firm and McCorkell was relatively un-troubled despite the visitors pressing.
Gradually The Rams started to settle into their game and string some passes together. On 18 minutes Charlie Losasso and Brendan Matthew combined to release Bajram Pashaj and his deep cross was headed over his own crossbar by Prosper. From the resulting corner Reece Yorke made a good run across his marker to beat a static Ben Goode and head home from 4 yards.
Beaconsfield now enjoyed their best spell with Pashaj starting to show more prominently in attacking positions but the Chesham defence, well marshalled by Kirby and Skipper Steve Brown held them at arms length until the 30th minute when a Losasso through ball invited Brendan Matthew to chase. This run was deliberately halted by Kirby ‘shielding’ the ball back to his keeper. This is one of the consequences of law changes and modern interpretation of the laws that I will never understand. It seems to me if you play the man whilst harbouring no intention of playing the ball anywhere on the field between the penalty areas it’s a free kick. For some reason if you’re intent on shepherding the ball behind or screening your goalie then Ice Hockey rules apply and a fore check is fine. So whilst Matthew was clearly fouled, it was never going to be given .
Goode hammered his clearance upfield where Reece Yorke, at the centre of everything in the first half, seemed caught in two minds. He stepped in to head clear and then allowed the prodigious punt to bounce at which point all was lost. The ball kicked up off the turf over Yorke and was collected by the onrushing Romario Hart who advanced and thrashed the ball into the roof of the net.
Beaconsfield finished the half strongly, a Losasso free-kick was beaten away by Goode after a good run from Pashaj and that man again Reece Yorke was narrowly unable to direct the rebound on target.
Half Time 2-1
The second half started scrappily with Brendan Matthew booked for a late ‘forwards’ tackle on Adam Martin.
For the most part the second half did not live up to the first. Chesham were largely in control without dominating but the home side, despite ringing the changes and changing formation, could not mount consistent pressure or create guilt edged opportunities. Mayo Balogun hit a well struck shot narrowly wide and Jordan Ajanlekoko saw a long-distance header comfortably saved by Goode.
In between Ollyide forced a smart save form McCorkell.
On the hour a ricochet on the edge of the Chesham box fell to Matthew. He made room and struck a fierce angled drive just over the bar. It was a frustrating evening for the striker who struggled manfully to get in the game but was forced to live on scraps as the Chesham rearguard and mid field press repeatedly broke up play and held The Rams in check as an attacking force.
The introduction of Dean Morgan did provide a spark as his muscular presence and ability to hold and link play created more problems for the visitors defence. Chances remained at a premium for the Rams though and on the break the pace of The Generals attack created the better chances to increase the lead.
For Beaconsfield things were a step out of synch. Josh Webb’s terrific near post cross invited a first time finish from Morgan but he elected to take a touch, found a heavy one and the chance was gone. Moments later Webb’s clever pass found Losasso on the right but his low cross managed to bypass Ajanlekoko and Bayley Brown with the goal gaping.
It was no surprise when, with the home side pressing for the equaliser, Chesham nipped in with the third goal. A break down in midfield saw Adcock release Ollyide who ran 35 yards with defenders in his wake, drew McCorkell and slid the ball past him into the corner.
April is a long way to go and it would be foolish to draw any conclusion after two games but as things stand, the early signs are promising for Chesham who seem to have hit upon a system and style that suits the make-up of their squad. Gary Meakin and The Rams still have a few questions to answer.
Come On You Rams!
1. Andrew McCorkell
2. Josh Webb
3. Mayowa Balogun [12 Ryan Parsons 52]
4. Reece Yorke [17 Dean Morgan 56]
5. Luke Neville
6. Wes Daly ©
7. Bayley Brown
8. Jordan Ajanlekoko
9. Brendan Matthew
10. Charlie Losasso
11. Bajram Pashaj [16. Kane Guy-Seifert 75]
Subs Not Used:
14. James McCluskey
15. Jon-Jo Bates
Manager: Gary Meakin
1. Ben Goode
2. Jeanmal Prosper
3. Kyle Watson
4. Adam Martin
5. Mark Kirby
6. Steve Brown ©
7. Bradley Clayton [16. Ryan Blake 39]
8. Billy Adcock
9. Romario Hart
10. Karl Ollyide [15. David Pearce 89]
11. Dernell Wynter [12. Eoin Casey 82]
Subs Not Used:
14. Jefferson Louis
17. Kieran Wynter
Managers: James Duncan & Michael Murray
Ref: Mr Tom Danaher
Assistants: Ahmed Rafique , Jack Owen