Beaconsfield SYCOB made an early exit from this years FA Trophy when they were beaten 3-1 by Shortwood United. Missing inspirational injured captain Yiadom Yeboah plus top scorers Zak Joseph and Bilal Butt, the suspended Jon Munday and influential loan players Nathan Webb and Tom Inch meant the long journey to picturesque Nailsworth in Gloucestershire was always going to be tough and so it was to prove.
(Just getting to this tucked away but wonderful ground was tough in itself and full credit to the team coach driver for negotiating some rather "tight" turns en route to the stadium!)
Almost straight from kick off The Rams put a clear headed chance over the bar and ten minutes later they were made to pay when, from a left wing cross, Darren Culley rose to firmly plant a header past James Reading. Five minutes later and a cross this time from the right gave Tim Haddock the chance to make it 2-0 and he gleefully accepted.
After a two and a half hour journey to be down 2-0 after 15 minutes was a tad deflating but to their credit The Rams rallied and on 23 minutes, after some fine work by both Adam Cash and Nathan Poulton, debutant striker Brian Haule was able to turn his marker and get a shot away which squirmed under the body of Shortwood keeper Tom King.
A minute later and another Rams debutant, the impressive James McCluskey, put a header over the bar when it looked easier to hit the target. Nonetheless, 2-1 at half time was probably a fair reflection but for sure SYCOB were still capable of getting a result.
The first fifteen minutes of the second half saw some extensive pressure by The Rams with the best chance falling to Nathan Poulton who, faced with a one on one with King, really should have equalised for Beaconsfield instead of allowing King to make a great save. Three minutes after this glorious chance and Adam Mann ran through some powder puff half challenges in the SYCOB defence to cross for Culley to get his second and Shortwood's third of the game. Three minutes on from that and Shortwood again had the ball in the SYCOB net (again after some slip shod Rams defending) only for the linesman to flag to rule the effort offside.
SYCOB continued to huff and puff but to no great avail and the last minute sending of Adam Cash for a second yellow ensured that this wasn't to be The Rams year for a trip to Wembley.
In periods Beaconsfield played some neat football - McCluskey looks a tidy player and Haule could also be a good signing. Get a few of the injured players back and we should have a pretty solid team.
Come On You Rams!
1. James Reading
2. Adam Cash
3. Craig Carby (Captain)
4. Brad Hewitt
5. Jordan Ajanlekoko
6. John Christian
7. James McCluskey (Sub: Ben Long)
8. Nathan Poulton
9. Brian Haule
10. Aaron Lansiquot (Sub: Michael Lewis)
11. Wayne O'Sullivan (Sub: Kyle Matthews)
Subs Not used:
12. Will Sturgess
14. Garry Malone