Beaconsfield SYCOB progressed to their second consecutive Berks & Bucks Cup Final with a fine performance against a very strong League Two Wycombe Wanderers who featured seven regular first teamers plus player manager Gareth Ainsworth.
The game was barely four minutes old when Tom O' Regan curled a lovely 25 yard free kick past Charlie Horlock in the Wycombe goal. SYCOB's lead was short lived though, as Steven Craig was given time to turn in The Rams box and rifled home an equaliser. Six minutes gone, 1-1, this was going to be a great game!
Beaconsfield, spurred on by a couple of great saves by James Reading, forced Horlock into some good saves of his own before retaking the lead on 29 minutes when Jack Hutchinson lobbed the ball over the Wycombe keeper leaving Jon-Jo Bates with a simple tap in. 2-1 to The Rams!
Wycombe's equaliser in the 35th minute was quite lucky as a shot by Jo Kuffour was deflected off Lee Angol who appeared to be in an off-side position. The deflection wrong footed Reading and The Chairboys were back on level pegging.
The second period started very much with The Rams on the offensive, O'Regan going close on 47 minutes and Zak Joseph getting a shot off that Horlock did well to turn wide. It wasn't all one way traffic though and on more than one occasion The Rams defenders rode their luck and threw their bodies in front of Wanderers attacks as they gave their all for the cause.
On 77 minutes Wycombe took the lead when Craig got onto a good through ball from defence and slotted home. Did The Rams fold? Did they hell! Within ten minutes sub Kofi Lockhart-Adams restored parity with a header from a great cross by Ryan Phillips and, following another fine save by James Reading, the game moved into extra time.
Normally the fitness and skill of professional footballers starts to tell the longer the game goes on and especially when they play teams five levels below them but at times it was hard to tell who were the part timers such was the effort put in by all in a Rams shirt.
The first period of extra time again saw SYCOB take the game to their professional opponents with Kofi having a header cleared off the line and Zak Joseph going a series of mazy and menacing runs. James Reading more than played his part with a couple of very good saves as every Rams player gave their all.
The second period of extra time brought chances at both ends and good saves by both keepers but no break though goal and so penalties it was to be.
Zak scored his spot kick, Kuffour did like wise. Jon-Jo Bates then narrowly missed to seemingly hand the advantage to Wycombe. However their two goal hero Craig then missed his kick - one each after two kicks. Tom O' Regan calmly slotted his kick past Horlock and then Kretzchmer did the same past Reading. Aaron Morgan then slotted his penalty away but Junior Morais saw his kick brilliantly saved by Reading. Up stepped Jack Hutchinson for the decisive kick and wham, back of the net and The Rams are in the final!
A great night for the players, management, committee and the supporters of our fine club. Let's hope we can get a few more like it as we hit the business end of the season.
Come On You Rams!
1. James Reading
2. Tom McGarry
3. Ryan Phillips (Substitute: Aaron Morgan)
4. Brad Hewitt (Captain)
5. Craig Carby
6. Nathan Webb
7. Tom O' Regan
8. John Christian (Substitute: Kofi Lockhart-Adams)
9. Jon-Jo Bates
10. Jack Hutchinson
11. Zak Joseph
Substitutes Not used:
14. Jordan Ajanlekoko
16. Mason Yorke
17. James McCluskey