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Emirates FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round
Beaconsfield Town 0 Harrow Borough 2
Lacklustre Rams see dreams of cup glory undone by costly early errors.
Beaconsfield Town’s participation in the greatest cup competition in the world was all over bar the shouting after the opening 20 minutes at Holloways Park on Monday evening as a spirited and highly committed Harrow Borough took the tie by the scruff of the neck and never really let go.
The visitors in the shape of Liam Ferdinand converted two early chances presented by The Rams and could have been out of sight by half time. The home-side, meanwhile, offered little as an attacking force in the first half, rocked by two depressingly familiar strikes on 11 and 17 minutes
For the first The Rams were pressing in the final third but a miss placed pass allowed Frank Keita to pick up the ball in splendid isolation on the edge of the centre circle. He looked up under no pressure and slid a pass into the path of Ferdinand who’s well timed run saw him dart inside Luke Neville springing the offside trap. Ferdinand advanced on goal and stroked home the opener with Forster helplessly exposed.
The second owed a little to a fortunate ricochet but just as much to poor defending. A free kick on half-way was played to Chinua Cole on the byline, 40 yards from goal. He cut in off the left wing, brushed past Kane Guy-Seifert and advanced to the edge of the box before any other Rams player engaged. James Taylor stepped in as the recovering Guy-Seifert slid in to nick the ball away. The full backs deflection fell kindly for Ferdinand left unmarked by Taylors attempt to challenge Cole. The big striker needed no invitation to slot the ball home into the same corner as his first with glee.
The visitors remained threatening on the break but by and large were content to press in their own half and defended with discipline, backing themselves and inviting The Rams to break them down. On the rare occasion the defence was tested Matthew Hall in goal was equal to the challenge, producing a fine one handed reaction save to keep out a close range Jordan Ajanlekoko header and another more regulation effort to keep out a low side foot shot from Aaron Minhas who, given time and space on the edge of the box, by a slick lay off from Charlie Losasso, may feel he should have done better.
At the other end Borough almost extended their lead as George Moore’s fierce angled drive was beaten away by Adam Forster
Ade Shokunbi made way for Jefferson Louis at half time and the experienced striker immediately supplied a focal point for the home side that had been absent in the first period. His ability to engage defenders, protect possession and link play with the midfield put The Rams on the front foot for most of the half. His battle with the combative Ben Tricker made for an interesting watch and a thankless task for referee Alan Cresswell called upon to officiate a battle of the footballing dark arts between two highly skilled exponents.
Much as they pressed The Rams lacked the penetration of the visitors and for the most part the Borough defence remained disciplined and well organized, willing to snuff out promising attacks by fair means or foul and defending capably and with discipline around the box.
The home sides efforts grew increasingly frenetic and although they enjoyed the lion’s share of second half possession their play lacked that moment of clear headed precision with the final ball or finish.
The Rams did carry a threat from set pieces, with Charlie Losasso flashing a 30 yard free kick narrowly wide and James Taylor did have the ball in the net nodding in at the far post but his effort was ruled out under the ‘making any sort of contact with the goalkeeper’ rule. Luke Neville, similarly placed, met an in-swinging corner if anything too well and his header beat Hall and the bar.
In the end it was Harrow Borough who deservedly advance to the next round of our premier knockout competition while The Rams will be back at Holloways Park next Monday 28th September for the visit of Gosport Borough.
1. Adam Forster
2. Kane Guy-Seifert
4. James Taylor [Sub 19.Alex Cathline]
5. Luke Neville
6. Bayley Brown
7. Aaron Minhas [Sub17 Harry Scott 71]
8. Ade Shokunbi [Sub15 Jefferson Louis 45]
9. James Ewington
10. Charlie Losasso
11. Jordan Ajanlekoko ©
Subs Not used
12. Matthew Hall
14. Nathan Webb
16. Mihai-Andrei Chiriac
18. Jerome Ecclestone
Manager: Gary Meakin
1. Matthew Hall
2. George Moore
3. Chinua Cole
4. Baboucarr Jarra
5. Jordan Ireland
6. Ben Tricker
7. Kensley Maloney
8. Lewis Cole
9. Liam Ferdinand
10. Frank Keita [Sub16. Michael Bryan 75]
11.Brendan Matthew [Sub12.Tony O’Connor83]
Subs Not Used
13. Daniel Purdue
15 Marc Chales-Smith
17. Ramarae Griffith-Dunbar
Manager: Steve Baker
Ref: Alex Cresswell
Assistants: Ross Cole - Mario Stetkovic