NORTHWOOD 2 BEACONSFIELD TOWN FC 1
Beaconsfield returned home empty handed from the short journey to Northwood as the hosts took revenge for the 4-1 thumping The Rams inflicted on them earlier in the season.
Northwood for long periods were the more incisive of the two teams, Rob Hastings and Max Holland proving a handful for The Rams defence. Holland was particularly unlucky on 27 minutes when he cut in and got off a shot that hit the post and bounced back along the line when a goal seemed certain.
Rams keeper Sam Bunting had to be alert to keep out The Woods on 37 minutes and also make a good double save on 43 minutes. Just as it seemed as though half time would arrive without the score board troubled The Rams defence fell asleep as a quick Northwood corner saw the ball find the head of Niko Muir to nod past Bunting.
Apart from a couple of shots by Sam Deadfield, Beaconsfield had rarely threatened the Northwood goal in the first half but five minutes into the second period they snatched an equaliser as Aaron Minhas made the most of some good closing down play by Deadfield to shoot past Berkley Laurencin. The busy Ash Artwell then forced Laurencin into a good save on 56 minutes as The Rams briefly threatened to take control of the game as they harried their opponents and gave them little time on the ball. However, following a near miss by Andy Lomas Northwood retook the lead when Muir outmuscled Guri Demuria to pull the ball back for Rob Hastings to slot past Bunting.
Beaconsfield's cause was further hampered on 75 minutes when - after a foul on Lee Togwell went unpunished - Tom Gant let off a volley of abuse that Ref James Vallance deemed sufficient for a straight red card. Down to ten The Rams still played their passing game but without any real penetration other than an effort from Artwell on 80 minutes.
The game then became very stop-start-stop as a series of niggly fouls made free flowing football difficult - Northwood's Louis Stead in particular lucky to be treated lightly by the Ref. The man in the middle however wasn't so forgiving when Artwell clattered into an opponent on 90 minutes and sent off The Rams midfielder which seemed harsh in most peoples view.
Not the best of days for Beaconsfield with the loss of key players for future games and the points to a Play Off rival. Hopefully the troops can be rallied in time for the visit of league leaders AFC Rushden & Diamonds.
Come On You Rams!
1. Sam Bunting
2. Tom Gant
3. Jordan Ford (Sub: Tope Fowudu, 72)
4. Tristan Campbell (Sub: Callum Bunting, 85)
5. Alex Murray
6. Guri Demuria
7. Lee Togwell (Captain)
8. Aaron Minhas
9. Aaron Berry (Sub: Sanchez Commack, 63)
10. Sam Deadfield
11. Ashley Artwell