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Beaconsfield Town 2 v 1 Poole Town
Rams Man of the Match - James Ewington.
When substitute Harry Baker fired the visitors in front on 62 minutes with virtually his first touch Beaconsfield Town fans could have been forgiven for thinking it was another one of those afternoons.
Moments earlier Ade Shokunbi and the pitch somehow conspired to miss a simple square ball to play in Kezie Ibe with the open goal at his mercy. The midfielder who had done everything to create the opportunity pressing and winning the ball as Sam Jackson dallied in possession
before driving into the box looking up to see Ibe in splendid isolation six yards out. As Luke Cairney advanced to narrow his angle Shokunbi played in a cross which beat the keeper but unaccountably missed his team-mate and ran harmlessly to safety.
The home side created little by way of a presentable opportunity in a first half which saw them forced to reorganise twice. First before kick-off Luke Neville, who developed a neck spasm during the warm-up, was ruled out, giving way to Jordan Ajanlekoko whose centre midfield birth was filled by Wes Daly.
Barely 20 minutes later Matthew Sorinola, the exciting young MK Dons loanee, suffered the curse of The Rams right backs and left the field with a concussion sustained after a collision with Myles Bowman in the home goal and a subsequent clash of heads with Marvin Brooks clearing a corner.
It was the visitors who had the best chances of a nondescript and windswept first period
Bowman saved well from a Marvin Brooks snapshot from 18 yards, springing high to his right to turn away the stinging effort. Later he plunged low to his left to keep out a speculative effort from Josh Carmichael.
Poole Town played with greater purpose and just shaded possession but too often the wind or the officials intervened to prevent them turning their territorial and wind assisted first half advantage into a lead.
Brooks, who appears to have been born offside, cut a frustrated figure as he was repeatedly and rightly penalised. The home defence, well marshalled by Ajanlekoko and the excellent James Taylor, were resolute under the high ball and also able to settle in emergency right back Cheyce Grant who stepped into an unfamiliar defensive role with the early exit of the unfortunate Sorinola, who will now face a mandatory two week break as he recovers from his head injury.
Half time 0-0
The second period began in a similar vein. Poole pressed and worked the ball well without creating much alarm for Bowman and the home side retained their discipline and shape and gradually started to get to grips with conditions and as they did so they started to create more problems for the visiting defence. Kezi Ibe proved a handful for Jamie Whisken and Josh Leslie-Smith throughout. Goal kicks and clearances were delivered with a greater predictability of flight playing with the wind behind. The muscular target man was able to occupy the centre halves throughout whilst winning more than his fair share of possession. His hold up play enabled Ade Shokunbi, Louis Stead and James Ewington to link play and apply some pressure to a defence which began to look less solid as the half wore on.
Had Shokunbis’ cross found Ibe the inevitable goal would have been no more than the home team deserved after a 10 minute spell where they repeatedly turned the visitors and created presentable opportunities for Ibe and Ewington who both seemed reluctant to pull the trigger and did not trouble Cairney. The signs were good though until Baker spun off Grant and was played in by Corby Moore before advancing into the area and firing his low drive across Bowman and into the bottom corner.
There then followed a spell where you could have been forgiven for wondering if the visitors had more men on the field. Galvanised by their goal they went in search of a killer blow with enthusiasm and The Rams were at full stretch to keep them at bay.
In actual fact the lead lasted only two minutes but it felt longer as the visitors pressed. The Rams though did not buckle and showed they were still a threat as James Ewington narrowly failed to reach a through pass from Wes Daly and then was unlucky to be flagged off-side as he curved his run to collect a delightful Aaron Minhas through ball. Seconds later Ibe found himself for a routine forward ball which broke off Whiske and presented him with the chance to lift an effort over Cairney. The keeper retreated and manage to claw the effort away but only succeeded in parrying it back to Ibe whose volleyed cross was met at the far post by James Ewington who bundled home his header as Cairney scrambled to cover.
Now it was Beaconsfield’s turn to dominate and the visitors looked decidedly unsettled at the back as the home team poured forward. Eight minutes after drawing level it was Ewington who put The Rams ahead to stay. The striker burst on to a delightful little reverse, no look pass from Aaron Minhas and although his first touch looked a little heavy he was able to beat the advancing Cairney to the ball and guide it home.
Poole switched to a back three and pressed hard but poor finishing and resolute defending saw The Rams bend but not break until the 92nd minute when Aaron Minhas got the wrong side of Baker as the pair challenged for a cross. The striker’s header flew wide but his somewhat theatrical fall was enough to convince Mr Hartley to point to the spot. It was harsh on Minhas but good play by the striker, you’ve seen them given.
Skipper Jamie Whisken took responsibility and stepped up to secure a point for the visitors. Myles Bowman had other ideas though and read the centre-half’s low effort plunging to his left and pouching the effort in his midriff. You can call it a poor penalty if you like but for a goalkeeper there’s no such thing as a poor penalty save.
Beaconsfield never make it easy though. Especially not this season and Poole, aided by the increasingly fussy Mr Hartley and his indeterminate and somewhat indiscriminate application of stoppage time, will wonder how they didn’t take a point home as Brooks found himself eight yards out with the goal at his mercy he somehow contrived to miss the target.
Poole will feel they deserved to take something from the game but can have no one to blame but themselves whilst Beaconsfield can enjoy their weekend and set about the search for their 13th Right back of the season for next week’s trip to Merthyr.
1. Myles Bowman
2. Matthew Sorinola [Sub14 Cheyce Grant 22]
3. Mayo Balogun
4. James Taylor
5. Wes Daly © Sub15 Mihai-Andrei Chiriac 83]
6. Jordan Ajanlekoko
7. Aaron Minhas
8. Ade Shokunbi
9. Kezie Ibe [Sub16 Alex Cathline 83]
11. Louis Stead
Subs Not Used:
13. Hafed El-Droubi
Manager: Gary Meakin
1. Luke Cairney
2. Jack Dickson
18. Sam Jackson
4. William Spetch [Sub9 Harry Baker 58]
5. Jamie Whisken ©
6. Joshua Leslie-Smith
7. Joshua Carmichael
8. Corby Moore [Sub14. Adam Grange 93]
16. Luke Pardoe
10. Marvin Brooks
11. Luke Holmes
Subs Not Used:
12. Billy Maybury
13. Harry Phillps
3. Jack Smeeton
Manager: Tom Killick
Attendance : 108
Ref: Lee Hartley - Assistants - Michael Dunkley - Brian O’Sullivan