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Beaconsfield Town 1 (3) v Banbury United 1 (4)
Rams Man of the Match - Nathan Webb
The Rams missed two penalties in their second shootout of the season and allowed Banbury United, who were perfect from the spot, to progress to the last sixteen in the Southern League Challenge Cup on Tuesday night at Holloways Park. Visiting keeper Jack Harding saved spot kicks from Brendan Matthew and Louis Stead taking his tally of penalty saves to five for the season.
Before the shoot out drama the two teams had produced a lively encounter which burst into life in the fourth minute. Following a Rams attack Harding launched a quick clearance down the middle. Long straight ball no problem? Not usually but the rejigged home defence suffered an after you Claude moment, allowing the ball to bounce and be collected by the pacy Ryan Nesbitt who advanced on goal from 40 yards before rolling the ball into the corner past the advancing Myles Bowman from the edge of the box.
The lead didn’t last long. 10 minutes in fact as in the 14th minute Alex Nolan equalised narrowly deceiving Harding with a right-wing cross which travelled all the way over the keeper who may have been put off by the attentions of Jon-Jo Bates.
The game remained engrossing without ever really bursting into life, neither side created much in the way of goal-scoring chances. Charlie Losasso sent in a couple of trade-mark efforts but his radar was a little off on the night and neither Harding or Bowman were particularly extended in the first half which the visitors just about edged.
Half Time 1-1
In the second-half the visitors introduced Giorgio Rasulo who immediately provided a spark of urgency and Banbury looked more creative and incisive as a result .
The Rams, with Nathan Webb returning to the centre of the midfield, were on the front foot and snapping into the tackles on a greasy surface but whilst they enjoyed territorial and a slight possession advantage Harding was largely a spectator.
The visitors were sharper in possession and played with more cohesion and looked more threatening as a result. This was even more the case when Webb was withdrawn.
His latest debut for The Rams saw him combative and energetic all evening but fading slightly for lack of match practice after an hour, he drew a yellow card from Mr Nunes who had what could best be described as a patchy evening. Brandishing eight yellow cards but apparently travelling without a rRed card which may have come in handy for two late kamikaze challenges.
In Webb’s absence the visitors dominated. Beaconsfield defended stoutly but struggled to create much in the way of threat and when they did manage to force set pieces or opportunities the execution was woeful.
For all of the Banbury menace, Myles Bowman was only forced into one save but it was a very good one. Advancing from his line the keeper spread himself bravely at the feet of the advancing Pablo Haysham and blocking the strikers full force effort.
That was that for chances and the game meandered to the penalty shoot-out.
When Brendan Matthew missed the Rams third spot kick there was an air of inevitability about proceedings. Bowman managed to get finger-tips to two of the visitors kicks but was unable to keep out the well struck efforts.
Next up for The Rams is another crucial Bet Victor Southern League clash at home to Yate Town on Saturday.
1. Myles Bowman
2. Alex Nolan
3. Mayo Balogun
4. James Taylor
5. Luke Neville ©
6. Nathan Webb (Sub 14 Louis Stead 66)
8. Jordan Ajanlekoko
9. Jon-Jo Bates (Sub15 Brendan Matthew 62)
10. Anthony Mendy (Sub17 Shawnikki Clement-Peter 75)
11. Charlie Losasso.
Subs Not Used:
12. Wes Daly
16. Tyrell Mitford
Manager: Gary Meakin
12. Morgan Roberts (Sub18 Jaanai Gordon 78)
6. Jack Westbrook
7. Charles Hawtin
13.Mohammed Ahmed (Sub13 Pablo Haysham 71)
17. Kobe Chong
11.Claudio Dias14.Lee Henderson
16. Ryan Nesbitt,(Sub 8 Giorgio Rasulo 46)
Subs Not Used:
2. Connor Roberts
19. Ryan MacDonald
Manager: Mike Ford
Ref: Luis Nunes - Assistants: Darryl David - Andrew Thomson