Tuesday 15th August 2023
Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South
Beaconsfield Town 2 Hendon 2
Holloways Park - Att: 182
Ram of The Match - Luke Neville
Beaconsfield Town bounced back from the weekend horror show against Merthyr to claim a battling point against Hendon. For the second time in Three games The Rams were forced to overcome more refereeing adversity and played most of the second half with 10 men after Ibby Sankoh picked up his second dismissal of the season.
Its a care worn old football cliche that, "you don't notice a good referee". Last night at Holloways Park Mr Thomas Harvey was visible from the international space station and he was delighted about it. He approached the first half with the air of a digruntled Geography master from a small indepedent school forced to step in for a PE lesson at the local comprehensive.
Seemingly possessed of no communication or player management skills and no sympathy or understanding of the game he stomped about issuing admonishments and brandish his yellow card with abandoned for the mildest enquiries. Twice Rams players were booked after being awarded Free kicks.
On the second occasion Sankoh, who should probably of known better after the first half display, enquired as to why no card was appropiate after a late and reckless challenge on Dan Bradshaw. Mr Allinson immediately brandished the second yellow and a Red.
Descent however mild was excessively policed, an approach which supporters could probably take, if other Laws were equally stringently enforced.
However when late in the game the excellent Sam Beasant was taken high, late and recklessly as he collected the ball on the edge of the box. In a challenge that even the Hendon bench considered bordering on deserving a straight Red card. A freekick was apparently sufficient punishment.
The best said of Mr Allinson can only be an expreesion of hope that we don't see him again, this or any season.
Officiating aside the two teams produced an absorbing full blooded encounter which burst into life after Three minutes when Elliott Buchanan latched on to James Dobsons through ball, with Hendon defenders pleading in vane for an offside flag, he advanced into the area, saw his first effort blocked by Matthew Kerbey before forcing in the rebound as Dave Diehiou desperately attempted to cover. Kerbey may feel he could have done better with first effort but certainly had no chance with the rebound Hendon were level after 25 minutes, Will Dupray sending a looping header across Beasant after an initial corner was cleared by Rams skipper Luke Neville and the resulting shot from the edge of the are was headed away by Sankoh only to fall to Dupray who applied a calm finish.
Hendon were on top at this point and carried a threat from set pieces, Neville and centre back partner Joe Morricson were at full stretch as Hendon displayed a nack for maintaining pressure and fighting for second and third balls as the defenders to clear.
Parity was only maintained shortly after the equaliser by a brilliant double save from Sam Beasant, plunging low to his right to turn away a Noko Muir-Merhant drive then spring to his feet to block Joe Whites follow up at the near post.
Despite the pressure The Rams remained a threat on the break and restored their lead after 39 minutes as at Salisbury Ibby Sankohs driving run resulted in a foul. Dan Bradshaw's enquiry as to the lack of punishment got him a yellow card for being cheeky presumably? James Dobson stepped up an belted in the free kick from a conservative 30 yards when everyone Kerbey included were expecting the cross.
Half Time 2-0
With Five players on Yellow cards at the break it was long odds on that Th Rams were not getting to full time with a full compliment. No one expected Sankohs exit within just two minutes of the restart though.
As the young full back left the field Jon Underwood sent on Ben Van Aurich and switched Elijah Anthony to Sankoh's right back birth, withdrawing Josh Payne from the holding role and dropping Asher Yearwood and Jacob Gardiner Smith into a deeper lying central midfield to screen the defence and try as best they could to play on the counter.
The open entertaining competetive encounter of the first period gave way to a war of attrition as The Rams defended with all they had and Hendon battered away with everything they had whilst being, as has often been the case for Beaconsfield in the past, less effective and threatening against 10 men than they had been against 11.
Morrison and Neville were immense at the back and on the rare occasion their defensive shield was pierced Beasant was more than equal to the task. Rams attacks were sporadic and Kerbey was barely extended after the second half but Bradshaw and Gardiner Smith covered every blade of astroturf in the cause and the latters lung busting 50 yard run was only denied the goal it so richly deserved by a desperate lunge that deflected his effort narrowly wide.
Deep into the Eight minutes of stoppage time assessed by Mr Allinson the damn and Beaconsfields resistance finally broke and Hendon Skipper Joe White finished from close range after The Rams struggled to get out of their own final third after a succession of set piece deliveries had them at full stretch.
Hendon almost won it at the death but Beasant made an instinctive reaction save to turn away Diedhiou's firm far post header.
Given the balance of play a draw was the least that Hendon deserved but you cant help wondering what sort of game we would have had if it had remained 11 v 11 .
The Rams now head to Bulpoit Lane [RG17 0AY for the Sat Nav] to face Hungerford Town on Saturday afternoon Kick Off at 3pm.
Images © Neale Blackburn Photography 2023