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Ailing Rams see unbeaten run ended by Hayes

Saturday 10th February 2024
Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South
Beaconsfield Town 2 Hayes and Yeading Utd 3
Holloways Park - Att 237
Ram of the Match - Adanioritsewo Okorogheye

With Josh Payne only fit enough to make the bench, having spent the week in bed, Luke Neville, selected but barely recovered from a bout of food poisoning and, player of the month for January, Tom McElroy on holiday.
The Rams Manager Jon Underwood was forced into changes to his starting Eleven.

With skipper Neville, though starting, admitting that he felt like he’d played 90 minutes, after the warm-up the omens weren’t great.

In the end, two second-half goals saw Hayes and Yeading Utd come from behind to claim three points and end The Rams’ recent run of Five games unbeaten and Four clean sheets.

The visitors initially lead after half an hour. Samuel Faniyan who led the line brilliantly all afternoon, rode his luck in two challenges, getting the benefit of two deflections from the attempted tackles. He retained his composure and shaped an angled effort across Matt Rowley and inside far post.

It was a reward for the good start the visitors made edging possession and looking threatening. They were the better side in the opening stages but Beaconsfield defended stoutly and although Hayes worked threatening positions, they did so without really troubling Rowley prior to the goal.

With Dan Roth stepping into Josh Paynes’ shoes in midfield and Ada Okorogheye up front, there were shades of Plymouth Parkway about the side but it took a little time to get to grips with the visitor’s lively midfield.

The Rams always carried a threat though and took less than five minutes to get themselves back on level terms. Dan Roth stepped into the attacking third and tried his luck from 25 yards. His goal bound effort drew an unconvincing response from Jacob Adams in the Hayes goal who did just enough to balloon his palm away over the bar for a corner.

From James Dobsons delivery the ball was worked back across goal where Ada Okorogheye poked the ball home from close range after a goal line scramble. An initial Luke Neville effort was blocked on the line by Adams but Okorogheye was on hand to force home his first goal as a Ram.

Half Time 1-1

Okorogheye added his second Twenty minutes later on the break, after a Hayes attack broke down. The striker cut in through the left back channel shaped as if to pull the ball back from a narrow angle before dinking his finish past Adams at the near post with the outside of his left foot.

Shades of the earlier encounter this season where The Rams came from behind to win pulling away.

Not today though.
Hayes continued to play the better football for long periods and Beaconsfield were at full stretch in defence for long spells.

The visitors were not to be denied though and levelled 10 minutes later.

Marvel Ekpiteta forcing the ball home after a defended corner was kept alive by Charles Hagan. The ball pinballing around the box before Ekpiteta poked it home.

The goal of the game came Three minutes later and secured the points. Louis Dunne curling in a beauty after a well-worked freekick on the right was backheeled into his path.

Beaconsfield rang the changes as far as they could, Payne came off the bench for 20 minutes and with fresh, if wobbly legs, steadied the ship a little in midfield.
Underwood also gave a Rams debut to 17-year-old 2nd-year academy prospect, Elias Grant who took his chance well with an encouraging senior debut on the left flank. He showed pace and skill occupying multiple Hayes defenders who struggled to keep him at bay.

The Rams could not find the equaliser though and it was Hayes who came closest in the final 20 minutes with Faniyan unlucky to see a low cross-shot hit Rowley’s far post and the visitors offered a constant threat from set piece ball.

No complaints for The Rams who were no match for Hayes who have hit a patch of good form just at the right time it seems.

A tough defeat but with the full squad fit and available to him next week Jon Underwood will hope for a return to the good form of late when The Rams visit Didcot Town next Saturday.

All images © Neale Blackburn Photography 2024
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