Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South
Saturday 4th February 2023
Hendon 1 Beaconsfield Town 1
Silver Jubilee Park - Attendance 174
Ram of the Match – Aaron Minhas
At 2pm when Gary Meakin was informed that both his on loan goalkeeper, Kie Plumley, and the squad's goalkeeping coach were both unavailable through illness, he would probably have taken a point from the evening's trip to Hendon.
In the final analysis though, he could reasonably feel that the evening's performance represented a missed opportunity.
U23’s keeper Henry Grad was given a senior debut and for the duration of the first half his biggest problem was keeping warm. As his side handled the limited threat that their hosts offered with some comfort.
As at Harrow on Saturday, The Rams dominated possession and territory but failed to create too many clear openings. When they did get a sight of the target, former Ram, Hafed Al-Droubi in the Hendon goal was equal to the challenge and his defence, including another former Ram Keano Robinson, blocked, deflected and, threw themselves in front of anything that moved.
Elliott Buchanan’s low shot produced a low save before Nathan Minhas saw a goal-bound shot deflected wide but as the half progressed there was an increasing inevitability about the half-time score
Half Time 0-0
Hendon showed more urgency and cohesion in the early going of the second half. Though there was still a frantic, somewhat frenzied feel to their play.
After 53 minutes the home side registered their first and only shot on target.
Unfortunately for the Rams it was an absolute screamer. As Sam Togwell’s clearing header fell to Rohdell Gordon at the angle of the penalty area. The wide man returned it with interest. Curling it inside Grad’s far post, giving the young keeper no chance.
Beaconsfield responded and regained their composure but continued to be rebuffed by the Hendon keeper and his defence. Nathan Minhas produced a low shot which Al-Droubi turned around the post before Sam Granville had the keeper scrambling low to his left as his angled drive fizzed inches wide.
Then Granville burst into the area and his low shot from 8 yards was well saved by Al-Droubi who stayed big and blocked the shot with his body.
In the end it took a slice of luck to beat him.
A Toby Little cross was worked to Aaron Minhas who let fly from the edge of the box as Gordon lunged into the challenge. The ball struck the winger's outstretched foot and bounced down into the turf before taking a tennis ball bounce and flying over the stranded Al-Droubi.
Hendon threatened to break from time to time but without extending Grad and chances continued to fall to the visitors. Nathan Minhas’ downward header from another Toby Little Cross was too close to AL-Droubi who could do nothing as Ben De Lacey-
Turner sprang the offside trap, pulled Luke Neville's diagonal pass out of the freezing night air and sent a volley across the keeper who was saved by his far post. As the rebound ricocheted across goal Toby Little seemed certain to finish it off but the scrambling Al-Droubi stuck out a leg and somehow a combination of his right foot and the near post saw the effort rebound to safety.
That was as close as Beaconsfield came to claiming the three points their performance probably deserved.
The Rams now Welcome Swindon Supermarine on Saturday at Holloways Park on Saturday and will hope the finishing form in evidence in their past two home games will put in an appearance.
Beaconsfield Town :
Henry Grad, Callum Webb, Olly Sprague [Sub Toby Little 68], Sam Togwell, Luke Neville, Henry Hawkins, Dan Bradshaw, Sam Granville, Nathan Minhas, Elliott Buchanan [Sub Ben De Lacy-Turner 89], Aaron Minhas,
Subs Not Used - Myles Anderson, Charlie Smith, Kyal Reid,
Hafed Al-Droubi, Dave Diiedhiou, Giovanni Palmer, Arthur Lontton, Keano Robinson, Tarik Moore-Azille, Bagname Keita [Sub Gabriel Odunaike 89], Hamilton Antonio, Liam Brooks [ Sub Shaun Lucien 73], Rohdell Gordon.
Subs Not Used - Lucas Perry, Guri Demuria, Luca Allinson-Stalham
Referee - Jonathan Bolland
Assistants - Robert Alderton, Tom Lathey
All images ©Neale Blackburn 2023