Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South
Saturday 4th February 2023
Harrow Borough 1 Beaconsfield Town 0
Earlsmead Stadium - Attendance 179
Ram of the Match – Henry Hawkins
The performance of on-loan centre-half Henry Hawkins was one of the few positives to come from the 1-0 defeat on a frustrating afternoon at Harrow Borough. The youngster making his first start for The Rams showed why he is so well thought of at QPR coping comfortably with the physical challenge of senior football. His was a performance that, with luck and a following wind, bodes well for an already promising future.
Beaconsfield did not play badly exactly. They were comfortably better here than on the journey to Plymouth earlier in the week but this was a return to late Autumn form where The Rams enjoyed long periods of possession and territorial dominance, without capitalising.
Here they were patient, controlled and created a handful of clearcut chances but poor individual decisions, dogged defending and good goalkeeping combined to frustrate them.
Nathan Minhas was well marshalled by Izunna Ikebuasi and Sonny Hart who tiptoed the tightrope between fair and foul play successfully all afternoon and matched the strikers physicality throughout.
He still had chances but his radar was off today.
The home defenses reasonable concerns about Minhas created space for others and Dan Bradshaw and Callum Webb combined well and carried most of the threat for the visitors. With Sam Granville his usual combative and effective self in the heart of midfield.
Bradshaw had The Rams best chance midway through the first half.
Sam Granville sprang into a counter from midfield and drove into space before playing in Bradshaw. He advanced into the box on the angle but delayed his shot long enough for Jacob Knightbridge to narrow the angle and turn away the strike, when it came in.
Beaconsfield dominated the first half until the closing moments when the home side had some joy forcing the visitors back and delivering some quality into the box.
Kie Plumley turned a George Moore effort wide and from the resulting corner Ahmet Biler flashed a low ball across the six yard box but there was no one on hand to apply the finish.
As the tannoy announced that there would be 2 minutes added time Harrow recycled possession and delivered a deep cross from the right which fell eventually to Myles Anderson.
Under no pressure rather than simply clearing his lines and heading to halftime honours even, the centre-back elected to pick out a chipped pass for Callum Webb in the right-back position.
Unfortunately, his direction was off and it fell kindly for Biler who advanced to the edge of the box before launching his own chip onto the chest of target man Anointed Chukwu. The striker still had a bit to do but showed good strength, presence and no little skill to turn and create the space for a cross-shot that flew past Plumley and into the net.
It was an excellent finish and reward for the big man's effort and application ploughing his lone furrow at the point of the attack all afternoon. From a Beaconsfield point of view it was a poor goal to concede. At just about the worst time.
Argue it was harsh all you like but as Plymouth Parkway found on Tuesday night, you can have all the possession and pressure you like. If you don't take your chances you’re asking for trouble and often, you’ll get it.
Half Time 1-0
Kyel Reid replaced Anderson at the break, as Gary Meakin reverted to four at the back.
The Rams were again in the ascendancy as Harrow sat in and set their defensive stall out to defend what they had and see what they could pick up on the counter as The Rams pressed.
As a result Kie Plumley was probably the busier of the two keepers in terms of shots saved despite Beaconsfield’s continued dominance of possession and territory but neither keeper was exactly over-extended.
With the manner of victories over Hayes and Chesham though, you suspected Beaconsfield would create enough to take something from the game.
Their best chance came in the 65th Minute. Reid and Olly Sprague combined down the left freeing the full-back to advance and deliver a low ball with pace across the six-yard box. The ball was met on the stretch at the far post by the sliding Sam Granville, who, as the crowd waited for the net to billow, somehow dragged his effort wide of the near post.
That was as close as Beaconsfield came Nathan Minhas steered a shot over when well-placed. Aaron Minhas headed over from 12 yards and Kyel Reid tested Knightbridge with a dipping free-kick which the keeper dealt with comfortably enough but it was just one of those days for The Rams who have now lost the first fixture of the month in December, January and February.
On the plus side, they have then gone on to be unbeaten for the remainder of the previous two months collecting Four wins and three draws in the process.
So maybe there are reasons to be cheerful as they head to Hendon for Tuesday nights 7-45pm kick-off at Silver Jubilee Park.
Beaconsfield Town :
Kie Plumley, Callum Webb, Olly Sprague, Sam Togwell, Myles Anderson [Sub Kyel Reid 46], Henry Hawkins, Dan Bradshaw, Sam Granville, Nathan Minhas, Elliott Buchanan, Aaron Minhas,
Subs Not Used - Luke Neville, Charlie Smith, Toby Little, Ben De Lacy-Turner.
Jacob Knightbridge, Keegan Bloom, Ahmet Biler [Sub Johnny Allotey 90], Izunna Ikebuasi, Sonny Hart, Olatunbosun Adenola, George Moore, Billy Leonard, Anointed Chukwu [Sub Kamon Sherell Assidjo 85], Kai Omoko Brosnan [Sub Montel Brown 68], Jaden Sharman
Charles Taylor, Prince Kandolo.
Referee - Tommy Breen
Assistants - Andrew Tregoning, Nathan Briggs.
All images ©Neale Blackburn 2023