Beaconsfield Town 0 Met Police FC 1
Rams Man of the Match - Luke Neville
Beaconsfield finished their home campaign with a frustrating 1 - 0 defeat at the hands of a well organised and disciplined Met Police who took the lead midway through a first half they dominated and held The Rams at arms length when they rallied after half time.
Beaconsfield started brightly enough working space for a Charlie Losasso shot from 20 yards in the first minute and forcing a corner moments later when Jon-Jo Bates and Thomas Gogo combined to make an opening which Oliver Robinson quickly closed out. The resulting corner summed up the afternoon, threatened but ultimately came to nothing. Charlie Losasso’s kick picked out Luke Neville at the far post rising high to head invitingly back across goal agonisingly just out of the reach of Jon-Jo Bates who did everything he could but was unable to get on the end of it. From their next attack Brendan Matthew worked an opening for himself cutting in from the left, his shot from a narrow angle was blocked by a combination of keeper Bertie Schotteri and Oliver Robinson.
From then on the half developed into a frustrating pattern for The Rams - what good possession they enjoyed was too often wasted, with misplaced passes killing the pace of counters or surrendering possession altogether. Meanwhile the visitors were warming to their task in the Easter sunshine and began to create chances of their own. With the direct running of front two, Jack Mazzone and Jonathan Hippolyte, and well worked set piece play, with the impressive Robinson, dangerous in the air and measured deliveries from Alex Fisher giving Tte rejigged Rams defence all they could handle. With Jordan Ajanlekoko filling in at centre half in the absence of both Reece Yorke and Jerome Ecclestone the pressure began to build with a succession of corners and Fishers laser long throws making it difficult for The Rams to clear their lines.
It was no surprise that the opening goal came for the visitors and equally no surprise that it came from a dead ball. Louis Stead was somewhat harshly adjudged to have fouled Luke Robertson 35 yards out on the right of midfield. Fisher’s free kick curled in towards goal behind the back four, where Robinson nipped in ahead of the advancing Ravan Constable to power it home from 8 yards. It was no more than the visitors deserved and moments later they almost doubled their lead, Robinson again out jumping everyone at the far post and sending a powerful header crashing off the bar. Hippolyte will probably feel he should have done better moments later when a round the corner flick from Mazzone played him in on goal but his touch took him wide and Constable was able to make a plunging save at his feet. The big stopper was in extended action twice more before half time to keep out efforts from Robertson and John Gilbert.
In the second half The Rams were more like their old selves. Wes Daly and Louis Stead controlled the midfield, snapping into the tackles, recycling possession and probing for the willing runs of Brendan Matthew and Jon-Jo Bates ably assisted by the trickery of Thomas Gogo but chances remained few. The best of the half came on 65 minutes when Stead played in Matthew who advanced on goal but his effort was blocked by Schotteri who advanced quickly from his goal, spread himself and blocked the effort with his legs.
All too often for The Rams the final ball was misplaced or misread by a team mate. It just wasn’t happening for the home team. It was symptomatic of the afternoon that on the one occasion where all the parts fitted together as they should, Luke Neville’s downward header from a Charlie Losasso left wing free kick bulged the net only to be ruled out for a needless offside. All too often The Rams fell foul of the well marshalled Met back line to the frustration of home fans and team mates alike.
Whilst content to retain their lead the visitors remained dangerous on the counter with Hippolyte and Mazzone drawing good saves from Constable while Schotteri was largely untroubled. The introduction of Alex Cathline offered a focal point for the Rams attack and did increase the pressure but did not result in another significant opportunity.
You can never call a 1-0 win comfortable because two seconds can change the game but in truth this was as close as it gets to comfort for the Met Police.
The Rams now head to Tiverton to bring down the curtain on their first season at Southern Premier League level.
1. Ravan Constable
2. Alex Nolan
3. Mayowa Balogun
4. Jordan Ajanlekoko
5. Luke Neville
6. Wes Daly © [Sub14 Daniel Brown 69]
7. Louis Stead
8. Thomas Gogo [Sub12 Ethan Holland 81]
9. Brendan Matthew
10. Jon-Jo Bates [Sub15 Alex Cathline 69]
11. Charlie Losasso
Subs Not Used:
16: Kamil Zelechowski
17: Billy Montague
Manager: Gary Meakin
Met Police FC
1. Bertie Schotteri
2. Josh Webb
3. Alex Fisher
4. Oliver Robinson
5. Mekhail McLaughlin [Sub15. Jeremy Arthur 93]
6. Louis Birch
7. John Gilbert
8. Luke Robertson [Sub14 Ethan Chislett 74]
9. Jack Mazzone [Sub 12. Alex Blackmore 74]
10. Jonathan Hippolyte
11. Tom Nyama
Subs Not Used:
16. Mike Platt
17. Oliver Knight
Manager: Gavin Macpherson
Ref: Mr J Steven Rea
Assistants: Mr Matthew Hopton - Mr John Perry