Marvin Morgan capped a man of the match performance with a well taken goal to seal the victory as the Rams progressed to the First round of the Buildbase FA Trophy with a 3-1 win over Southern League Premier Central division high flyers Leiston.
Morgan lead the line with skill and intelligence, protected possession and linked play superbly all afternoon until his withdrawal for the fresher legs of Tony Mendy with 80 minutes on the clock
With the Rams giving a start to their fourth Goalkeeper in three games after the loss of Ravan Constable in the 6-2 home mawling against Farnborough Town there was a little nervousness among the home supporters before kick off.
Fears of any repeat soon evaporated when Charlie Losasso put the Rams ahead after only three minutes. The ever industrious Louis Stead delivered an inch perfect cross field ball to pick out Bajram Pashaj who cushioned it into the path of Losasso. He applied the finish with an angled side foot volley from 15 yards giving Marcus Garnham in the Leiston Goal no chance.
The visitors responded well to the early setback and enjoyed an extended spell of possession demonstrating why they currently sit fourth in the Central division.
Playing from the back probing on both flanks The Blues pressed the home team back and forced a succession of corners without creating a really clear chance to test debutant Michael Power-Simpson in the Rams goal.
On another day Leiston may well have benefited from the ricochets and bounces in a couple of scrambles but on this afternoon the home defence seemed to enjoy the run of the ball which so deserted them last week.
The Blues best chance came on 22 minutes, Luke Neville was somewhat harshly yellow carded for a niggly nothing foul on the left flank. The resulting free kick was met with an unconvincing punch come flap from Power-Simpson and fell to Noel Aitkens 10 yards out, his fierce goal bound drive was turned away by Power Simpson’s strong left hand.
The Rams then punished the visitors for failing to capitalise on their spell of pressure and doubled their advantage on 28 minutes. Wes Daly’s curling free kick tempted Garnham off his line but Jordan ‘AJ’ Ajanlekoko stepped in front and beat the keeper to the ball by a whisker stooping bravely to head into the corner and taking a whack on the ear for his trouble.
The visitors could rightly have felt a little hard done by at this point but were made to pay the price for not converting their undoubted territorial advantage into goals.
The half continued with Leiston remaining on the front foot but neither keeper was further extended before the break
Halftime Rams 2 Leiston 0 with the comfort of the scoreline not really telling the full story of the half.
The next goal was always likely to be important and Beaconsfield should really have sealed the deal in the early going of the second half. Good approach play by Bajram Pashaj and Mayowan Belogun down the left flank sprang the Blues defence and created an opening for Morgan whose attempt was blocked by a lunging challenge from Jefford the rebound fell to Losasso whose goal bound effort was turned away by Garnham.
More good approach play saw Losasso slide a weighted ball down the side of the centre back for Morgan who was again thwarted by a plunging save from Garnham.
You suspected that Beaconsfield may pay for their profligacy in front of goal and so it was to prove.
Having had one effort ruled out for offside Blues forced a corner which was allowed to travel all the way across goal where it was headed powerfully home by the impressive Blues captain Joe Jefford. Game on.
The lively Dunbar on the left was a constant threat and produced a succession of quality crosses which had Reece Yorke and Luke Neville under almost constant pressure but without really creating a clearcut opportunity to draw level.
Pressing for the equaliser was always likely to create openings for the home team on the counter and one such saw Morgan play in Stead who steadied himself before sending in a fierce angled drive which brought another fine save from the on rushing Garnham in the Blues goal.
Leiston continued to force the pace but their efforts were becoming more desperate as time passed and they lacked the guile to match Wes Daly and AJ who’s influence across the midfield increased as the game went on. Breaking up play, sticking in a foot and frustrating their opponents.
Those frustrations boiled over on 75 mins when Aitkens became involved in an off the ball skirmish with Luke Neville. Baj Pashaj stepped in to defend his team mate and a brief spell of twenty man handbags was eventually sorted out by referee Barrie Small with help from both assistants. After a brief officials conference, Aitkens already on a yellow made it a matching pair and got first use of the Matey whilst Pashaj was shown a yellow for mostly protecting his mate.
A tough task was now even tougher and 3 minutes later the Rams finished the job.
The always influential Pashaj saw a goalbound shot deflected behind by a lunging last ditch challenge from the excellent Jefford.
From the resulting corner Losasso picked out Morgan who climbed above Knights beyond the far post to steer a looped header back the way it had come over the stranded Garnham into the net.
To their credit the Blues kept battling and playing their football but without really threatening until the fifth minute of stoppage time when Power-Simpson plunged low to his left to make a sharp save and maintain the 2 goal final advantage.
The Rams now go into the draw for the First round proper of the Buildbase FA Trophy for the first time in the clubs history.
Subs Not Used:
14: Joe Adoo-Peters
17: Alex Cathline
Manager: Gary Meakin
Subs Not Used:
Manager: Stuart Broadley
Ref: Barrie Small
Assistants: Jonathan Was / Andrew Batten