Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South
Farnborough Town 4 Beaconsfield Town 1
Rams Man of the Match - Jordan AJ Ajanlekoko
Fragile Rams blown apart by Farnborough and the elements
Beaconsfield Town’s encouraging recent mini run was brought to a crashing halt on a windswept and increasingly dismal, for the Rams at least, afternoon at Farnborough’s rainswept Easy as HGV stadium, as defensive frailty and lack of concentration was ex-posed by the home side who made better use of the conditions aided by some helpful offi-ciating and ran out comfortable victors despite going behind after 15 minutes.
It started so well. Having repelled the initial thrusts from the home side it was the visitors who took the lead.
Defending a Farnborough corner the clearance fell to Charlie Losasso whose raking cross-field pass found The Rams skipper Jordan Ajanlekoko breaking in the right centre back channel 25 yards out. AJ played a weighted pass to Callum Webb in space on the right flank. The wing back delivered a deep cross to Jefferson Louis beyond the far post, 15 yards out.
Faced by three defenders and the keeper, Louis still had a lot to do. He pulled down the dropping ball and got it out of his feet with one touch, looked up and shaped a curling ef-fort around the defenders and off the despairing fingertips of Liam Beach into the top cor-ner. It was a well taken well-crafted goal and gave cause for optimism for the rest of the game.
As it turned out it was the first, last and only high note of an increasingly disastrous first half in which, Farnborough, the elements and the officials combined with The Rams lack lustre and at times inept defending which saw them concede three largely preventable goals before the interval.
First assistant Mr Fanelli inexplicably indicated a corner kick when it was clear to everyone in the ground beyond those in black that Luke Neville, under pressure from Andrew Blake and CJ Fearn, had shepherded a through pass safely into touch for a goal kick. Referee Mr Robinson, apparently unsighted, looked for help to his assistant. His view can’t have been much better with three players between him and the ball. Undaunted, grasping the rare opportunity to make a decision, Mr Fanelli made the wrong one. Corner.
The initial effort was cleared but fell to Michael Fernandes, head and shoulders the best player on the field. His direct run and cross picked out CJ Fearn, unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box and he thrashed the ball home.
It may well be that the corner should never have been given. However, once it has been you have to put the decision out of your mind and defend it properly. Beaconsfield simply didn’t and were punished.
However fortuitous the circumstances of the equaliser may have been the home side, now with the wind at their backs and their tails up, set about taking the game by the scruff of the neck.
Fernandes and John Oyenugu began to run riot down the left and Fernandes was at the heart of every attack, including the second goal with the help of Mr Robinson.
Played in on the left by Oyenuga, he cut in towards the bye-line. His progress was initially stopped by Jerome Ecclestone jockeying him away from goal. Now at walking pace the defender stepped across to cover the path to goal. Though the challenge lacked the nec-essary ferocity to remove the crust from a post match rice pudding, Fernandes went down, looking for a penalty and Mr Robinson found it for him.
The care worn old cliche shouted from touchlines across the land, “you would have given that if it happened anywhere else on the pitch ref!” was effectively turned on its head here. Contact if there was any was minimal and without malicious intent.
Before and after any number of firmer more robust coming togethers including a couple of borderline muggings went unremarked and unpunished by the man from Southampton who awarded two penalties for the home side in the same fixture last season.
Suitably recovered Fernandes sent Adam Forster the wrong way and Farnborough never really looked back.
James Ewington, who limped off after half time with a tweaked hamstring, had a chance to bring The Rams level breaking through on to a Charlie Losasso pass in the left channel.
He was rapidly closed down by the advancing Beach and recovering centre-half Bradley Pearce and could only hit the legs of Beach, who deserves credit for closing down the tar-get so quickly.
From the ricochet the home-side broke straight down the right wing and within seconds Forster was plunging low to his left to turn an Andrew Blake effort behind for a corner.
From that corner Seth Owens produced the sort of finish that you only concede when it really isn’t your day.
The danger appeared to be over as the corner sailed well beyond the far post even when it arrived at the unmarked central defender. Owens met it with a thunderous volley. The sort defenders up and down the country routinely launch into car parks every week. This one though was in the 0.1% that ping into the opposite top corner like a laser guided smart bomb.
I may be doing a disservice to Seth Owens, he may do this routinely but there wasn’t much about the rest of his play before or after to indicate he had this up his sleeve. Hon-est, effective, no nonsense. Absolutely! but somewhat more Macclesfield than Maracanã!
I doubt if he ever has or ever will hit a better one.
Half time 3-1
The strong wind meant, that even at 3-1, Beaconsfield had reason to feel that they were not out of things
Gary Meakin withdrew Charlie Losasso in favour of debutant Ibrahim Lukulay, fresh from his two-goal performance in the U23’s win over Chatham last week. Callum Webb who picked up a knock made way for Aaron Minhas.
Hopes of a rousing comeback were snuffed out within 10 minutes as CJ Fearn added a second goal from another Fernandes assist, the combative midfielder drifted in and found space at the far post and bundled the ball home from close range.
That was effectively that, Beaconsfield huffed and puffed. As the weather deteriorated so did the quality. Beach made regulation saves at intervals from goal scorer Louis and tipped over a Bayley Brown looping header from a corner resulting from his best save of the afternoon. A smart stop at his near post to deflect wide a stinging low effort from an-other debutant sub Khaliq Callender introduced when James Ewington limped off in the 64th minute. The Rams though could not sustain the pressure or quality possession to capitalise on conditions or ever look like clawing their way back.
Farnborough deserved their win and they will hope that the knock which saw Michael Fer-nandes limp off before the end will not keep such an influential player on the sidelines very long.
Beaconsfield must regroup get things back on the rails as they welcome Harrow Borough to Holloways Park on Monday at 7.30pm
1. Adam Forster
2. Callum Webb [Sub 12 Aaron Minhas 46]
3. Thomas Scott
4. James Taylor
5. Luke Neville
6. Jerome Ecclestone
7. Jordan Ajanlekoko ©
8. Bayley Brown
9. Jefferson Louis
10. James Ewington [Sub19 Khaliq Callender 64]
11. Charlie Losasso [Sub17.Ibrahim Lukulay 46]
Subs Not used
14. Nathan Webb
15. Harry Scott
Manager: Gary Meakin
1. Liam Beach
2. Ezra Ikebusai
3. John Oyenuga
4. Brian Akongo
5. Bradley Pearce
6. Seth Owens
7. Andrew Blake
8. CJ Fearn ©
9. Connor Cullen[Sub16. Tom Leggett46]
10. Louis Dunne
11. Michael Fernandes [Sub15.Louis Paget 66]
Subs Not used
12. Nathan Wood
14. Reece Miller
18. Kamon Sherell Assidjo
Manager: Spencer Day