Saturday 10th December 2022
Pitching In Southern League
Premier Division South
Beaconsfield Town 2 Salisbury 1
Holloways Park - Attendance 81
Ram of the Match – Dan Bradshaw
For the second Saturday in a row Beaconsfield missed a first half penalty. This week though they absorbed the blow and recovered to record a 2-1 victory over Salisbury.
In the process, they extended their recent run of good form suffering just one defeat, last week at Merthyr, in their last nine games.
They also overcame the loss of Sam Granville, whose loan extension formalities were not completed in time for him to be eligible for selection here. Skipper Toby Little stepped in on the right and Dan Bradshaw moved into the centre where his boundless energy, ceaseless running and application made up for the absence of the admirable Granville.
Both sides also had to contend with some borderline inept officiating by another referee.
They’ve had some poor ones at Holloways Park this season. When you allow for the fact that Mr Greaves is actually a native English speaker he probably shaded it as the worst.
He didn’t get a lot of help from his assistants but on the few occasions it was offered, he ignored it and went his own bizarre way.
He also became the third official to award two penalties for one side at Holloways Park this season. Fortunately for The Rams it was them that benefitted and, in the interests of balance, there wasn’t much argument about either and with one notable exception Mr Greaves got the big decisions right but his problems were in general play. Where his control, game and player management were some way short of the standard required to manage a game at this level.
The first penalty award came in the 44th minute of a fairly undistinguished first half.
To that point both sides had mustered one effort on target between them, a Brandon Goodship effort well saved by Ravan Constable after 10 minutes.
The Rams created pressure and had near misses with Keano Robinson and Myles Anderson coming closest, seeing efforts flash narrowly wide from set pieces but there was nothing to extend Gerard Benfield, the Salisbury keeper who was so instrumental in their 1-0 win in the opening game of the season.
When Nathan Minhas was brought down wriggling free in a crowd on the edge of the area, Skipper Toby Little stepped up to spot kick duty following Kyel Reid’s problems from 12 yards. Seems Saturday wasn’t the day for captains and penalties. Little’s kick was well struck but not in the corner and Benfield tumbled low to his right to make the save.
Half Time 0-0
Beaconsfield began the second half on the front foot and Mr Greaves was involved early with a thoroughly bizarre moment of officiating. Benfield collected a cross under pressure from Sam Togwell. There was contact but it wasn’t deemed a foul by the ref who waved play on. Benfield was unhappy with Togwell’s attentions and over reacted, as goalkeepers often do, angrily. With the ball in one hand the keeper slapped Togwell on the back of the head as the midfielder was walking away. Mr Greaves was immediately on the scene and took control. “Penalty and a minimum of a Yellow card for Benfield ?” I hear you ask . No.
With his assistant clearly attempting to offer his view of what had happened, Greaves booked Togwell and with Rams skipper Toby imploring him to speak to his assistant, Greaves didn’t even make eye contact with him. He stopped short of putting his fingers in his ears and muttering “La La la La”. He might as well have.
The Rams continued to press and it was no surprise when they went ahead. Elliott Buchanan’s long range effort was blocked on the edge of the box and fell nicely for Toby Little whose low effort was well saved by Benfield but Nathan Minhas reacted quickest and fired the rebound into the roof of the net from seven yards.
The visitors were level within a minute. Dan Fitchett appeared to foul Myles Anderson as he chased a hopeful ball down the channel. He was second there and appeared to push the defender in the back leaving him spreadeagled on the turf. Fitchett’s cross was collected by Goodship who took a touch before firing home from close range.
Beaconsfield bounced back, Benfield saved well from Toby Little. From the resulting corner the ball travelled all the way across to the other flank where it was picked up by Kyel Reid he advanced into the box and drew an injudicious challenge from Josh Carmichael as Reid shifted the ball with quick feet Carmichael took Reids standing leg away.
With everyone wondering who would step up to take the kick. Reid took responsibility himself and drove his penalty in off Benfield’s left post.
Mr Greaves intervened again when Josh Wakefield slid in to tackle Dan Bradshaw. He appeared to get some ball but Mr Greaves gave the free kick. Wakefield's frustration got the better of him and he offered a pithy critique of the official's performance as he saw it,
Along lines of, “What’s the point you f****** moron.”
Mr Greaves issued a straight Red and Salisbury’s difficult afternoon became even worse. To their credit for much of the remaining 15 minutes, it was hard to tell who was playing with 10 men. As Beaconsfield contrived to sacrifice possession and invite pressure but defended well enough to prevent serious alarm and saw out the remaining time to secure the win their second-half performance deserved.
Next up The Rams travel to Hendon next Saturday
Beaconsfield Town :
Ravan Constable, Charlie Smith, Callum Webb, Myles Anderson, Keano Robinson Sam Togwell, Toby Little ©, Dan Bradshaw, Sam Granville, Nathan Minhas, Elliott Buchanan [Sub Max Bustamante 86], Kyel Reid [Sub Olly Sprague 89]
Sub Not Used - Luke Neville,
Gerard Benfield, Calvin Brooks, Dinesh Gillela [Sub Seokjae Lee 86], Josh Carmichael, Sam Roberts, Nassim Kherbouche, Marvin Brooks, Joshua Wakefield, Daniel Fitchett, Brandon Goodship, Lucas Tomlinson [Sub Carson Arnold 64]
Subs Not used - Devon Arnold,, Dyllan Roocroft,, Charlie Fox
Refereee - Tristan Greaves
Assistants David Brennan and James Weatherall.