Beaconsfield Town negotiated a tricky looking 4th round Berks and Bucks senior cup tie, away to FA vase holders Ascot United, with surprising comfort given their form of late.
They didn't make the best of starts, handing the Yellas an early after 5 minutes.
Sean McCormack was brought down by Rams’ keeper Matt Rowley who flattened him with a perfectly delivered body check.
Harry Laflin stepped up to and stroked the spot kick home, sending Rowley the wrong way.
That was largely that for Rowley and The Ascot forward line for the next 20 minutes as the Rams took the tie by the scruff of the neck.
The lead last less than 3 minutes. A James Dobson corner whipped in at pace was met perfectly by skipper Luke Neville got away from his marker to power a header past Hugo Sobte from six yards.
Moments later the same combination were at it again from the opposite flank. Ada Okorogheye did well to commit the home defence and force the corner which Dobson swung in to the danger area where Neville stretched ahead of the defence to steer the ball home.
10 minutes later Dobson shaped another trademark cross in towards the far post which missed everyone before bouncing up into the top corner as Sobte watched it go by.
That was pretty much that.
Laflin almost pulled one back for the Yellamen just before the break. This time Luke Neville was on hand inn the right place at the right time on defensive duty. As the striker brought the ball down and looked odds on to pull the trigger. Neville slid in superbly to block the effort away to safety and snuff out the danger.
George Lock then fired over from a narrow angle with Matt Rowley at full stretch.
Half time 1-3
Beaconsfield retained their control in the early stages maintaining their shape and discipline and springing on the counter as their hosts pressed for a route back into the game.
Sobte saved well from Asher Yearwood, given space and time outside the box the midfielder stepped infield and sent in a low effort which the keeper saved at full stretch.
Ada Okorogheye almost scored the goal of the night on his full debut in a Rams shirt, pulling the ball down out of the chilly night sky he turned his marker inside out and made half a yard for his cross shot which whistled just wide of Sobte’s far post.
Another debutant, former AFC Wimbledon and Lately Blyth Spartans front man, Troy Chiabi, made room for a shot on the half turn, which flew narrowly wide of the angle of post and bar.
Beaconsfield didn't have it all their own way though.
George Lock, the Yellamens’ outstanding player on the night, made space and fired in an inviting low cross which substitute Ollie Harris met squarely six yards out. Matt Rowley was pleased to see Harris’s effort rebound to safety off the face of the bar.
Harris then shot wide when clean through on goal as the homeside continued to push for a way ack into the game.
As the game ebbed away, it was Harris who again went close, when a deflected effort wrong-footed Rowley and struck the outside of the post before being cleared.
At the other end The Rams had their own promising situations.
Second-half substitutes; Maks Jarzabek and Iker Noguera were prominent and combined well with Okorogheye and Chiabi. But the unfamiliar quartet understandably took time to gel and struggled to carve out the clear opportunities that the quality of their approach play promised.
Early days but there were reasons for cautious optimism that this revitalised Rams strike force have what it takes to deliver the goals The Rams need and can play their part in defending from the front.
Reducing and relieving the pressure at the other end.
Ascot had their moments but it was encouraging to see Beaconsfield defend as a unit, maintain their shape and discipline under strong second-half pressure, with a workmanlike display free from the carelessness in possession and poor decisions that have characterised the later stages of games of late.
They won the game after 25 minutes and put in a professional display thereafter. Large portions of the second period were somewhat dull. It made a nice change.
Next up The Rams head to a tricky-looking league encounter at Merthyr Town who currently sit third in the table and handed The Rams their worst and most lopsided league defeat of the season so far. They can prepare for it safe in the knowledge that they have avoided the potential yellamen banana skin and progressed to The quarter-final of the county senior cup.
Rams Line Up - Matt Rowley, Ben Van Aurich, Luke Neville©, Jacques Lpohomouh, Dan Bradshaw, Asher Yearwood, Jake Gosling, James Dobson, Ada Okorogheye, Troy Chiabi, Josh Payne;
Liam Jenkins, Zidan Akers, Iker Noguera, Tom McElroy, Maks Jarzabeck