Pitching In Southern Premier League Division South
Saturday 9th October 2021
Weston Super Mare 2 Beaconsfield Town 1
Rams MoM Baz Pashaj
For the second Saturday in a row Beaconsfield Town created enough opportunities to take at least a point from a game but failed to convert chances into goals and were left to endure another coach trip home with nothing to show for their efforts.
May be that does a disservice to home keeper Luke Purnell who made a number of crucial saves in the second period to protect the home sides slender lead and in the process atoning for the first half rush of blood to the head which allowed The Rams back into the game.
The Seagulls opened the scoring on nine minutes when referee Ross Martin spotted a ‘foul’ by Jerome Eccleston on Nathaniel Williams as the full back attempted to get on the end of Lloyd Humphries’ clever back heel. The contact such as it was drew silence from the 607 present and barely registered a question on the pitch, never mind an appeal from the Weston players. It was enough for Mr Martin though, who subsequently described the contact as “soft but enough”.
Dayle Grubb stepped up and emphatically despatched the spot kick high into the top corner.
The Rams responded well. Antonis Vasiliou capped a typical direct elusive run down the wing, cutting in to finish with a low shot which Purnell did well to block away with his legs. From the resulting corner, Toby Little steered a dipping volley just over the bar.
Little was involved again, in the 20th minute, when Beaconsfield were awarded their own penalty and whilst its tempting to wonder if Mr Martin was levelling things up. In truth there was little doubt about the second award.
Purnell, as keepers are apt to do on occasion, came rushing from his line as Little chased a seemingly innocuous ball down the right channel. The keeper, as far as he could be from goal without leaving the area, was second favourite from a long way back but still decided to make the challenge. Challenge probably dignifies it somewhat as he proceeded to clatter through the back of Little despite the midfielder comfortably beating him to the ball.
Scott Donnelly made him pay for his impetuousness stroking home the penalty with his usual aplomb.
After the equaliser, both sides enjoyed moments but lacked the quality to add to their tally. The game was finely balanced with the home side probably edging it with Humphries in particular pulling the strings in midfield. They forced a number of corners and put Rams keeper Alex Tokarczyk under increasing, borderline illegal, pressure resulting in some fairly unconvincing attempted clearances.
Beaconsfield survived until the 37th minute.
Nick McCootie, whose muscular presence was chiefly responsible for Tokarczyk’s discomfort at corners, received the ball on the right 25 yards out with his back to goal. The ball rebounded from his chest and seemed to have come off a little heavily. Whether by accident or design the touch took the ball infield, away from the close attentions of Luke Neville and presented the big striker with a shooting opportunity, albeit on his weaker foot. The swinger worked to perfection as his dipping, first time thump flew past Tokarczyk and nestled in the far corner.
Beaconsfield again responded and closed the half with corners of their own culminating in Neville heading over with Nathan Minhas possibly better positioned behind him.
Half Time 2-1
Vasiliou made way for Tyrone Lewthwaite at half time and the big striker was immediately into the action playing in Minhas who drove in on the angle before sending in a low shot which Purnell blocked at the near post.
Beaconsfield were on top but the home side still carried a threat and Olly Sprague had to be at his best to clear a goal bound effort off the line after McCootie caused panic in The Rams defence with a direct and powerful run and shot. The left back was injured effecting the clearance and limped off shortly afterwards to be replaced by Alex Lafleur.
The Rams continued to press, Kensley Maloney was more prominent recycling possession and linking with Donnelly and feeding Baz Pashaj, showing no ill effects from the knock that saw him limp off at Poole last week.
Litttle too continued to pop up collecting second balls and finding space for shooting opportunities shooting narrowly wide and then seeing Purnell make a sprawling save to turn away a low effort. Moments later the keeper turned away Littles low free kick as it almost sneaked in at the near post.
As they pressed in numbers though The Rams remained open to the counter as Weston sat in and played on the break.
They almost presented a third goal on a plate to the hosts. Facing his own goal but conservatively 50 yards away Maloney attempted a long distance back pass, made poor contact and effectively played in Dayle Grubb who bore down on the penalty area. Credit to Tokarczyk who quickly advanced from his line, made himself big and forced the striker wide.
There was still opportunity to get a strike on goal but Grubb dithered and the moment passed as Luke Neville and others spared Kensley’s blushes and shepherded the ball behind.
From the resulting corner Sam Avery rose above the close attentions of Babbs Jarra at the far
post but The Rams skipper did enough to prevent him from hitting the target.
Olly McCoy replaced Little and showed that he is near full fitness with another enthusiastic and busy 20 minutes of action. His direct running committed defenders and links with Lafleur and Minhas looked like it may bare fruit, with Minhas again drawing a save from Purnell. Especially when the home side were reduced to 10 men for the final quarter of an hour.
McCootie went from hero to villain for the home side in the 77th minute. Already on a yellow he gave Mr Martin no option aiming a wild lunging challenge at Kensley Maloney. who himself was probably lucky to escape punishment after leaving his feet to win a 50 50 challenge in midfield, emerging as favourite to pick up the ball - that challenge dislodged Maloney and he was unceremoniously upended by McCootie who saw his second yellow and the subsequent red.
If anything playing against 10 men made The Rams task harder, coming so late. Weston sat in and contented themselves with game management and defence.
The Rams persevered but struggled to create many clear cut opportunities until McCoy and Minhas combined to create an opening for Lewthwaite, as Purnell spread himself at the strikers feet and defenders converged he lifted his effort goalwards but it was Purnells afternoon as he somehow managed to deflect the effort wide off a combination of his face and elbow.
Tough on The Rams who emerge from consecutive road trips against teams of comparable ability with nothing to show for two battling performances.
Next up the short trip to take on Harrow Borough and a few familiar faces from Rams teams past on Tuesday evening.
2. Jerome Eccleston
3. Oliver Sprague (Sub 14 Alex Lafleur 54)
4. Baboucarr Jarra
5. Luke Neville
6. Scott Donnelly
7. Antonis Vasiliou (Sub 17.Tyrone Lewthwaite 46)
8. Kensley Maloney
9. Nathan Minhas
10. Bajram Pashaj
11. Toby Little (Sub 6 Olly McCoy 71)
Subs not used
12. Harry Tucker
15. Carl Stewart
Manager - Gary Meakin
Weston Super Mare
1. Luke Purnell
2. Kieran Thomas
3. Nathaniel Williams (Sub 12 Jordan Bastin 74)
4. Jacob Cane
5. Jason Pope
6. Samuel Avery
7. Nick McCootie
8. Lloyd Humphries
9. Prince Henry (Sub 15 Adam Smith 82)
10. Dayle Grubb (Sub 14 Jay Murray 89)
Subs not used
16. William Turner
Manager Scott Bartlett
Ref: - Ross Martin
Assistants - Mark Wilkes - Said Ouchene