Newport Pagnell 1 (3) Beaconsfield Town 1 (1)
Rams Man of the Match - Mihai-Andrei Chiriac
Despite dominating proceedings at Willen Road last night, overcoming the opposition, the conditions, the pitch and the standard perplexing officiating, Beaconsfield find themselves out of the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup for this season, the tie being decided in a limp penalty shoot-out where the Southern Premier South side could muster only one successful spot kick from the four they had - full credit to Dan Willet in the home goal who produced saves to deny Mihai-Andrei Chiriac, Hafed Al-Droubi and Ade Shokunbi whilst the Swans netted three of their four.
In truth it should never have reached the point that the penalty shoot-out was needed. Beyond the opening quarter of the game the home side threatened little and debutant goalie Hafed Al-Droubi was largely untroubled.
Once The Rams got to grips with the playing surface, which had more divots than a blind golfers driving range, they controlled proceedings creating early chances with Chiriac, a late replacement for Charlie Losasso who pulled up with a stiff achilles in the warm up, shooting just over and Louis Stead doing similar from the edge of the box.
Makai Murray then had two chances to open the scoring. First he was thwarted as much by the pitch as the keeper and defender as he tried to tame a bobbling through pass.
Moments later though he was presented with the opportunity to mark his full debut in style.
Louis Stead picked out Jordan Ajanlekoko beyond the far post the big midfielder elected to nod it back across goal where Murray seemed to have been presented with a straightforward opportunity but his stooping header lacked conviction and wobbled wide of the post with Willet scrambling to cover.
On the half hour the Rams pressure seemed to have paid off as Louis Stead rifled in a low shot which Willet could only parry out in front of goal James Ewington pounced and gratefully fired home the rebound only to be adjudged offside. It’s fair to say the photos don’t fully support the officials view.
As is often the way insult compounded injury as the hosts broke away and Aaron Murrell wriggled into space, tamed ball and pitch and rolled in the opener from 12 yards.
The remainder of the first half action then largely concerned strike partner Jimmy Burnside. Tackled by James Taylor the burly striker kicked out at the defender from his prone position. The incident was unseen by the ref and after the standard 15 man handbag session he took the view they could both have a yellow each. Oddly though he reversed his initial free kick decision.
Moments later Burnside took the opportunity to ‘leave a little on’ Luke Neville after the ball had gone. After a five minute talking to, despite the fact that the second foul was probably worse than the first the ref took the view that a strong talking to would suffice.
Half time 1 - 0
To no one’s surprise, except possibly the ref, Burnside did not appear for the second half.
His manager sensibly taking the view that as he somehow got away with it in the first half sending him out for the second would probably be a foolhardy endeavour.
Gary Meakin sent on Jon-Jo Bates after 5 minutes in place of Makai Murray and he set about the home defence in his customary energetic fashion. The Rams camped in The Swans half and the equaliser when it came was no more than they deserved.
Chiriac picked up a deflected attempted clearance from a corner just inside the box, made space, got the ball out of his feet before drilling it across the motionless Willet and into the corner.
The Rams continued to dominate and pressed for the winner. Willet saved bravely from Ewington, whilst Shokunbi and Stead went close. The home defence stood up well and battled hard, well marshalled by Willet who swept up behind them where necessary and was always well placed to intervene in and around the danger area
With time running out Jon-Jo Bates seemed to have topped his super sub performance with a goal, shimmying and turning in the box he shaped a vicious curling drive that fizzed over the helpless Willet and just over the angle of post and bar.
The final effort was for the home side as The Rams pressed for the winner, a swift counter attack spelt danger until Luke Neville stepped in to snuff it out as he had done for most of the evening. This time though the challenge was a foul resulting in a free kick in a dangerous position.Jake Strong’s kick fizzed just wide.
All that was left was the shoot-out. Newport Pagnell advance
The Rams now head home to face Western-Super-Mare in the league on Saturday afternoon.
1. Dan Willet
2. Adam Pyrke [Sub 12. Nathan Smith 87]
3. James Sage
4. Christian Smails
6. Adam Hull
8. Ben Sheperd
9.Jimmy Burnside [Sub 14. Sam Olawale 45]
10. Aaron Murrell
11. Jake STrong
Subs Not Used:
15. Tom Guiney
16. Nick Bennion
17. Sam Parish
Manager: Gary Flinn
1. Hafed Al-Droubi
2. Callum Webb
3. Mayo Balogun
4. James Taylor [Sub16 Javin Dougan]
5. Luke Neville
6. Jordan Ajanlekoko
7. Louis Stead
8. Ade Shokunbi
9. Makai Murray [Sub 12 Jon-Jo Bates 50]
10. James Ewington
11. Mihai-Andrei Chiriac
Subs Not Used:
13. Myles Bowman
15. Kane Guy-Seifert
Manager: Gary Meakin
Attendance : 53
Ref: Ryan Dix.