Beaconsfield Town got their pre-season underway with an entertaining 4-4 draw with National league Wealdstone at Holloways Park on Monday evening.
Entering the game against, Step Two opponents, off the back of just the one practice match at this early stage in the pre-season gave cause for some trepidation. Any early fears were quickly allayed though as this years model of The Rams settled into the game. Allowing for the whole sale changes of both squads at the break and the usual pre-season rust Gary Meakin has cause for some cautious optimism about the shape and quality of the squad he is assembling.
Nathan Minhas certainly wasn’t showing any signs of rust as he combined with brother Aaron to bag a first half brace. The striker almost bagged a hat trick after another assist from his brother but saw the effort ruled out for our first questionable offside decision of the new season.
The first saw Nathan make space on the near-post to fire home from 8 yards the second was more about his tenacity picking up the ball under pressure on the edge of the box he turned and left his marker tumbling to the floor before advancing and firing high and home past the advancing keeper.
At the other end Mark Nisbet and Liam McDevitt assisted by the fit again Olly Sprague and Callum Webb on the flanks were organised and solid though stretched on occasion by the pace of their sprightly opponents.
When Wealdstone did break through Mark Scott in The Rams goal stood firm.
Despite spells of pressure The Rams were never over run by the visitors.
Even in the warm conditions the game was played at a fierce pace, with both teams passing and moving with speed and precision in possession and maintaining shape and work rate out of it.
Wide man Kyel Reid offering an outlet on the left with pace and trickery showed flashes of the ability that has seen him ply his trade at a much higher level. In midfield the industry and boundless energy of Dan Bradshaw and Aaron Minhas whirled around the fulcrum of the new slimline Scott Donnelly. In front of the back four, pulling the strings and managing the transitions from defence to attack ably assisted by the calm industry of Skipper Toby Little.
For the record The visitors pulled a goal back just before the break and seemed to be taking control as the half drew to a close but were fortunate to see Nathan Minhas’ late effort ruled out for offside.
Both sides made wholesale changes at the break and the visitors settled the quicker as they increased their grip the pressure was rewarded with an equaliser but the Rams regained the lead with a swift break capitalising on confusion in the visitors reorganised back four.
Wealdstone gradually took control of the second half as the much changed Rams team struggled to adapt to their own new shape and personnel but as the half progressed, despite conceding two further goals, Sam Togwell and Sean McAuley started to take control of the midfield stepping in to break up attacks and start forward forays for the home team particularly down the left where Mayo Balogan was encouraged to get forward more and more and created several passable opportunities for himself and others none of which were converted.
Eventually though The Rams efforts were rewarded when Andrei Chiriac was needlessly clipped from behind as he burst into the box. He got up to convert his own penalty, though the young Wealdstone keeper wik=ll still be wondering how he contrived to deflect the weak effort into the net.
Results don’t really matter in pre-season but honours even in the end was a fair reflection of the evening and Rams fans can take some heart in the performance, particularly in the first half.
A platform to build on before another stern test at the weekend when Kingstonian visit Holloways Park for a 3 O’clock kick off on Saturday afternoon.
Come on you Rams