Beaconsfield Town left Imber Court with all three points on Tuesday after comprehensively outplaying last seasons play off semi finalists Met Police FC for 80 minutes.
But The Rams 3-2 victory failed to make the statement that it could and maybe should have?
3-1 to the good against 10 men The Rams delivered a muddled final quarter of an hour during which they seemed torn between killing the game and chasing the further goals their dominance deserved. Ultimately they ended up doing neither.
In the process they Allowed their hosts to pull a late goal back and set up a nervy grandstand finish as The Met went in search of an improbable point. With a series of injury time set pieces.
Beaconsfield were ahead after Five minutes. Eitel Goueth, given the nod over Aaron Minhas at 10, finished a short corner routine with a low drive into the bottom corner.
The Met whose principal tactical plan so far this season has seen them get a lead, sit in and exploit their pace on the counter were rocked by the early reverse and struggled to lay a glove on the visitors as Sam Togwell, Scott Donnolly, Kyel Reid, the pacey Goueth and Dan Bradshaw, making his first start of the season, pressed and harried to dominate possession. In the opening half an hour
Donnolly and Reid had efforts just wide and Bradshaw saw a goal bound header acrobatically tipped away by Callum Coulter while at the other end Herson Rodrigues-Alves headed straight at Ravan Constable and Jasper Mather fired over after Mr Briers and his assistance had a difference of opinion over the offside law much to the annoyance of Gary Meakin and his staff.
Beaconsfield doubled the lead on the half hour. Nathan Minhas received the ball in a crowd of players with his back to goal near the penalty spot wriggled and turned to create space for a low shot which crept inside the post past the unsighted Coulter.
The Met responded Four minutes later when Rodrigues-Alves, beat Constable to a headed through ball after a misplaced clearance from the big keeper was returned with interest to get the Met back in it.
The big striker ended the half going into Mr Briers book after leaving his feet to bring down Nathan Minhas as The Rams striker headed for the byline.
It took The Rams just Two minutes to re-establish their Two goal cushion.
Scott Donnolly who controlled the heart of midfield for most of the evening
Stepped in to snuff out an attempted Met counter attack with a well timed interception and advanced through midfield before playing in Nathan Minhas in the centre of the goal 20 yards out. Minhas drew the defender before laying a cushioned pass into the path of Dan Bradshaw who fired home an angled rising effort that gave Coulter no chance.
Beaconsfield were in complete control as the evening went from bad to worse for the hosts on 55 minutes when Herson Rodrigues-Alves wrestled half time substitute Aaron Minhas to the ground to receive an obvious second yellow and resulting Red card.
The lively Kyel Reid provided two brilliant crosses that no one could get on the end of and then gave way to Sub Toby Little who broke down the left before delivering an exquisite flighted cross which simply required a finishing touch that no one could apply.
It was Little’s final contribution too as he tweaked a hamstring in the process and was replaced by Louis Walsh.
For most of the remainder, Beaconsfield enjoyed long spells of possession and moved their depleted opponents from side to side but satisfied themselves with threat free passages of play, eschewing the creation of further chances in favour of recycling and retaining possession but without actually committing to killing the game.
The Met sent on their subs and threw caution to the wind and were finally rewarded in the 88th minute when Josh Keeya found rare space at the far post to direct a downward header past Constable.
For the final Seven minutes you could have been forgiven for assuming the Met had Eleven against The Ram’s Ten as the home side dominated and pressed Beaconsfield back assisted by some increasingly eccentric refereeing but the Rams held on and survived the somewhat unnecessarily exciting climax.
It would have been a travesty had The Met got anything from the game having been comprehensively outplayed for most of it.
The fact that they came as close as the did serves notice to The Rams moving forward that they will need to add a little bit of clinical ruthless game management to the obvious flair and quality they are showing in attack.
That said though this is a very encouraging result for The Rams, away from home against a Met Police team who were less than a minute away from the play off final last season. Leading away from home in the semi final before conceding a last minute equaliser to eventual play off winners Farnborough who needed extra time to get past them.
Next up The Rams entertain Dorchester in the Southern league Premier South game of the day on Saturday.
Two teams who have been more used to battling it out in the lower reaches of the table in the recent past currently stand equal on Six points separated by goal difference in 5th and 9th place respectively with identical 3-1 wins over Plymouth Parkway in their last home fixtures.
Should be a cracker.
Ravan Constable, Callum Webb, Liam McDevitt, Mark Nisbet, Sam Togwell© [Sub Aaron Minhas 46] , Dan Bradshaw, Scott Donnolly, Nathan Minhas, EItel Goueth, Kyel Reid [Sub Toby Little 68 Sub Louis Walsh 82]
Subs not used - Josh Roach, Shaun McAuley.
Met Police Fc
Callum Coulter, Harry Taylor, Alex Fisher, Zak Brown [Sub Shykler Burrowes 63], Bernard Tanner, Louis Birch [Sub Mason Galloway 63], Oliver Knight, Joshua Keeya, Jasper Mather, Herson Rodrigues-Alves, Archy Taylor,
Subs not used - Didi Ndombe, Conor Lee, Louis Degand .