Wimborne Town 2 - Beaconsfield Town 0
Rams Man of the Match - Luke Neville
If you read the referees report - Nine Yellow cards and Two Red - you could be forgiven for thinking this had been a bad-tempered encounter.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead the 299 in attendance at Wimborne witnessed a competitive game played in good spirit between two evenly matched teams both of whom were frustrated at every turn by inept and petty refereeing. The abiding regret from the afternoon is that there was no assessor [as there was last year] to ensure that Mr Williamson return to a level of competition commensurate with his meagre talents. Under 12 should just about do it.
On a sunny afternoon, The Rams with the benefit of conditions, made a bright start. On the front foot snapping into the tackle and settling well without creating a meaningful opportunity.
On four minutes though the home side had their first meaningful attack pay off.
Tony Lee won a corner off Luke Neville. Luke Burbidge’s fairly simple out- swinger was helped on by Joe Byrne. As it dropped beyond the far post the visiting defence were caught ball watching by Sam Bayston who nipped in to steer his effort back the way it had come and into the corner of the net giving Al-Droubi no chance.
Two minutes later the hosts almost added to their lead as Bayston sprinted down the wing before delivering a low cross low cross which could not find a team mate to apply the finish.
Moments later Curtis Young had Al-Droubi springing to his right to turn away a venomous volley at full stretch.
Despite the set-back The Rams were enjoying good possession and playing the more controlled football with Charlie Losasso and Cheyce Grant at the heart of everything. Grant in particular terrorised right back Wells who had no answer for the pace and trickery.
James Ewingtons persistence was rewarded with a shooting opportunity but the narrow angle made it easy for Plain in the home goal who then saved from Mayowa Balogun after more good work from Grant.
By now Mr Williamson had made his pedantic presence known with a zero-tolerance policing of throw ins and some baffling interpretations of the laws in relation to foul tackles. Callum Webb was unfortunate to be booked executing a near perfect text-book tackle on half way. Yes he slid in but he did not leave the ground or show his studs and made firm connection on the ball with his instep. He was not assisted by his opponent remaining prone and the home bench emptying to remonstrate at the challenge. To be honest if it was even a free-kick I’m not sure how, as a defender, you are supposed to tackle anyone running towards you?
As the frustration grew and both sides continued a running dialogue with the ref begging him to let them play and stop ruining the game The Rams continued to create chances. A low Grant cross to the near-post was met by a Cruyff flick from Charlie Losasso - unfortunately though his brilliant improvised flick was easily poached by Plain.
The visitors could and probably should have been level on the stroke of half time though.
The largely excellent Antonio Diaz played a casual back pass from a long way out which was easily collected by James Ewington. With time and space and with Plain hurtling from his line to commit himself the striker shifted the ball on to his right foot and appeared to have the space to round the despairing Plain and walk it in from 25 yards. He chose to shoot and his effort fell wide of the post.
Like the first half The Rams began well despite now playing into the strong breeze. And just like the first half the home-side had the first serious opportunity. Plain’s clearance sailed over everyone on the breeze and fell for Burbidge one on one with Al-Droubi. He struck his effort well enough but straight at the keeper who parried the effort above his head and comfortably caught his own rebound.
The home side were pressing but The Rams remained resolute in defence, Mayo Balogun and Charlie Losasso making excellent challenges to snuff out promising attacks.
Grant was less in evidence in the second half as substitute Penny dealt better with the pace than the hapless Wells, withdrawn at half time to prevent him suffering further punishment and the visitors were reduced to a couple of long-range efforts.
Meanwhile at the other end Mr Williamson adjudged Tony Lee guilty of a dive after a highly questionable challenge from Ade Shokunbi just inside the box. Williamson unhesitatingly brandished his fifth yellow card of the game to the unfortunate Lee.
Wimborne doubled their lead just after the hour-mark. Mayo Balogun and Bayston challenged for a long punt from Plain, between them they flicked it down the wing into the path of Lee on the right-wing, and his near-post cross was swept home from close range by Burbidge.
Beaconsfield continued to try and make a game of it but Mr Williamson was having none of it. In the 72nd minute Nathan Webb, who cut a frustrated figure all afternoon, stretched for a ball in midfield. Bayston rode the minor contact and then went down in instalments coming to rest about five yards from the incident. Webb, already booked for a pithy critique of Mr Williamson’s efforts, was to no one’s surprise, least of all his, shown his second yellow card. Though whether he needed the assistant’s sarcastic comments regarding the location of the showers as he left the field is perhaps something the league could discuss with whoever is responsible for the conduct of match officials.
The game meandered on with neither side creating much in the way of chances. The Rams were not greatly inconvenienced by the loss of one Webb as the home side were content with their lead. Enter Mr Williamson to render the remaining 10 minutes a farcical waste of time.
Following a corner which was headed weakly behind, Callum Webb and centre-half Doe tangled on the edge of the box. Webb fended the big defender off. He responded by throwing himself to the floor. At worst handbags, get on with the game. Mr Williamson saw the opportunity for him to maintain order and stamp his authority with a second yellow for Webb who joined his brother in the stand.
The only incident of note in the final 10 minutes came when the already booked Lee pushed Luke Neville into Al-Droubi as the keeper was in the act of clearing another wind assisted hoof forward. The resulting clash left Neville prostrate on the turf genuinely injured. Mr Williamson deemed this less serious than Callum Webb’s misdemeanour in the same spot and avoided the unpleasantness of sending off a home favourite in front of the home fans.
Two seasons running now the Rams have endured inept refereeing performances on this ground. This had all the makings of an entertaining and competitive game of football on a bright and breezy afternoon. Both sets of players did their best but despite their protestations Mr Williamson ruined the match as a spectacle for players and fans alike.
The result may not have been any different with a competent referee but we certainly wouldn’t have been looking at Nine Yellow and Two Red cards. Today was punishment enough but the Rams now travel to Hartley Wintney next week without the services of either of the Webb brothers.
1. Cameron Plain
2. Ashley Wells [Sub 18 Stefan Penny 46]
3. Jo Byrne [Sub 14 Fatah Makhloufi 79]
4. Sam Davidson
5. Sam Poole
6. Connor Doe
7. Sam Bayston
8. Antonio Diaz
9. Tony-James Lee [Sub 12 Aiden Shepherd 77]
10. Luke Burbidge
11. Curtis Young
Subs Not Used:
15. Edward Phillips (gk),
17. Carl Pettefer
Manager: Danny Holmes
1. Hafed Al-Droubi
2. Callum Webb
3. Mayo Balogun
4. Jordan Ajanlekoko
5. Luke Neville
6. Nathan Webb
7. Louis Stead
8. Ade Shokunbi
9. James Ewington [Sub14 Mihai-Andrei Chiriac 82]
10. Charlie Losasso
Subs Not Used:
12. Wes Daly
15. Myles Bowman
16. Dan Brown
Manager: Gary Meakin
Attendance : 299
Ref: Mr WIlliamson