Rams Man of the match - Mayo Balogun
Beaconsfield and Poole Town fought out a highly competitive and entertaining draw in a difficult swirling wind at Holloways park. Both teams may feel they should have taken all three points but on reflection one each was probably a fair reflection of their hard fought encounter.
Beaconsfield have made a habit lately of starting quickly and pinning opponents back but were rocked by a freak goal after only Four minutes when Luke Roberts speculative effort took a wicked deflection off Reece York and left Ravan Constable with no chance.
Roberts and Sam Griffin were lively all afternoon and linked well with James Constable and Marvin Brooks who formed a muscular strike partnership and provided a stern test for The rams defence in a dominant first half.
The home side struggled to get a foot hold in the game as the visitors dominated possession and pressed them back. On 18 minutes Constable [James] will probably feel he should have done better as his snapshot from a Roberts cross was well saved by Constable [Ravan] in The Rams goal.
The troubled start to the afternoon took a turn for the worse in the 26th Minute when skipper Wes Morgan who had been struggling for ten minutes limped off with a suspected Achillies injury which will throw into question his participation in next weeks trip to Leyton Orient. He was replaced by Nathan Webb whose introduction provided some much needed energy in a Rams midfield which was struggling to get a foothold in the game.
His interception and quick pass to Basram Pashaj created space for Brendan Matthew but Pashaj’s through ball sat up and Matthew could not make good enough contact to trouble Luke Cairney but at least the home team were showing signs of life, even if it had taken 27 minutes.
It was the visitors though who continued to press and they should really have increased their lead but two gilt edged opportunities went begging. First Roberts miscued a shot with the goal at his mercy and from the resulting recycled possession Sam Griffin headed over at the far post with the goal gaping and the defence scrambling.
Two minutes later Beaconsfield punished the visitors for their lack of composure in front of goal as Brendan Matthew latched on to a Losasso through ball his steered right foot shot taken early caught the advancing Cairney before he was set and although the keeper managed to get hands the shot had enough power to beat the retreating Will Spetch who narrowly failed to make the goal line clearance.
So it was that at Half time the Rams having mustered a single effort on target went in all square.
Nathan Webb suffered a recurrence of the injury which has already sidelined him for several weeks and was replaced at Half time by Marvin Morgan whose presence immediately changed the pattern and tempo of The Rams’ performance. His aerial threat, ability to hold the ball and link with Matthew and Losasso gave Beaconsfield the chance to employ their familiar pressing style and Louis Stead and Basram Pashaj began to make promising forays down the flanks. Poole still enjoyed good possession but not the time and space that they had been given in the first half. Spetch and Whisken who could have enjoyed a pre Christmas cigar for most of the first half came increasingly under pressure and it was Beaconsfield turn to create the better opportunities.
On 58 minutes Pashaj broke down the left, dropped his shoulder and cut inside in trademark Bas style before firing in a fierce right foot drive from 20 yards. The effort was well saved by a full length Cairney but the rebound fell to Charlie Losasso. From 7 yards out with the goal at his mercy he steered his effort just wide of the post. In fairness it came to him at speed from a firm hand and he was forced to adjust to take it first time but a player of his quality will be disappointed not to have put the home side in front.
On 65 minutes Louis Stead and Losasso combined to play in Jerome Ecclestone on a rare foray forward, his firmly struck cross shot fizzed across goal and narrowly evaded the onrushing Stead at the far post.
With the space and chaos created buy Morgans pressure on the heart of defence Losasso came more and more into the game and almost capped his performance with what would have been a stunning goal on 78 minutes. Cutting in from the right wing no more than six yards from the byline he shaped to cross but instead sent in a dipping drive which Cairney did brilliantly to claw away from underneath his bar.
That was the final chance of note for either side as the game tapered out to a conclusion
Poole continued to battle hard and their forward power and pace continued to carry threat but lacked the quality of the first half and Constable in the home goal enjoyed a fairly routine second period and Morgan had claims for a penalty waved away when he appeared to be sandwiched by two defenders when trying to get on the end of an 85th minute corner. A winner for either side at that point would have been harsh.
On reflection neither manager will be entirely satisfied with a point, but neither will be too disappointed either.
1. Ravan Constable
2. Jerome Eccleston
3. Mayowa Balogun
4. Reece Yorke
5. Luke Neville
6. Wes Daly © Sub 14. Nathan Webb 24 Sub 17. Marvin Morgan 45
7. Louis Stead
8. Dan Brown
9. Brendan Matthew (Sub 16. Andre Costa 89)
10. Bajram Pashaj
11. Charlie Losasso
Subs Not Used:
12: Joe Adoo-Peters
Manager: Gary Meakin
1. Luke Cairney
2. Jordan Alawode-Williams
3. Josh Leslie-Smith
4. Will Spetch
5. Jamie Whisken ©
6. Jack Dickson Sub 14.Jez Bedford 65
7. Sam Griffin
8. Corby Moore
9. James Constable Sub 12. Richard Gillespie 48
10. Marvin Brooks
11. Luke Roberts (15.Sam House 85)
Subs Not Used:
16. Jake Smeeten
17. Carl Pettefer
Manager: Tom Killick
Ref: Mr Michael Ryan
Assistants: Mr Robert Trinder - Mr Conor Griffin