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Beaconsfield Town 2 v 3 Hayes & Yeading United
Rams Man of the Match - Luke Neville
Christmas spirit was much in evidence at Holloways Park on Saturday as Beaconsfield Town staged their annual charity toy collection. Each supporter through the turnstile exchanged the usual admission price for a gift donation. With the gate swelled by the relatively short distance between the teams and the loss of fixtures elsewhere to the weather, there were several sleigh loads to brighten up Christmas for the young patients at Wexham Park children’s ward by the time kick off arrived.
That was where the hosts Christmas spirit ended though as they set about their guests with a tenacious press that saw them dominate the opening exchanges, without really fashioning a clear sight on goal of note. Midfield trio Nathan Webb, Jordan Ajanlekoko, and Louis Stead ably assisted by Charlie Losasso and Jon-Jo Bates set about their opponents denying them space and time and stifling the visitors as an attacking force in the opening. You suspect The Rams lowly league position may have lead the visitors to believe this would be a comfortable afternoon. They weren’t the first and won’t be the last to be quickly disabused of this complacent approach.
On 14 minutes The Rams capitalised on their good start. Callum Webb was allowed acres of time to collect a short corner and send in a low drive which was deflected away, but fell to Louis Stead who picked his spot as the visitors defence scrambled to cover. In trademark Steady fashion he drilled his low shot in off a post with Jack Smith clutching at fresh air.
United almost hit back immediately. Elliott Buchanan almost evened the score, controlling a Scott Donnelly free-kick in the area but his finish was high wide and handsome and Myles Bowman was untroubled.
The visitors best chances came midway through the half. The ever willing Donnelly found Toby Little down the left wing, he sent in a cross shot but just out of reach of the lunging Elliott Buchanan and wide of the far post.
Moments later Mayowa Balogun heroically blocked a fierce Jake Sheppard volley on goal and Luke Neville hacked the ball clear.
The remainder of the half continued to be even with the visitors creating possibly more in the way of half chances but neither keeper was overly extended.
Half time 1-0
The visitors made a change at half time Scott Donnelly was replaced at the interval by striker Ogo Obi and it immediately paid dividends. His first contribution saw him win a cheap corner which he managed to force off Callum Webb as he attempted to see a nothing ball out for a goal kick.
The corner was partially cleared but fell to Buchanan on the edge of the box and he struck the ball sweetly enough through a crowd of players to give the unsighted Bowman no chance to react.
Five minutes later Bowman again had no chance as an even better strike put the visitors ahead. Another threatening cross was cleared by The Rams defence but fell to James Clark who battered a volley that flew into the top corner.
Beaconsfield were on the ropes and it was the visitors now flying into challenges and stifling their hosts.
At one point I wondered whether we are playing on an invisible slope at Holloways Park this season. For the opening 20 minutes of the second half it looked like the Matterhorn as The Rams toiled to get any semblance of a foot hold in the game against the revitalised visitors second half onslaught .
Jake Sheppard fired over from the edge of the box and had an effort which did not trouble Myles Bowman when he might have done better.
On the hour the Holloways Park crowd were treated to one of the better goals we’ll see this season. Sadly from a Rams perspective it was a third for the visitors.
Buchanan, received a crossfield pass, opened his body and drove inside before shaping a beauty into the top corner with real venom from 25 yards. It flew past Bowman who could only wave in its wake.
To their credit the Rams rallied rather than crumbling. The ever busy Jon-Jo Bates fired a shot over from the edge of the box and in the 65th minute Louis Stead and Charlie Losasso combined to free Ram’s debutant, substitute James Ewington who cruised past the United defence in the left channel and guided a low effort across the advancing Smith and into the bottom corner.
Game on, you might think. But in truth barring some huffing and puffing from the home side they never managed to present Ewington with anything approaching the quality of that initial move.
A day of slight disappointment for The Rams but with more than enough hints of good things to come as the team are playing very much better than their league position would suggest and seem to have added the promise of goals with the addition of Ewington who on the basis of this brief cameo looks like a decent player.
1. Myles Bowman
2. Callum Webb
3. Mayo Balogun
4. Jerome Ecclestone
5. Luke Neville ©
6. Jordan Ajanlekoko
7. Nathan Webb
8. Ade Shokunbi (Sub: 17 James Ewington, 58)
9. Jon-Jo Bates (Sub: 16 Shawn Peters, 86)
11. Louis Stead
Subs Not Used:
12. James Taylor
14. Wes Daly
15. Kane Guy Seifert
Manager: Gary Meakin
Hayes & Yeading United
1. Jack Smith
2. Johnville Renee
3. Tobias Little (Sub: 16 Jamie Hanlon, 86)
4. Keanu Robinson
5. Liam McDevitt
6. Aaron McCreadie
7. Scott Donnelly (Sub: 14 Ogo Obi, 46)
8. Jake Shepherd
9. Elliott Buchanan
10. James Clark
11. Jack Williams
Subs Not Used:
12. Hassan Jalloh
15. Connor Toomey
17. Gabriel Piorkowski
Manager: Paul Hughes
Attendance : 324
Ref: Lee Hartley Assistants : Ellis Mills - Matthew Lake