Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South
Tuesday 14th March 2023
Beaconsfield Town 3 Truro City 2
Holloways Park - Attendance 174
Ram of the match - Toby Little
Beaconsfield Town bounced back from the lacklustre display at Winchester with a hugely encouraging win over high flying Truro City, who missed the opportunity to capitalise on the game in hand and move to with a point of top spot.
They had their chances though with a dominant second-half spell showing just why they are so hard to beat.
The Rams can now proudly look at four points gained from both Truro and Weston this year. Bizarre then that, with no disrespect to either, Beaconsfield have taken no points from Winchester or Harrow Borough?
This was also the seventh outing this term where The Rams have been involved in a 3-2 finish. Coming out on top in four of them. The Gosport win and Bracknell defeat probably had more drama because in each, the winner came so late but Saturday was probably the best game of football by some distance. Two teams going all out for the win for all they were worth.
The early signs weren't exactly promising for The Rams, supporters nervous of what was to come after last weekend would not have had their nerves calmed by Truro’s assured start but though they created early pressure and put The Ram's defence under pressure from set pieces the home side stood up well and weathered the early storm as Sam Togwell and skipper Toby Little combined to good effect to get them going and press The White Tigers back.
For the most part, The Rams dominated the first period. Truro were not without opportunities but the best chance they created, from a corner, was headed tamely over the bar by Shane White who will feel he should have done better and at least tested Kie Plumley in The Ram's goal.
At the other end, the best early chance fell to Nathan Minhas, Dan Bradshaw's flicked back heel diverted Charlie Smiths' cross into the striker's path and his first-time effort was well saved by James Hamon who stuck out a leg to deflect it away.
Moments later Bradshaw was again the provider, picked out in the inside left channel by Olly Sprague, who had an excellent first half. He received the ball with his back to goal and laid the ball off to Minhas in space. Bradshaw appeared to be fouled in the act of the layoff but Mr Blair played on and allowed Minhas to take full advantage. He got the ball out of his feet with his first touch before curling a dipping effort past the outstretched fingertips of Hamon and into the corner. The keeper may have got the merest touch to it but he was never going to keep it out.
The rest of the half was a matter of what might have been as Bradshaw was denied by a tremendous blocking challenge on the edge of the six yard box with the goal at his mercy that carried the ball agonisingly onto the post, where Hamon fell on it. Minhas narrowly missed getting on the end of an inviting Charlie Smith low cross at the near post.
While at the other end, Dan Sullivan saw a twenty-yarder cannon of Lewis Pegg and fly narrowly wide with Plumley completely defeated by the deflection.
Half Time 1-0
After a hugely encouraging first half for the home side, you expected there would be a reaction from The visitors and so it proved. With Sullivan pulling the strings and Rocky Neal terrorising The Ram's defence The White Tigers took control and pressed for the leveller.
Neal had a sighter when he blazed over after a clever Sullivan knockdown found him in space beyond the far post but with Plumley closing the space quickly the striker could not keep his shot down.
Moments later though a virtual carbon copy situation Neal chose finesse over power, bursting onto Sullivans' weighted reverse lay off and lifting his shot over Plumley to bring Truro level.
Virtually from the kick off The Rams almost restored the lead. Buchanan feeding Bradshaw who played the ball into the path of Minhas as he ran through a strangely static Truro defence. Minhas’ low shot beat Hamon only to strike the base of the post and rebound straight into the relieved keeper's gloves.
Then Neal turned provider as he held the ball up brilliantly before teeing up Harvey Greenslade who fired a shot just over the bar.
The same player then saw a close-range header saved by Plumley who was relieved himself moments later to see an awkward late dipping effort from Will Dean squirt from his grasp and bounce narrowly wide off his chest.
There was only one team in it at this point and it wasn’t Beaconsfield.
In the next attack, Pegg was caught in two minds in the left back slot. Electing to try and see a ball out of play rather than conceding the throw in and defending from there. In the end, as is so often the case for defenders, he accomplished neither and Greenslade picked his pocket and advanced infield where he played in Sullivan his low left-foot drive was blocked by a sliding Sam Togwell but the rebound fell beautifully for Sullivan to batter a right footed volleyed effort past Plumley and into the net.
It had been on the cards and at this point, despite a valiant effort from The Rams it seemed there was only going to be one winner.
Callum Webb replaced Olly Sprague and Kai Allsopp, who enjoyed an excellent full league debut, made way for Antoine Makoli, on loan from Wycombe Wanderers.
The pair and Toby Little began to make inroads on the left and the pendulum swang again.
Minhas collected a high ball on the edge of the box turned and with quick and clever feet fashioned half a yard and a shooting chance. His rising drive was turned around his near post by Hamon.
Toby Little delivered the corner , a flighted, inviting ball to the front angle of the six-yard box, where it was met perfectly by Elliott Buchanan’s well-timed run and leap between two defenders to guide his header over Hamon and in.
Truro tried to re-establish their earlier control but Beaconsfield were finishing the stronger.
Callum Webb’s driving run towards the box was checked unfairly by Finlay Craske and Little stepped up to take the free kick.
He delivered the ball to virtually the same spot this time from the opposite flank, into space beyond the far post where Sam Togwell span away from his marker to meet it squarely and head it, textbook style back the way it came and into the corner.
The midfielder had only notched one other goal this season, the equaliser at Truro, that Paul Wooton somewhat harshly dismissed as a pure fluke. Ere wasn’t any doubt about this one!
Truro again rallied and tried to fight back but with echos of The Chesham and Hayes games here as the visitors pressed there were opportunities for Beaconsfield to increase the advantage. They kept the crowd on edge by spurning those chances but managed the final 10 minutes comfortably enough to claim the three points.
Next up The Rams welcome The Martyrs of Merthyr to Holloways park on Good Friday, kick Off 3pm. The reverse fixture in December was another 3-2 belter. Let's hope The Rams can get on the right end of it this time.
Rumour has it Reidy’s penalty that afternoon is still rising!
Beaconsfield Town :
Kie Plumley, Charlie Smith, Toby Little, Sam Togwell, Ollie Sprague [Sub Callum Webb 65 ],Lewis Pegg, Sam Granville, Dan Bradshaw, Nathan Minhas, Elliott Buchanan Kai Allsopp,[Sub Antoine Makoli 72]
Subs Not Used - Kyel Reid, Manny Williams, Lucas Sinclair
James Hamon, Freddy Craske, Connor Riley-Lowe, Edward Palmer, Yassine En-Neyah [Sub Ryan Brett 65], William Dean, Dan Sullivan, Shane White, Oliver Knowles [Sub Ben Adelsbury 56], Andrew Neal, Harvey Greenslade.
Subs Not Used - Oliver Haste, Ryan Brett, Cory Harvey, Simeon Okoro
Referee - Harrison Blair,
Assistants - Adrian Newby, Michael Taylor
All images ©Neale Blackburn 2023
Full game images - Here