Saturday 12th November 2022
Pitching In Southern League Premier division South
North Leigh 0 Beaconsfield Town 2
Eynsham Park - Attendance 118
Ram of the Match - Kyel Reid
Beaconsfield Town secured their fourth consecutive win in all competitions with a hard-fought victory over struggling North Leigh. It was a professional, performance in testing conditions on a tricky surface. It wasnt always easy on the eye and at times The Rams had to dig in and battle their way through. Late strikes, a Nathan Minhas individual effort, and Kyel Reids 88th minute pile driver were enough to account for the hosts who did everything they could but failed to take their chances and eventually fell away as the relentless Rams took control.
Eynsham Park is a throwback venue in these increasingly manicured and artificial surface days. The pitch has more slopes than the Greens at the Augusta Masters. The grass in the six-yard boxes is already mostly a memory and with a stiff breeze blowing up the hill it was hard to define if there was any advantage to be had from playing uphill or down in the first half. The hosts won the toss and somewhat surprisingly chose to kick up the slope in the first half.
The decision was quickly vindicated though as they dominated possession in the early going and almost took the lead but for the intervention of Olly Sprague making what is rapidly becoming a trade mark goal line block.
With Gary Meakin persevering with the wing backs formation of recent weeks, The Rams struggled to maintain any quality possession while their hosts settled more quickly and played with greater fluidity and purpose , with Amer Awadh and Jordan Thomas involved in everything good they did aided by ex Ram James Dobson. Clear-cut chances were at a premium though. The final ball was lacking or too close to Ravan Constable who was resolute under the high ball throughout. It wasn't until injury time that North Leigh seriously threatened but Thomas dragged a low cross shot inches wide of Constable's far post.
At the other end The Rams were able to create chances of their own without seriously extending Adam North who was well protected by his defence reducing the visitors to efforts from distance, the best of them from Reid, Nathan Minhas and skipper Toby Little whose shaped effort was blocked away. On the one occasion North was beaten, Keano Robinsons' goalbound header was headed off the line by Aaron Mcreadie.
Half time 0-0
Sometimes a wind at your back or a slope in your favour are less of an advantage and more dificult to adjust to than playing into the elements. So it proved here as passes which ran away in the first half for The Rams held up a little on the up slope. You would expect the team that play here regularly to appreciate the differences and derive the maximum home-field advantage and it was North Leigh who almost took the lead but The Rams were grateful to Constable who turned Dobson's low cross shot past the far post at full stretch.
Early in the second half Meakin adjusted the formation and introduced Eitel Goueth and Callum Webb and the visitors started to gain the upper hand in midfield. Reid who had been prominent throughout became more of a factor and Beaconsfield pressed with more purpose and control as the home sides play became more error-prone and they appeared to be running out of steam as The Rams pressed effectively.
When it came The Rams opener had a familiar feel about it. Callum Webb's chip into the box was collected on the chest by an airborne Nathan Webb as the ball fell Minhas still had a lot to do but turned and placed a cushioned volley past North.
You felt that the goal might be enough as North Leigh's forward forays became few and far between but they did create a golden opportunity for an equaliser McReadie met a left-side corner with a firm downward header from Six yards but his effort flashed wide of the far post. That was pretty much it for the home side but there was still time for Reid to underline The Ram's second half superiority and remove any lingering doubts.Beaconsfield Town
Ravan Constable, Dan Bradshaw, Toby Little © [Myles Anderson 86],Liam McDevitt, Keano Robinson, Olly Sprague [Sub Callum Webb 53], Sam Granville, Sam Togwell, Nathan Minhas, Olly McCoy [Sub: Eitel Goueth 53], Kyel Reid,
Subs not used; Charlie Smith, Elliott Buchanan
Adam North, Yoav Sade Lichtenfeld, Jack Alexander, Ben Brown, Aaron McCreadie, Amer Awadh [Sub William Owens 83], Reece Massey [Sub Jordan Alves, 83], Jordan Thomas, Lance Williams[Sub Luke Carnell 51], James Dobson, Michael Hopkins.
Subs not used; Owen Dore, Samuel Heal, Luke Carnell
Referee - Alan Cox Assistants - John Mowatt, Neal Templey
Images ©Neale Blackburn Photography 2022