Taunton Town 3 Beaconsfield Town 0
Rams Man of the Match - Mayo Balogun
In street clothes Taunton striker Andrew Neal looks like he would struggle to tackle a big dinner. Stripped for action when he takes to the field he is a pacey, combative nightmare for defenders and more than lives up to his nickname of Rocky. He was quick to the punch in four second half minutes to deliver two knockout blows to effectively end this game as a contest after 56 minutes.
3-0 was a little harsh on Beaconsfield who more than held their own for long stretches of the game.
Goals win matches though and for all their quality approach play and set pieces they were woefully short of quality opportunities. When confidence is low and you’re playing from behind it’s an uphill struggle. Then you find you are battling hard without ever really carrying too much threat, overplaying and over cautious.
In fairness goalscoring resources are thin on the ground as Gary Meakin has to deal with established players choosing to take their chances at lower levels, whilst prospective signings choose to sit on the sidelines elsewhere rather than join a relegation dog fight. Or feel their services should command a contract that The Rams budget will not sustain.
With Kezie Ibe and Charlie Losasso unavailable for selection here it was always going to be a tall order. That said, the visitors began well, defending the expected early Taunton bombardment. Jordan Ajanlekoko, November Player of the Month James Taylor and Luke Neville made a compact rearguard for twenty-five minutes. The home side and fans were becoming increasingly fractious and frustrated as the tried and trusted lump it forward and batter the opposition style continually foundered on the rock of the visitors central defence. Then a momentary lapse of concentration and a deviation from the game plan gave Taunton their only sight of goal in the first half hour.
An unnecessary short free kick put AJ under pressure in central midfield. Ryan Brett and Zach Smith arrived with the ball and AJ was swallowed up. He recovered to get a foot on Brett’s attempted through ball but only succeeded in turning it into the path of skipper Matthew Wright 20 yards out, the ball sat up invitingly and the big target man’s eye lit up as he hit it first time in stride unerringly into the top corner.
To their credit, though stunned, The Rams could and may be should have gone in at the interval on terms. In the final minute a second ball fell to Ade Shokunbi on the edge of the box, the midfielder did not make good contact with his volleyed effort and dragged it wide of the target but it fell to Jon-Jo Bates at the angle of the six yard box. He steadied himself as two defenders advanced on him and steered his shot over them but in doing so he pulled his effort off the target.
Half time 1-0
The Rams began the second half on the front foot forcing a succession of corners and a threatening freekick. Louis Stead curled an effort to the far post, where it was cleared and fell to Brett in midfield he helped the ball forward over the back four. Myles Bowman hesitated slightly and allowed Neal to meet him at the ball the keeper managed to get a shoulder to the strikers effort which looped up into the air and struck the foot of the post rebounding kindly for Neal who was able to steady himself and steer his effort past Jordan Ajanlekoko on the line.
Again, The Rams pressed forward but from an attacking corner Taunton cleared half the length of the field. Luke Neville misjudged the flight of the ball, allowed it to bounce over him and Neal sprinted through to lift a simple lob over the stranded Bowman for his second and the home sides third.
Beaconsfield continued to press but in truth Lloyd Irish was never really troubled in the home goal and the home side saw an effort beat Bowman and hit both posts before being cleared to safety.
3-0 probably didn’t reflect the game as a whole but there was never really much doubt how the day would turn out after the second goal went in.
Next up The Rams will visit Blackfield and Langley.
1. Myles Bowman
2. Callum Webb
3. Mayo Balogun
4. James Taylor
5. Luke Neville
6. Jordan Ajanlekoko
7. Louis Stead [Sub 15. Kane Guy-Seifert]
8. Ade Shokunbi
9. Jon-Jo Bates [Sub17.Shawnikki Clement-Peter]
10. Nathan Webb
11. Wes Daly © [Sub 16. Anthony Mendy]
Subs Not Used:
12. Alex Nolan
14. Reece Yorke
Manager: Gary Meakin
1. Lloyd Irish
2. Shane White
3.Owen Windsor [Sub12 Jamie Short]
4. Ben Adelsbury
5. Nick Grimes
6. Jamie Price [Sub15 Lewis Hall]
8. Ryan Brett
9. Matthew Wright © [Sub16 Jake Jackson]
10. Dan Sullivan
11. Andrew Neal
Subs Not Used:
14. Harry Kite
16. Jake Jackson
18. Oliver Chamberlain
Manager: Rob Dray
Attendance : 499
Ref: Lee Roberts - Assistants - Neil Lane , Andrew Glanville