Beaconsfield Town extended their unbeaten sequence to five games in all competitions and ended Plymouth Parkways nine game unbeaten run in the process with a battling 1-0 win at Bolitho Park on Tuesday evening.
It was a third clean sheet in a row for Jon Underwood’s men who took an early lead through Joel Rollinson’s first goal as a Ram and then defended deep and frustrated their hosts who despite dominating possession for long spells failed to find a way through an organised and disciplined rearguard marshalled superbly by Luke Neville and Jacques Kpohomouh who protected Matt Rowley’s goal with everything they had.
The battle left Neville needing lengthy treatment late in the game , after a flailing elbow across the face left him with a bloody nose. He completed the match with a pair of cotton wool rolls stuffed up each nostril.
There were terrific performances throughout the team especially given that Underwood was forced into three changes from the home win over Bracknell with Josh Payne, Luke Gosling and Tom McElroy unable to travel because of work commitments.
They were replaced by Dan Roth and Sam Togwell in midfield and Ada Okorogheye who lead the line and was an absolute revelation giving the Parkway back line nightmares with his strength pace and intelligent hold up play. His willingness to chase a lost cause was instrumental in The Rams goal.
With Callum Rose favourite to reach a through ball in the left back channel and pass back to Adam Parkes in the Parkway goal. Okorogheye pressed relentlessly and made his challenge as Rose made contact with the back pass causing it to fall short on the surface allowing Ada Okorogheye a free run on goal. Seeming certain to open his Rams account he drew Parkes before steadying to unselfishly lay the ball back into the path of Joel Rollinson who stroked the ball home as Parkes scrambling in vain to recover his ground.
At the other end Cameron Sangster had Parkways best opportunity of the night, but his header lacked sufficient power to really stretch Rowley who was able to make a diving two handed catch.
Rollinson and Okorogheye combined again and thought they had doubled The Rams advantage.
Okorogheye sliding a weighted pass inside the fullback for Rollinson who fired home only to see a belated flag for what must have been a marginal offside decision.
Then as half time approached Rollinson turned provider but his attempted through ball was slightly heavy and Okorogheye narrowly failed to get in the end of it as it ran through to Parkes.
Parkway finished the half with a flurry of pressure and attacks but Rowley wasn’t extended.
Half time 0-1
The second half progressively took on the look of a siege as The Rams struggled to mount any sustained attacks. They stuck to the task, maintained their shape and executed the game plan defending the centre of the field staying narrow and surrendering the flanks and defending the crosses which they did not always comfortably but without serious alarm for Rowley. Togwell Rith and Yearwood battled for their lives in midfield with James Dobson,
Rollinson and Okorogheye offering an outlet and leading the press where they could Sean Frazer and Ben Van Aurich doing their best to get forward when they could but largely engaged on defensive duties, keeping narrow and preventing Parkway from playing through the middle. Plymouth huffed and puffed and battered away but The Rams defended as a team put their bodies on the line and stuck to their task like terriers on a scent.
Okorogheye still remained a thorn in Parkway’s side and would have extended the lead but for a tremendous last ditch goal saving block from Rose.
Plymouth rang the changes from the bench and switch formation to try and overload The Rams defence. The pace became more and more frantic and desperate but Beaconsfield stood firm with Togwell patrolling the midfield like a hungry scrap yard Rottweiler snapping into the challenge, drawing fouls and dragging his colleagues with him.
For all their pressure chances were limited and Parkway were strangely shot shy in pursuit of their equaliser preferring to try and play through the massed ranks of Beaconsfield defenders.
Ultimately time and ideas ran out and The Rams were able to close out a memorable win.
They now head to Hampshire on Saturday for another tricky encounter with Sholing.
Images © Neale Blackburn photography 2024
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