Sign up to our newsletter and stay up to date
with everything BeaconsfieldTown FC

Sign up to our newsletter

To find out about how we process your data, please read our privacy policy.


Rowley’s reflexes secure points in Rams road win

Saturday 2nd March 2024
Southern League Premier Division South
Gosport Borough 1 Beaconsfield Town 2
AEI Stadium Att - 831
Ram of the match - Matt Rowley

Purists will tell you that goalkeepers can’t win a game because, Jimmy Glass aside, they seldom score the winner.
They can certainly earn you the points though.

As Matt Rowley did here with an astonishing 90th-minute double save to deny first, Gershon De Costa Ramos’ wickedly swerving, dipping 20-yard volley, which he did brilliantly to get anything on at all, then recovering to turn away Dan Woodens’ follow-up when he seemed odds on to bury the rebound with the goal gaping.

Earlier midway through the first half, with the scores level, a strong hand at the near post turned away another fizzing Ramos effort as it arrowed towards goal.

In between he commanded his area, took pressure off his defenders with calm and assured handling and stood firm under pressure. He may not be the most vocal presence but his calmness and confidence transmits to the players in front of him.

The defence, lead by Skipper Luke Neville backed up by Jacques Kpohomouh, whose partnership goes from strength to strength, battled for everything with Dan Bradshaw and James Dobson excellent on the flanks combining to reduce the opportunities, for a very good Gosport Borough side, to efforts from distance and half chances in a highly competitive first period.

Sam Togwell tested Toby Steward in the Boro goal from The Ram’s first attack before the offside flag called a halt and that was that for the Rams’ experienced midfielder who joined, Josh Payne, Sean Frazer and, Jake Gosling in the queue for the treatment room, as he limped off after 15 minutes with a calf injury. With early signs that he may have started his pre-season already.

His loss made way for 17-year-old Maks Jarzabek to make his Southern League Premier South debut, alongside Dan Roth. Asher Yearwood sat a little deeper and provided the defensive screen while the young Rams in front of him.

To be stripped of so much experience across the midfield didn’t bode well entering the fixture against a strong opponent pushing to confirm their play off place. To lose Togwell so soon added to the trepidation, but Jon Underwood’s youngsters stepped up to the challenge. Dan Roth continues to mature into a very good player who reads the game well, makes well-timed interventions and can pick a pass. Jarzabek slotted in beside him and the pair looked to the manor born. Kamaron English and Dobson continue to build their partnership on the left flank and here Adanioritsewo Okorogheye deputised for Gosling ahead of Bradshaw.

Tommy McElroy looked back to his pre-holiday form with a combative performance which gave former ram Joe Morrison and his colleagues a torrid afternoon as he chased and battled for everything, applied pressure and sought to induce mistakes.

Chances were limited at either end but Morrison squandered the best Boro chance of the half rising unmarked at the far post to meet a looping cross with a firm header that he steered wide of the post.

At the other end Dobson had an effort from distance that skimmed narrowly wide, without every concerning Steward. Who then made a bit of a meal of a well-struck Kam English effort which bounced off the keeper’s chest but fortunately for him fell kindly before any damage could be done.

Boro edged possession but found as have many of late, having the ball is one thing. Doing anything with it in the face of a well-organised and disciplined Beaconsfield team is quite another.

Half time 0-0

Gosport did their best to change things after the break pressing their full backs forward leaving Three at the back and increasingly defending man for man when they had attacking set pieces.

After the initial Boro flurry, The Rams settled into their rhythm and almost took the lead when James Dobson’s curling effort from 25 yards was brilliantly tipped away by Toby Steward flying away to his left at full stretch to fingertip it around the post.

From the resulting Dobson Corner, Steward remained rooted to his line as Ram’s skipper Luke Neville made it Three goals in a week, dismissing the challenge of Joe Morrison at the near post to power home a downward header from five yards to give the Rams the lead.

The Ram’s lead lasted barely Two minutes before Da Costa Ramos, Boro’s outstanding player on the day, muscled his way through three attempted challenges and advanced into the box in the inside right channel before firing his shot past Rowley who had no chance.

As Jon Underwood reflected afterwards, “1-1 was probably actually worse than 0-0 because they were encouraged by the goal.”

So, it was as Boro enjoyed their best spell and The Rams were rocking a little and struggling to get out of their own defensive third or secure possession. The pressure didn’t translate into clear chances though.

The Rams weathered the storm until the 62nd minute when Gosport’s’ back three played themselves into trouble immediately following their own throw in the right back area, Morrison, sold horribly short by what should have been a straightforward square pass was dispossessed by Okorogheye who fed Tom McElroy on the edge of the box.

McElroy took a touch to get the ball out of his feet and away from a covering challenge before firing the ball high past Steward to re-establish The Ram’s advantage.

Beaconsfield learnt the lessons of the previous short-lived lead and stayed compact and defended for all they were worth as Gosport poured forward.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic though despite the home side’s pressure.

In fact, The Rams almost extended their lead when Maks Jarzabek was laid in by substitute Elias Grant, another 17-year-old.

Jarzabek almost capped a fine debut with a goal. Leaving defenders trailing in his wake, advancing to the edge of the box in the inside right channel before sending in an early strike, sweetly struck across Steward, beating the keepers despairing dive before striking the inside of the post and rebounding away to safety.

There was still time for Gosport but Rowley’s heroics kept them at bay and he and his defenders, all Ten of them! Stood firm and withstood the final onslaught before McElroy epitomised the performance and effort from the team.
Collecting the ball on the edge of his own box, as yet another attack was repelled. The striker set off on a 60-yard lung-busting run towards the corner flag. As defenders struggled to cover, he slowed and held them off for the remaining seconds before the referee blew to end the contest.

Gosport will feel with some justification that they deserved a point at least from proceedings. Beaconsfield fans will point to the reverse fixture where the Rams were denied the most blatant penalty you are ever likely to see when already ahead and then conceded a late late winner. So, over the season, honours even.

Gosport remain in the play off hunt as Chesham continue their serene passage at the top, whilst Beaconsfield who seemed to be going under with a whimper at the turn of the year have now gathered 20 pints from a run of Nine games with only One defeat and find themselves within touching distance of safety.

They now face a crucial home and away double header against Dorchester knowing that there is still work to be done but with the confidence of an excellent team performance here.

All images © Neale Blackburn Photography 2024
Line ups and Match Facts -


There are no tags on this post.

Follow Beaconsfield Town FC