United fought hard to earn a point at the SKYex against Beaconsfield Town with the visitors netting a brace of controversial goals while having a third ruled out, after seemingly being given, coupled with United playing the whole second half with ten men after the first half stoppage time dismissal of debutant Rayan Clarke.
Manager Paul Hughes brought in two new signings for this one, the aforementioned Rayan Clarke on the left wing with Ezra Ikebuazi starting at right full-back. Also returning to the starting line-up after suspension was Amos Nasha.
In the fifteenth minute the visitors were stopped from taking the lead by some excellent work from United stopper Jacob Adams when Eitel Goueth played Nathan Minhas through into the United box, Adams going down quickly to block away the shot and when the ball ran wide to Kyel Reid, his cross sailed over the United crossbar.
Six minutes later the deadlock was broken with United’s first real sight of goal. The ball was played up from the back to Moses Emmanuel, his perfect back-heel fooled his marker and allowed Cole Brown to move onto the ball inside the box and fire past former United ‘keeper Ravan Constable low into the far corner for his third of the season.
Within five minutes United could have had another as Brown returned the favour and sent Emmanuel through, last season’s Golden Boot winner being denied a shot at goal by Luke Neville who poked the ball away for a corner as he was about to shoot. Amos Nasha picked out Emmanuel with said corner but the strikers’ volley was too high.
With half an hour played Reid picked out Nathan Minhas at the near post but his first time shot cleared the crossbar and soon after at the other end Cameron Black set up Charlie Wassmer but his low shot was dealt with easily by Constable. The Rams ‘keeper quickly fired the ball upfield to Louis Walsh who also picked out Nathan Minhas but his well struck first time shot was held superbly by Adams diving quickly to his right.
Sadly within 60 seconds the scores were level. A long punt upfield found Nathan Minhas challenging for the ball with Wassmer, the Rams striker appearing to push the ball through with his hand before lobbing Adams, however the officials saw nothing wrong and despite United’s vehement protests the goal was allowed to stand.
Into the last ten minutes of the half and chances were starting to flow with great regularity. A United throw-in was flicked on by Rayan Clarke to Paul Hodges, he neatly twisted past his marker but shot straight at Constable who immediately fired the ball forwards to Goueth who did the same thing, giving Adams a comfortable save.
The 44th minute saw an early contender for United “Goal of the Season” as a free-kick was awarded 35 yards from goal after a foul by former United skipper Liam McDevitt. Dan Wishart stepped up, the author of this report was heard to say, “he’s not going to shoot from there surely?”, the answer was yes he is as he drove the ball past all and sundry into the corner of the Beaconsfield net to give United the lead once more.
As we moved into stoppage time Emmanuel chased a long ball into the corner before pulling it back to Hodges who saw his curling effort go inches wide of the upright and a minute later United were reduced to ten men when the already cautioned Clarke appeared to delay the visitors from taking a quick free-kick and referee Bloxham promptly showed him a second yellow and subsequent red card.
A half-time re-shape for the ten men saw Ikebuazi replaced by Jerry Wiltshire as United switched to a back five and just two minutes after the re-start it was United who almost scored. A Beaconsfield corner was collected by Emmanuel inside his own box, he played the ball forwards to Brown who seeing Constable a country mile off his line lobbed him from the halfway line only for the ball to fly inches wide of the gaping goal.
In the 53rd minute the Rams scored what appeared to be a contentious second when having been awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box, the ball was fired into the wall from the free-kick and rebounded through to Aaron Minhas who was able to tuck it home from close range despite United's appeals for offside that went unheard by the officials and a goal was awarded.
On 65 minutes the visitors appeared to have taken the lead when a long range effort from Reid flew upwards from a defensive challenge, Nathan Minhas beat Adams to the dropping ball and hooked it into the United net. With the referee appearing to give the goal, this time United’s protests led to a consultation between referee and nearside assistant whereby the flag that had been kept down initially was all of a sudden raised for offside, and much to the chagrin of the visitors we stayed level at 2-2.
Despite being a man light, United brought on pacey 18 year-old striker Florian Envoudou Ada in place of Emmanuel who had covered most of the pitch for the best past of 70 minutes. Envoudou Ada was soon in the action as he broke free on the left, his shot was blocked by the Rams defence but only as far as Brown who shot over from 20 yards.
The final two chances came for the visitors without bringing a save from Adams. In the 76th minute a free-kick on the corner of the box was played deep to Mark Nisbet but he headed over under challenge. Ten minutes later a cross from the left was headed defensively over his own crossbar by Wassmer, the resultant corner was played in by Dan Bradshaw to Nisbet but again the central defender’s header was too high and the game closed out with honours even.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos to be added.
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