Beaconsfield Town 0 Swans 1 (aet)

Monday 5th September 2022.                            FA Cup, 1st Qualifying Round Replay.

Beaconsfield Town 0    Walton & Hersham 1 (After extra-time)  

Justice was finally done at Holloways Park as Ollie Twum eventually broke the deadlock between the two sides with just five minutes of extra-time remaining, avoiding a penalty shoot-out, and putting Swans into the 2nd Qualifying Round for the first time since 2009. There is no doubting the best team won over the two matches, and once again it was down to the Rams’ goalkeeper Ravan Constable to keep his side in the tie, as he pulled off some terrific saves, and always seemed to be in just the right place to keep his goal intact. Extra-time can often be a cagey affair, with both sides cautious not to over-commit, but Swans took the game to the opposition throughout the extra half-hour, and could well have settled it before John Gilbert’s excellent run into the box set up the winner for Twum.

Twum had come on for Harry Mills, who was available again and returned to the starting line-up in place of Arsen Ujkaj. Eddie Simon was however unavailable.

The excellent artificial surface undoubtedly helped Swans, making them feel at home, and allowing them to play their normal brand of football.

Beaconsfield had brought Jerome Ecclestone into their starting line-up, and they used his long throw-ins in the early minutes to try to unsettle Swans at the back. It was Swans however who had the best chance to open the scoring after twelve minutes. Mills and Devan Tanton combined on the right, and Mills sent over a fine cross to pick out Taurean Roberts on the edge of the 6 yard-box at the far-post, but his header went over.

Ecclestone sent over another long throw from the right for the home side, and the ball was headed behind for a corner on the right. Alex Kelly headed away at the near-post, and a shot came in that was wide of the left post. The ball then had to be scrambled clear when Kyel Reid sent a free-kick into the box from deep on the right.

Swans had a chance when Gilbert got the ball to Jordan Adeyemi on the left, and he worked his way into the box to get in a low, left-foot shot that was saved by Constable. Beaconsfield continued to utilise Ecclestone’s long throws, and another from the right won them a corner, but the kick was safely cut out by Swans’ keeper Liam Allen. Dominic Ogun combined with Gilbert on the left for Swans, and when the cross came in the ball was just headed clear at the far-post.  

Ecclestone’s long ball from deep on the right threatened to set up a chance for the home side, but Allen was quickly out to deny the opening. Just past the half hour the Rams’ Nathan Minhas laid the ball across to Reid on the right, and he struck a good left foot shot that took a slight deflection off the head of Ogun to go just over. Beaconsfield continued to look a threat, but Max Blackmore forced Constable into a save with a low shot from the right of the box. As the half entered the final five minutes a fine diagonal pass from Mills on the right found Gilbert on the left, and he drove into the corner of the box to get in a good strike that went just wide of the far post

The last action of the first-half was another long throw from Ecclestone on the right, and when a shot was hooked in, Allen went down to save at his left post.

Allen was tested again soon after the resumption to prevent the home side going ahead. Reid sent in a terrific cross from the left touchline, and Sean Fraser was at the far-post to get in a volley that brought a fine block from the Swans’ keeper.

Beaconsfield continued to have a spell of pressure, forcing several corners, but Swans gradually began to impose themselves, and 19 minutes into the half they were denied a clear-cut penalty. A fine move started in their own half led to Mills playing the ball to Roberts on the left, and he played a superb through pass inside Ecclestone to send Adeyemi into the box. He got past Ecclestone and was clearly tripped by the Beaconsfield right-back with no contact on the ball, but the referee awarded a corner. Gilbert then got free on the left, and when the ball finally broke to Blackmore on the edge of the ‘D’, he sent a low, right foot just inches wide of the left post.

Swans then made a double substitution, with Twum and Ujkaj coming on for Mills and Roberts.

Beaconsfield’s Aaron Minhas made room 25 yards out, but shot over. At the other end Ogun got into the left of the box, but his cross to the far-post just failed to find the head of Blackmore. Ogun was soon crossing again from the left, and this time the ball glanced of the head of Blackmore.at the far-post. Gilbert got the ball to Twum on the left, and he cut in to drive in a shot that went through the legs of Ecclestone, and Constable went down to save. Kelly and Adeyemi set up Tanton on the right, and he sent over a superb cross that was just too high for Blackmore in the 6 yard-box, and Ujkaj just failed to get a touch at the far- post.

Swans continued to create openings, and Tanton delivered a fine free-kick from the right touchline that Ujkaj met at the near-post to get in a glancing header that was superbly tipped over by Constable. From Gilbert’s left-side corner Joe Hicks glanced a header wide. Kelly then set Gilbert on a run forward to 25 yards out, and he struck a low, left foot shot that Constable dived down to his left to save. As the match entered stoppage-time Twum made a good run in on the left, but could only shoot into the side-netting.

Swans then went desperately close to winning the tie and prevent extra-time. Ujkaj was in the centre-circle, and he played an excellent ball inside Ecclestone to get Twum into the left of the box. Twum sent a fine, left-foot lob over Constable and towards the far, top corner, but the Rams’ keeper was at full stretch to claw the ball away. Blackmore followed up on the right to drive in a shot, but Constable made another superb reaction save at his near-post. The home side had a free-kick by the centre-circle, but Oliver Sprague’s delivery into the box drifted wide of the goal.

Straight from the start of extra-time Gilbert’s fine knock forward found Blackmore on the left corner of the box, and he lobbed the ball over Constable, who had come across to close him down. Liam McDevitt was in the 6 yard-box to hook the ball away from the goal and deny Ujkaj, and fortunately for the home side it went straight into the gloves of the keeper.

Gilbert then drove in a low shot from 25 yards that took a deflection to go wide and behind for a corner. Charlie Nicholas played a fine diagonal ball to Tanton on the right, and he crossed to the far-post for Twum to put a header wide. Blackmore was played clear into the left of the box, but his low ball in couldn’t find a teammate.

Swans were totally dominant, and going for the win, and the home goal had another remarkable escape. Ogun played a fine ball through to Blackmore on the left, and he got to the byline before crossing low across the edge of the 6 yard-box. Adeyemi got to the ball before the home side’s McDevitt and hit it first-time, only for keeper Constable to instinctively stick out his right leg and clear off his goal-line. Ogun immediately made a fine run into the left of the box, and Constable just got out to deny him.

Beaconsfield had a free-kick by the halfway line, but Scott Donnelly’s delivery went wide of the goal.

Swans again went close when a fine ball from deep left in their half got Adeyemi into the right of the box, but his shot was just blocked by Sprague, and the ball went behind for a corner on the right. Gilbert quickly played a one-two from the kick with Adeyemi, and beat Sprague to cut in on the byline before driving the ball across. The ball struck the Rams’ Sam Togwell at the near-post and then Constable on the goal-line, with Blackmore waiting to pounce. The ball then rebounded off Mark Nisbet and into the gloves of his keeper for another remarkable escape for the home side.

In the final minute of the first period of extra-time Twum looked to have been tripped just inside the box, but instead of awarding a penalty the referee booked the Swans’ player for simulation.

Straight into the final 15 minutes Beaconsfield’s Dan Bradshaw, who had been sent-off in the first match, was fortunate not to suffer the same fate again for a particularly poor challenge on Twum, having already been booked earlier in the game. Tanton’s free-kick from the left was hit too long and went wide of the far-post. Tanton then crossed from the right, and the ball glanced off the head of a defender at the far-post to go behind for a corner.

It had been all Swans in extra-time, but Beaconsfield spurned a great chance to take the lead. Reid made a good run on the left past Gilbert before crossing to the far-post, where Oliver McCoy came in unmarked, but the ball glanced off him and well wide. McCoy soon won a corner for his team on the right, but the kick went across goal.

With five minutes of extra-time remaining Swans finally made the breakthrough with a superbly worked goal. The move was started deep in Swans’ half by Nicholas, and carried on by Tanton on the right. When Tanton played the ball inside Adeyemi sold a great dummy by letting the ball go through his legs to Gilbert. Gilbert made a terrific run into the right of the box before laying the ball to his left to find Twum by the penalty-spot, and he passed it into the bottom, left corner

There was almost one last twist as the home side were awarded a free-kick out on the left touchline. The ball was swung in, and glanced off the head of Nisbet on the edge 6 yard-box before going wide of the far-post.

The referee somehow found several minutes of stoppage-time to add on, but Swans deservedly went through.

Swans’ Team: Liam Allen, Devan Tanton, Dominic Ogun, Alex Kelly, Charlie Nicholas, Joe Hicks, Harry Mills (Ollie Twum 68’), Taurean Roberts (Arsen Ujkaj 68’), Max Blackmore, John Gilbert, Jordan Adeyemi (Joe Pratley-Jones 116’). Subs. not used: Reece Brewster, Flynn Bolton, Jude Molloy. Scorer: Twum (115’). Cautions: Hicks (45+4’), Twum (105’), Gilbert (120+2’).

Beaconsfield Team: Constable, Ecclestone (McCauley 91’), Sprague, McDevitt, Nisbet, Togwell, A. Minhas (McCoy 78’), Fraser, N. Minhas (Donnelly 79’), Bradshaw, Reid. Subs. not used: Martin, Neville, Connor, McKenzie. Cautions: Fraser (69’), Donnelly (88’), Bradshaw (98’).