Two goals in four minutes early in the second half consigned Wimborne to another “nul points” on their travels – this time a first visit to Beaconsfield’s green and pleasant ground next to the M40.
Manager Matty Holmes moved skipper Billy Maybury to central defence and gave a first start of the season to the recently-returned Sam Bayston.
On a large, grassy, flat pitch, it was the visitors who began the game brightly. Bayston beat his full-back down the left but his pull-back from the by-line found no takers; Luke Burbidge and Franklyn Clarke combined on the other wing before Clarke’s cross was cut out; and Toby Holmes beat his marker in a foot-race before keeper Ravan Constable intervened. It was a promising start.
At the other end, the home attackers chased and harried defenders determined to play the ball out of the danger zone, and some of Gerard Benfield’s clearances lacked their usual pin-point accuracy. Beaconsfield’s Aaron Minhas tricked his way along the right by-line, and Brendan Matthew’s low shot was well saved by Benfield at full stretch.
Just after the mid-point of the half, Wimborne fashioned a great chance. Luke Holmes slalomed his way through mid-field before releasing Toby in the inside-right channel. However, keeper Constable calculated his angles and made an excellent save to deny the striker.
With both sides looking to play football, this even contest flowed from end-to-end. Bayston charged down a clearance before being fouled; Constable rushed out of his goal to beat Toby to a through ball; and Bayston blasted over when well-placed. Beaconsfield’s Mayowa Balogun did likewise, before Louis Stead’s low shot was well-saved by Benfield.
Both teams had a chance to break the deadlock just before the interval. Burbidge volleyed over after good work by Bayston down the left, and Matthew missed his header from Balogun’s inviting cross.
Beaconsfield made a double substitution at half-time, bringing on a central defender and an old-fashioned centre forward, and within three minutes of the re-start it paid dividends. Stead was allowed to turn inside the left of the penalty area and he rifled the ball past Benfield from 15 yards.
Wimborne responded and, after clever feet along the right by-line, Toby’s shot from an acute angle was well-saved at the near post by Constable. Then, on 51 minutes, Stead scored his second. He made space for himself in the inside-left channel by beating his marker before firing past Benfield from the edge of the area.
The momentum of the game was now with the home side, and they took control, but Wimborne had the next good chance. Ashley Pope replaced the struggling Toby on the hour mark, and within two minutes a defender’s mistake let him through in the inside-right channel, only for that man Constable to make another excellent sprawling save.
Mid-way through the half, Benfield made a super save from substitute Alex Cathline, before the industrious Carl Pettefer intervened as the home side threatened. Pope’s speed and energy enabled him to retrieve a lost cause and cross dangerously into the box, before corners in quick succession were cleared by the home defence. Finally, in time added-on, a well-worked move ended with Maybury’s shot being blocked.
A disappointing second half continued Wimborne’s away-day woes. And with teams around us picking up points, Matty’s men need a win – and soon!
Wimborne: Benfield, Clarke (Oldring, 90), Penny, Davidson, Maybury, Pettefer, Stokoe, L.Holmes, T.Holmes (Pope, 60), Burbidge, Bayston (Lee, 79) Unused subs: Walsh, Francis
Report by Graham Dunn