The Town stumble at first hurdle

IT WAS always going to be a difficult start to the new season for Daventry Town when hosting last season’s play–off finalists Beaconsfield Town and so it proved when they lost their opening game of the season at Communications Park by the single goal.

After a successful pre-season, Daventry Town supporters were expecting a rousing start to the new season.

But the game started off slowly with neither side wanting to make any early mistakes.

Players were feeling the pace of a full competitive game and the heat of a very warm afternoon.

The first attempt on goal came after only five minutes.

A shot by Matt Gearing hit narrowly wide after good support play involving Nat Liburd, the former Woodford striker, who was involved in all of Town’s efforts on goal in the first-half.

Daventry Town continued to create chances but the final pass or strike on goal proved disappointing.

Town’s best opportunity came after 35 minutes when striker Scott Cross played neat exchange passes with Matt Gearing. This ended with Nat Liburd heading the ball down into the path of Neil King who hit a fine volley just over the crossbar with the Beaconsfield keeper John Nydall well beaten.

Beaconsfield almost took the lead after 25 minutes when a curled ball into the penalty area was hit narrowly wide of the right hand post of the beaten Daventry keeper Richard Morris.

Beaconsfield took the lead after 30 minutes. Paul Dempsey lost the ball on the half-way line and Beaconsfield took the opportunity to come forward in numbers. This led to Gavin James running at the Daventry defence before hitting a hard low drive past the diving Daventry keeper to score what proved to be the winning goal.

Town defenders too often stood off attacking Beaconsfield forwards allowing them the opportunity to take strikes unchallenged on the Daventry goal.

A short throw in from Scott Cross resulted in Neil King hitting another fine shot just over the bar.

Beaconsfield rode their luck further with a shot from Aaron King kicked off the goal line preventing Town from scoring what would have been a deserved equaliser.

There were few goal-scoring opportunities in the second-half and Beaconsfield looked happy to hold on to their lead.

Manager Darran Foster made a number of substitutions in the second-half in an attempt to create more goal- scoring opportunities.

It should have paid off with a good passage of play almost culminating in a Daventry goal – only for Mykel Beckley to fire high over the bar from just outside the area.

Despite the defeat, manager Darran Foster, players and supporters will not be too worried about the failure to pick up a point on the first day.

Daventry played good football and deserved to take at least at point from this game.

The Town created good goal-scoring opportunities and threatened the Beaconsfield goal on a number of occasions.

On another day they may have had a little more luck in front of goal. Town have a couple of players still to return, Callum Burgess from injury, Marcel Simpson and new signing Josh Blake from Banbury, then it should be an even stronger settled squad.

Daventry Town Manager Darran Foster said: “To be honest I feel a touch disappointed that we did not get something out of the game.

“We had three or four very good chances, but we just didn’t take them. I knew they would be a strong side but we showed some quality throughout, keeping the game compact and taking the game to them.

“Goalkeeper Rich Morris only had two saves to make all game so that shows we were quite tidy defensively. We switched off for 10 seconds and the lad buried it in the bottom corner.”

Their next league game is at home on Bank Holiday Monday (August 27) to near-neighbours Rugby Town, who won their opening game of the season away at Ashford Town 4-1.

This should be a good indicator as to whether Daventry Town can mount a seriously challenge for promotion this season.

On Saturday, Daventry Town play in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup away at Godmanchester in Cambridgeshire.