Victory sees The Town move closer to play-offs

THREE wins and 14 goals inside a week against Atherstone, Northwood and now Beaconsfield on Monday night have left Daventry Town only two points shy of the Central Division play-off places with two games or more in hand over all their main rivals.

Going into the second half of the league season the Daventry club will face seven home games out of nine following this Saturday’s trip to Ashford in Middlesex.

Referee Adam Fielding made a brave call to allow the Beaconsfield clash to go-ahead in sub-zero temperatures. On a frozen surface an entertaining game produced eight goals, defensive mistakes galore, no red or yellow cards and most importantly no injuries to players on either side.

After the unlucky 2-0 defeat by champions-elect Hitchin in mid-January, Town manager Ady Fuller called on his players to win their next half dozen league matches. Halfway there already Daventry need to beat Ashford (twice) and Burnham to fulfil the dream.

As the thermometer dropped like a stone on Monday evening, Fuller’s gamble of playing three strikers worked like a charm as Rob Foster took only three minutes to score the first goal on replacing Ryan Howell (hamstring injury).

Beaconsfield goalkeeper Carl Dennison and a defender both hesitated, allowing Foster to nip in and break the deadlock.

After 20 minutes though the visitors were in arrears.

A ‘bend it like Beckham’ 25-yard free kick from full-back Joel Jacobs flew into the top corner of the Daventry net in the 16th minute and four minutes later Rick Shittu scored from the rebound after Andy Kemp had tipped Ashleigh James’ initial shot on to the crossbar.

On the half-hour the scores were level again when Aaron Stringfellow scored his first goal for the Daventry club on converting a cross from Howard Forinton as both players followed up their excellent performances at Northwood two days earlier.

Seconds later newcomer Callum Burgess produced his trademark long throw-in to enable Tom Berwick to latch on to a headed flick on and score his 20th Southern League goal of the campaign.

In the 65th minute a looping shot from the otherwise quiet Josh O’Grady made the score 4-2 before Tom Fountain’s pinpoint pass enabled Josh Blake to roll the ball over the Beaconsfield goal-line for goal number five in the 85th minute.

Adam Kirby then headed home another consolation goal for the home side on a night when common sense prevailed as both sets of players refrained from making over-zealous challenges on a treacherous pitch.

The win takes Daventry to within a single point of the play-off positions but the gap widened again on Tuesday night as Rugby Town ended Hitchin Town’s unbeaten 26-match run with a 2-1 win. Slough Town won 5-1 at Northwood and Bedfont had a shock 4-1 defeat at Barton Rovers.