THE longest unbeaten run in the Southern League ended last night, but Beaconsfield SYCOB won’t be shedding any tears.
After 16 games without defeat, they went down 3-1 to Redditch United in the last eight of the cup.
However, as prestigious as the League Cup is, Beaconsfield have their eyes on a greater prize after two headline-making victories over teams above them in the table.
Their 1-0 home win over Daventry two Saturday’s ago was significant, but backing it up with another 1-0 success away at second-placed Rugby Town raised their season to another level.
They are now third and the form team in the division with eight wins in a row.
Manager Gary Meakin said: “Our target this season was fifth. Are we ahead of that? Yes. I didn’t think we’d be in the play-offs in February.
“But let’s not get carried away. Can we win the league? It’s not impossible, but probably not.
“We’d have to win another ten games in a row and even that might not be enough.
“Our target was finishing in the top five and I’d still take fifth. This isn’t being arrogant, but we wouldn’t mind who we got in the play-offs – but we’re not in the play-offs yet.”
However, despite the clutch of teams still in vying for the play-offs, Beaconsfield’s form can’t be ignored and successive wins against teams in and around them emphasises their credentials.
Jack Hutchinson was their match-winner on Saturday, when he stole all three points with a goal five minutes into injury time.
Meakin said: “Rugby are a good side, the best side in the league in my opinion and you have to give them respect.
“We set up to be hard to beat. We let them come onto us and then hit them on the counter-attack and I thought we dominated the first half.
“The first ten minutes of the second half was also us and they had the next 35 minutes.
“But our goalkeeper didn’t have a save of note to make, so I think calling it a smash and grab is harsh. It just took 95 minutes for our plan to work.”
On paper, the pressure should ease for a while now with games against Chalfont St Peter, Barton Rovers and St Ives Town to come.
Meakin is having none of it though, and has warned his team to expect a fierce battle against Danny Edwards’ Saints on Saturday.
He said: “They are my bogey team. I don’t think I’ve ever beaten them as a manager.
“The best result I’ve had was when I was with Northwood and we were 3-1 up and ended up drawing 3-3.
“And I think they’re a good side with good players.
“Maybe the only thing you could say is they don’t turn up every week. They’ve got good players when they want to be good.
“But they will [tomorrow] because five of them used to play for me at Northwood.”