Bedford Town back in the playoffs with close victory

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Image: Bedford Town FC

The Eagles secured another home win on Saturday, but were given a scare by visiting Daventry.

Manager Nathan Abbey made one major change for this match, with new keeper Connor Coulson given the nod over Aaron Dillon, making an impressive debut.

The match started with Bedford getting the better chances with striker Tom Hitchcock, Dan Walker and Connor Tomlinson combining well to enable a Tomlinson strike, which was blocked by a defender.

Mid way through the half Tomlinson had another shot from 22 yards out, but the ball  went over the bar after being fumbled by Daventry’s shot stopper Brad Lashley.

Soon after the Eagles got their breakthrough as Hitchcock, already Bedford’s top scorer this season, found the net again.

Ben Ford played in the free kick to the top right hand corner, and Lashley made a diving save, but couldn’t hold onto the ball. Hitchcock was first to react and beat everyone to the ball to lash it into the net.

Early in the second half Cade Stevens-Abbey was replaced by Nathan Olukumni, who gave added pace on the wing. Later Drew Phillips came on for Hitchcock upfront.

Daventry by now were putting Bedford under ever increasing pressure, with Joe Stelle twice called to make goal saving tackles.

Centre back Ollie Swaine had a chance from a corner, but his header went over the bar.

Shortly after Nathan Abbey made his final and what would be decisive substitution, with Jack Vasey replacing Tomlinson.

With six minutes remaining on the clock Daventry’s persistence paid off as they got their equaliser. A corner and a goalmouth scramble ensued which enabled  Kyle Barnett to flick the ball into the net.

With minutes left it looked as though Daventry had got their point, but Vasey had other ideas. With two minutes remaining a cross came in from the right where the ball dropped in the area, just  right for Jack Vasey who entered the area to side foot the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Bedford held on for the win which saw them back into the play off places.

On Saturday Bedford travel to play AFC Dunstable who have been struggling with form of late after an impressive start to the season.

The Eagles are hoping their squad for the match will be bolstered by the returning Matt Harriot, who has been injured since he signed again for the club earlier this month. He has now also signed a one year  contract.

Bedford Town Director Jon Taylor said, “I’m delighted we’ve secured Matt on a contract. No one wanted him to leave last year, but he had the chance to play at a higher level.

“Now he is back, focused on getting fit and securing a place in our competitive midfield.”

AFC Dunstable play at  Creasey Park, Dunstable and kick off is at 3pm.

Bedford Town Lineup:

1 Connor Coulson
2 Cade Stephens-Abbey (50′ Nathan Olukumni)
3 Louis Hall
4 Ollie Swain
5 Joe Steele
6 Brett Longden
7 Ben Ford
8 Callum Donnelly ©
9 Tom Hitchcock ⚽ (62′ Drew Phillips)
10 Connor Tomlinson (76′ Jack Vasey ⚽)
11 Dan Walker

Substitutes not used: Damien Green, Nuredin Lilaj.

Words: Michael Jarman-Webb