Waltham Abbey steal late win against flailing Bedford Town

Waltham Abbey goalkeeper tries to claim a cross with many players at Bedford Town
Image: Bedford Town FC / 'X'

Bedford Town were left forlorn after a 95th minute winner for Waltham Abbey saw the Eagles fall to their fourth loss in five league games in Southern League Central Division One on Saturday afternoon.

It was Waltham Abbey’s number 10, Aaron Eyoma, who snatched all three points for the Essex side in an otherwise cagey encounter at The Eyrie and leaves Bedford Town facing an uphill struggle for the title.

With the restoration of winning ways for Bedford Town in midweek against Thame United, the home side were seeking to build further momentum before diving into a hectic, fixture packed April run-in.

Adam Martin managed to keep his place in the side after impressing on Tuesday night, forcing Dulson to the bench once more.

Waltham Abbey approached the game in a mercurial run of form, rather reflective of their season as a whole. Just over a month ago Dunstable notched six against them, while more recently they shipped three away to Aylesbury United.

On the other side of the Abbotts’ coin, they were able to keep Kempston Rovers to a goalless draw and concede just one in a win over Stotfold.

With a shot at promotion on the line for both teams, there was a lot riding on this game, and it showed.

The first twenty minutes set the tone for a tentative affair, with the majority of that time spent with the ball in the middle of the pitch and the referee with the whistle to his lips.

The disrupted nature of the early moments meant that neither team were able to find a flow, however chances did begin to crop up.

A corner for Waltham Abbey was met by centre-half, Edgar Velasquez and looked goal bound before being brilliantly cleared off the line by Eagles captain, Alex Collard.

It wasn’t long before chances came at the other end. A Cole Dasilva cross from an uncontested drop ball was nodded wide by Lobjoit just minutes before a Waltham Abbey defensive mishap gifted Blake with the chance of the half, which he spurned.

Image: Bedford Town / ‘X’

Game of few chances ends in dramatic fashion

A strike off the post from Baker before half time sent Abbey into the second half with some momentum however it failed to shine through. For the most part, the second period provided even less entertainment than the first, with seldom a noteworthy moment.

With just over half an hour to go the message from Eagles gaffer, Lee Bircham was, “be characters”. His side were in desperate need of some gumption as they slowly began to plateau in their chance creation. 

At the other end of the pitch, Bedford goalkeeper Mark White was sharp. He was forced into a superb save by Waltham Abbey’s, Benjamin Baker who would have fancied himself to score.

The Eagles did manage to carve out an opportunity with Connolly playing through Lobjoit, but despite bagging two at Ware last Saturday and an early one against Thame in the week, he failed to score this time as he saw his chip smothered by Bradley Robinson.

Leon Lobjoit for Bedford Town Image: Bedford Town / ‘X’

The minutes ticked away and desperation set in for both teams.

Chances were still few and far between and into stoppage time the game remained level. As fans began to funnel out of the Eyrie, A hopeful ball was pumped down the pitch for Waltham Abbey in search of Baker.

Baker – without looking – fizzed a cross into the box and his delivery was met emphatically by Eyoma, whose downward header flew past a despairing White.

The Abbott’s bench flooded to the corner to join the frenzied celebrations while the Eagles stood abject having given everything to come away with nothing.

Chants of, “I’m Bedford ’til I die” still rang out around the Eyrie stands after the final whistle, but the pitch itself was cloaked by an air of dismay.

Bedford Town travel to league leaders, Biggleswade Town on Monday to cap off their Easter weekend.

That game becomes ‘must win’. With Biggleswade Town’s clash against Welwyn Garden City called off because of a waterlogged pitch, they now have two games in hand over Lee Bircham’s men but still hold a key two point advantage.

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