Berkhampstead 4 – 0 Bedford Town
All good things come to an end the saying goes, and that could certainly be said of Bedford Town’s five match winning streak.
Things went badly wrong as the team, playing in their first away fixture of the season on Tuesday, were given a lesson in both scoring and defending.
The team made one enforced change, Ben Ford coming in for centre back Joe Steele who was unavailable for the fixture.
The scoreline may have been slightly flattering, but not by much as the rampent Berkhamsted put four goals past Bedford keeper Aaron Dillon.
Things started evenly but went wrong in a two minute period that saw the Eagles concede two goals.
Firstly Berkhamstead’s Jonathan Lacey was allowed to cross in from the left flank and Lewis Toomey came in at the near post to direct the ball past Dillon while three Bedford defenders look on (10′ BH 1 – 0 BT).
Then minutes after Berkhamsted were given a free kick 25 yards out which Lacey fired past the wall, and despite Dillon getting a hand to the ball, It went in off the post. (13′ BH 2 – 0 BT).
Two minutes later Bedford had a similar free kick that Ben Ford fired into the crossbar, with Dan Walker unable to keep the rebounding ball in play.
The Eagles tried to get back into the game, but the efforts came to nothing meaningful, while the home side continued to pressure their defence. Dillon, pulled off a couple of fantastic saves to keep the hope of a comeback alive.
His efforts were to prove fruitless though as Berkhamstead struck again minutes from the half time whistle.
A free kick was played in from the left, and everyone left it. Dillon seemed in two minds, dived for it, missed it, and the ball came back off the post, allowing Max Farrelly who reacted the fastest to slide the ball into the net. (43′ BH 3 – 0 BT)
Much needed changes were made for the second half, with Tre Mitford replacing Scott Joseph upfront and the pacy Nathan Olukanmi coming on for Ford.
The new players gave Bedford some hope, but they were still unable to break down the home team. Despite chances the ball would not find its way into the home net.
The Crusaders, didn’t have the same problem though and put the game beyond any reasonable hope for the visiting team.
A drop ball was ran onto by Lacey, who, after getting to the left byline and getting past his marker, fired past Dillon (69′ BH 4 – 0 BT).
The match all but over with twenty minutes to go, left Bedford fighting an unassailable uphill battle, but they did keep trying, Walker getting a shot in towards the end, but failing to find the target.
Whilst it was expected to be a difficult tie, a whitewash was never expected, but the initial two rapid goals and an effective home defence ensured their deserved win.
The players were as shocked as anyone by the outcome, and Eagles Captain Callum Donnelly summed up how they were feeling after the match, “On behalf of the team we would like to apologise to the fans for last nights awful showing” he said.
“It’s not good enough and will not happen again. Thanks for your support. We hope to see you all Saturday where we will put things right going forward.”
Whilst disappointed by the performance on the pitch, fans took to social media in support.
Long term follower Bryan Jeffries praised striker Dan Walker for his attitude and respect for the fans, “As a team last nights display was disappointing in the extreme and I’m sure affected all who played or watched, but the actions of Dan Walker showed the class of the guy, not as a footballer but as a man.
“He walked the length of the pitch at the end to shake the hand of every supporter and to apologise for the display. Thanks Dan that meant a lot to us and will not be forgotten”.
The Eagles will be putting this loss behind them as they enter a busy Bank Holiday weekend of football, with two home matches in three days.
On Saturday they enter the Emirates F.A Cup against UCL Premiership side Deeping Rangers.
Rangers beat Market Harborough in the Extra Preliminary round and like Bedford sit in the middle of their respective League table.
On Bank Holiday Monday, Corby Town visit the Bright Management Eyrie. The Eagles lost at Corby in the promotion playoffs at the end of last season and will be looking to bounce back with a win this time.
As always tickets to home matches can be pre-booked at: https://bedfordtownfc.ktckts.com/
Bedford Town lineup:
- Aaron Dillon
- Cade Stevens-Abbey
- Louis Hall
- Ben Ford (12 Nathan Olukamni)
- Derek Ubah
- James Sage
- Ebby Nelson-Addy (16 Abraham Eze)
- Callum Donnelly
- Scott Joseph (14 Tre Mitford)
- Connor Tomlinson
- Dan Walker
Words: Michael Jarman-Webb
Photos: Jane Jones