Bedford Town 1 Banbury United 0
United slip deeper into relegation trouble after a last minute goal direct from a free-kick taken by Drew Roberts gives Bedford a 1-0 victory.
Banbury had enough chances in this game to have won it twice over, but then the heartache of seeing a dubious free-kick given in the 4th minute of injury time had something of the inevitable about it, and League top scorer Drew Roberts needed no second chance when he whipped the 25 yarder round the wall and into the top corner to give the Eagles an extremely lucky and ill-deserved three points.
The day started badly for United when influential captain Liam Dolman turned his ankle over in the pre-match warm-up, and although he started the game, he only lasted 15 minutes before being substituted.
Banbury started the game well and quickly took control of the game. However, the first chance of the game fell to Bedford, but Andy Kemp pulled off a terrific save, and from the resulting clearance, it was the turn of Eagles Youth Team ‘keeper Jordan Rigby to make the first of a string of superb saves when he beat out a Howard Forinton effort from ten yards out after the veteran striker had latched on to a through ball from midfield.
Banbury continued to dominate possession, but some pretty lax refereeing saw the home side using increasingly physical means to keep United at bay, and as the game wore on, they were lucky to still have eleven men on the field of play. One particular challenge on Ricky Johnson in the centre circle never even warranted a yellow card, yet it would certainly have earned a red on a Saturday night in front of the ‘telly’!
Banbury went closest in the first half when yet another free-kick was awarded, and when Ben Polk’s place-kick from the right was sent into the middle, Dan Chilton rose, only to see Rigby make a fantastic fingertip save to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Banbury were again the stronger and the more likely to break the deadlock in the opening phases of the second-half, and Rigby again made superb saves from Johnson, Josh Cole and Forinton, and whilst Andy Kemp’s handling was exemplary, he was very rarely in any danger, as Banbury’s defended well when they needed to.
In the 75th minute, Forinton was thwarted by Rigby as he bore down on goal with a ‘one-on-one’ effort, but the young ‘keeper never let his inexperience faze him, and he was in fact the one player that all his team-mates ran to at the final whistle.
Bedford Town: Jordan Rigby, Paul Cooper, Seb Simpson, Jon Darby, Josh Beech, Ollie Thorne (Graham Clark 60), Gareth Price (Jermaine Ivy 68), Jamie Cole, James Hatch, Drew Roberts, Michael Built. Subs (not used): Tom Damon, Martin Danobrega, William Lowrenson.
Banbury United: Andy Kemp, Simeon Williams, Tommy Kinch, Liam Dolman (Ben Thackeray 18), Dan Chilton, Joe Coleman, Ryan Howell (Danny Edmond 81), Ricky Johnson, Howard Forinton (Josh Blake 73), Ben Polk. Subs (not used): Liam Richardson, Dior Angus.