Eagles finish the job in replay
Late goal from Dan secures the win
The Eagles needed a replay to progress to the next round of the FA Trophy. Bostik League side, Cheshunt were the visitors to the Eyrie on Saturday afternoon, and the sides didn’t exactly put on a show for the paying public, although there were small bursts of interest during the match, which ended 1-1.
Jon Taylor had to make a couple of changes from the side that played at Telford the week before, with Cade Stephens-Abbey
coming in for the suspended Brett Longden
at right back, and Taylor Rhiney replacing Ben Ford, who was unable to play due to concussion sustained in the Telford match. Apart from that, it was ‘as you were’.
An early goal from the visitors was the worst possible start for Bedford, after a corner was played over in the 5th minute. David Kendall used his height to good use to rise highest and nod the ball into the bottom right corner of the net. Bedford came back immediately, but Paul Benson
stumbled at the wrong time when in the area, and his tame effort hit the midriff of Bobby Mason.
After the first few minutes, the game then flagged a bit on the attacking front, as neither side could make any inroads. In stoppage time, Taylor Rhiney forced Mason into a save, and the resulting corner was the catalyst for the half time whistle.
The Eagles had the first shot of the second period; a weak shot from Ashton Grant
that was easily saved by Mason.
Into the 67th minute, Bedford came closest when subs, Jermaine Osei
and Matty Harriott
combined when the former came in from the left to square to the latter. Harriott produced a sublime curling shot, and although it beat Mason, the post was in the way, and Cheshunt survived.
Five minutes later, though, the Eagles equalised, as another attack ended with a ball over the defence, and Rhiney ran onto it to slot a low shot past Mason. It could have been different as a minute or so earlier, the visitors had a strong penalty claim waved away by the referee, after it looked as though an attacker was challenged in the area.
Bedford kept up some pressure, and Harriott produced a lazy looking shot from the edge of the area that just cleared the bar. The game turned in Bedfords favour with 15 minutes left, when Taylor McKenzie, booked earlier, received a second yellow card for what looked like time wasting when he tussled with Benson.
Bedford couldn’t make the one-man advantage count, and although there was one more chance for both sides, the game petered out as a 1-1 draw.
Taking the journey into Hertfordshire, along the M25 for the replay on Tuesday evening, the slow traffic may have dampened the spirits of the most optimistic person, but this was a better match than at the weekend, and there were bouts of passion during the match.
Jon Taylor welcomed Brett Longden
back after suspension, but Jordan Jarrold was missing, and Cade Stephens-Abbey
moved over to the left back position. Jermaine Osei
and Paul Benson
traded places, with the new striker making his first start in a Bedford shirt, and Craig Daniel
It didn’t take long before the first bout of ‘passion’ as Callum Donnelly
and Mark Hughes clashed after the Eagles were given a free kick in the third minute. Following a good talking to from Mr. Hitchcox, the referee, the midfielders were given a yellow card. Donnelly forced a save off Bobby Mason, then Kyle Forster
had to dive full to his left to pluck a stinging shot from Hughes out of the air.
Forster was lucky not to get a card when he handled outside the area. The referee gave a free kick only.
Just before the half hour, Hafeez Sanusi turned on the edge of the area and beat Forster but not the bar, as the ball rebounded off the woodwork.
The Eagles then went down the other end, and Dan Walker
saw his shot towards the top left hand corner saved by Mason. On 30 minutes, Cade Stephens-Abbey
’s time on the pitch came to an end, as he limped off with an ankle injury, and replaced by Connor Furlong
One minute on, and Furlong put the Eagles ahead. Walker received a pass down the right, raced to the byline, played the ball to the far post, and the substitute, on his own, headed home to give Bedford the lead.
Another fracas led to a double yellow a bit later on. This time, Ashton Grant
retaliated after being fouled by Tommy Wade, and both players were rewarded with their names in the referee’s book.
Just before the half time whistle, Wade glanced a header across the Bedford goal, and off.
A couple of minutes after the restart, Jermaine Osei
had a glorious chance to put the Eagles further ahead after he beat the offside trap. Homing in on goal, Osei couldn’t get the ball over Mason.
was then set up by Donnelly, and with work still to do, dragged a daisy cutter across the goal.
The home side made changes, and with Gavin Hoyte
coming off injured, and replaced by Matty Harriott
, Bedford had one less defender, whilst Cheshunt added an attacker.
It nearly reaped benefits, when Syrus Gordon got his head to a corner, but there was a scramble on the line, and the ball was cleared.
Another scramble ensued when a free kick was played into the area. This time the linesman spotted an offside.
With ten minutes to go, Ricky Sappleton put a free kick narrowly over the bar, but for all the Cheshunt pressure, Bedford all but settled the tie in the 87th minute via a classic counter attack after soaking up loads of pressure.
Another corner was cleared, and Furlong, from his own half, sprinted with the ball towards the edge of the Cheshunt area. Unselfishly, Furlong squared the ball to Walker, and the striker, on his own, had enough time to place the ball away from mason to give Bedford a 2-0 lead.
This momentarily took the wind out of the home side’s sails, but in stoppage time there was new impetus. Hughes glanced a header goalwards, and Forster used his instincts to save from close range. Then in the fifth minute of stoppage time a cross came over from the left. Hughes headed across goal, and Oluwole Akinsanya, directed the ball in from close range.
The goal was a mere consolation, though as not long afterwards, the referee blew the whistle. For full time.
The Eagles have been rewarded with an away tie in the next round, as the side will go to Tilbury on 13th October. Bedford have a free Saturday before hosting Corby Town at the Eyrie on Tuesday 9th October. 7.45pm kick off