Eagles 1 Thame United 0
Penalties the order of the day
Bedford bounced back from the mauling off Hayes & Yeading to record a sixth win in seven league games after beating Thame United 1-0 at the Eyrie on Saturday afternoon.
Had the Eagles been ruthless in the first 30 minutes, the game could have been won, but in the end it took a twice taken penalty plus goalkeeping heroics from Kyle Forster
to secure the three points.
As early as the second minute, Thame may have found themselves down to ten men when Craig Hill, in goal for the visitors, challenged and fouled Lee Roache
outside his area, and received a yellow card for his actions. The resulting free kick was floated over and Roache glanced a header wide of the mark, although behind him, Paul Benson
looked in a better position to have a go.
Roache was in the thick of the action early in the half, and the first of many corners for Bedford was floated over to him in the sixth minute. The striker had time to chest the ball down and shoot, but a defender got his head in the way to block the shot for another corner to the home side, and Roache saw another shot of his blocked and cleared.
Just after the ten minute mark, Devante Stanley
released Roache down the right, who in turn crossed into the area, giving Benson a chance to shoot, and Hill a chance to save. The ball rebounded out to David Manu
, whose own effort on goal was blocked by James McGowan.
The Eagles then won another couple of corners before Stanley shot from distance and put the ball over the bar.
One move, just over the 15 minutes, had the home crowd oohing, when Stanley couldn’t find a way past two defenders and squared the ball for James Peters
to race in. Without breaking stride, Peters hit a curling shot that just cleared the bar, with Hill stretching like mad to make sure the ball was not going in.
Midway through the half, Manu was the recipient of a free kick played into the Thame area, but put his shot wide.
The attacking slowed down as Thame slowly hauled themselves back into the game, but the Eagles had the upper hand still.
The defence defended a Thame free kick and won a corner from the counter. Callum Donnelly
floated the ball over, and this time Peters headed wide.
Just after the half hour, Roache was challenged in the Thame area, and a strong penalty claim was waved away by the referee.
Manu then hit an impossible shot from the left byline, and it won Bedford a corner, but still no goal came from it.
In terms of attacking, the 2nd half was more conservative, although a free kick just three minutes in saw Stanley fizz a shot just wide of the left hand post.
The visitors recorded their first shot on goal in the 53rd minute when Lynton Goss, on the right corner of the area hit a tame (no pun intended) shot that was easily collected by Kyle Forster
Ten minutes on, the Eagles finally took the lead. Stanley was fouled in the area and the referee pointed to the spot. Benson stepped up and cheekily dinked the ball into the net whilst sending Hill the wrong way. For some reason, the kick was ordered to be taken, and Benson then stroked the ball into the same area to give Bedford the lead.
Not content with sitting on the lead, Bedford still attacked, and Stanley’s shot from the corner of the area gave Hill a bread and butter save.
With just over ten minutes to play, the combination of Manu & Roache, on the left, squared the ball to Peters, who stabbed the ball into the area for Benson to get his head to. Hill pushed the ball away, and somehow it stayed on the pitch, and Benson was quickest to it, but at a difficult angle and height, he pushed it onto the post.
Thame should have been reprieved with an equaliser with eight minutes left, when the referee again pointed to the spot. It’s not certain what the infringement was, but the last player to put a tackle in was Tommy Hull
, and even then it looked a harsh decision.
Dan West stepped up and hit the ball to Forster’s right. The Bedford guardian got down to his right to push the ball away, but it was still not safe, as West pounced on the rebound. Forster forced him a bit wider and the inevitable shot went wide of the mark.
Bedford kept calm in defence after this, and kept their opponents comfortably at bay until the final whistle.