Eagles lose 100% start to season
Our away bogey side does it again.
A late goal ended Bedford’s excellent start to the season on Bank Holiday Monday, as bogey side, Cambridge City notched a 3-2 win in the league, ending a winning start to the season from Jon Taylor’s boys.
A fast, feisty and bad tempered game saw the Eagles score at the start and end of the 1st half, with two goals from the home side sandwiched in between, making the score 2-2 at half time, at Histon FC, where the Lilywhites groundshare, waiting for their move into a brand new stadium in Sawston.
The Eagles took first blood on four minutes when a Dan Walker run down the left ended with a cross into the area. Callum Donnelly, who could have had a go himself, flicked the ball on into space, and Craig Daniel finished off the move with a clinical shot that beat Liam Gooch, in the City goal.
Not long after, Donnelly and Sam Squire clashed for the ball (that went off for a Bedford throw), and as the players were getting up, the Cambridge dugout started jumping about and shouting, as Donnelly was untangling himself from Squire. With the home side baying for a red card for the Bedford No 8, the referee talked to both players and both captains, taking no further action and Bedford took the throw.
From that moment, Cambridge took control of the rest of the half. Jack Wilkinson played in a dangerous ball from the left, and although there were two home players in the Bedford box, the ball had too much curl on it, and went off for a goal kick.
Paul Benson then got the better of Wilkinson, played the ball into the area, but Gooch was on hand to collect; only he didn’t and the ball bounced out of his hands, and gratefully a defender was able to clear before Walker pounced.
Nathan Olukanmi was a menace down the wings, and just before the midway point of the half, was tanking down the left when Mason Watkins-Clark slid in for a tackle. At the end of the move, which came to nothing, Watkins-Clark was given a yellow card for the attempted tackle, which looked nothing more dangerous than a player trying to get the ball. He neither connected with man or ball.
Cambridge equalised on 25 minutes, when Ryan Sharman latched onto a pass back following a corner. The hosts had been threatening to score, and the Bedford luck had ran out.
Cambridge took the lead eight minutes later after a total miskick from Brett Longden, up near the halfway line on the right. Olukanmi raced onto the loose ball, and with no one to stop him, got to the byline before crossing in. A half clearance went to Ebby Nelson-Addy, who fired past Kyle Forster.
A minute before half time, Benson capitalised on a mistake in the Cambridge defence, as Gooch and a defender couldn’t get the ball. Using all his experience, Benson controlled the ball, shielded it from the players and turned to put the ball into the empty net.
Bedford had the better of the 2nd half, but couldn’t get the important goal. A few minutes in, Walker’s cross into the area wasn’t dealt with properly by the Cambridge defence, but no Bedford player could get to the ball.
A bit later, Craig Daniel floated in a free kick that evaded the defence. Unfortunately, it evaded the advancing Benson and Watkins-Clark as well.
Walker then got the better of Ben Robinson, on the left byline. His cross into the area was cleared, but only to Longden, but from 20 yards, the defender put the ball just wide of the right hand post.
There was more controversy midway through the half, when, after Donnelly had given away a throw, was clearly struck in the head by Robinson as he was moving away. Another melee ensued on the pitch, and surprisingly, Robinson was only given a yellow card for his blatant strike.
With 15 minutes remaining, substitute, Lee Roache moved behind the defence, and Gooch came to the rescue for the home side, as he spread his body to save in the one-on-one.
Bedford kept attacking, but were denied by the defence. Ben Ford played a diagonal ball into the are. It went to the far post, but Walker couldn’t play the ball back properly.
For all their possession in the half, the Eagles were victims of a sucker punch with a minute of normal time remaining. Wilkinson’s long throw, from the right, was headed deeper into the area by Jordan Gent, and Nathan Olukanmi threw himself at the ball to bundle the ball home. With four minutes stoppage time, Bedford came back, and although Ashton Grant looped a shot that came off the top of the Cambridge bar, the home side did enough to give Bedford their first defeat of the season. The Eagles will now have to dust off the defeat to face Welwyn Garden City on Saturday (1st September) in the league. The draw for the Emirates FA Cup 1st Qualifying round has been made, and Bedford will visit Bostik League Premier Division side, Enfield Town, on September 8th.
Eagles: 1 Kyle Forster, 2 Brett Longden, 3 Jordan Jarrold, 4 Ashton Grant, 5 Mason Watkins-Clark, 6 Gavin Hoyte (c), 7 Craig Daniel (15 Ben Ford 71), 8 Callum Donnelly, 9 Paul Benson (14 Lee Roache 61), 10 Dan Walker, 11 Phil Draycott (16 Connor Furlong 76).
Subs not used: 12 Bradley Woods-Garness, 13 Niall Cooper.
Cambridge City: Liam Gooch, Ben Robinson, Jack Wilkinson, Ryan Towner, Jordan Gent, Joe Robinson, Sam Squire (Andre Olukanmi), Ebby Nelson-Addy, James Hall, Ryan Sharman (Ross Paterson), Nathan Olukanmi.
Subs not used: Lewis Whitehead, Adam Capel, Harry England.
Star Man: Callum Donnelly.
Referee: Jeffrey Aldous.
Assistants: Samuel Carrington & Tom Cartwright.