Eagles 0 Welwyn Garden City 1
Late goal downs Eagles
The Eagles suffered their second loss on the bounce, and succumbed to another late goal, as league newcomers, Welwyn Garden City, came away from the Eyrie with a 1-0 win on Saturday afternoon.
Jon Taylor made just one change to the line up, with Ben Ford replacing Ashton Grant.
The temperature didn’t reach the searing heat of Summer, but it was 23º for the first game in September, so Autumn was on hold for at least a day.
The warm sun seemed to dictate the play on the pitch, and there were too many long balls from both sides.
The first meaningful shot of the game came 16 minutes in, when Dan Walker was given a chance to shoot, and in keeping with the start of the game, it was tame, and allowed former Eagle, Dan Green, to easily save.
The visitors forced a couple of corners in quick succession after this, with Nick Elliott’s 22-yard shot that took a slight deflection the only noteworthy slice of action from the two set pieces.
A little later, a Welwyn Garden City counter saw Tony Williams play the ball forward to Jon Clements, and although the centre forward managed to get the better of Gavin Hoyte, he was pushed sufficiently to the side to give Kyle Forster an easy save when the shot came.
midway through the half, another gear was found from both sides, and after the lacklustre start to the game, this was a welcome change. Craig Daniel headed just over the bar from a Walker cross, then the roles were reversed, as Daniel set up the former Luton striker, but Walker could only glance the ball off.
Welwyn then won three corners in as many minutes, and found a Bedford defence that was unwilling to lay down, as Hoyte and Mason Watkins-Clark both defended.
From the third corner, the ball was played to Callum Donnelly, and just inside the Welwyn half, was dumped to the ground. The ball rolled to Paul Benson, with the referee waving the advantage. Benson, in turn, played the ball into Walker, inside the area, where he looked as though he was unlawfully bundled to the floor. Bedford claimed a penalty, but were given a corner. Afterwards, Danny Payne was given a yellow for the original foul on Donnelly.
Just before the half time whistle, Walker crossed in for Benson, but the striker’s header looped over the bar. In the second minute of stoppage time, a corner for Welwyn went to Ben Spaul, but he headed wide of the mark.
Three minutes into the 2nd half, Bedford had another penalty claim waved away when a corner from the right found the far post. Benson looked to have been fouled, and the normally unflappable Benson found himself in the book for remonstrating.
Even with 20 minutes left on the clock, the game looked to finish 0-0. A Benson shot went wide of the mark, and at the other end, Brett O’Connor flashed the ball across the goal from left to right, but no one was on hand to direct it in.
The match winning goal came with five minutes of normal time left. After coming on two minutes before, Josh Bronti tried a hopeful shot from the edge of the area. It looked to all intents and purposes that Kyle Forster would just scoop the ball up, but somehow the Bedford ‘keeper couldn’t get to the ball in time, and it bobbled into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
On the 90 minute mark, Ashton Grant went on a short run that ended with a shot that flew over the bar. Into stoppage time, Green made a double save, but with the crowded Welwyn area, it was unclear who had the shots.
Bedford’s last chance of salvaging a point came in the fourth minute of stoppage time, when a corner was played in and defended by the visiting side.
Bedford are now down to 7th in the league, and have a difficult Emirates FA Cup tie coming up on Saturday 8th September, when the side visit Bostik League Premier Division outfit, Enfield Town. 3pm kick off.
Eagles: 1 Kyle Forster, 2 Brett Longden, 3 Jordan Jarrold, 4 Ben Ford (14 Ashton Grant 83), 5 Mason Watkins-Clark, 6 Gavin Hoyte, 7 Craig Daniel, 8 Callum Donnelly, 9 Paul Benson, 10 Dan Walker, 11 Phil Draycott (16 Connor Furlong 71).
Subs not used: Bradley Woods-Garness, Niall Cooper, Ollie Swain.
Welwyn GC: Dan Green, Adam Hunt, Jay Rolfe, Danny Payne (c), Jay Lovell, Lee Close, Nick Elliott (Josh Bronti 83), Ben Spaul, Jon Clements, Tony Williams (Dan Bond 67), Brett O’Connor (Jon Sexton 90+3).
Subs not used: George Ironton, Josh Holmes.
Star Man: Gavin Hoyte.
Referee: Mr S Barry.
Assistants: Mr I Christodoulou & Mr E Turner.