Hadley Wood & Wingate 1 - 2 Bedford FC
By Nikhil Saglani
Hadley Wood & Wingate were, yet again, unfortunate to taste defeat at home to Bedford FC on Wednesday night. A strong first half showing was punished by two defensive lapses, despite being deserving of a draw.
The hosts started the game much stronger, with Afolabi Obafemi seeing his shot parried over by James Woolf after just three minutes. But after this, the first half didn’t see many clear cut chances until the 22nd minute, when an overhead kick by Bedford’s Adam Drakulic flew just over the Wingate crossbar.
In the 23rd and 24th minutes, Ben McGrath hit the side netting and then saw a volley saved well by Martin Arnauchkou in the Wingate goal – keeping the score at 0-0.
Ten minutes later, Ola Williams had a great chance to put the hosts ahead – after beating half a dozen men on his way into the box – but his shot was saved, with many teammates available for a cutback into an empty net.
The visitors came out firing in the second half, and were rewarded with the opener just nine minutes in. Michael Fisher curled home into the bottom corner from the edge of the area after being afforded too much time and space to get his shot away.
Arnauchkou made two saves soon after the goal, denying Drakulic and Tyrone Kelly – keeping the hosts in the game.
Obafemi saw a curling effort saved by Woolf, leading to the corner that brought about the leveller. Joe Sharpe’s delivery caused trouble for Bedford and James Meehan smartly flicked the ball home with his back to goal to level the affair.
However, eight minutes later, Bedford were ahead again. A late challenge in the box from Jeremy Agholor allowed Fisher to step up and convert a penalty – straight down the middle – to restore the visitors’ lead.
In the dying embers, Obafemi saw a headed chance fly over the bar from an Agholor cross – before the referee called time on the game. A young Hadley Wood side will rue several missed chances, as well as lapses in concentration but can take positives from their overall performance.
XI vs Bedford: Arnauchkou, Williams (c), Agholor, Sharpe, Mandeville, Mead, Casey, Hadjithemistou, Obafemi, Meehan (Osenie, 66), Krasniqi (Kouroushi, 45).