Bedford back to winning ways
By Stefan Taylor
Written by Tom White
With the season now in full flow and league standings starting to settle, getting back to winning ways after a run of poor results was paramount. Bedford welcomed Letchworth to a newly revamped Chester Road, the team was in high spirits further boosted by the return of Axford and Appleton to the squad.
With a fiery encounter expected from the outset, a rallying team talk from Stefan ensured that Bedford’s attentions were firmly fixed on quality hockey and not the opposition. The speech did it’s job! Bedford taking pushback in the glaring sunlight put Letchworth immediately to the sword. With some crisp passing through the lines and up to the D, Pretorious slips the ball to Hoggett making a determined drive from the left with a deft under the arm finish beneath the keeper with 41 seconds on the clock. Advantage Bedford!
The home team then taking full control of the game with fluid movement and controlled possession that could only stand to please the coaching staff. Letchworth limited to speculative long ball and counter attacks notably broken down by solid performances by Rob Turner and Taylor. The sustained pressure telling later into the half with a dragflick from the top from Taylor squeezing through the outstretched hand of the Letchworth keeper. The remainder of the half saw Bedford remain in control of the tempo of the game forcing the opposition to put in a lot of legwork to stay in the match, coupled with a continued flurry of great saves from the keeper.
Feeling confident in the scoreline Bedford started the second half below the requisite standard, sloppy in possession and cruising in 3rd gear. Letchworth seizing on the opportunity afforded to them with sustained D entries, an unfortunate yellow card for Pretorious and a succession of short corners seeing Letchworth put a well worked short corner deflection into the top corner. Just the wake-up call that was needed! Fighting back into what was now a less than comfortable game with a 2-1 scoreline and fierce contest, Bedford needed to put their stamp back on game. Step-up Matt Chitty, in a claim to the title for best Chitty brother (TBC), deflecting home a shot-come-cross from Simba at the back post, restoring a 2 goal margin.
Letchworth now showing signs of the Bedford high intensity, attacks were coming thick and fast for the home side. A nicely worked move saw Dave Appleton test the keeper, who again stood up to the test. The rebounded ball rolling out to the penalty spot for an on coming (eyes lighting up, fantasy points in mind) Matt Wilson who opened up the hands to slap the ball beautifully into the top corner this time giving the keeper no chance. The final minutes playing out in a controlled manner, comfortable in the knowledge that the hard work had been done.
A solid all round team performance to get the 1st team back to winning ways ready for the bigger challenge of an ever consistent Harleston Magpies side next weekend.