Bedford Mens 2s win vital 3 points
With 6 games left of the season, Bedford Mens 2s needed 6 wins from 6 to challenge for promotion.
After watching the Ladies 1s narrowly miss out on some points in the game before, the Mens 2s were frozen solid awaiting their 4pm push back. Thankfully it was our last one of the season. Missing one or two players, and a few others returning, we had a young, very fit squad - exactly what was needed against a team like Brentwood.
Our visit to their place produced one of the most shocking upsets of the season... a charging Bedford against, at the time, 2nd bottom Brentwood saw us loose 9-3. Something we would not forget.
Our experience from that game shaped how we played today. We needed to play quick, passing hockey and make them run for the ball. Our fitness was key to that, making numerous leads to create the spaces and opportunities we needed. They are physical side, so that means no taking it into contact, pass and move - exactly what we did.
As is tradition with the mens 2s, Vengaboys must be played at some point during the warm up. However missing Neil, who brings the speaker, we had to go a cappella this time. We went into the game feeling prepared for a tough fight.
Bedford started quickly, dominating possession and working our way up the pitch. Working on leads from forwards and midfield in training pay dividends as we had plenty of opportunities. Eventually, 10 minutes in, Immy found himself on the 23 in open space. He slipped a ball into the penalty spot where Steven Adams was waiting for the deflection. 1-0.
No more than 5 minutes later Bedford created there second goal when some quick passing put Joshua Fisher on the top of the D on his reverse. He fired it home and put Bedford 2-0 up.
Bedford started the second have just as strong as the first, Tommy Constant earning Bedford a short corner early on. This was slipped left to injector who took to on his reverse and slid the ball across goal to Matthew Dadd's open stick. With an open goal 1 yard out, it would have actually been harder to miss than score.
Bedford furthered their lead to 4 goals when Steven Adams picked up a transfer from right to left, ran it down the left and reversed it across the face of goal to Joshua Fisher, waiting on the back post. To his credit, he dealt with a truly awful cross that was bobbling and bouncing.
Little cracks started showing around the 4-0 mark when Bedford turn their brains off slightly. For any team with a 3, 4 or 5 goal advantage, complacency is the biggest threat to a match. That showed as Brentwood put up a fight and started pressing high. Lapses in concentration lead to mistakes which caused an open player at the back to be left alone in the D, who cracked it in.
That happened twice and Bedford found their 4 goal lead was now only 2 in the space of 5 minutes. Nonetheless, we gathered our composure and went back to "simple, sexy hockey" (TM) .
David Townson obviously thought he'd had enough, channelled his inner lumberjack and went to work on a Brentwood player's, stick earning him a yellow.
With not much left of the game, Bedford still found the time to get a 5th goal. This time Immy stepped up to the short ready to slap and claim a 4th assist of the season. Steven Adams picked it up, produced a feeble attempt of a slap at goal which instead found Matthew Dadd at the back post, again with an open goal.
A few minutes left to just wind down the clock, Dave got into space and made a break for it up the pitch in a counter effort. However his run only made it to the half way line when we was 2 footed, Thierry Henry style (https://youtu.be/GwOq9VRwzho?t=9), and brought down.
The incident was met with a storm of jeers and outbursts from the crowd and the benches of both teams, before the umpires decided to call it there and the game ended.
A well fought game. Bedford played with confidence and structure which saw us dominate most of the pitch. Brentwood are always a tough side, but we knew how to play around that. Excellent 3 points and the promotion race is heating up once more!