Bedford Ladies 1st team travelled to Oxford Hawks to play a friendly the week before the second half of the season starts with a re-arranged fixture against top of the table Hampstead and Westminster.
Bedford have enjoyed a successful and confidence building indoor campaign and selected former first team captain Sherri Fensom for the fixture with Becky Tarrant, Zoe Burford and Claire Higginson unavailable and Clare Bilham side-lined through injury.
Bedford started brightly with an early chance for Steph Holyoak whilst Charlotte Holland struck the post. Elli Priston and Rachel Jackson at the back had to be alert to make some excellent tackles against the skilful Hawks forwards. After 15 minutes Bedford made the break through after Holland released Kate Costin and she took it round the keeper and finished from a tight angle before the same player deflected a Beth Noble pass onto the cross bar via a great touch from the keeper. Bedford started to dominate the possession, playing with structure and discipline. Jenna Maclaren and Emma Pinny were busy in the middle, looking to play forward to join in attacks. Bedford’s pressure forced a couple of short corners and Emma Pinny slapped in her first goal of the season to double Bedford’s lead going into the break.
Bedford continued in the same vein in the second half with half backs SJ Darrington and Sam Turner enjoying a lot of space. Fensom slotted in brilliantly with some well-timed tackles alongside Becca Budd on the other flank whilst MOTM Leanne Sargeant was flawless in goal for Bedford with some great organisation and excellent smother saves to keep Bedford’s clean sheet intact. Bedford created opportunities in the second half, Darrington trying a stint up front before captain Jackson’s corner was deflected into her own net by a Hawks defender for 3-0. Bedford did squander some decent opportunities and will want to cut out unforced errors before next weekend but overall this was a good performance which bodes well for the maroons and their objective to retain National League status this season.
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Kate Costin scores for Bedford Hockey Club
Emma Pinny scores for Bedford Hockey Club
Rachel Jackson scores for Bedford Hockey Club