Eagles share goalless draw with Clevedon

Freezing afternoon at the New Eyrie ends in stalemate

Southern Premier

Bedford Town 0 Clevedon Town 0

Normal service was resumed at the back for Bedford, but they were just unable to force a winner in their low-key stalemate with Clevedon at the New Eyrie.

Eagles did at least return to their renowned tight ship defensively, but a lack of firepower at the other end means they have now gone seven games without a win in the league.

Both sides had to make do with a point from a game that had very few clear-cut chances.

Newly-signed centre-forward Tony Battersby made his debut and was partnered up front by Ian Draycott, who was making his first start since returning to the club from Hitchin Town.

Top scorer Andrew Phillips, meanwhile, was forced to sit the game out through suspension.

Clevedon's Hanin Romdhane had the first effort on goal after five minutes, but his left-footed shot didn't really trouble goalkeeper Mike Armitt. Three minutes later, Draycott had a sight of goal at the other end, but his shot was blocked by defender Josh Brigham.

The visitors continued to press men forward and had a couple of sighters. First, centre-back Matt Driscoll glanced a header over from a free-kick on 14 minutes, while two minutes later, Brigham's free-kick found Lewis Powell in space, but he just couldn't get enough on his flick to divert it home.

Brigham was proving to be dangerous from dead balls and on 18 minutes, he sent a fierce free-kick through a crowd of players, but Armitt was equal to it.

On 37 minutes, Battersby tried his luck with a clever lob but, despite catching 'keeper Danny Greaves flat-footed, his flicked effort finished up just a few inches high of the target, as the first period ended goalless.

Seasiders'stopper Greaves needed to be on his guard at the start of the second period when, after blocking Jonathan Woolf's effort three minutes after the break, he then needed to pull off a smart save to deny Jamie Gould's low drive four minutes later.

In truth, neither side looked overly threatening and it seemed like only a defensive mistake or something special was going to settle this one. And Clevedon's Powell almost produced that moment of brilliance on 70 minutes when his shot from distance flashed narrowly wide of the target.

Moments later, Draycott found himself clear of the defence but, unfortunately for the forward, his lack of confidence in front of goal was there for all to see, as he dragged his left-footed shot well wide of the target.

As the game entered the final ten minutes, debutant Battersby was presented with a glorious opportunity to steal the points for his new club, but he was unable to force the ball home from close range.

Centre-back Stuart Wall had one last chance to win it for Town late on after coming up for a set piece, but his header was agonisingly wide of the target.

Eagles: Armitt, Blake (Clark 84), Lawley (C), Miller, Darby, Wall, Woolf, Cavill, Battersby, Draycott, Gould (Oujdi 75).

Subs not used: Gentle, Daniel, Priestnall.

Clevedon: Greaves, Loxton, Brigham, Driscoll, Peckham (C), Sheppard, Bassett, Heal, Powell, Billing, Romdhane.

Subs not used: Harris, Hartland, Else, Adams.

Attendance: 301