Bedford drop down the table after defeat to North Greenford

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Bedford dropped down two places to 19th on Saturday afternoon after losing 2-0 at North Greenford United.

Craig Adams included both new signings in the starting line up, with Lea Jordan taking his place in goal and Stuart Smeathers lining up at left-back.

The Eagles took the game to their hosts, and were looking to add to their recent win.

Inside 10 minutes, Will Summerfield tried to emulate his winning goal against Egham the previous Saturday, but although he curled a free-kick over the North Greenford wall, the ball also cleared the bar.

Summerfield turned provider a few minutes later with an ingenious flick into the area. This caused problems in the home defence, although keeper, Melvin Minter was alert and denied Tom Liversedge a chance to take advantage of the flick.

On 15 minutes, Stuart Smeathers’ free kick into the area was headed narrowly over the bar by Jeff Woodward.

Bedford had a majority of the play, but couldn’t make the final ball count.

Josh Winters’ perseverance took him into the North Greenford area, midway through the half. He was tight on the left and elected to shoot. The ball went across goal and off.

The rain stopped just before the half hour, and this also heralded the first real home attack, as Jack Hutchinson’s run from midfield took him to the edge of the Bedford area. With space to shoot, the forward scuffed his effort wide of the right hand post.

Down the right on 32 mins, Paul Cooper and Summerfield combined to set up Aaron King, in the area, and the striker’s shot would have tested Minter in the North Greenford goal, but for the desperate lunge towards the ball from Michael Dart making it lose all momentum and allowing Minter the chance to collect comfortably.

Bedford had a legitimate penalty claim with ten minutes of the half left, when Summerfield ran onto a pass inside the North Greenford area. The midfielder deftly flicked the ball past the advancing Minter, then was tackled by Daryl Brown, after the ball had gone.

No Bedford player was in a position to latch onto the flick, and the referee waved play on, seeing no infringement.

Just before the whistle, Lea Jordan had his first real test when he had to push the ball away, at full stretch, to get rid of a Brown free-kick.

The home side kept up the pressure, but it only resulted in a poor cross from right to left that left Omar El-Bakkali chasing a speeding ball.

The drive Bedford had in the first half went down a couple of gears for the next 45 minutes.

Four minutes in, Hutchinson threaded the ball through to an unmarked Eugene Asante. Jordan came out to narrow the target and made a save from the former Eagles’ player. The rebound fell at the feet of Richard Worrell, whose first time shot went wide.

Another four minutes, and the introduction of substitute, Anthony O’Connor for the home side spelled trouble for Bedford.

Within three minutes O’Connor showed his pace down the left wing before teasing a cross deep into the Bedford box, and Asante reached the ball before Jordan to direct the ball into the net.

O’Connor was terrorising the Bedford defence again, on the hour, when another cross into the area found a team-mate.

This time David Manu fired wide.

Bedford fell further behind in the 63rd minute when Louis Stead’s long pass through the middle was taken up by Hutchinson. With a big gap in front of him, Hutchinson took the ball on before slotting it beyond Jordan.

A minute later, Summerfield and Aaron King were replaced by Tommy Glasscoe and Tom Rawlings.

North Greenford had the bit between their teeth and wouldn’t let go. Hutchinson’s 20-yard free kick went too high, before Jordan denied him after he had skipped through the defence to set up a shot.

Bedford couldn’t find a way through, and the frustration showed with a Glasscoe effort from the edge of the area that went high and wide.

In the fifth minute of stoppage time, Joe Hopewell’s cross from the right found Tom Rawlings, whose first time effort was beaten away by Minter, denying Bedford a consolation at least.