Lacklustre Eagles crash to AFC defeat

Dan Quigley opened the scoring for AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Picture (c) Alison Bagley
Dan Quigley opened the scoring for AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Picture (c) Alison Bagley

Bank Holiday Monday was one to forget for Eagles fans after Bedford failed to turn up against AFC Rushden & Diamonds in a 2-0 defeat.

The Eagles let their hosts dictate play from the off, and it was not a pretty sight for the large number of vocal away fans in the ground.

Just before the 15 minute mark, Tommy Berwick’s cross found Scott Joseph by the right hand post, but the striker couldn’t turn the ball in.

A couple of minutes later, Grant Beckwith tipped Claudio Hoban’s free-kick over the bar. Beckwith’s work wasn’t done, as from the corner he had to turn the ball round the post.

AFC took the lead on 21 minutes, as Bedford didn’t defend a long throw properly. Dan Quigley came in at close range to tussle with Beckwith, and finally got a toe to the ball to send it rolling over the line.

A minute before half-time, Hoban’s shot was turned round the post by Beckwith.

Within two minutes of the restart, AFC doubled the score. A long clearance from Liam Dolman was seized upon by Berwick, who crossed into the area and slid the ball past Beckwith.

On the hour mark, Beckwith made a double save to keep the Eagles in the game.

A minute later, Dan Kennoy made a triple change to try and rescue the match, with Dylan Gittens, Christian Lester and Stefan Powell given just under 30 minutes apiece.

Although Bedford looked steadier, the AFC defence kept the strikers at bay.

The hosts had further chances with Berwick, Tom Lorraine and Elliott Lamb-Johnson going close.

This was undoubtedly Bedford’s most under-par performance of the season so far.

Bedford’s next game is at the Eyrie on Saturday, when Kings Langley come to town.

Eagles: Grant Beckwith, Jack Jones, Kyle Lincoln, Tommy Hull (c), Peter Gatti, Dan Crowie, Matt Clifford (Dylan Gittens 61), James Peters (Stefan Powell 61), Joel Mason, Joel Norris, Ricky Case (Christian Lester 61). Subs not used: Luke Rowland, Josh Bamford.

Diamonds: Matt Finlay, Delroy Gordon, Sam Brown, Jack Ashton, Liam Dolman, Dan Quigley, Courtney Herbert (Elliott Lamb-Johnson 49), Richard Bunting, Scott Joseph (Tom Lorraine 71), Tommy Berwick (Brad Harris 79), Claudio Hoban.

Subs not used: Ollie Wilkinson, Rhys Redding.