Bedford fall to Wimbledon in Investec Cup

Bedford HC Ladies. wk 46.
Bedford HC Ladies. wk 46.

Bedford were just four minutes away from an England Hockey Investec Cup upset at home to National League side Wimbledon on Sunday, but eventually lost out to a golden goal.

Beth Nobel, Cheryll Whaley and Suze Macken came into the squad as the hosts started brightly, intercepting the ball well through midfielder’s Kelly Bingham and Charlotte Holland.

Bedford soon had the lead too when Sherri Skene and Andrea Mason combined for strike partner Kate Costin whose goalbound shot was saved only for Yvette Van Yperen to net the rebound.

The hosts looked to consolidate as Clare Stacey impressed in defence, but the London side gained a foothold, testing keeper Bex Howitt with a couple of short corners.

Suze Macken nearly doubled Bedford’s advantage before the break, but she couldn’t beat a covering defender.

In the second period, the Wombles upped their pressure as Emma Pinny and Rachel Jackson made some important challenges.

Holland was a whisker from a second goal, while Costin, Mason and Bingham all missed decent chances as Howitt made another fine stop, before with the clock running down, Wimbledon struck an equaliser to take the tie into extra time.

Mason forced a great stop from the Wombles keeper, but with penalty strokes looking, Amy Couture pounced from close range to seal the tie for the visitors.

Sarah Walsh was named the Riverside Grill Player of the Match.

Bedford maintained second place in the East Women’s League Premier Division though as they ran out 4-0 winners over Upminster the day before.

Leanne Sargeant returned in goal for the unavailable Howitt, while Charlie White made her debut after Jenna Maclaren’s late withdrawal.

Bedford made the best possible start when Mason scored her 11th goal in 11 appearances following neat approach play by Jackson and Van Yperen.

A two-goal cushion was in place before half time when Walsh saw her deflected shot loop over the keepers head.

Costin made it 3-0 from close range, while Bedford added a fourth with 10 minutes to go when Van Yperen was on target after SJ Darrington’s surging run from defence.

Bedford travel to Cambridge City this weekend.