Bedford Ladies lengthened their winning run to nine matches and moved seven points clear at the top of the East Women’s League Premier Division with a comprehensive 5-0 victory over strugglers Norwich City on Saturday.
Bedford were without Verity Mason-McLeod and Claire Higginson due to work commitments so welcomed back Pippa Jones for trip to Tavenham School, while goalkeeper Lucy Sellers also made her first team league debut in for Leanne Sargeant.
It wasn’t long before the Maroons got their noses in front with a close range lifted finish from Steph Holyoak after MOM Kate Costin’s run around the baseline.
The visitors enjoyed long spells of possession and soon doubled their lead after a slightly generous penalty stroke award which Costin converted. A first half double then followed from Andrea Mason; the first a close range reverse stick deflection after a fine ball into the danger area from Charlotte Holland.
The second saw Mason smash home emphatically on the full from the top left of the circle with the assist from captain Rachel Jackson.
Into the second half and again Bedford were on top as Noble grabbed her first of the season from a left slip routine which evaded the Norwich corner defence team.
This was the half’s only goal as Bedford were guilty of letting a few golden chances go begging.
Costin flashed wide at the back post, Emma Pinny narrowly struck past the back post and a few other opportunities in the circle just lacked a crucial touch.
After being untroubled for the whole match, Sellers ensured Bedford kept their clean sheet intact in the final minute with a short corner save with the visitors clearing to grab all three points.
With St Albans drawing against second placed Wapping, Bedford increased their lead at the top with just one more game before Christmas, away to Old Loughts on December 10.
The IIs beat Colchester 2-1, with the IIIs winning 1-0 at Saffron Walden IIIs.
The IVs thrashed Broxbourne IVs 7-0, the Vs went down 2-1 to Blueharts IVs and the VIs won 3-1 at Leighton Buzzard IVs.
Bedford men drew 4-4 at Harleston Magpies, with the IIs beating Wapping IIIs 3-0.
The IIIs hammered Southgate Adelaide 13-1, with the IVs beaten 3-0 at Hertford IIIs and the Vets losing to West Herts VIs 6-2. The Vs drew 1-1 with Rickmansworth IIIs and the VIs won 1-0 at Stevenage Vs.