Bedford stun the Saints to move off the bottom

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Bedford made it back to back victories in the Investec East Conference with a 3-1 Valentine’s Day victory against third placed St Albans, which moves them off the bottom of the league.

Bedford kept with the same squad following their morale boasting 3-0 win against Chelmsford last week, but made a disastrous start, going behind inside a minute at Oaklands College.

St Albans were dominant in the early exchanges and they played some fast flowing, attacking hockey which put Bedford backs up against the wall.

Gradually, however, Bedford began to get a foothold in the game, putting their opponents under pressure and stretching play on the counter attack.

With almost their first foray into the tangerines circle, Andrea Mason forced a rash tackle and set up a penalty corner attack which was met by Yvette Van Yperen, whose shot was expertly deflected in by Mason for 1-1.

While St Albans certainly had the lion’s share of possession in the first 35 minutes and struck the woodwork, they found themselves up against an increasingly strong Bedford defensive unit.

It was the visitors who struck next to take the lead when Clare Beattie arrived bang on cue to score against her former club with a shot which wrong footed the St Albans keeper.

St Albans tried to reply but everything they threw at the Bedford goal was either brilliantly defended with tackle after tackle, or saved.

In the second half Bedford knew they needed more control and possession but wanted to maintain the pressure on the Saints defence.

Goalkeeper Leanne Sargeant was called upon throughout the half, making save after save – the best being a point blank reaction stop when the ball was flying into the top corner.

Bedford wrapped up the win on 48 minutes when Charlotte Holland and Mason united to work the ball across to Beattie, who played an inch perfect slide pass towards the circle where Kate Costin had timed her run and hit a great shot early past the keeper.

Sargeant was deservedly voted MOTM and the 3-1 win moved Bedford off the bottom of the table.