Bedford maintained their unbeaten start to the East Women’s League Premier Division campaign as two second half strikes from Kate Costin and Charlotte Holland saw them break down the resistance of ex-National League side Maidstone to triumph 2-0.
Coach Gavin Markham made three changes to the squad that drew with pacesetters Holcombe with Becky Childs, Sarah Walsh and Verity Mason McLeod returning.
The hosts started positively with Costin forcing two early saves before Bedford suffered a double blow as both Laura Weaver and Walsh had to go off with head injuries.
Bedford struggled to regain their rhythm, but did create some chances towards the end of the half, denied by some fine goalkeeping.
After the break, Riverside Grill player of the match Clare Stacey linked well with Kelly Bingham and Mason McLeod, while Maidstone had a glorious chances after winning a penalty, but Bedford keeper Bex Howitt was equal to the task.
The hosts now became more dominant with Yvette Van Yperen pulling the strings in the midfield alongside captain Sherri Skene, but they still couldn’t find a way through.
Bedford were then reduced to 10 players when Suze Macken was penalised for not being the required distance from a free hit, however despite the numerical disadvantage the team in maroon made their dominance in possession count as Van Yperen’s pass picked out Costin who deflected the ball into the net.
Back up to a full complement, Bedford doubled their lead with a fine team move involving Van Yperen, Costin and Holland as she tucked the ball home at the front post.
Bedford defended well for the rest of the match with both Rachel Jackson and Emma Pinny looking strong as they earned another clean sheet. The win takes Bedford above Maidstone in the table and next weekend sees a double header with an away league match against St Albans on Saturday followed by the Investec Cup round two clash at Woking on Sunday.