Title aspirations dealt severe blow
Bedford Ladies’ Five Counties Women’s League East Premier title aspirations were dealt a severe blow on Saturday as Maidstone came from behind to win 4-3.
Bedford recalled Nicola Pether to the squad, while Beth Noble retained her place after an impressive performance against Canterbury.
Visitors Bedford took the lead inside the opening two minutes when Kelly Bingham intercepted a weak Maidstone hit out and found Kate Costin who tucked the ball home between the keeper’s legs. The maroons though looked nervous on the ball and struggled to retain possession in key areas as Maidstone started to win the midfield battle with New Zealand international playmaker Rhi Dennison pulling the strings.
Unsurprisingly it was the Kiwi who pulled the scores level with an unstoppable drag flick from a short corner high into the roof of the net.
When Bedford did break forward they looked threatening as Costin had an effort cleared off the line before Maidstone countered and netted past the hapless Bex Howitt.
Captain Sherri Skene, now playing a more central role, thought she had equalised via a goalmouth melee from a short corner, but the umpire instead awarded a flick for a subsequent infringement, only for Rachael Jackson to see her effort saved by the Maidstone keeper.
Maidstone’s joy was short-lived as another short corner was expertly diverted to Andrea Mason at the front post by Noble and she tucked the ball home. Once again Bedford couldn’t maintain the momentum and another Maidstone drag flick, this time low, caught Howitt off guard as the Kent side led 3-2 half time.
The second half saw Bedford push forward but they were frequently thwarted by industrious defending and Maidstone looked dangerous on the break through their Kiwi international.
Player of the match Bingham was full of running, while Laura Weaver and Charlotte Holland boasted plenty of pace, but Bedford lacked the killer ball until Yvette Van Yperen netted her 17th goal of the season from Bingham’s cross
Both teams could have won it at the death with Mason unable to make contact on a pass across the face of goal and Bingham striking wide, while Bedford were caught with a sucker punch as the outstanding Dennison flicked home the winner into the top left corner to take home the points.
The result leaves Bedford still in second but now 11 points behind leaders Holcombe with St Albans the visitors to Chester Road this week.
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Weather for Bedford
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North