Bedford FC on top in thriller with Green

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Bedford FC edged past Crawley Green 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller in SSML Division One on Saturday.

Bedford were the better side form the start and should have taken the lead in the first minute.

The ball broke kindly for Josh Bamford who went through but he smashed his shot over the bar.

Jordan Jarrold and Jack Weedon both had shots saved by Dean Bull before Crawley took the lead against the run of play.

Stuart Strange knocked the ball into Pat Daly who set up Liam Dooley to drive his shot past Aaron Bodger for 1-0 after 11 minutes.

Crawley’s lead lasted for only six minutes as Jarrold fired in a shot which was parried by Bull for Jack Weedon to knock in the rebound.

After 31 minutes, Jarrold made it 2-1 to the hosts. Crawley were caught out by a long ball over the defence and Bull was easily lobbed by Jarrold.

Just before the break Stuart Strange had a long range effort saved by Bodger and the first half finished 2-1.

After the interval, Jack Downes went close for Crawley, but it was Bedford who scored again after 49 minutes when Jamie Cole knocked in a ball from the right for Bamford to make it 3-1.

To their credit, Crawley battled back and Mark Smith had a shot saved by Bodger after being set up by Pat Daly.

Downes followed up with another shot which was blocked, before Crawley deservedly reduced the arrears after 56 minutes.

Craig Meyrick knocked a though-ball to Jack Downes who fired his shot past Bodger to make it 3-2.

With the game now end to end, Craig Savage got back well to deny Bamford.

After 68 minutes Bedford made it 4-2 with a slice of fortune when a shot from Bamford deflected off Mark Smith to go in off the post.

Again Crawley fought back to make it 4-3 after 71 minutes as Henry Mungwira smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

With Crawley pressing for an equaliser they were harshly reduced to 10 men when Smith was sent off for a challenge on Dean Sturniolo, and Bedford stood firm to run out 4-3 winners.