Eagles finish the away campaign with a draw at Marlow

Bedford Town players celebrate
Bedford Town players celebrate

Bedford Town’s last away match of the season ended all square on Saturday afternoon, as the Eagles came away from Marlow with a 1-1 draw.

Facing a strong wind, Bedford had their backs to the wall for a lot of the first half, but the home side came up against a well drilled defence that repelled most of the attacks.

Every now and again Bedford tested the Marlow defence; On 16 minutes, Callum Lewis spotted Simon Grant off his line, but from 30 yards the ball veered wide.

The opening goal came on 27 minutes as Lee Barney capitalised on an under-hit back pass from Stuart Smeathers and rounded Bedford keeper Garry Malone before slotting the ball home.

Four minutes later, Bedford had their best chance of the half when Ross Oulton’s low corner found Rob Parker on the edge of the area, but his shot was blocked.

Richie Whittingham then tried an audacious shot from the right wing that just cleared the left hand post.

Lewis Gabbidon then smashed the ball over from 20 yards, before Malone tipped a shot from Barney over the bar after the ball fell kindly for the striker.

Just before half-time, Josh McGoldrick made a nuisance of himself in tracking Whittingham, whose hurried shot was bread and butter for Malone.

The start to the second half favoured Bedford greatly, and Tom Liversedge forced a decent save from Grant almost straight from kick-off.

From the resulting corner, Oulton sent the ball to the near post, and Ollie Wilkinson’s header grazed the outside of the woodwork.

After the two chances, and just two minutes into the half, Marlow were reduced to 10 men after Dan Hicks brought Liversedge down with a clumsy challenge.

A free-kick was given on the edge of the area and Hicks was shown the red card as last man. The resulting kick was wasted, though, as Liversedge scuffed the ball wide.

With an hour gone, substitute Greg Ling was set free down the left wing by Malone’s long kick.

The midfielder made it to the byline, where his cross cannoned off the foot of the left hand post, but there was no Bedford player to capitalise on the rebound.

Liversedge was forced off injured as he stretched for the ball, but Bedford struck next to level things up at 1-1.

A corner from the left was floated over to the near post, and Grant punched the ball into the back of Jahson Downes’ head for an own-goal.

With a very uncertain future off the field, Bedford play their last fixture of the season on Saturday against Northwood FC.

Eagles: Garry Malone, Callum Lewis, Josh McGoldrick, Ross Oulton, Stuart Smeathers, Ollie Wilkinson [c], Paul Cooper (Sam Macrae 90), Rob Parker, Tom Liversedge (Jordan Davis 68), Curtis Shaw, Joe Curtis (Greg Ling 57).

Sub not used: Jon Bukasa.

Marlow: Simon Grant, Samuel Bangura, Chris Ovenden, Jahson Downes, Alex Salmon, Dan Hicks [c], Nathan Ashton (Marcus Mealing 19), Richie Whittingham (Sam Rarity 67), Lee Barney, Sanchez Cammock (Charlie Bull 87), Lewis Gabbidon.

Subs not used: Jamal Branker, Oneal Garnes.

Referee: Mr N MacKenzie.

Assistants: Mr A Hickman & Mr J Barry.

Attendance: 105