Bedford Town blew a two-goal lead as they were pegged back by Petersfield Town in a 2-2 draw on Tuesday night.
After their exploits in the FA Trophy at Northwood three days previous, it wasn’t hard to understand why Bedford boss Jon Taylor kept the same starting line-up for Tuesday’s game against Petersfield.
From the start the Eagles tore into their opponents, with the two wide players in Dylan Gittens and Javia Roberts causing a lot of problems down both flanks.
Gittens could have opened the scoring as early as the seventh minute, when his run into the area from the right ended with a shot that beat Anthony Ender in the Petersfield goal.
The ball hit the left hand post and rebounded out to Bilal Yafai, whose own shot was cleared off the line by Olly Searle.
Gittens got his reward, though, in the 24th minute. Yafai released the winger on the right side of the area and Gittens took full advantage to fire past Ender for 1-0.
Three minutes later and Bedford were 2-0 up when Roberts latched onto a rebound, after Yafai had beaten Ender, but not the post.
In between the goals, a glancing header from James Ford nearly pulled a goal back for the visitors, but Tyler Reading pushed the ball round the post.
The visitors had a couple of chances just before the half-time whistle. First, a free-kick into the Bedford area was headed against the right hand post, but whether it was a Petersfield or Bedford player with the final touch is unclear.
Then a bobbling shot from Joseph Briggs went through a crowded area , but Reading was down to push the ball away.
Petersfield came back at Bedford from the start of the second half, and in the 51st minute pulled a goal back, but how the scorer was afforded so much room was criminal.
A free-kick was floated into the Eagles’ area. with no-one near him, Howard Neighbour, with his back to goal, directed the ball over Reading and into the net. This was the last action from the centre-forward, as he was substituted immediately afterwards with a hamstring problem.
In attempting to restore the two-goal lead, Bedford came back and Roberts was denied by Ender’s instinctive save, after the No7 had made space for himself.
Petersfield’s equaliser came on 62 minutes, when Briggs’ cross from the right flew across the area to the far post, and, unmarked, Gary Norgate slammed the ball home from close range.
Either side could have won the game, but defences had tightened up at both ends.
Ender saved from Tommy Hull, then Stefan Powell’s shot took the slightest of deflections off Sean Wain, but it was enough to steer the ball over the bar.
Reading then denied Briggs at the other end, and the match ended 2-2.
The draw takes Bedford up one place to 12th in the league, and ended Petersfield’s run of three successive league wins.
Bedford travel to Chalfont St. Peter on Saturday in the league. 3pm kick off.
Eagles: Tyler Reading, Kyal McNulty, Kyle Lincoln, Tommy Hull (c), James Peters, Josh Bamford (Jamie Osborne 90+2), Javia Roberts, Solomon Sambou (Stefan Powell 63), Mor Serigne Diop, Bilal Yafai, Dylan Gittens.
Subs not used: Nat Lewars, Marcus Campbell, Christian Lester.
Petersfield: Anthony Ender, Olly Searle, Sean Wain, Dan Thompson, Daniel Sackman, James Ford (c), Joseph Briggs, Alek Przespolewski, Howard Neighbour (Gary Norgate 52), Joseph Richardson (Lewis Hyde 75), Dominic Cope (Luca Coleman-Carr 63).
All subs used.
Referee: Mr P Forrester (Luton).
Assistants: Mr M Paul (Northants) & Mr L Scott (Milton Keynes).