Gutsy Eagles see off Ware in five-goal thriller

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For the second home game in a row, the Eagles won an entertaining match after a see-saw of a 90 minutes as they eventually prevailed 3-2 against Ware.

Back in late November, Bedford lost a lead to Egham before eventually winning the match, and Saturday’s game against Ware, at the Eyrie, was no different.

Jon Taylor still hasn’t finished getting his desired squad, and Bedford welcomed back Josh Beech for a second stint at the club. Another old boy was on the Ware team sheet, in the form of Eagles’ double player of the season, Paul Cooper.

Playing into the strong wind, Bedford had a good start to the game. On six minutes and playing down the right, Stuart Muldrew made good space to send in a cross and stretch the Ware defence.

Solomon Sambou - the likely candidate to receive the cross, as he was in the middle - left the ball to run, and Matt Clifford came thundering in from the left to beat Tom Coulton, in the Ware goal, with an angled drive.

The visitors seemed to wake up from this setback, and used the windy conditions to their advantage.

Five minutes after the goal, Tyler Reading had to be alert to punch out a direct corner from Murat Karagul, and afew minutes later, Karagul sent in a cross from the left, but his hard work went to waste as Elliot Bailey made a hash of the shot, and sent it wide.

Bailey did much better just before the midway point of the half, when he glanced a header just past the post.

Ware’s possession, especially with the wind at their backs, told on 23 minutes, as the equaliser came. From successfully defending a Bedford attack, the ball was played up to Josh Oyibo, in the centre circle.

Oyibo then sent another pass forward, and over the Bedford defence for Kieran Bishop to run onto. With no one to bother him, Bishop lobbed the ball over the onrushing Reading, and into the net.

With half an hour gone, Ware had taken the lead, but not before Sambou had got the ball caught between his feet after another Muldrew cross begged to be put into the net.

The Eagles defence were having trouble in defending against a sustained attack, and Reading, under pressure, punched out a shot. The ball was kept inside the Bedford area, and Bailey’s effort across the goal missed everyone except Karagul, who took full advantage of his close proximity to goal to trap and fire the ball home from an acute angle.

A few minutes later, Reading saved a first time shot from Bailey following Bishop’s diagonal cross into the area.

With a minute of the half to go, Bedford equalised from the penalty spot. Clifford was brought down by Jack Fowler, and Kyal McNulty made sure of the spot kick by smashing the ball past Coulton.

The secnd half was tighter and cagier, with chances arriving less frequently than in the previous 45 minutes.

Just after the hour, Muldrew forced a good save off Coulton, and from the resulting corner, Serigne Mor Diop flicked the ball goalwards, but just failed to hit the target.

Muldrew then turned defender as he headed the ball off the line when Benjamin Crilley’s own header, from a Ware corner, looked to be going in.

At the other end, the visitors then cleared the ball off the line, as Fowler denied Tommy Hull a headed goal.

The vital winning goal came 11 minutes from time, as substitute, Josh Bamford, introduced as a fresh pair of legs, put the Ware defence to the test as he swung in a cross from the right. J

osh Beech, just inside the edge of the area, controlled the ball, and with the defence starting to recover, directed a low shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net.

So, for the second time in a row, Bedford had taken the lead, lost it, and then regained the lead. For the remaining time, an expected Ware onslaught never came, and the Eagles mostly retained possession to record a 3-2 win.

Eagles: Tyler Reading, Will Wright, Kyle Lincoln, Tommy Hull (c), James Peters, Kyal McNulty, Stuart Muldrew, Josh Beech, Serigne Mor Diop, Solomon Sambou (Josh Bamford 70), Matt Clifford.

Subs not used: James Hillsdon, Mohammed Ndow, Jordan Cleghorn, Maxime Fondop Siwe.

Ware: Tom Coulton, Paul Cooper, Alaa Oujdi (c), Benjamin Crilley, Jack Fowler, David Longe-King, Josh Oyibo (Jack Mace 70), Liam Griffin (Kit Brown 46), Kieran Bishop, Elliot Bailey (Harley Haag 74), Murat Karagul.

Subs not used: Olumide Quadri, Joe Simmonds.

Referee: Mr G Viccars.

Assistants: Mr S Pater & Mr S Brewer.

Attendance: 167.