They came up against a strong Garston U16s team at the top of the Hertfordshire Girls’ Football Partnership League, Division 1 that had not lost a league game all season.
It looked like the match would be a close game from the off, with the midfield battling hard to win possession. In particular, central midfielders Stella Napoli and Khaleah Lewis-Vaike worked tirelessly to ensure they protected the back four.
A fine solo run down the wing and a cross into the box by Jasmine Ajayi almost created a goalscoring opportunity for the Jets but Garston were able to clear their lines and see out the danger, with the match still goalless at half-time.
Bedford’s attacking continued in the second half, and finally their hard work was rewarded as Scarlett Howman swung in a corner that landed in the path of Ella Vagliviello, who coolly slotted home.
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The final 25 minutes was a defensive masterclass by the back four and goalkeeper Alex Shore. Maddy O’Neill, Julia Bangala, Lauren Cotterell and Elisa Sirchia played as a strong and solid unit, often putting their bodies on the line with last-ditch tackles and blocks.
It left the opposition frustrated and, on the few occasions they did get past the defence, they came up against Shore who simply would not be beaten.
Manager Jim O’Connor and his side now look forward to their semi-final showdown.