Miller and Galliford earn Luton XI a draw at Bedford
Ricky Miller and Isaac Galliford were on target as a Luton Town XI drew 2-2 with Bedford Town on Saturday, writes Layth Yousif.
Prior to kick off, there was a heartfelt minute’s silence for a player who served both clubs in the 1950s, Bernard Moore, 90, who passed away on July 20.
Miller threatened early on after mazy run, while the Eagles also came close as Aaron King found Josh Winters and his powerful shot was saved by Craig King.
Striker Miller was unlucky to see the ball hit the post with a low shot that had keeper Lee Crockett beaten, while Osamu Allman, Charlie Smith and Miller saw two half chances carved out in quick sucession which the Eagles defence proved equal to.
Bedford weren’t without chances of their own though as Rob Parker teed up Winters on the edge of the area but he blasted over.
Isaac Galliford fired over when well placed for Luton, but Eagles had the lead on 28 minutes.
The impressive Aaron King impishly moved a ball on the right past Luke Trotman, before rounding Craig King to slot into the empty net.
Despite more Luton pressure the Eagles defence looked comfortable with only a speculative shot by Ian Rees to show for their possession.
However, Miller was then felled in the box by Crockett, leaving George Sprague no choice but to award a penalty, with the Town striker confidently converted.
Eagles’ Tom Liversedge went on a powerful run through the heart of the Luton defence before firing a low shot narrowly wide.
In the second period, a cross from Ben Grant saw Liversedge battle gamely for a header that keeper King gathered safely.
Moments later from a well worked free kick, Aaron King saw the ball fall to his feet in the box and he fired it past his namesake for 2-1.
Miller fashioned a chance from nothing after he ran at the Eagles defence before prodding his shot narrowly past the post.
With an hour gone, a perceptive through ball from Bedford’s Joe Hopewell saw the battling Liversedge only narrowly off target.
Miller then won another penalty when he was upended after a jinking run, but this time, Crocketts came to the hosts rescue with a fine save.
It was to prove a brief respite though as the lively Miller squared for Galliford to lift the ball high into the net.
Miller almost made it 3-2, but Crockett’s legs denied him, while the Eagles stopper ensured a draw as he foiled Town’s forward late on.
Town’s U18s manager Paul Driver said: “I thought it was a pretty good workout.
“We have first year pros playing with young boys and I wanted to see how they coped with playing against men and they did well.
“I’m very pleased with Ian [Rees] and Charlie Smith but all the lads did well.
“The result is not important - what matters is the performance and the experience the lads got playing against men.
“The second goal was a bit disappointing but they will learn from that but overall I am pleased with what they would have learnt.”
Eagles boss Craig Adams added: “I felt it was a pretty good workout for us.
“One thing I noticed was that our fitness levels were as good as Luton Town’s and that was really pleasing as we have worked hard in pre-season.
“What I also noticed was that when they had a lot of the ball we defended well as a team and even in the last 15 minutes we kept up with them - so from our point of view our fitness and theirs wasn’t very different.
“We are making good progress - but we are still are work in progress. It was also nice to see Luton gave us respect - respect that I feel we earned.”
Bedford Town: Lee Crockett, Ben Grant, Simon King, Neil King, Jeff Woodward, Dan Chilton, Rob Parker, Josh Winter, Tom Liversedge (Jamie Wright 65), Aaron King, Joe Hopewell
Luton Town XI: Craig King, Luke Trotman, Lucas Perry, Ian Rees, Harry Tamplin, Frankie Musonda, Charlie Smith, Osamu Allman, Ricky Miller, Isaac Galliford, Trialist.