After the resignation of the management team the day before their clash with Aylesbury FC, Bedford Town battled hard under the guidance of Mark Ducket on Saturday afternoon but still slipped to a 2-1 defeat.
Some changes had to be made to the Eagles line-up for this game, with Tyler Reading making his first league outing in goal, and Luke Rowland and Tremayne Charles also coming into the side.
From the start, the game was lively, and Aylesbury nearly broke the duck on nine minutes when a free-kick was floated in from the right. Reading went up with Ryan O’Toole, but the striker got his head to the ball first and it needed a Bedford defender to race to the line and hook the ball away.
Soon afterwards, Josh Bamford and Jack Jones quickly attacked, with the latter playing the ball right to Charles. The Bedford number 10 cut inside Daniel Murphy, and into the area, before testing James Weatherill with a shot that had to be palmed away.
O’Toole saw his long-range shot go wide, then on 38 minutes, Aylesbury took the lead. A pass was played through to Jamie Rudd, whose shot from the edge of the area was saved by Reading, but the ball was only half cleared, and Rudd capitalised by taking it just inside the area, before making sure with his second effort to give Aylesbury a 1-0 lead.
Just before the half-time whistle, Kyal McNulty’s lob from a distance was a bit too powerful and the ball went over the bar.
The second half was as keenly contested as the previous 45 minutes, with both sides mainly cancelling each other out.
There were three moments to savour for the football fans; first was the second goal for Aylesbury, in the 66th minute. Rudd crossed in from the left, and Brian Haule was on hand, in the danger area, to glance the ball past Reading.
Then a 30-yard piledriver from Davis Haule hit the underside of the Bedford bar before bouncing on the line and away.
The best came last, although it wasn’t enough to save Bedford. Stefan Powell set up substitute Jamie Osborne, and the striker, from 25 yards out, sidestepped a defender before hitting a sweet shot that didn’t stop until it hit the back of the net.
Bedford now had four minutes to save the game, and although they kept going at Aylesbury, the final touch wasn’t there.
The referee played eight minutes of stoppage time - mainly because of the amount of times the physio was required - and at the end of it, a corner caused a lot of desperation in the Aylesbury area, but a Bedford player couldn’t get the vital touch to restore parity.
Eagles: Tyler Reading, Jack Jones, Matt Clifford, Dan Crowie, Tommy Hull, Luke Rowland, (Anthony Ottaway 72), James Peters, Kyal McNulty, Josh Bamford (Jamie Osborne 74), Stefan Powell, Tremayne Charles (Ricky Case 57).
Subs not used: Grant Beckwith, Jordan Cleghorn.
Moles: James Weatherill, Jeanmal Prosper, Daniel Murphy, Ben Bateman (Lamar Simpson 73), Kyle Anthony, Ben Stevens, Jamie Rudd (Robert Tomlin 90+6), Davis Haule, Brian Haule (Terry Dixon 73), Ryan O’Toole, James Dobson.
Subs not used: Ken Feyi, Adam Logie.
Referee: Daniel Simpson.
Assistants: James Barry & Fernando Costache.