Bedford Ladies are up to second

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Bedford rose to second place in the East Women’s League Premier Division after a hard fought 2-1 victory at local rivals St Albans IIs on Saturday.

The visitors were, based on history, expecting a tough encounter, as Sam Turner, a summer signing from Cambridge City made her debut and Becca Budd returned from injury whilst Martin Mason-McLeod took over the match day duties from Tom Hewitt who is recovering from an operation.

The game started tensely as St Albans moved the ball with pace but Bedford carried more intensity going forward.

Emma Pinny, star player Beth Noble and Becky Tarrant started to see more of the ball and Bedford were threatening the Tangerines goal.

Kate Costin’s turn and shot forced the keeper into a save before the deadlock was broken by the visitors as Tarrant’s slider pass found Costin and she cut inside the last defender before firing home.

Bedford had good shape and discipline in their defence with Ellie Priston in excellent form alongside captain Rachel Jackson and goalkeeper Leanne Sargeant only called into action on a few occasions, her best save being a high stick tip over.

They doubled their lead too as a penalty corner on the stroke of half time saw Jackson converted straight down the middle.

After the break, Bedford still had the better chances, SJ Darrington and Stephanie Holyoak coming for Verity Mason-McLeod, but the Saints keeper made an outstanding save.

The hosts then pulled a goal back from a well worked penalty corner deflected, but Becca Budd and Charlotte Holland were able to add their experience to proceedings and see Bedford over the line to a big three points.

Bedford are at home to Norwich Dragons in a top-of-the-table clash this Saturday.

Push back is at 1pm and entry is free.

The IIs beat Norwich Dragons 4-1 in Division One N, while in the Five Counties League Premier Division, the IIIs lost 2-1 at Stevenage IIs.

The IVs hammered Chiltern IIs 4-1 in Division Three, as the Vs hit double figures, crushing Stevenage Vs 10-0 in Division Four and the VIs saw off Luton IIs 2-0 in Division Five.