Bedford recorded a comfortable 4-0 win against Broxbourne and in doing so notched up their third win of the season in the East Prem’s late push back on Saturday.
Bedford brought 15-year-old Elli Rattu into the squad to make her league debut for the 1s in place of the unavailable Jenna Maclaren, while Yvette Van Yperen was also out with a reoccurring injury.
Bedford coach Paul Livesey was looking for a fast start and the team duly obliged as central defenders Rachel Jackson and Emma Pinny frequently found themselves on the edge of the attacking circle as the Maroons piled on the pressure in search of the opener.
Despite a lot of territory in the first half, Bedford lacked a cutting edge to their final ball until Andrea Mason found strike partner Steph Holyoak on the left of the circle and she slapped the ball home first time with a hard, low finish past the Badgers keeper.
Bedford kept the pressure on and doubled their lead from the second phase PC which Mason tucked home on her reverse.
With a 2-0 lead at half-time, Bedford wanted to step up the intensity and quality in the second half and indeed it was a much improved display.
SJ Darrington and player of the match Harri Kinnear were able to bomb forward from their half back roles and add further numbers to the attack, while both made some excellent picks off Broxbourne aerials as they tried a new approach to breaking the Bedford press.
Bedford were able to stretch the pitch more and more as the game wore on, with Claire Higginson making some good aggressive leads to create space for the likes of Holland and Childs joining in from the midfield line.
After an infringement on the line, Kate Costin had the chance to extend Bedford’s lead from the spot but her flick was saved low to her right by the keeper.
However, moments later Costin went some way to making amends with the final touch on Emma Pinny’s driven pass.
Bedford went in search of more goals, with several chances going begging, however Rattu scored a memorable debut goal which showed composure beyond her years with some neat stick skills and a lifted finish.
Broxbourne did manage a few breakaways in the second half on the counter-attack, punishing some charitable Bedford passes but Leanne Sargeant kept her cool in goal to win the 1-on-1 battles and record the teams first clean sheet of the season.
Next week Bedford host Old Loughts where a win will see them leapfrog their opponents in the table.