Noble earns the plaudits as Bedford sink Old Loughts

Beth Noble bagged the only goal of the game to earn the points for Bedford
Beth Noble bagged the only goal of the game to earn the points for Bedford

Player of the match Beth Noble netted the only goal of the game to secure Bedford a second win on the bounce and move them above opponents Old Loughts in the East Premier table.

Bedford made two changes to the squad which beat Broxbourne, with Jenna Maclaren replacing the unavailable Becky Childs and Pippa Jones replacing the injured Ellie Rattu.

The home side started the game brightly and captain Rachel Jackson flashed an early short corner strike narrowly wide.

Bedford controlled the tempo and early possession, with their press forcing turnovers from the Loughs defence but outcomes mainly coming in the form of set pieces rather than clear cut attempts on goal.

The Bedford defence were able to transfer the ball with good pace and control and Loughts were only able to threaten on the counter attack.

Beth Nobel was able to exploit space in front of her from her centre midfield berth and took a shot which went wide before being afforded the same space moments later.

With the forwards moving the defence away, Noble drove to the top of the circle before unleashing an unstoppable shot in the bottom left hand corner to spark jubilant celebrations.

Bedford could and should have scored more goals in the first half, but a lack of precision in their attacking play made it easy for their opponents from Essex to pick off balls into the circle.

After the break Bedford continued to be on top although the game lacked any major excitement, with minimal goalscoring opportunities for both sides.

Bedford worked exceptionally hard off the ball to win back possession, while they were indebted to SJ Darrington on the right post for clearing a Loughts corner off the line in their closest effort.

Leanne Sargeant in the Bedford goal had to be sharp to snuff out a few other opportunities for the visitors and keep her clean sheet intact.

At the other end Bedford continued to search for a second goal but, despite some nice passing patterns, the score remained 1-0 to the Maroons as the final whistle went.

The win leapfrogs Bedford over Old Loughts in the East Prem table and up to third ahead of their visit to Dereham next Saturday.