Hertford VI 4 – 0 Bedford VI
By Geoff Oates
Strong all round performance brings 6s their first league points
Despite having several key players away or with the 4s, we produced one of our best displays at a cold, and very wet Ridgeways. Our first ever points against Bedford, and for the first time in our history the 6s have a positive league goal difference!
Not sure what to expect from a youngish Bedford side that had put 5 past Stevenage the week before, so we set out to play deep, Tony Dean and Andy Benson holding central defence, with Luke and Ian’s pace to give us options on the break.
The plan worked well, Bedford only managing brief periods of threat at the start of each half and after our first goal. Embarrassingly, Jamie our guest keeper got to stand in the rain for 70 minutes without having to make a save, and even John Andrews at sweeper never touched the ball in anger. Even when well on top, we kept our defensive shape, the midfield tracked back hard and Bedford’s breaks were smothered with few alarms.
Andy’s deft distribution, good use of the wings (especially a masterclass in wide midfield positioning from Luke) and Ian’s speed and control on the ball kept Bedford pinned back and goal scoring opportunities came at regular intervals. As the game progressed, Chris Dean (back from Uni for the weekend) and Aodhan developed an inspired short passing game with the wide players, with many build ups moving across the pitch and back.
The only frustration was the number of chances we failed to finish – maybe it was the wet surface, Luke and Ian both spectacularly losing their footing with only the keeper to beat – but we still put away two in each half, Ian leading with a solo run, shot and follow up on the rebound, Richard Churchill will his first senior goal for Hertford, Chris Dean finishing off a lightening move of 4 one-touch passes up the left, and finally Luke with a tight angle scoop into the corner from the edge of the D.
Andy Benson just edges Luke out for man of the match.
We will face stronger opposition, but the great thing this time was that we played the game at our level. Too often we have let our standards fall when the pressure has been off. It wasn’t easy, but this week we made it look easy.