Off colour Town well beaten
By Ken Brazier
Enfield Town 0 Beford Town 3
Town crashed out of the FA Cup at the QEII Stadium on Saturday. Few supporters of either side saw this result coming, but the Eagles thoroughly deserved their win against unbeaten opposition a step above them. Match report by Aaron Patel.
With barely sixty seconds on the clock, Callum Donnelly’s effort for Bedford was tipped over by Joe Wright in the Town goal and, shortly afterwards, Ben Ford’s corner was headed just over by Paul Benson. Similarly, Dan Walker headed over Donnelly’s cross as the visitors set about making an early impression which they sustained for much of the game. The Eagles were eventually rewarded for their good work, with the opening goal arriving after 13 minutes. Walker managed to bring a through ball down and venture into the box to slot it past Wright.
Town looked for an immediate response, and Lewis Taaffe saw his effort blocked. A clearer-cut chance for Town arrived with a long-range effort from Sam Hatton in the 17th minute, the full-back seeing his shot turned behind for a corner by Kyle Forster in the Bedford goal.
Remi Sutton blazed across the goal for Enfield while, at the opposite end, Bedford had the ball in the home net again, but Benson had been flagged offside. Town couldn’t seem to find any rhythm, and were not helped when Lewis Taafe was forced off with an injury, making way for Bilal Sayoud, in the 39th minute. Sayoud’s left-foot effort moments before half-time was well held by Forster.
Half-time: Enfield Town 0 Bedford Town 1
Fast out of the blocks again, the visitors almost doubled their lead soon after the restart but Donnelly’s one on one was well saved by Wright. Town did manage to find their feet for a spell, however, and Sam Youngs’s low, driven effort just in the 51st minute flashed just wide of the left-hand post. Two minutes later, Youngs was in the thick of the action again, this time flicking over Sayoud’s cross.
The Eagles again took advantage of some sloppy Town defending, this time Walker somehow blazing his effort over in the 56th minute. Aaron Greene was replaced by Brandon Adams just beyond the hour mark and, moments after coming on, Adams headed over Youngs’s in-swinging cross from the right.
More gaps were beginning to appear as Enfield strove for parity, and Bedford doubled their advantage when Ashton Grant side-footed the ball home from just inside the box in the 69th minute. Minutes later it was almost 3-0 when Donnelly’s corner was met by the head of Ollie Swain.
Increasingly committing men forward, Matt Johnson’s floated cross from the right was headed over by Adams in the 82nd minute. But, after 84 minutes, Bedford sealed a deserved win; Walker picked up the ball in the centre of the park, continued his strong run teasing the Town defence and slotted his shot past Wright to make it three.
Many observers from both camps admitted it was a probably a worst performance of the season for the hosts coupled with a best performance of the season for the visitors that aligned to produce this clear-cut result.
Enfield Town: Joe Wright, Sam Hatton, Remi Sutton, Matt Johnson (C), Taofiq Olomowewe (Ryan Blackman 69), Rian McLean, Lewis Taaffe (Bilal Sayoud 40), Sam Youngs, Liam Hope, Sam Chaney, Aaron Greene (Brandon Adams 62). Unused: Mickey Parcell, Dan Rumens, Jack Hockney and Matt Nolan. Booked: McLean, Youngs.
Bedford Town: Kyle Forster, Brett Longden, Jordan Jarrold, Mason Watkins-Clark, Ollie Swain, Gavin Hoyte (C), Ashton Grant, Callum Donnelly (Craig Daniel 79), Paul Benson (Lee Roache 81), Dan Walker, Ben Ford (Connor Furlong 69). Unused: Unused subs: Niall Cooper, Phil Draycott, Taylor Rhiney and Dean Dummett. Booked: Longden.