Businesslike Blues Beat Battling Bedworth
By Andy Chilton
A dominant second half performance sees Town claim victory over a stubborn Greenbacks side
Match Report by KEVIN HAND, Match Stats by ROD ABRAHAMS, Photographs by GRANTY
Bedworth 0 Stratford 2 HT (0-0)
Saturday 30 March, 2019 3.00pm
EvoStik Premier Division Central
• When daffodils begin to peer….
There were 4 changes to the Town starting eleven following the 2-0 defeat at home to King’s Lynn. Ross Etheridge returned between the sticks as Laurence Bilboe had returned to his parent club. Jimmy Fry and Mike Taylor were rested and Kynan Isaac came in for the unavailable Wilson Carvalho. Jamie McAteer, injured in training, was unavailable for selection. Mo Sebbeh slotted into midfield and Dan Creaney took on the main striker’s role.
Bedworth, already doomed to relegation, featured ex-Townite, James Hancocks. There was a distinctly edgy start for the home side and the first real action came on 9 minutes. Grocott and Isaac combined and the latter’s cross was nearly met by the diving Shariff who appeared to be bundled over in the process. The officials saw it differently and there was a stoppage in play for treatment to Bedworth defender Luke Rowe who was injured in the play.
Town was close to taking the lead on 18 minutes. Creaney, Shariff and Isaac worked a corner on the left. Grocott’s corner cleared everyone but Creaney was quickest to react and he battled his way to the by line. His cross was met by Shariff whose shot was deflected over the bar for another corner. On 28 minutes Cox crossed from the right and Creaney’s header was clawed away by Bedworth keeper, James Fogg. Shariff’s follow up was over the bar.
Bedworth continued to struggle to make any impression on the Town goal while CreAney for Town was outstanding in leading the line and unsettling the Bedworth back line. The first half ended with Town in charge but no goals to show for their efforts.
That quickly changed on 48 minutes. Creaney won a 50/50 ball on left and when Shariff’s shot was blocked it eventually came back to Creaney who finished in style low to the keeper’s right from the edge of the area. Complacency almost let Bedworth back into the game 10 minutes later when Elliot Parrott’s opportunist shot from 25 yards struck the base of Etheridge’s post before bouncing to safety.
On 64 minutes the unsettled Ricardo Dudley fouled Creaney to earn a yellow. The resulting Grocott free kick led to a corner. From the corner Jordan Williams headed on and Lewis Wilson completed the job, 2-0. The game, never dirty, nevertheless became fractious and the yellows piled up for Bedworth leading to the dismissal of Blackmore on 79 minutes.
Fry, Taylor and, later, Tom Fishwick joined the fray for the departing Mo Sebbeth, Will Grocott and Chris Cox as Town took complete control. A third goal was there for the asking on 85 when the outstanding Albi Skendi set up the luckless Nabil Shariff who failed to make contact from close range.
This was a vital 3 points in the play off race and with Coalville losing and AFC Rushden and Diamonds drawing the omens are good. For Bedworth with super-friendly fans and an ambitious and forward-looking board we can only wish them all the best for wherever they play next season. They’ll be an asset in any league they turn up in!
• When daffodils begin to peer……
Why, then comes in the sweet o’ the year.
Man of the Match Dan Creaney
Match Stats by Rod Abrahams
| Bedworth|| Stratford|
| 9||Goal Attempts|| 11|
| 4||On Target|| 7|
| 1||Blocked Shots|| 0|
| 1||Hit Woodwork|| 1|
| 3||Corners Won|| 4|
| 3||Crosses into Box|| 8|
| 14||Fouls Conceded|| 13|
| 2||Off Side|| 3|
| 4||Yellow Cards|| 1|
| 1||Red Cards|| 0|
Stratford Yellow Cards – Skendi
Bedworth Yellow Cards – Blackmore, Dudley, Platt & Troke Red Card – Blackmore
Saturday 06 April Rushall Olympic (HOME) 3.00pm EvoStik PDC