Harefield started the week reeling from the news that inspirational veteran skipper Cristian Barrett is out for the rest of the season following his Achilles injury at Rayners Lane the previous week, Harefield chairman Gary South reports.
Hares manager Jason Shaw brought Olu Akinola back into the attack after Lenny Farhall was ruled out with a thigh injury and Lee Clark returned to his familiar sweeper role following a successful spell in midfield for this away fixture on the boggy Bedford pitch.
The conditions didn’t bode well for playing a passing game after heavy overnight rain on a surface that was threadbare in places and first chance of the match fell to United when a Bedford player handled the ball on the left side. Sam Shaw floated the resultant free kick into the box and Adam Willis rose to head the ball just wide of the goal.
Five minutes later Hares captain Sean Mangan was spoken to by the referee after a two footed challenge won the ball by the corner flag. Bedford failed to take advantage of the free kick and the ball was cleared upfield.
On the half hour mark Hares keeps Jacob Ballheimer pushed the ball out for a corner from an overhead kick. Bedford left back Tarik Dallas headed the ball home from the corner kick, putting the home side one nil ahead.
Manager Shaw seemed to instil some passion into his players at half time and the Hares came out with more determination after the break. After three minutes of the restart Sam Shaw sent a telling cross into the box from a free kick, Mangan headed across goal and a game of head tennis ensued, finally Mangan claimed what really looked like an own goal from the head of a Bedford defender.
With the game at stalemate Shaw experimented with a series of substitutions in an effort to break the deadlock. On fifty two minutes centre forward Rob Graham replaced the useful Akinola , fifteen minutes later midfielder Luke Baldwin, recovering still from an injury came on for Sam Shaw and finally with eleven minutes remaining Perry Dicker was brought on upfront for Hares man of the match Willis.
Immediately Graham broke away and passed to Tash Jordan who fired his shot straight at the Bedford keeper. The home side hit Harefield on the break and Ballheimer was forced to make a top drawer save at the other end.
With a minute remaining the last chance fell to the Hares, Jordan attacked the left flank and crossed to Dicker whose shot went just wide of the mark. Honours even then and Harefield face Bedford again in two weeks time at Preston Park. This Saturday Harefield entertain Codicote at home, three o clock kick off.
Harefield team: Ballheimer, Dobbs, Green, Mangan (capt), Clark, Larrington, Jordan, S.Shaw, Akinola, A.Willis, Riley-Snow. Substitutes:- Baldwin, Dicker, Graham and Underwood, McCorkell (unused).
Man of the Match Adam Willis.
Like this story? Get free email newsletters via the form below
Free email newsletter