Bedford Town v Posh FA Cup 1st Round – 17 Nov 01
Venue: The New Eyrie, Cardington
Score: Peterborough Utd 0 v Bedford Town 0
Referee: Phil Joslin.
Bedford Town chairman David Howell was smiling at the prospect of a lucrative replay at London Road after his Ryman League premier division side held the Posh to a goalless draw with a determined display. In fact the Posh were fortunate to come away with a second bite of the cherry as the home side came close to causing an upset.
Bedford Town was only re-formed in 1990 and attracted a sell-out crowd of 2,626 fans at the new Eyrie, where Fry admitted the home team were ‘magnificent’ and his own men ‘hopeless’. On his admission, one shot in 90 minutes was not good enough.
Posh had looked for an early breakthrough and on three minutes Neale Fenn spun away from his marker and unleashed a vicious shot from 25 yards, however his effort sailed well over the bar.
Two minutes later, David Farrell sent over a corner from the right and despite rising above all, Andy Clarke’s header thumped over the crossbar.
Francis Green was fouled on the edge of the Bedford penalty area by Steve Jackman on eight minutes, although Fenn’s resultant set-piece was deflected wide off the wall.
Carl Adams inspired a creative move for Bedford a couple of minutes later, but Wayne Dyer’s cross failed to beat Andy Edwards , who was able to clear comfortably.
Barry Fry’s men raced towards the Bedford goal, and Green should have really done better from eight yards out when he volleyed high and wide of the goal, after Clarke had nodded back a deep Marc Joseph centre.
Dyer surged through the centre of the park five minutes before the break, and had an ambitious shot deflected for a corner. Adams planted the flag kick among the crowded six yard box, but Paul Covington failed to connect cleanly and the chance went begging.
The second half started with Posh on the attack, but David Oldfield got his bearing wrong when shooting from distance and his effort drifted well wide of the target.
Posh’s biggest scare came in the 53rd minute when Mark Paul darted down the right and created an opening for the unmarked Dyer, and despite slipping, it took a desperate claw on the goal line from Mark Tyler to deny the Montserrat international.
Bedford piled on the pressure and had a couple of decent opportunities to get ahead on the hour mark,. Firstly it took a flying tackle from Joseph to block a stinging Adams drive, and then Tyler had to dive low to clutch on to Miller’s powerful follow up.
Edwards registered Posh’s first real effort on target on 65 minutes, but his downward header from Fenn’s cross fell straight into the arms of Bedford goalkeeper Heeps.
Green then trickled a 20 yard effort wide of the post with his weaker left foot, before Farrell had a penalty appeal turned down when falling at the feet of Jackman.
Fry decided to alter the system 12 minutes from time, bringing Howard Forinton on for Green to join Clarke and Fenn in a three man forward line.
Farrell then showed great skills to deceive his way past two defenders, but Heeps intercepted his cross towards Fenn. In the 82nd minute Adams, who had been industrious all game for the home side, unleashed a rocket that zoomed not too far from Tyler’s goal.
Bedford performed admirably throughout the 90 minutes and thoroughly deserved their draw.
Bedford manager Roger Ashby knows it will be different at London Road and expects Bedford to lose. ‘But the cash will come in handy for us,’ he admitted. Just as it did for Peterborough yesterday.
Bedford-born Fry, who still lives in the town admitted after the game ‘I’ve never gone away for a draw and been so pleased to get one. We need a replay and we need the money.’
The Posh: Mark Tyler, Dennis Pearce (sub Tom Williams), Marc Joseph, Simon Rea, Andy Edwards, David Farrell, David Oldfield, Andy Clarke, Francis Green (sub Howard Forinton), Tony Shields and Neale Fenn.
Unused subs: Dean Hooper, Dan Connor, Helgi Danielsson.
Bedford Town: James Heeps, Grant Haley, Lee Harvey, Paul Covington (sub Paul Wilson), Steve Jackman, Paul Turner, Wayne Dyer, Carl Adams, Kevin Slinn, Mark Paul and Rob Miller.
Unused subs: Steve Berry, Eddie Lawley, Adam Hancock, Chris Taylor.
Bookings: Wayne Dyer, Kevin Slinn (Bedford Town).