With Bedworth’s last victory occurring on Boxing Day, The Greenbacks were hoping to finally kickstart 2023 with 3 points over Dereham Town, knowing that a win would move them 8 points above the visitors.
Dereham were looking to build on their positive1-1 draw against 2nd place Stamford in their last league outing, so Bedworth were in for a competitive afternoon at The Oval. Dereham started the day in 16th, just three points above the bottom four, looking to continue to edge away from a relegation battle. When the two teams met back in October, Bedworth came away 2-0 winners so were looking to do the double.
The opening 15 minutes was mainly contested in the midfield with either team claiming a majority stake in possession, with the turnover of the ball being fairly constant.
The first real opportunity fell Dereham on the 17th minute. Ryan Swift travelled with the ball and played a nice pass into the path of Charlie Clarke, his shot from a tight angle sailed just over the bar.
Dereham came close to the first goal of the afternoon. Ryan Swift was in plenty of space on the left wing, and whipped in a dangerous cross that got a slight deflection which whistled passed the post and out for a corner.
On the 35th minute Dereham had the best chance of the first, brilliant centre forward play from Dereham’s number 9 Charlie Clarke, he held off two Bedworth defenders running through on goal, and just as Clarke was about to shoot, Luke Rowe’s last ditched challenge was enough to help the ball back to keeper Sam Lomax.
Not long after, Bedworth had their first chance of the game of significance, with Elliot Parrot shooting from distance but seeing his effort drift wide.
On the 40th minute, Liam Lockett won a freekick for Bedworth in a dangerous area. Ryan Nesbitt stood over the free kick and aimed for the top corner of the keepers side, however the ball just flew inches over the bar.
Half Time- Bedworth United 0-0 Dereham Town.
The second half started with Bedworth on the front foot and was having much more of possession but were still struggling to create chances.
But then the best chance of the game at this point came to Bedworth. A miss kick from Dereham keeper Ross Bilham fell straight to Liam Murphy, but the Bedworth attacker couldn’t get the ball out of his feet as he closed in on goal and his eventual shot trickled into the keepers hands.
A controversial moment in the game occurred on the 52nd minute. Dereham Town’s keeper was alleged to have been fouled by the intense pressing of Liam Murphy, with his kick again falling to Ryan Nesbitt but this time Nesbitt lifted the ball into the net, only to be disallowed by the referee for a foul on the keeper from the pressing Ryan Murphy.
Despite the pressure on the Dereham Town goal, the visitors took the lead in the 55th minute. The ball was crossed in and a good header across the goal fell to Luke Johnson who tapped in from 2 yards to make it 1-0.
Bedworth responded well by continuing to press on the front foot, but only creating half chances, Parrott and Nesbitt having chances on goal but not troubling the keeper.
Dereham had a chance to make it 2-0. Good link up play between Clarke and Johnson resulted in Johnson’s shot going wide after a well worked move.
The Greenbacks had a decent chance to equalise in the 80th minute. Substitute Dunkley flicked his header towards Murphy who took a shot on from a tight angle.
Moments later, Bedworth win a penalty. Dereham keeper Bilham brought down substitute Bailey-Nicholls after the ball bounced around the box and the keeper made a rash decision and brought the winger down. After winning the penalty, Bailey-Nicholls dusted himself down and stepped up to take the penalty. He sent the keeper the wrong way, making it 1-1 in the 84th minute.
In the dying moments of the game, Dereham had the chance to steal all three points. A dangerous free kick whipped in found its way to the back post and thankfully for The Greenbacks, Sam Lomax was ready to pounce on the ball to stop the Dereham player from poking home.
The referee blew the whistle for full time shortly after and the match finished 1-1. Whilst Bedworth dominated possession in the second half, The Greenbacks lacked the cutting edge in the final third to secure all three points. Dereham defended valiantly so will be pleased to head back to Norfolk with a point.
Full time- Bedworth United 1-1 Dereham Town.
|28th January 2023
|Northern Premier League - Midlands 22-23