Buckingham Athletic – 1
Bedford – 1
Buckingham Athletic & Bedford have to do it all again on Tuesday after a one all draw on Saturday in the FA Vase 1st round qualifier. The game never really seemed to get going, and chances were few and far between, but when the home side scored very late into the game it seemed they would progress but their guests battled back and took the game into extra time, and with no further goals the tie now needs to be settled midweek at McMullen Park.
A fourth minute left wing cross saw Chris Stapleton throw himself in the air and try the spectacular bicycle kick which posed no real threat to Josh Bonaiti in the Bedford goal. Jack Downs had the visitor’s first real attempt when firing wide from the edge of the box, and moments later Jamie Sylvester fired straight at Bonaiti from outside the area.
A twentieth minute free kick awarded to Bedford saw Omar Naseri curl inches over Nick Bennion’s crossbar, before the home side threatened again when Sylvester crossed to Stapleton whose first shot was blocked and he fired the rebound wide. Just before the half hour mark Athletic defender Jack Menday thumped towards goal from an acute angle and Bonaiti had to fingertip over for a corner.
Stapleton then curled an effort from just outside the area that had the Bedford keeper diving to his left to smoother, and Ben Acquaye had a shot blocked just as he looked to open the scoring from close range. The last kick of the half saw Downs fire over Bennion’s crossbar as the keeper stretched to try and reach the ball. H/T: 0-0
Bedford threatened early in the second half when Ryan De Nobrega worked his way down the right wing and skipped past a couple of challenges but his cross was intercepted and cleared, and Stapleton was then fed in behind the away backline but his first touch was too heavy and allowed the ball to roll through to Bonaiti before he could shoot.
Rory McElroy then fed a great ball through the Bedford defence for Sylvester to run on to and as Bonaiti came out the Buckingham striker tried to chip over the keepers head but again he got fingers to it to divert for a corner, before a swirling drive from McElroy flew wide of the despairing dive of Bonaiti.
As the game seemed to be petering out to extra time Athletic took the lead with just three minutes remaining, a Bedford corner was easily cleared by captain Dan Staley who knocked the ball down field to Acquaye who went shoulder to shoulder with a defender who took a firm grip of Acquaye’s shirt, as the referee looked to blow for the foul Matt Chew pounced on the loose ball and knocked past Bonaiti for what looked a late winner.
Bedford weren’t giving up though, and six minutes into added time substitute Nash Bennett curled around Bennion from twelve yards to send the tie into added time. F/T: 1-1
Menday fired into the side netting early in extra time after a good run down the Buckingham left, before Bedford set away Steven Karkari in on goal but his weak effort was safely gathered by Bennion. Athletic kept knocking on the door and two successive shots from close range from Rory Busby and Soloman Janecki were saved and then blocked for a corner. A Bedford free kick some twenty five yards out was driven at goal by Naseri but Bennion was behind it all the way.
Busby then had some luck when a defender slipped over leaving him six yards out unmarked but his shot was well blocked by Bonaiti, and with a couple of minutes remaining a Busby cross cum shot almost wrong footed the Bedford keeper but he recovered to tip over, and so both clubs now have a Tuesday evening replay to contend with. F/T aet: 1-1
Sports Shots spoke with Athletic skipper Dan Staley and keeper Nick Bennion after the game:
Match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm4Mb2RA