Bedford gave Aylesbury United a masterclass in finishing on Wednesday evening as the Eagles ran out 5-1 winners at the ASM stadium.
A hard game was forecast, and although possession and play were shared during the evening, clinical finishing from the visitors ensured the points.
Taking the game to Aylesbury from the start, Joel Mason looked suspiciously in an offside position when taking a pass from Joel Norris. Mason couldn’t take advantage of the absence of an assistants flag and put the ball wide of the mark.
The Eagles took the lead on 10 minutes, as a piece of magic produced a goalscoring chance, as Dylan Gittens dummied Kyle Lincoln’s short corner. With his marker wrong footed, Gittens took advantage to play the ball deep into the area. After a short scramble, the overwhelming desire of a Bedford player to score resulted in James Peters slamming the ball home from five yards.
A few minutes later, the Bedford defence would learn of right-back Shane Wood’s long throw, as he launched the ball into the area. Jack Wood headed the throw goalwards, but Dillon Barnes palmed the ball over the bar.
Billy Adcock then produced a long range effort that curled enough away from the right hand post to go off for a goal kick.
Gittens was causing trouble for Aylesbury every time he had the ball. Midway through the half, his trickery down the left flank left his marker behind, and once on the byline, saw his cross deflected onto the near post by another defender. The rebounded ball went to Mason, and his effort was cleared off the line by Adcock.
Norris narrowly missed when sticking the ball across the goal, then Peters narrowly headed the ball over the bar from Ricky Case’s free-kick.
After the half hour, Mason and Gittens terrorised the Aylesbury defence, with the former playing the ball out to Case, who, from 22 yards, forced Alex Tokarczyk into a fingertip save.
Gittens then found Norris on the left corner of the area. The Bedford striker was denied two times by Tokarczyk; both times a low shot and both times saved.
The Eagles increased the lead on 37 minutes. A corner wasn’t properly cleared and the ball went to Case, on the left hand corner of the area. With time and space in front of him Case went for the difficult option and placed the ball into the tight area between keeper and post, causing Tokarczyk to react too late, and the ball nestled in the back of the net, and Case had his second goal in the opening two games.
Just before the whistle, Eoin Casey spurned a good chance to pull a goal back after his header went wide following a cross from the right.
Bedford could have had a three goal lead at half time, when Tokarczyk was adjudged to have handled a back pass. The keeper received a yellow for throwing the ball away and the Bedford attack played a weak free-kick in the Aylesbury area, with the home defence easily clearing the ball.
The hosts came out of the blocks at the start of the second half, but just six minutes in, Bedford produced a third goal. Mason fed Norris, on the right wing. Norris provided a perfect cross into the area, and Gittens’ slid the ball under the diving Tokarczyk with a first time shot.
Aylesbury then put Bedford under pressure. Substitute Taylor Collins shot over the bar, then from a corner, Greg Williams wasted a close range effort and then Sonny French totally mis-kicked the ball wide. Casey then shot wide.
From the attacking Aylesbury needed to do, Bedford broke and produced a fourth goal.
Case brought the ball out of defence and raced down the right wing. Two defenders were beaten, and when the Bedford man had nearly run out of pitch, put the ball into the Aylesbury area for Norris to head home; the striker who had scored 80-plus goals in the last two seasons for his former club, was off the mark with his new club.
Aylesbury pulled a goal back on 79 minutes, when Collins’ free-kick on the right flew into the top left hand corner of the net, with Dillon Barnes stretching and managing to get his fingertips to the ball, but to no avail.
Two minutes later, Collins could have pulled another back, but Barnes was equal to the shot and saved.
A minute into stoppage time Bedford netted again. Mason was the provider and Josh Bamford, on as a substitute nearly 15 minutes earlier, directed the ball past Tokarczyk.
Although the season is just two games old, Bedford lie in third position. The side are on the road again tomorrow, travelling to Godalming Town: 3pm kick-off.
Eagles: 1 Dillon Barnes, 2 Jack Jones, 3 Kyle Lincoln, 4 James Peters, 5 Dan Crowie, 6 Peter Gatti [c], Joel Mason, 8 Christian Lester, 9 Dylan Gittens (Josh Bamford 77), 10 Joel Norris (Russell Bull 73), 11 Ricky Case (Anthony Ottaway 84).
Subs not used: Harry Beckley, Luke Rowland.
Ducks: 1 Alex Tokarczyk, 2 Shane Wood (John Mulholland 26), 3 Lee Grace, 4 Alex Collard, 5 Jack Wood [c], 6 Billy Adcock, 7 Shaun Owens (Taylor Collins 59), 8 Greg Williams, 9 Eoin Casey, 10 Sonny French, 11 Paul Edgeworth (Stacey Field 53).
Subs not used: Dan Green, Ollie Hogg.
Referee: Mr M Heavey.
Assistants: Mr S Rea & Mr T Healy.