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Bedworth's Late Penalty Equaliser Gets Them A Deserved Point

By Russ Watkin

Added time drama at Kirkby Road sees Greenbacks bag a draw

Report by Ben Bradshaw...Bedworth United gained a valuable point on the road at Barwell in a game they had dominated for large spells but they somehow found themselves behind until the fifth minute of added time. It was Luke Rowe’s superbly struck added time penalty under pressure that cancelled out Massiah McDonald’s opener for the home side on 36 minutes.
Stuart Storer made two changes to his starting line up for this encounter, captain Tom Sharpe returned after missing last weeks FA Trophy tie at Carlton and Kai Tonge coming in for Iyseden Christie, playing in the number ten position behind Levi Rowley.
Before kick off, as at every ground around the country, a minutes silence was poignantly observed in memory of Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha who sadly passed away along with 5 others on board in a helicopter crash at The King Power Stadium last week.
The Greenbacks started in the ascendancy and took the game to their near neighbours from the get go, Rowley picked the ball up in space and found Tonge with a long ball, he beat his man and delivered an inviting ball into the box which Rowley put away past the goalkeeper before being adjudged to have fouled a Barwell defender.
In a frantic opening to the game, this time it was Barwell making inroads as the pacey Jahvan Davidson-Miller was denied by Bedworth shot stopper Harrison who turned his shot around the post for a corner. The corner was well defended by the Greenbacks and they quickly launched an attack on the counter, Maslen Jones played a trademark ball to free Tonge down the right who found the head of the lurking Rowley but he could only head wide of Liam Castle’s post, a missed chance.Tonge was proving to be a constant menace for the Barwell defence and in the 11th minute he almost supplied the opening goal of the game, after dogged chasing down from Reece Blackmore in the middle of the park, the ball found its way to Tonge on the right again who drilled a cross across the face of goal where any touch would have resulted in a goal but agonisingly no player in a green shirt could get a decisive touch.
After a breathless opening 15 minutes, the game became a midfield battle with both sides trying to get a grip in the middle of the park. The next opportunity for either side came in the 34th minute, Barwell skipper Brady Hickey took a free kick on the edge of the area and cleverly drilled the ball low under the Bedworth wall where they were anticipating an effort on target and the ball fell to Massiah McDonald who’s low shot from no more than six yards somehow squirmed past Harrison to put the home side in the lead.
GOAL: Barwell 1-0 Bedworth United
Bedworth had a good chance to level the scores going into the break in the 42nd minute, via a fortunate deflection Rowley found the ball at his feet in the area and before he could adjust his body and spin to shoot, Barwell goalkeeper Castle was quick off his line to close him down and snuff out the danger.
HALF TIME: Barwell 1-0 Bedworth United
Four minutes into the second half, the lively Tonge who was proving to be what Bedworth had been missing over the last few games, collided when closing in on goal with the onrushing Castle after a ball over the top. The Barwell players raced in and 'faced up' Tonge they thought the United forward had gone in too strongly and a melee ensued for a good minute before the referee and his assistants eventually got control of the players.
With two thirds of the game gone and the Greenbacks still somehow behind, Stuart Storer made his first change of the game with Ryan Baldwin replacing Jake Whitmore. A Barwell substitute of their own nearly put the game behind Bedworth's reach in the 72nd minute, Kian Williams raced through on goal and with Harrison beaten saw his low strike bounce off the post and out to safety. Harrison was called into action again a minute later, a well struck Hickey free kick which looked destined for the top corner was superbly pushed away.
Iyseden Christie was thrown on in place of James Hancocks as the Greenbacks opted for two up front in a bid to try and get something from the game. They thought they had when Tonge beat his man out wide and crossed it low right into the path of Rowley who somehow from 2 yards and on the stretch fired over when it looked easier to score. After that, it looked like it wouldn’t be Bedworth’s day for not the first time this season.
And it was even more of an uphill task late on when Christie received his marching orders for a late altercation. With tensions running high in a close affair and Bedworth feeling aggrieved with Barwell’s persistent time-wasting as they tried to run the clock down, Christie was adjudged to have used force when closing a ball down in the Barwell box.
However, the drama wasn’t end to there as in the fifth minute of added time a Barwell defender commited a foul when he stopped Rowley getting to the ball when in on goal. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, up stepped Luke Rowe who drilled the spot kick past the Barwell goalkeeper to the delight of the players and supporters and a earn well deserved share of the spoils.
GOAL: Barwell 1-1 Bedworth United
Next up is a crucial home game against fellow strugglers Redditch United on Saturday as Stuart Storer‘s men still hunt their first league win of the season but they can take plenty of positives from Saturday's draw as they more than matched their mid table opponents in a tough local derby.
FULL TIME: Barwell 1-1 Bedworth United

Updated 10:33 - 5 Nov 2018 by Russ Watkin

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