Nine-man Biggleswade FC hold out to win at Risborough

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Biggleswade FC overcame an intimidating home side and uneven refereeing to win 4-3 at Risborough Rangers on Saturday and stay second in the table.

They started the brighter and took the lead on seven minutes as George Bailey found Lee Northfield who in turn tucked his shot under the advancing keeper.

Odds were on FC adding a second but a long ball eluded both Biggleswade centre backs allowing Lamar Mason Williams to level.

Within two minutes Rangers had the lead as what looked a 50/50 clash of shoulders ended with the ref pointing to the spot and Jason Castello tucking away the penalty.

Biggleswade quickly regained their composure and created a glut of chances. Tom Cookman cleverly left his marker but couldn’t force his shot home. Pat McCafferty saw two headers just go wide and Northfield saw his shot gathered.

With FC dominating play the home sides challenges became cruder with George Bailey in particular being kicked at every opportunity.

The deserved equaliser arrived on 42 minutes. Owen Dixon crossed from the left, keeper Lee Parrack could only part save it and Northfield slid home his second.

The second half continued as the first with Biggleswade making the running and they took the lead on 62 minutes as McCafferty drove forward and hit a dipping shot from the edge of the box giving the keeper no chance.

Riley saw his shot come back off the bar and Cookman failed to finish off his great run.

Risborough produced their best moment as they went down their left flank, Williams producing the cross for James Shrimpton to head home.

Then came the moment that could have changed the game in Risborough’s favour as a challenge in their half saw home captain Chris Davis run 30 yards to thrust his head into Cookman’s face. After a scuffle the referee brandished a red to Cookman and just a yellow to Davis.

Instead of panicking FC continued their brand of football and although a man down forced the home side deep in their half winning a corner on 88 minutes. Mark Franklin stepped up and delivered it perfectly for Nathan George to bury his header into the top corner.

Amid the celebrations just off the edge of the pitch Risborough keeper Parrack voiced his anger with a volley of abuse, got it back and again the referee chose to punish the Biggleswade player Northfield with a red.

Biggleswade held out through lengthy injury time with nine men to secure the points.

FC visit Buckingham Athletic on Saturday anad Hadley Wood & Wingate on Wednesday, both in the SSML Division One.