Gutsy United earn point against North Greenford

Biggleswade United’s Development side earned a hard fought point in their Suburban League clash with North Greenford.

A cold Saturday saw North Greenford start the best, pressuring Biggleswade from the start. Stringing a few good moves together they managed to get a few dangerous looking balls into the box, only for United goalkeeper Tom Roberts to deny them an early breakthrough.

However Biggleswade continued to struggle under the early pressure and North Greenford eventually made the breakthrough after 20 minutes when a fine cross into the box by their winger for their lone striker to slot past Roberts.

As the half went on North Greenford continued to pressure, meaning Biggleswade had to resort to hard tackles to keep them at bay. Defender Nick Threadgold picked up the first yellow of the game for a coming together, as he and United were beginning to get frustrated. They couldn’t get out of their own half.

Their hard defensive work paid off though, with a fine pass setting off Josh Farmer on a run into the North Greenford box, and he was bought down for a Biggleswade penalty on 40 minutes. Ryan Dobson stepped up and put it away, a great low shot with power in the bottom right corner.

The second half began quite like the first. The game tempo was fast and North Greenford provided the most pressure. Biggleswade had woken up a bit however, and were trying hard to counter attack. A couple of half chances for Farmer and Captain Adam Drulick came and went. Both teams looked hungry for a second goal.

Fifty minutes in and North Greenford made their first substitution. Biggleswade’s game had picked up, and their passing was much better. Dobson providing the best of them, a beautiful through ball for Drulick to run onto, only to fire narrowly wide. Five minutes later North Greenford had a big chance to take the lead, only for their striker to mishit the ball and fail to trouble Roberts between the Biggleswade sticks.

After the hour mark the game became much more even. Both teams were attacking at will and producing end to end football, but neither could get that crucial goal. Biggleswade had made their three substitutions, strengthening and refreshing their attack with Farmer and Cattermoll being replaced by Jay Sharp and George Gavin.

Biggleswade were out to snatch this. Winger Tom Boyd picked up a yellow late on, with North Greenford providing the late pressure. The strong Biggleswade defence kept them out though, with Left Back Reuben Morrison working harder than ever. Suddenly, as the draw looked to be certain, North Greenford scrambled the ball home! United were saved though, an offside flag being raised on the far side, much to North Greenford’s disappointment.

A quick late attack saw Dobson curl a shot just over the bar, providing a very exciting end to the match.

United manager Gary Burkett said afterwards his team: “Battled well against a very good side who controlled most of the game as expected. The new lads performed really well, and I’m proud.”

He also awarded the man of the match to Reuben Morrison, saying he “persistently kept one of their best players at bay.” He also added: “I could have given it to any of them, they all performed brilliantly.”

Biggleswade United: Tom Roberts, George Melrose, Reuben Morrison, Nick Threadgold, Jack Gilmartin, Andrew Stadmyrk, Tom Boyd, Jake Cattermoll, Ryan Dobson, Adam Drulick (Captain), Josh Farmer.