Draw sees Town steady the ship

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DAVENTRY Town steadied the ship ever so slightly with a score-draw against mid-table Bedworth United at Communications Park on Tuesday night to increase the likelihood of a Central Division play-offs semi-final with Biggleswade Town on April 28.

Third place would give the Town a home tie but a more probable fourth place will see the Waders play hosts at their well-appointed £1.5 million stadium.

The only club to have done the double over Daventry this season, Biggleswade still seem marginally less formidable play-off opponents than Arlesey, Hitchin or Slough but on current form Ady Fuller’s men are outsiders to win promotion.

Beaten fair and square by Slough and without a goal for the first time in almost three months at Aylesbury, the Town deserved no more than a point from this week’s encounter with a Bedworth side they had beaten previously in both league and cup games.

A controversial second- half penalty saw the Town take the lead for the second time when Tom Berwick ended his eight-match scoring drought after blasting the ball on to the hand of Bedworth’s Kyle Cartwright from no more than two yards’ range.

Earlier a Daventry side showing five changes from the team beaten at Aylesbury had taken a 17th-minute lead when Josh Blake converted a by-line cross from Ryan Howell to break the deadlock.

In front of 132 spectators, Dean Rathbone headed home an equaliser on the half-hour only for Berwick’s controversial spot-kick to restore home advantage in the 55th minute.

A rare handling mistake by Town goalkeeper Andy Kemp, himself a Bedworth boy, enabled the Greenbacks to take a well-earned point from a hard-driven shot by Ben Thackeray in the 80th minute of a mediocre contest.

Tom Fountain picked up the game’s only yellow card but the Town lost Howard Forinton with an early second-half cartilage injury while full-back Martin Hutchcox faces an operation today after breaking a thumb at Aylesbury.

Elsewhere leaders Arlesey did well to beat in-form Slough by a 2-1 margin while Biggleswade came from behind to win 3-2 at Ashford.

Marlow scored seven times without reply at Atherstone.

In the UCL Premier Division, Long Buckby were beaten 1-0 at King’s Lynn who had beaten Daventry United by 5-0 last Saturday.

Chris Bacon scored the all-important only goal of the game in the first minute of the match.