Bedingfield: Best game I have ever had

Brantham Athletic goalscorer Dave Grimwood tries to wriggle clear of the Whitley Bay defence

Brantham Athletic goalscorer Dave Grimwood tries to wriggle clear of the Whitley Bay defence - Credit: Andy abbott

GOALKEEPER Ryan Bedingfield admitted he was “over the moon” after his man-of-the-match display saw Brantham Athletic reach the last 16 of the FA Vase.

The keeper, who along with his defence has only kept three clean sheets in 21 league games this season, was in unbeatable form as he kept Whitley Bay out with a string of fine saves in Saturday’s fourth round proper 1-0 victory after extra time.

He said: “That is probably the best game I have ever had, especially given the circumstances – you can’t ask for much more than that.

“But all the lads deserve credit as they really put it in today.”

Goalscorer Dave Grimwood, who once netted the winning goal for (Step 7 side) Grundisburgh in the Suffolk Senior Cup final against Hadleigh United at Portman Road, said: “At this level (step 5) that is the most important goal I have ever scored.

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“Deacs (Ben Deacon) mis-kicked Matt Ryland’s corner and Alex (Drennan) headed it back to me. I controlled it and then shot through a crowd of players.”

The midfielder admitted: “They got on top for 20 minutes in the second half and Rigga (Ryan Bedingfield) was amazing and kept us in the game, but I thought we were the better side in extra time.

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“We have got another home tie and a big chance to get to the last eight. We will fancy our chances playing here against anyone.”

Suffolk’s FA representative Martin Head, who is also on the FA Vase committee, said: “The result was down to bags of effort, although I think Brantham rode their luck at times, but they deserved that.

“All credit to those involved with getting the game on – the result was a just reward for that.”

Brantham will now entertain Shildon, who play in the same Ebac Northern League Division One as Whitley Bay, in the fifth round proper on Saturday, February 9.

Shildon won 2-0 at Bitton, who are based near Bristol and play in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division, on Saturday.

As well as a place in the quarter-finals being at stake, the winners will receive £2,500 prize money.

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