At 3.15 it was The Rams fans who thought they would be topping the table on the first day of the season as they raced into a two goal lead. At 4.45 it was The Eagles of Bedford Town who were perched astride the summit of the Central Division as a topsy turvey game eventually went the way of the visitors.
The Rams have a totally new team and management going into the 2014 / 15 season with the emphasis very much on youth. However it was Captain Tom Willment, at 25 a virtual veteran, who had the first shot on goal with a third minute free kick. The lively Omari Patrick gave The Rams the lead in the ninth minute when he ran down the left and then cut inside to place the ball expertly past Crockett in The Eagles goal. Two minutes later Omari's strike partner Aaron Berry collected a loose ball on the edge of the Bedford area and calmly slotted in goal number 2.
The vocal Bedford support were visibly deflated but despair turned to joy within five minutes as, following a double save by new SYCOB custodian Sam Bunting, Jeff Woodward got his head onto an Eagles corner to plant the ball firmly into Beaconsfield's net.
A period of calm then ensued before Patrick had a shot well saved in the 36th minute - almost immediately Bedford broke away and a cross by Liversedge was misjudged by Bunting who could only parry the ball into the path of Willment who couldn't get out of the way and from 2-0 down The Eagles were level. Five minutes later they were in front as substitute Simon King was allowed too much space as he curled a lovely shot past Bunting to give Bedford a 3-2 half time lead.
The second period saw Berry have a chipped effort go wide on 50 minutes and Omari have a decent shout for a penalty waved away five minutes later. Bedford themselves had a couple of half chances but on 71 minutes Ollie Jones marked his Rams debut with a powerful shot past Crockett to level the game at 3-3.
For the next five minutes SYCOB looked to be the more likely to grab a winner but they were cruelly denied any points when a speculative cross into The Rams area was horribly sliced by Ashley Kelynack and looped over the stranded Bunting.
To their credit The Rams never gave up and almost scored a (deserved) equaliser in the last minute when Alex Murray directed a header wide from a corner when well placed. Stoppage time then saw Bedford take advantage of some slack SYCOB defending as Russell Bull slotted the ball home to ensure all three points went to the Bedfordshire side.
For the neutral this was an exciting, sporting contest. For The Eagles it was the first opening day victory in 14 years. For the young Rams - average age at the end was just 18 - it was a tough welcome to the wonderful world of the Southern League Central Division..
Come On You Rams!
1. Sam Bunting
2. George Berkes
3. Jordan Chandler (Sub: Damon Orfally)
4. Jed De Souza (Sub: William Harris)
5. Tom Willment (Captain) (Sub: Ashley Kelynack)
6. Alex Murray
7. Tom Gant
8. Elliott Carey
9. Aaron Berry
10. Omari Patrick
11. Ollie Jones
Subs Not Used:
16. George Dawson-Clark
17. Ousman Nije