Eagles bypass the Towners
3-0 win puts Bedford into the next round
A Dan Walker brace, with Ashton Grant’s strike sandwiched in between, gave the Eagles a memorable 3-0 win in the FA Cup at Enfield Town on Saturday afternoon.
Leading 1-0 at half time, the travelling contingent expected an onslaught from the unbeaten side one step above Bedford in the Non-League pyramid. It never came. Instead, the Eagles increased their lead midway through the half, and stuck the proverbial cherry on top, with a late goal to secure the win.
Early signs were good for the visitors, with Paul Benson testing Enfield Town ‘keeper, Joe Wright after only two minutes, as the guardian tipped his shot over the bar.
A little later, Ollie Swain swept up the left wing and crossed into the area, and although Benson got his head to the ball, he couldn’t get it on target.
The Eagles took the lead in the 14th minute, as Walker beat an offside trap to race onto a through ball. With just Wright to beat, Walker took the ball to the edge of the area and slotted it home.
The goal woke the home side up, and immediately afterwards, Kyle Forster was tracking Lewis Taaffe in his own area, as Enfield looked for a quick equaliser. The midfielder managed to get a shot on target, but Forster took him wide and got down to save when the shot came in.
Forster was in action a couple of minutes later when he pushed the ball round the post following Sam Hatton’s venomous drive.
Walker had the ball in the net for a second time, on 24 minutes. This time, however, the linesman’s flag had been raised for a very close offside, and the goal was ruled out.
A few minutes on, Benson was denied again, when his shot was deflected off for a corner.
Ten minutes into the 2nd half, Walker had a glorious opportunity as the the ball came to him from a rebound. He hit the ball first time, and it narrowly cleared the bar.
Coming back at Bedford, Brandon Adams, at the far post, connected with a cross from the right, but the ball flew over the bar.
Bedford added to the lead on 69 minutes, when the ball was played down the right. Walker kept putting his foot in to keep the ball, on the right side of the area, and eventually squared it for Ashton Grant to clinically side foot the ball past Wright and into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
A couple of minutes later, Ollie Swain’s glancing header, following a Callum Donnelly corner, grazed off the right hand post and into touch.
As they pressed for another goal, the Eagles were awarded a free kick on the edge of the D. Walker hit the wall with the kick, then produced a top drawer shot over the wall with the rebound, forcing Wright to produce a top drawer save, as he caught the ball in mid air, diving to his left.
The securing goal came in the 85th minute. Walker, on the left corner of the area, left two defenders behind with a little burst of speed, before placing a low shot across Wright and into the bottom right of the net.
Enfield Town had no answer at all during the entire 90 minutes, as Bedford went about their job.
The win means Bedford can look forward to the draw for the 2nd Qualifying round, when the Vanarama National North & South clubs enter the fray. The next round will take place over the weekend of 21st to 23rd September.
With no midweek match, Bedford travel the very short distance to Hillgrounds on Saturday 15th September, to face Kempston Rovers in the League.
Eagles: 1 Kyle Forster, 2 Brett Longden, 3 Jordan Jarrold, 4 Mason Watkins-Clark, 5 Ollie Swain, 6 Gavin Hoyte (c), 7 Ashton Grant, 8 Callum Donnelly (14 Craig Daniel 79), 9 Paul Benson (12 Lee Roache 81), 10 Dan Walker, 11 Ben Ford (Connor Furlong 69).
Subs not used: 13 Niall Cooper, 15 Phil Draycott, 17 Taylor Rhiney, 18 Dean Dummett.
Man of the Match: Dan Walker
Towners: 1 Joe Wright, 2 Sam Hatton, 3 Remi Sutton, 4 Mathew Johnson (c), 5 Taofiq Olomowewe (12 Ryan Blackman 69), 6 Rian McLean, 7 Lewis Taaffe (16 Bilal Sayoud 40), 8 Sam Youngs, 9 Liam Hope, 10 Sam Chaney, 11 Aaron Greene (15 Brandon Adams 62).
Subs not used: 13 Matt Nolan, 14 Mickey Parcell, 17 Dan Rumens, 18 Jack Hockney.
Referee: Mr. Stephen Bates.
Assistants: Mr. Philip Evans & Mr. Matthew Norton.