Bedford Town’s relegation back down to the eighth tier of English football has been confirmed this evening after a tenth straight league loss at home to Redditch on Good Friday.
That 1-0 loss followed by a surprise win for St Ives Town at home to third placed, Tamworth on Saturday confirmed the Eagles’ relegation back down to Southern League Central Division One.
After the mammoth effort it took from all at Bedford Town to pip Berkhamsted to the title last season, it will be a monumental disappointment to be relegated at the first time of asking.
No goals in seven games
Good Friday’s home game against Redditch was last chance saloon for the Eagles and when the visitors took the lead after seven minutes, there was a familiar feeling in the air at The Eyrie.
Jack Byrne found himself in space at the back post and powered home for Redditch and it turned out to be the only goal of the game and ultimately, sends Bedford Town down.
Chances came and went for Town; Connor Furlong fired over shortly after the Redditch goal and Connor Tomlinson hit the crossbar after half an hour but it was as close as they would ever get as the Eagles drew another blank.
There were further opportunities for substitute Carlos Lyon and Lucas Kirkpatrick after the break, but there were no guilt-edged chances as Bedford Town whimpered to another home loss.
Graeme Tomlinson’s post match interview was almost a repeat of the previous five as he lamented the lack of cutting edge up front.
“It’s constant”, said Graeme. “We’ve put a very expansive team out today to try and get these goals, but the four or five up front were a bit leggy.”
“It was a great delivery for their goal, but throughout the season we’ve been pretty poor at defending corners and free kicks. We had a few good patterns of play, but it’s been the story of our season where we concede from stupid mistakes.”
What went wrong?
It was a story of two halves for the Eagles.
Bedford Town were holding their own in a new division heading into December, with victories against the likes of Rushall Olympic and Coalville Town proving the club had the ability to stand their ground.
The turning point undeniably came on November 30th when Bedford Town dismissed Gary Setchell with the club in 17th.
One win in seven league games at that point left the board with a decision to make, but in hindsight it turned into a bit of a disaster at The Eyrie.
The ill-fated appointment of Paul Davis, which lasted just fifteen days, seemed to be the catalyst for an implosion at Bedford Town and came after an unbeaten December under the watchful eye of Tomlinson, which saw the Eagles rise as high as 13th.
With the turn of the year however, came a monumental downturn in fortunes and whatever the reasons may be, no league win since Boxing Day will always leave you facing one direction.
Problems up front
No league goals in seven games compounded by ten straight league defeats has ultimately seen Bedford Town relegated with a whimper, and with Graeme Tomlinson only committed to the end of the season, a new manager will also need to be found.
Thoughts now turn to 2023/24, where the journey back to this division will surely begin in earnest and with last season’s chief tormenters, Berkhamsted romping to the title this time around, the Hertfordshire side will replace Bedford Town in the seventh tier.
There are still four games remaining in Bedford Town’s campaign however, and they have a big chance to gain some points on Easter Monday as they travel to Rushden and Diamonds, who occupy bottom spot.