Bedford Town fight back to cling on to Southern League summit

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(Image: Bedford Town FC)

With Saturday’s controversial FA Trophy fixture now firmly decided, Bedford Town’s focus turned back to the Southern League on Tuesday evening as they visited the artificial pitch of Harlow Town.

Harlow have been in good form themselves this season, sitting in sixth position before yesterday’s game but – barring Saturday’s cup defeat – Gary Setchell’s table toppers have won 11 on the bounce.

Read: Potters Bar awarded abandoned FA Trophy tie as Bedford Town miss out

After a cagey first fifteen minutes, the Eagles had the first opportunity to take the lead after Rene Howe was felled in the penalty area.

Dan Walker, who has returned to The Eyrie following a brief spell at Biggleswade Town, stepped up but blazed the penalty kick over the crossbar.

Harlow’s main threat came via the long throw into tall centre backs, but Bedford were able to weather any challenge in a first half of few chances for both teams.

The deadlock was broken however on the half time whistle; a Danny Setchell free-kick finding the bottom corner via a deflection off the wall to give his side a valuable 1-0 lead at the interval.

Bedford Town have made relatively light work of many teams after scoring the first goal, but Harlow fought back with a flurry of corners before equalising.

Charley Sanders, who was sent off in Saturday’s FA Trophy loss, conceded a penalty with a handball and Harlow’s Alex Read made no mistake from the penalty spot.

Another dugout melee threatens to derail Eagles

Following the penalty, there was a risk of Saturday’s scenes repeating themselves, but the “melee” in the dugouts was quickly stamped out by the referee and the game continued.

Read: Bedford Town’s FA Trophy tie mysteriously abandoned in final minute

With a little under twenty minutes remaining, Lewis Miccio scored what was to be the winner for Bedford Town with a low shot into the corner and despite late Harlow pressure, Bedford held on for a 2-1 win.

While indiscipline may be a concern for Bedford Town, not least from Gary Setchell and his coaching staff, the league wins continue to come with the Eagles top of the league.

Bedford Town’s closest challengers are Ware FC, who beat FC Romania 2-0 last night, and Berkhamsted who could only muster a 1-1 draw at lowly Wantage Town.

North Leigh sit in second place, but have played four games more than Bedford Town.

Kempston Rovers on the other hand are slipping down the league table; with a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Welwyn Garden City last night not helping their fortunes.

Bedford Town are back at The Eyrie on Saturday afternoon as they host Waltham Abbey before their rearranged tie at Berkhamsted the following Tuesday.

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