Bedford Town get their revenge on Kempston Rovers in second Bedfordshire derby

Bedford Town celebrate scoring a goal against Kempston Rovers in the Bedfordshire derby
Image: Adrian Brown/Bedford Town FC

Bedford Town secured all three points on Tuesday night as they breezed past the Walnuts in a 2-0 home victory.

After picking up just two points from their previous three league matches, order was restored at the Eyrie for Bedford, with goals from Liam Dulson and Jack Green sealing an Eagles win under the lights.

Off the back of a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Cirencester on Saturday, Bircham’s men were hoping to return to winning ways against Kempston Rovers in a hotly-contested Bedfordshire Derby.

A mere ten days ago, the sides went head to head in an instant classic at Hillgrounds, resulting in a 2-1 win against the odds for Richard Keil’s side.

No doubt that match will have been playing on the minds of both sets of players coming into this one.

Read: Kempston Rovers stun table-topping Eagles in Bedfordshire derby

Kempston furthered their survival cause last Tuesday against another side vying for promotion, Biggleswade Town, who they beat 1-0 thanks to a late winner from full-back, Phoenix Scholtz.

That win saw Rovers climb to 19 points, just six away from survival in the Southern League Division One Central.

Whatever Richard Keil said to his players before the match, it brought out the best in them for the opening exchanges, with Rio Dasilva and Joshua Adepoju looking to be serious threats to the Bedford back-line early on.

The Walnuts were unable to sustain pressure on Mark Smith’s goal and Bedford steadily grew into the game, going long whenever the opportunity presented itself, in the hopes of utilising the blistering acceleration of Lobjoit and Blake in behind.

The Eagles were eventually rewarded for their efforts, as just after the halfway point in the first half, a cannon-like throw-in from Bedford’s Carl Mensah, was launched into the area and dispatched expertly by Mr Reliable, Liam Dulson.

Image: Adrian Brown/Bedford Town FC

Kempston continued to turn the screw in the remainder of the half, seemingly not too disheartened by going behind, with Lanrewaju Lapido the epicentre of all of Rovers’ operations from front to back in a true captain’s display on the night.

The Eagles were then hit with a setback as Mensah went down clutching his hamstring having been moving gingerly for quite a while.

Jay Rolfe came on in place of Mensah for the last minutes of the half, in which both sides had opportunities to score. Kempston’s number ten, Dasilva worked the ball onto his left foot in a crowded penalty area only to fire over the bar.

Down the other end, Blake found himself on the end of a long ball from Mark Smith, but was met with a Whitehall save.

Despite the late goal-mouth action, Bedford carried their narrow 1-0 lead into the break.

Missed penalty but Town see it out

It wasn’t long before the home side struck again.

Just five minutes into the second half, Jack Green latched onto an aimless Rovers clearance before piledriving the ball from range, low and hard into the net for 2-0.

It was a mystery how Bedford failed to extend their lead in the second half, striking the woodwork on three separate occasions. Most notably, Lobjoit hit the bar with a thunderous effort from the left wing.

Kempston showed moments of promise, but they were few and far between with their best chance coming from a cut back provided by second-half substitute Samuel Ezenwaka to Joshua Adepoju, whose shot was smothered by Smith.

The final talking point of the game came when Bell-Toxtle nicked in on an under-hit Kempston pass and knocked it around Charlie Black with ease, before rolling it across the box for Lobjoit who was subsequently brought down by goalkeeper, Whitehall.

The penalty was taken by Ryan Blake who smashed it down the middle, striking the crossbar, to the dismay of Bircham and the Bedford faithful.

There was a question to be asked as to whether the ball crossed the line after hitting the underside of the bar but no action was taken by the officials.

Bedford saw the game out professionally with very little work to do for Mark Smith in the closing stages, gaining three crucial points in a potential banana skin match against motivated opposition.

Next up Bircham’s men welcome Thame United to the Eyrie on Saturday; a team sitting just above Kempston Rovers.

The next game in the league for Keil’s side is Leighton Town, who sit comfortably in mid-table.