Bedford Town remain top after comfortable win at Barton

Connor Tomlinson scored two more league goals this afternoon...

Bedford Town remain top of Southern League Central Division One after a useful 2-0 win at mid table Barton Rovers on Saturday afternoon, still two points ahead of chasing Berkhamsted.

February has been an odd month for the Eagles; bad weather and postponements plus a bizarre half-time abandonment at Kidlington halting progress but normality was restored on Saturday in Barton-le-Clay.

It was an early start for Bedford Town’s secretary, James Smiles who walked the 25 kilometres to the ground in aid of East Anglian Air Ambulance Service; a fundraising effort that has now reached an impressive £4,655 and counting.

His efforts were rewarded by a professional and clinical Bedford Town outfit who take one step further towards the league title; first half goals for Callum Donnelly and Connor Tomlinson the difference.

Town took the lead inside six minutes, a speculative long ball forward nodded on by the ever dangerous Rene Howe to Connor Tomlinson who saw his shot saved only for the ball to land at the feet of Connelly to slot home.

On the half hour mark it was two, man of the match Tomlinson latching on to a Howe through ball to beat Rovers keeper, Matthew Boylan to give the Eagles a deserved two goal cushion.

To their credit, Barton Rovers did come out for the second half and put up a valiant effort but their chances were few and far between with Alex Street’s goal rarely threatened.

The second half was largely scrappy as Gary Setchell’s team closed out an important win to stay two points ahead of Berkhamsted, who were also 2-0 victors against Didcot Town, who Bedford Town host next weekend.

“We 100% dominated the game”

Gary Setchell was in a confident mood following the win, saving particular praise for Howe and Tomlinson who are continuing their fine partnership up front for the Eagles.

“I was really pleased with the goals, and the chances we created. Connor and Rene have led them a merry dance today and they are a handful for anyone at this level.

“I’m happy I’m getting in my car with three points. At this stage of the season, I don’t care if we win 6-5, 5-4, first minute or last, its a results business from here.

“We did play some really good stuff and really, we 100% dominated the game.”

There are nine league games remaining in the season, with Bedford Town hosting Didcot Town next week before facing relegation threatened Colney Heath.

Colney may well still be in a relegation dogfight, but their chances of survival were boosted today with a 3-1 victory against Kempston Rovers.

Heath went 2-0 up inside ten minutes with goals from Alexander Solomon and Lanrewaju Balogun, before Emmanuel Dahie struck early in the second half for Rovers to half the deficit.

Balogun’s second of the game after 84 minutes killed the tie with Colney Heath earning a vital win, although they still remain eight points from safety.

At the summit however, both Bedford Town and Berkhamsted continue to trade blows in a title race destined to go down to the final days.

The Eagles host Didcot Town next weekend at The Eyrie, before facing Biggleswade Town in their rearranged Bedfordshire Senior Cup tie.

You can still donate to James’ fundraiser for the East Anglian Air Ambulance Service here.

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