Bedford Town produced a fine comeback at Loughborough Dynamos on Saturday afternoon to reach the first round proper of the FA Trophy, but the competition’s future is in doubt due to Boris Johnson’s lockdown announcement.
A 3-1 victory in the Leicestershire town helped the Eagles into the draw for the first round that takes place on Monday, with a potential tie against a National League side to come.
However, mere hours after the win, the Prime Minister’s announcement has put all “non elite” football on hold, with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) deeming only elite football be allowed to continue.
Further clarification is to come, but early indications show that the Government’s definition of “elite” include teams in the National League and above, meaning Bedford Town’s schedule for the next month could clear.
After a midweek stalemate at leaders Aylesbury United took the Eagles third in the league table, their focus turned to cup action with a trip to Loughborough Dynamos.
The game survived an early morning inspection thanks in large to the wet weather caused by Storm Aiden with manager Gary Setchell ringing the changes once more.
His side went 1-0 down within a quarter of an hour; Tristan Matthews netting for the home side despite total dominance from the travelling Eagles.
Their deserved equaliser came after 35 minutes thanks to a rasping drive from Danny Setchell from 25 yards out.
With the sides going into the break level, it didn’t take long for Bedford Town to exert their dominance once more, with Will Summerfield giving his side the lead shortly into the second half.
Fifteen minutes later, Town were in complete control as Tom Hitchcock sent the keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot to give the Eagles a welcome cushion.
Despite Loughborough hitting the post late on, the win was never in doubt, unlike the future of the competition with all non-elite football suspended until at least 2nd December.
Although the FA Trophy may continue to a finish, it will leave a devilish schedule for all teams at this level as they play catch up again in order to complete the season on time.
Bedford Town will be in action once more, at home to Halesowen on Tuesday night, with the lockdown kicking in on Thursday 5th November and will hope to finish this shortened period of the season brightly.