Bedford Town’s new manager hoping to revive promotion hunt

Mark Ducket joined the club in January 2020... (Image: Bedford Town FC)

Following the Eagles’ drubbing against Thame on Saturday, manager Nathan Abbey resigned after a poor run of form that has left Bedford Town chasing the pack in their hunt for promotion.

The disappointing 3-0 defeat saw Bedford outplayed, particularly in the first half, not helped by a host of injuries that saw key players sidelined. 

Despite their best efforts they were unable to find the net, resulting in another defeat that saw them drop to ninth in the table. 

That result made the decision for Abbey who, although sad to be leaving, does so with the interests of the club at heart.

He said,  “Firstly, it is with regret that I have decided to leave the football club. This was an extremely tough decision for me to make, as my love for the club was clear to see.

“I’ve known Jon Taylor for many years; which has seen us build a great friendship. I had brief chat and explained that I would put results before our friendship and I would treat the job like any other job. If I felt the results were not good enough, I would step down regardless of whether he wanted me to stay.

 “During our 12 game unbeaten run, (between August and November), I felt we were still playing in third gear and if we could get up to fourth or fifth gear we would go onto doing something special. 

 “Unfortunately, we dropped down to second gear and individual performances started to suffer, with results turning to losses. I was always concerned, despite many wins, that we were playing poorly and eventually this would catch us out. In the end, it did.

“We lost five players over the last eight weeks, which was beyond our control. When you win games, it’s difficult for players that have been subs to get a start. Some of these individuals left to go and play regular football elsewhere; which is understandable. Equally, a couple decided to go and play a division higher. 

“I acted as quickly as I possibly could; bringing in two quality players on loan from a club two divisions higher. Unfortunately, both have been injured in recent weeks, with one being long term. I then worked hard to bring in Jake Newman another goal scorer who has had a great start to his time with us.

“At this point, we were still five players short of getting back on track, and a few deals that were agreed fell through at the last min for whatever reason.

“Other targets that would have made us stronger were too expensive for the football club to afford. Within that we picked up more injuries than we could have coped with which really put a dent in our squad.

“The last game was the final straw for me. We basically had twelve fit players for the game, which simply isn’t good enough for a club of Bedford’s stature. Not having a sub to turn to, to impact a game, especially when you’re losing is very difficult as a manager to digest.

“We were in similar form and league position at this stage of last season. In fact, we are currently one defeat better off this season. From this point last season, we still made the playoffs, so I felt by giving someone the opportunity now a bit of success could still come, hence my decision to leave.”

Club Director John Taylor moved fast to find a replacement for Abbey and announced former Eagle, and successful manager of step five team Eynesbury Rovers, Mark Duckett on Tuesday. 

Duckett played for many non league clubs, including two spells at The Eyrie before his playing career was cut short due to Injury at 29.

Speaking to, the new manager said “Bedford is a massive club. It’s played a part in my playing career, and I’m delighted to be back at the Eyrie. I’ve worked hard over the past three and a half years for this opportunity, and I’m ready to get going with the project.

“The Eagles are unique in non-league, like a family. Returning to the club is like coming home. It’s clear to see that there are some changes that need to be done, but I’m going to steady the ship and steer us to as high a finishing position as possible this term.”

The first opportunity to meet the new manager will be at Yaxley FC on Saturday, his first match in charge of the team.

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