Bedford Town picked up where they left off in October with a tight penalty shootout victory at local rivals Biggleswade Town in the first round of the FA Trophy on Tuesday night.
With the league campaign yet to resume following the second lockdown, this was the Eagles’ first competitive run out in two months and it resulted in a late finish at the wet Yvette Brewer Stadium.
The game itself was a tale of two keepers; Bedford Town’s debutant keeper, Alex Street, making a string of impressive saves to keep out the Southern Premier League side in a man-of-the-match performance.
Despite chances for both sides, it was a niggly affair as the teams shared nine bookings between them.
After an uneventful first half of few chances, the second half provided more entertainment with the visitors coming out after the break with renewed vigour.
The referee turned down a promising appeal for a penalty after Craig Mackail-Smith went down in the box, before Will Summerfield hit the crossbar moments later.
Biggleswade responded as they hit the bar themselves, giving them the confidence to kick on and lay siege on the Eagles goal, with new signing Street being called into action with a number of top saves.
Despite a late free kick in a dangerous position for the Waders, Street’s goalkeeping prowess made sure the game went to a penalty shoot out.
The only miss came from Biggleswade’s first spot kick as the Eagles won the shootout 5-3 to get into the hat for round two.
With the draw taking place on Wednesday lunchtime, the Eagles face a trip to Derbyshire to face National League North side, Alfreton Town who sit 18th in the sixth tier of English football.
The winners of that tie next Tuesday go on to face Kings Lynn Town, who play in the fifth tier National League and recently reached the second round of the FA Cup, coming up short against former winners Portsmouth.
However, there is still uncertainty over the presumption of the Southern League, with upcoming games against Kidlington and Daventry Town already postponed with negotiations still taking place to get the league resuming.
Despite this, the signings keep rolling in, with 21-year old Louis Octave the latest to join Gary Setchell’s squad.
The young defender had been on trial at the Eyrie and impressed enough to be signed earlier this week from Dunstable Town.