Those that attended the Eagles first outing in the Southern League Cup, were in for a treat, eight goals and a penalty shoot out that saw Bedford emerge as winners against the odds.
The opposition, Peterborough Sports, play in the Southern League Premier division after convincingly running away with the league title in Bedford’s division last season.
Joint Managers Jon Taylor and Nathan Abbey made several changes to the team, some because of injury and others to rest key players.
New Keeper Dan Beeney got his debut, as did centre back Nuredin Lilaj, both were to have an impact in the game.
Cade Stevens-Abbey was also recalled into defense, while Nathan Olukamni started in midfield. Scott Joseph, Jack Vasey and Andrew Phillips formed a new attacking line up.
Things didn’t start well for the home team, as they fell behind to a Adburamane Mamadu Sano Sani goal. The first corner of the match was punched out by Benney and there were at least four attempts at goal blocked by the Bedford defence before the centre forward struck a low shot into the net. (4′ BT 0 – 1 PS)
The home team struggled to get in the game, but things changed late in the half when an injury force Scott Joseph to be replaced by Dan Walker.
Walker had an immediate impact on the game, and just four minutes later Bedford got their equaliser.
Walker on the left byline crossed to the far post where Phillips rose to head the ball into the net. (42′ BT 1 – 1 PS)
That wasn’t the end of the first half action though as Peterborough again took the lead, with a penalty being awarded in added time.
Ben Toseland was brought down under a Ben Ford challenge. Daniel Lawlor stepped up and scored from the penalty spot. When Bedford kicked off, the whistle was blown for half time. (45+1′ BT 1-2 PS)
The second half started as the first had ended with Bedford conceding early on. After clearing a corner, the ball was eventually played back and Dion Sembie-Ferris beat Benney from the edge of the area. (47′ BT 1-3 PS)
The Eagles then had the comeback of the game, with two goals in as many minutes.
Phillips got his second of the night as he fired home from another Walker set up. (55′ BT 2 – 3 PS)
It became a hat trick of assists for Walker tonight, as his latest pass from the left found Callum Milne, on the edge of the area, who stroked the ball into the bottom right corner of the net for the equaliser. (56′ BT 3 – 3 PS)
Bedford went ahead for the first time in the match when they got a free kick on the right flank after Daniel Bucciero brought down Olukamni.
The ball was played in and after a couple of blocked shots, Nuredin Lilaj slotted the ball into the back of the net, his first goal in his first match. (72′ BT 4 – 3 PS)
Lilaj’s joy at scoring on his debut was short lived as he deflected the ball into his own net after Bedford tried to soak up pressure from Sports. A shot come in from the left which unfortunately came off the wrong side of his boot. (87′ BT 4-4 PS)
With scores equal at full time, the teams went straight into a penalty shoot out.
Dan Walker stepped up first for the home team finding the target.
Next Dion Sembie-Ferris stepped up for Peterborough Sports, but his shot was saved by Dan Beeney’s body, with the ball hitting an area that meant he wasn’t in best condition to save the remaining shots.
The Eagles didn’t need to worry though as their remaining shots were all to go in, Andrew Phillips, Callum Milne, Tre Mitford and finally Brett Longdon all finding the net to give Bedford a 5 – 4 penalty win.
Bedford now go on to face Biggleswade Town FC in the next round on Tuesday 1 October at their Langford Road ground, for a 19.45 K.O.
Before that on Saturday 28 September the Eagles travel to the same shared venue, this time to face Biggleswade FC in the Preliminary round of the FA Trophy with a 15.00 K.O..
The address for both matches is: Langford Road, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 9JT
1 Dan Beeney
2 Cade Stevens-Abbey
3 Ben Ford
4 Ebby Nelson-Addy
5 Damien Green (C) (73′ Brett Longdon)
6 Nuredin Lilaj ⚽
7 Nathan Olukamni
8 Callum Milne ⚽
9 Jack Vasey (68′ Tre Mitford)
10 Andrew Phillips ⚽ ⚽
11 Scott Joseph (38′ Dan Walker)
Substitutes not used: Aaron Dillon, Joe Steele.
Words: Michael Jarman-Webb
Photos: Jane Jones