FA Cup dream over for the Eagles after home loss to Welwyn

Image: Bedford Town FC

Defensive frailties have come to the fore again for Bedford Town as they were dumped out of the FA Cup in the 2nd qualifying round by league rivals, Welwyn Garden City.

Another home draw looked to have given the Eagles a fine chance of progression in a competition they have struggled in in recent years, but they didn’t foresee a spirited Welwyn rearguard.

Goals have been easy to come by for Gary Setchell’s side, with vast experience up top and Rene Howe in fine form, but they have been unable to keep them out at the other end in recent games.

Welwyn’s number nine, Jordon Watson kept that trend going as he opened the scoring after 28 minutes.

The home side had their chances to equalise before the break, with star man Craig Mackail-Smith seeing two chances spurned by Charlie Crowley in the Garden City goal.

Bedford continued to attack after the break, and their persistence was rewarded on the hour mark with Matt Harriott coolly slotting the ball home to restore parity.

Fifteen minutes later though, the visitors took the lead once more after a stray pass from Shaun Keane gifted the ball to Jordan Kinoshi who didn’t waste the opportunity.

Matty Campbell-Mhlope scored Welwyn’s third goal five minutes later to all but kill the tie and despite chances late on once more for Mackail-Smith, Welwyn held on to win 3-1.

“We hit the self-destruct button too regularly” said manager Setchell after the game, which sums up Bedford Town’s performances in recent games.

“We competed against Welwyn Garden City today but the three goals we gave away were criminal, and we can’t recover from the goals we gave away.”

“If we play well and get beat by two or three good goals, you can take it on the chin, but the goals we’re giving away, I can imagine other managers can’t wait to play us at the minute.”

The defeat caps a poor week for the club, following a midweek league defeat at home to Ware and a tough away trip to second placed Berkhamsted up next.

On the other side of town however, things are looking rosy for Kempston Rovers who capped a perfect week with a 2-0 home league win against fifth placed, Didcot Town.

Goals in either half for Harry Stratton and Charlie Drayford did the damage, although a second-half red card for Kwabena Boateng put a slight dampener on the result.

That victory takes Rovers up to eleventh in the league table with a trip to Barton Rovers next up for the Walnuts.

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