Bedford Town’s successful start under new manager Gary Setchell continued at the weekend thanks to a solitary goal from striker Rene Howe in their FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying round tie at Spalding United.
In the Eagles first game of this season’s FA Trophy they travelled to the Halley Stewart Field, a ground not particularly suited to the Northern Premier League structure, a level equivalent to Bedford Town’s.
Setchell, who is clearly prioritising league promotion, rang the changes with Craig Mackail-Smith and Rob Sinclair dropping to the bench in favour of Ollie Swain and Connor Tomlinson, who impressed against North Leigh.
The game itself was a scrappy affair, befitting of a pitch belonging to Sunday league football, with the number of yellow cards matching the amount of chances.
The winning goal came from Rene Howe, the striker pouncing on a cross from former MK Dons man, Will Summerfield in the 39th minute.
Setchell’s side nearly gained a second goal at the death as their opponents pushed forward for an equaliser, as Mackail-Smith shot wide before turning provider for Tom Hitchcock who chipped over.
It was a polished performance from the Eagles on a tough pitch and provides a cup run for the side who were knocked out at the first hurdle of the FA Cup against Daventry Town earlier this season.
They have now been drawn away at Loughborough Dynamo, a game that takes place on Halloween, with Bedford’s local derby against Kempston Rovers moved to 10th November.
Dynamo, who play in the Northern Premier League South East Division may provide a sterner test for the Eagles as they lie third in their division; the winner of the tie going through to the first round proper.
Next up is another away trip, this time to Yaxley as Bedford Town look to position themselves for a promotion push in Southern League Central Division One.