Rene Howe’s 91st minute winner was the difference as Bedford Town won through to the second qualifying round of the FA Cup after a pulsating replay at Canvey Island.
The Eyrie played host to the first qualifying round tie on Saturday, but Bedford Town and Canvey Island played out a 0-0 draw resulting in a trip to Essex last night (Tuesday) for the replay.
That game provided far more entertainment, with two good sides pressing forward with a dramatic finale providing a fitting end to a brilliant game.
Rene Howe – who would later become the hero – opened the scoring for Gary Setchell’s side, heading in from Dan Walker’s cross with ten minutes remaining of the first half.
Matthew Price equalised for Canvey Island shortly after the half-time interval as the hosts began to take control, spurred on by an attendance of 363 at Park Lane.
However, with twenty minutes remaining, Charley Sanders restored Bedford Town’s lead only for the hosts to hit back immediately, with Price converting his second of the game from the penalty spot.
The final twenty minutes was nip and tuck, with chances for both sides, but with extra-time and a penalty shoot out looming large, Rene Howe stole the tie with a last minute winner to send the travelling Eagles contingent into delirium.
The superb victory sees Bedford Town through to the second qualifying round, where they will face fellow Southern League Central Division One side, Welwyn Garden City at The Eyrie on 18th September.
Welwyn also needed a replay to get past Mulbarton Wanderers, and currently sit in 10th in the league table with two victories from four league games, while the Eagles sit in 5th.