Real Bedford Ladies are through to the first round proper of the FA Cup after a comfortable 4-0 victory against Stevenage Women at McMullen Park on Sunday afternoon.
A first half header from Natasha Fensome gave Real a slender 1-0 lead at the break, but their superiority showed in the second forty five minutes as a brace from Zara Carroll and an excellent strike from Erin Price rounded off a convincing success.
It puts Real into the first round proper of the Women’s FA Cup for the first time, and with the third tier of clubs introduced, Real could be facing a plum tie against the likes of Newcastle United, Wolves or Women’s National Premier Division leaders, Burnley in the next round.
The FA Cup run supplements a perfect league start for Real, after they despatched Kings Lynn 13-0 in the league last weekend.
42 goals in eight league games leaves Real Bedford five points clear at the top of the Eastern Region Women’s Football League before they host Needham Market next Sunday.
Men advance in Vase
Not to be outdone, the men were also in cup action against early season rivals, Milton Keynes Irish in Buckinghamshire and exacted some revenge for the Irish knocking Rob Sinclair’s side out of the FA Cup with a 5-0 win in the first round of the FA Vase.
Real took the lead in bizarre fashion as a Lewis Burgess throw in was punched into his own net by the Irish goalkeeper and from there, it didn’t get any better for the Irish.
Ben Stevens doubled the Bedford lead by half-time after some neat footwork from Josh Setchell and with Mo Ahmed scoring twice in the second half, along with a customary effort from Joey Evans, the Pirates were home and hosed in a comprehensive afternoon’s work.
Real are back in action on Tuesday night as they head to Leighton Town in the first round of the Bedfordshire Senior Cup before they return to chasing St Panteilemon at the top of the league with a trip to Crawley Green next weekend.
The draw for both the Women’s FA Cup first round and the FA Vase second round took place on Monday, with the Ladies hosting Billericay Town who sit in 8th in the Women’s National League Premier South while the men host Biggleswade United in the Vase.