Real Bedford win the double with cup victory over Cockfosters

Real Bedford striker Joey Evans scoring a penalty against Cockfosters
Joey Evans celebrates opening the scoring Image: Will Roberts / Real Bedford FC

Real Bedford saw out their season in style on Wednesday night as they secured the league and cup double with a 3-1 victory over Cockfosters in the South Midlands Premier Division Cup Final.

First half goals from Joey Evans and Mo Ahmed saw the Pirates open up a two goal advantage at the half-time break and while Cockfosters admirably fought back, Ahmed’s stoppage time clincher sealed the deal.

Rob Sinclair’s side finished their league season with a 1-1 draw at Sawbridgeworth Town on Saturday afternoon after celebrating winning the Spartans South Midlands Premier Division eight days ago with victory against London Lions at McMullen Park.

Read: Wild celebrations at McMullen Park as Real Bedford secure another league title

Sinclair had the luxury of resting some key players in Saturday’s league closing dead rubber ahead of a tricky fixture against Cockfosters at Colney Heath, but Real Bedford held on to win another trophy.

In a first half of few chances, it was Tyler McGregor in the Real goal who opened the door for Bedford to take the lead.

It was the goalkeeper’s dream pass over the top to Joey Evans that allowed the Real number nine to race clear only to be brought down by Aiden Read in the penalty area, with the referee pointing to the spot.

Evans picked himself up to send the goalkeeper the wrong way in scoring the game’s opening goal and obtaining a lead that the Pirates would never surrender.

Bedford’s prolific striker could have had a second as he found himself on the end of another brilliant pass; this time from Charlie Smith, but Evans unselfishly squared for Mo Ahmed to slot home a second just before half-time.

Cockfosters fight back despite red card

Cockfosters’ night went from bad to worse in the early moments of the second period when Jay Lovell picked up two yellow cards inside three minutes to be sent for an early bath – his second red card of the month.

Going down to ten men however sparked Cockfosters into life.

They were gifted a route back into the final as Brett Longden’s shocking back pass, not helped by a terrible bounce, left Drew Richardson with too much to do and Joe Entwistle nipped in to slot home through McGregor’s legs to halve the deficit.

George Lutaaya had a chance to equalise followed by another snap shot for Entwistle as the Londoners piled on the pressure heading into the final ten minutes.

Cockfosters couldn’t fashion any guilt edged chances though and when they piled forward in injury time in search of a desperate equaliser, Mo Ahmed raced clear to score his second and Real’s third in the 94th minute of an engrossing cup final to secure the league and cup double.

Ladies must wait for their own title

Real Bedford Ladies were also in action on Wednesday night hoping to secure silverware of their own as they travelled to Royston Town.

Had they won and Luton Town dropped points, the Ladies would have matched the Men and won the Eastern Region Women’s Football League but they didn’t do so as they drew 1-1 in Hertfordshire.

Amy Reed against a Royston Town defender
Amy Reed in action for Real Bedford Ladies Image: Real Bedford FC

Royston opened the scoring inside the very first minute but Francesca Partridge equalised shortly into the second half to gain parity, with neither side able to fashion a winner as the points were shared.

Luton Town’s 7-1 thrashing at AFC Dunstable meant Georgia Clarke’s side could not have won the league on Wednesday night regardless, but there is still a sense that it is when, not if for Real in the women’s game as they still lead that division by seven points with two games in hand.

They will have another chance to secure the title on Sunday as they host Luton Town at McMullen Park.

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