Bedford Town face two new teams in their division; a trip to Waltham Abbey on 14th August before hosting Harlow Town three days later as the fixtures for the Southern League were released this afternoon.
Waltham Abbey, who plied their trade in the Isthmian League last season, will present a new challenge for Gary Setchell’s side as they look towards promotion from Southern League Central Division One.
Harlow Town were also a product of the Isthmian League but join the Southern League following an extensive restructure of non-league football by the FA at the beginning of the year.
The Eagles and Biggleswade FC – ground sharing at The Eyrie this season – face each other on 30th August before the return fixture on 27th December.
New Year’s Day sees The Eagles host St. Neots Town; the third time they will have faced each other after both sides were drawn together for the first qualifying round of the FA Cup, as well as the FA Trophy.
The final game of the season sees Bedford Town hosting Aylesbury United, with the playoffs completed over the course of the following week leading into May.
Just down the road, Kempston Rovers travel to North Leigh on the opening weekend before hosting Welwyn Garden City in their first midweek game.
Rovers and the Eagles first meet in the Bedford derby on December 4th at The Eyrie, with the return fixture on 19th March at Hillgrounds.
Like many other semi-professional leagues, the Southern League was curtailed early last season due to the pandemic with Bedford Town sitting in 12th, while Kempston Rovers sat second from bottom, albeit well clear of stragglers, Wantage Town.
Bedford Town have managed to retain a lot of last season’s squad, and with a couple of handy additions, could challenge for the title but will rely heavily on the experience of a couple of key players.
Former Scotland international, Craig Mackail-Smith signed a one-year contract extension in the week and will be key in harbouring any promotion ambitions, along with Rene Howe up front.