Stately backdrop for Bedford Town as they secure North Leigh win

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Callum Milne

North Leigh 0 – 2 Bedford Town

After a week’s break Bedford Eagles travelled to leafy Oxfordshire for this league fixture against North Leigh.

The surroundings more resembled a scene from Downton Abbey than a football ground, with the stately Manor House forming an impressive backdrop.

Without a win since the first match of the season, Jon Taylor and Nathan Abbey made changes to the starting line up with Connor Tomlinson and Aaron Dillon getting recalls and new signing, centre back Ollie Swain also starting.

Swain rejoined Bedford last week, after leaving for higher league football earlier in his career. Together with Joe Steele, he put in a solid performance in the heart of defence.

With temperatures in the high 20’s the teams both set out with a win in mind, but it was Bedford, playing uphill in the first half that began to get the better chances.

Tomlinson, Ben Ford and Dan Walker were amongst those who came close to scoring for the visitors, but it was Callum Milne who would break the deadlock in the last seconds of the first half.

He entered the area, and despite having two team mates available, he took the ball on and slotted it into the bottom left hand corner in what was to be the last axtion of the half. (45′ NL 0 – 1 BT 1)

The early stages of the second half saw more chances for Walker, with a shot hitting the post, and another going just wide of the left-hand post.

North Leigh never looked like coming back once the Eagles got their second. A corner came over and was cleared to Callum Donnelly, 25 yards out. His shot was true but the ball deflected off Joe Steeles head, wrong footed the keeper and droped into the net (61′ NL 0 – 2 BT)

Joe Steele gets Bedford's second against North Leigh
Joe Steele gets Bedford’s second against North Leigh.

With Bedford in control the joint managers made changes, bringing on Nathan Olukamni, Ebby Nelson-Addy and Jack Vasey for his first outing this campaign.

Olukanmi in particular put the home team under pressure, he took the ball down the left from inside his own half, and got to the left corner of the area, after leaving at least four players in his wake. He got a shot off, but it was saved.

Walker, who was unlucky not to score earlier, continued the trend, this time hitting the right hand post.

Bedford had further chances but the score remained static, meaning their first win since the first day of the season as well as the first clean sheet.

They will go forward to Tuesdays home tie against Aylesbury United with extra confidence in their ability. The league match at the Bright Management Eyrie kicks off at 19.45.

Bedford Town:

  1. Arron Dillon
  2. Brett Longden
  3. Louis Hall
  4. Ben Ford
  5. Joe Steele ⚽
  6. Ollie Swain
  7. Callum Milne ⚽ (77′ Ebby Nelson-Addy)
  8. Callum Donnelly
  9. Tre Mitford (72′ Jack Vasey)
  10. Connor Tomlinson (65′ Nathan Olukamni)
  11. Dan Walker

Subs not used: Damien Green, Andrew Phillips

Words: Michael Jarman-Webb
Photos: Jane Jones