Depleted Eagles dig deep to go through

Andrew Phillips was called into action early on against VCD Athletic
Andrew Phillips was called into action early on against VCD Athletic

Bedford Town had to dig deep to earn a battling 1-0 win in the FA Trophy at Ryman League South Division side VCD Athletic on Saturday.

The Eagles made one change to their side with Matt Clifford out and replaced by new signing Mayowa Balogun.

Bedford’s injury worries didn’t stop there though as Bradley Woods-Garness was forced off after just five minutes and Andrew Phillips came on.

Ryan Auger blasted a free kick high and wide, before the visitors had to make another change when Josh Obiyo couldn’t continue, Ashton Grant taking his place.

Inside 22 minutes, and Bedford had made all three changes, with Jemale McKenzie-Lowe introduced for Joel Norris.

It was the sub who then broke the deadlock just three minutes after coming on, as Balogun refused to give up on a lost cause and squared the ball to McKenzie-Lowe who tapped in.

Leroy Griffiths saw his effort well saved as Bedford looked to increase their lead, although McKenzie-Lowe needed treatment as did Dean Dummett after he came off worse in a challenge.

In the second period, Eagles held off their hosts early on, while Phillips saw his effort saved with ease.

Visiting keeper Kyle Forster made a good stop from range and then pulled off an even better save to repel a free kick with four minutes to go.

McKenzie-Lowe then came close to putting the result beyond doubt as Bedford’s defending grew more frantic late on, but they held on.

The Eagles will now travel to Ryman Division One North side Brentwood Town in the first round qualifying after they hammered South Park 7-2 on Tuesday evening.

Eagles host Northwood in the league on Saturday and then entertain Hartley Wintney on Tuesday night.