FA Cup joy as Town march on with victory over Thrapston

Joel Norris bagged a brace for the Eagles

Joel Norris bagged a brace for the Eagles

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Two Joel Norris goals early in the game settled Bedford’s Emirates FA Cup game at home to Thrapston Town on Saturday afternoon.

Norris headed Kyle Lincoln’s corner home in the second minute of the game to get the Eagles off to a flying start, and 12 minutes later, Norris scored again; this time from distance as he put Tommy Hull’s pass to good use.

It looked as though the Eagles would cruise home, but football is 90 minutes and the game can change in an instant.

With 15 minutes left, Christian Lester was given a red card for a foul on Elliott Bentley.

Thrapston pulled a goal back in the 79th minute, and with the one-man advantage, put Bedford on the back foot.

There were no more goals, however, and the Eagles are now rewarded with a trip into Essex to play Harlow Town in the first qualifying round.

Speaking about the game, Eagles assistant manager Wes Byrne said: “I thought the game started really, really brightly in our favour. Thrapston are a good, bright young side, so we knew we couldn’t give them any respect at all.

“Obviously an early goal set us on our way; Joel Norris showing why we wanted him at the club, by getting another goal.

“We pushed up and they were on the back foot, and dropping off which we had an inkling that they would do.”

On the sending off of Lester, Byrne added: “I haven’t really found out what happened, but by the sound of it, it was a petulant flick from Christian in the penalty area, and the referee was right on it, so duly sent him off.

“It dropped us down to 10 men, and just after they have pulled a goal back, and got their tails up, causing us a little bit of mayhem.

“I didn’t think we should have conceded the goal, and personally, was a little bit disappointed with it, but in the end we claimed a victory and progress to the next round.”