In another fantastic week for Bedford Town, a 5-0 victory over nine-man Cambridge City on Saturday saw them through to face Stafford Rangers in the third qualifying round of the Buildbase FA Trophy.
And a 3-0 success at home to Thame United on Tuesday evening - Eagles’ fifth win in a row in all competitions - moves them up to fourth in the Pitching In Southern League Division One Central .
Rene Howe scored twice around the half-hour mark, and set up Connor Tomlinson for the third in the 65th, who was rewarded for his relentless pressing and running by putting away an unstoppable shot.
“It was a solid performance and for 25 minutes and I thought Thame were very bright and you can see why they have been on a bit of a run,” said manager Gary Setchell. “They were causing us problems, but goals change games.”
Eagles were 2-0 up at half-time, putting on a great show for their guests, the children and staff of Marston Vale Middle School.
“In the second half we were solid all over the pitch and I don’t think Thame hurt us in any way shape or form,” Setchell continued in his club interview after the game.
“We looked like a hard-working team and we didn’t give them any time on the ball.”
And he was full of praise for striker Howe: “He’s a lot fitter than last year, more mobile and he’s enjoying his football,” said the manager.
“He brings a lot to the group, not just on the pitch but in the dressing room and with the younger lads as well.
“At the minute he’s in that purple patch where everything he’s hitting is going in and the keeper made a really good save to stop him getting his hat-trick.”
On Saturday Bedford were already two goals up, courtesy of Hugh Alban-Jones and Lewis Miccio’s first competitive goals for the club before a two minute period that saw two Cambridge City players receive their marching orders.
Yaw Nanthi-Ofosu saw red for a two footed lunge, shortly followed by former Eagle Tom Hitchcock who had a little to much to say to the referee.
Alban-Jones scored again 15 minutes into the second half and ensured his recognition as Man of the Match.
Rene Howe made it 4-0 and late substitute Craig MacKail-Smilth rounded things off in the 88th-minute to set up the next round tie on October 30, which means their league fixture against Barton Rovers is now on Tuesday, November 9 at 7.45pm .
Eagles are at home again this Saturday hosting Kidlington.
“Whoever we play here we have got to try and take three points,” added Setchell. “I feel when we have a full quota of players we are going to be match for anyone and other teams will think they are going to be a match for us.
“It’s a really good competitive league and I think the top eight is going to be hammer and tongs all the way down the stretch for a long part of the season
“It’ll be the teams who keep the best players fit and avoid suspensions with a little bit of lady luck along the way and we’ll see.”