Bedford Town manager reflects on FA decision and abandoned game

Eagles bounce back with victory over Harlow ahead of two more league games this week

By Zoe Ashton
Thursday, 18th November 2021, 11:59 am
Updated Thursday, 18th November 2021, 12:00 pm
Bedford Town manager Gary Setchell
Bedford Town manager Gary Setchell

The Football Association has ruled that the result of Bedford Town’s abandoned FA Trophy game with Potters Bar Town on Saturday will stand.

The game was abandoned in the 93rd minute with the Eagles 1-0 down and so Potters Bar will go through to the second round.

In a website post on Saturday, a club statement said: “Bedford Town Football Club would like to sincerely apologise to any spectators who were disappointed with the incidents that took place in today’s FA Trophy match against Potters Bar Town, which resulted in the match being abandoned by the officials.

“The events which occurred, involving a number of players and team officials from both ourselves and Potters Bar Town FC in the dying minutes of the match, were unacceptable and do not represent the ethos of our club. We are a community-based, family club that has high expectations of its players, staff and our opponents.”

Manager Gary Setchell said he felt the FA’s decision was probably the right one.

“They were winning with a few minutes to go. Yes, we are disappointed because the last few minutes would have been interesting, but I think common sense has prevailed,” he said, speaking in a club interview after the league leaders bounced back with a 2-1 win at Harlow Town on Tuesday evening.

“It doesn’t take away from the fact both sets of players were in the wrong. We apologise if we upset anyone, we didn’t mean to.

“We are a passionate bunch doing our best for the football club. Sometimes when you have got 22 passionate players and both teams are desperate to win, if we overstepped the mark I apologise to people, but that’s happened before us and that will happen again to someone else after us.

“It’s not great but we will take a wrap on the knuckles and move on.”

Bedford beat sixth-placed Harlow with a goal by Danny Setchell just before the break.

Harlow levelled with a penalty early in the second half before Lewis Miccio scored the winner in the 72nd minute.

Eagles host mid-table Waltham Abbey in another Southern League Division One Central fixture on Saturday and then visit fourth-placed Berkhamsted on Tuesday.