Bedford Town start season against two league newcomers

Pre-season preparations continue with Wealdstone and Potton United

By Zoe Ashton
Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 5:44 pm
Craig MacKail-Smith with Bedford Town manager Gary Setchell
Craig MacKail-Smith with Bedford Town manager Gary Setchell

Bedford Town will start their league season against two newcomers – at Waltham Abbey on Saturday, August 14 before welcoming Harlow Town on Tuesday, August 17.

The bank holiday will see a PitchingIn Southern League Division One Central Bedfordshire derby double, as Eagles travel to AFC Dunstable on Saturday 28th, before hosting Biggleswade FC on Monday 30th.

The first Borough derby takes place on December 4, when Kempston Rovers visit the Eyrie, with the reverse on March 19. Then on December 27 Eagles make the long journey up the tunnel to the Eyrie away dressing room to face Biggleswade FC, away from home! St Neots Town make the trip on New Year’s Day.

In April, as the season draws to a close, Eagles host AFC Dunstable on Easter Saturday, before travelling to St Neots on Easter Monday (April 18). The fixtures conclude on Saturday, April 23 at home to Aylesbury United.

Any play-off semi-finals are on Wednesday, April 27, with the final on Monday, May 2.

More players have signed league registration forms this week.

Defender Joe Steele, 24, who has made 43 appearances, originally joined in 2018 from Arlesey Town .

Speaking to, Manager Gary Setchell said: “I’m happy that Joe is back for another season at the Eyrie. He works hard and is a strong defender, who is still keen to learn his game.”

With six appearances since joining from Yaxley in October 2020, Charley Sanders, is a striker or a defender.

Setchell added: “I’ve known Charley for a long time. He is a hard worker, and a big, strong player that causes problems at both ends of the pitch.”

Full back Niall Jones, 20, has previously been with Potton United, and is a Bedford lad now playing for his home town club.

Setchell said: “Niall has impressed throughout preseason since coming on trial. He is a versatile player, who has an excellent work rate for a young player. I’m looking forward to seeing him involved as the season goes on.”

Craig Mackail-Smith is staying for another year at the Eyrie. The prolific football league striker signed for the club in September 2020.

Mackail-Smith, who made 185 appearances with 80 goals at Peterborough United, has also had spells at Brighton and Hove Albion and Luton Town.

“Having Craig at the club brings so much on and off the field,” said Setchell. “ He is an energetic and fit individual, who passes on his experience to younger members of the squad. We’re all delighted he is back involved.”

Eagles continue their pre-season games hosting Wealdstone on Saturday (1pm) before a trip to Potton United on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Last Wednesday’s run out at the Eyrie against Luton Town ended 5-0 and Tuesday evening’s game with Harborough Town produced another handful of goals, but with Bedford winning 5-1.