Eagles fly through to the next round

Lee Roache in action for Bedford
Lee Roache in action for Bedford

Bedford Town progressed in the FA Cup on Saturday after a 3-1 preliminary round victory at home to Swaffham Town.

The visitors from the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League took just 27 seconds to have the first shot of the game, a Joe Jackson effort from the edge of the area which was comfortably saved by Eagles’ keeper Adam Harpur.

Eagles on the attack against Swaffham

Eagles on the attack against Swaffham

An early free-kick at the other end gave the Eagles their first chance.

Ryan Auger beat the Swaffham wall but not Sam Pishorn, who made an easy catch.

Harpur had to stretch every sinew to deny Jackson in the 13th minute after his stunning 20-yard shot was tipped over.

Another move, just before the half’s midway point saw Alex Vincent play the ball inside to Luke Reed and the midfielder’s deft flick beat Harpur, but not the bar.

A good defensive clearance from Swaffham saw Lee Roache win the ball ahead of Alan Woodcock only to see his attempt fly wide.

Within a minute, Bradley Woods-Garness’ inviting low cross from the byline, was met by Roache, but his slight deflection wasn’t enough to direct it into the net.

The Eagles made the breakthrough with just 10 seconds of the first-half left.

Playing the ball from defence, Auger took the ball an extra 10 yards while beating his marker, and from the edge of the area, smashed a low shot into the bottom right-hand corner, beating Pishorn hands down.

The last action of the half nearly produced a second for Bedford, but Pishorn’s fingertip save denied a spectacular scissor-kick from Woods-Garness from a corner.

The second period started quietly until Devante Stanley went on a super run from defence to midway into the Swaffham half.

He pushed the ball forward to Woods-Garness, and under pressure from a defender, the Bedford striker went down too easily, prompting no reaction from the referee.

Just after the hour sub Kyjuon Marsh-Brown, barely on three minutes, received the ball on the left of the area and took it away from goal, before heading back and curling a shot towards the far post, as it sailed just the wrong side.

Woods-Garness mazed his way past two defenders down the left, to reach the area and forced Pishorn to parry for a corner.

From the resulting kick, James Peters headed home at the far post to give Bedford a 2-0 lead in the 64th minute.

Marsh-Brown made a good run later on but his shot cannoned off the arm of Pishorn.

Bedford made it 3-0 in the 81st minute when a corner pinballed in the area.

After much desperate defending, Pishorn saved Woods-Garness’ second scissor kick, but he could only parry it into the path of Andrew Phillips, and inches from the goal line he blasted the ball into the net.

The visitors pulled a goal back with two minutes to go when Vincent fed an unmarked Blake Stangroome who fired past Harpur.

The Eagles have a home tie in the next round when they host Lowestoft Town of the Ryman Premier Division.

This Saturday they resume league duty with a trip to Egham Town and then host Cambridge City on Bank Holiday Monday.