CIRENCESTER Town threatened a late comeback at Bedford Town on Saturday, but the league leaders proved too strong in the end as they won 3-1 to go three points clear at the top of the table. 

Felix Miles' second-half strike had halved Bedford's lead, but an 83rd-minute penalty from Ryan Blake meant The Centurions went home empty-handed. 

Louis Walsh had scored in both halves to give the hosts a 2-0 advantage just after the hour but when Miles found the back of the net, Bedford wobbled as Cirencester pushed for an equaliser.

But hopes of taking a point home with them were squashed seven minutes from time when Blake fired home from the spot after Jack Green was brought down in the box by Cirencester keeper Stuart Nelson.

It means The Centurions have lost back-to-back league games in consecutive weekends and they slip down to fifth in the Southern League South Division One table. 

Unbeaten Bedford made a positive start to proceedings and Walsh went close a couple of times before he eventually did give them the lead. 

The forward tried his luck from 12 yards out following a cross and despite Nelson's best efforts, the strike had too much on it and the hosts celebrated going ahead. 

But Cirencester fought their way back into the contest and started to ask questions of the league leaders.

Miles should have levelled the game but somehow managed to clear the bar after a bit of a goal-mouth scramble.

Jake Lee had a header saved towards the end of the half and despite being behind, the visitors were matching their hosts.

But mid-way through the second-half, it would be a mistake that gave Bedford some much-needed breathing space in the game.

Determined to play the ball out from the back, a Cirencester pass was intercepted by Walsh, who charged forward and finished past Nelson.

But the away side did not fold and just two minutes passed before they halved the deficit to give them some hope in the game with still over 20 minutes left. Miles capitalised on a hurried Bedford clearance to take a touch and fire into the bottom corner.

Cirencester pushed for an equaliser but they were unable to really test Mark Smith in the Bedford goal and their hopes were finally ended in the 83rd minute when Green was taken down by Nelson and a penalty was awarded, with Blake converting to secure an eighth victory from 10 league games for the home team.