Bedfordshire League: March 23 preview

The standout Bedfordshire League fixture of the weekend comes at Harvey Close where local rivals Ickwell & Old Warden are the visitors to face league leaders Caldecote.

By Peter Francis
Thursday, 21st March 2013, 5:00 pm

With eight points separating them in the league table you would feel a home victory would see off the visitors’ Premier Division supported by Sportsform title aspirations for another season. However, they have been beaten just the twice on the road in league action this season to suggest they are quite capable of landing the spoils to join their hosts in the challenge to lift this seasons league title.

For second place Oakley Sports M&DH the visitors to face them at their Playing Field headquarters are AFC Biggleswade.This coming just seven days after the sides met at The Carslberg Stadium where the game ended in a 4-4 draw but with the hosts unbeaten in their last five home outings and the Waders defeated in their last two trips away from the Carlsberg you would feel the home side will start the day favourites to collect the spoils.

Over at Hillgrounds, fifth place AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College with just one home win from their last three outings entertain a Lidlington United Sports side who have won on three of their last four trips away from Hurst Grove. Whilst for seventh place Renhold United, now losers of three of their last four home outings its a visit from in-form Wilshamstead to their Playing Field headquarters. In both fixtures anything less than the full three points for the home sides will surely see them out of the seasons title race.

Down at the other end of the table, bottom of the table Bedford Sports Athletic look to have little to no chance of avoiding finishing in that basement spot but this will not prevent them putting their best foot forward when they make the short journey to Miller Road to take on a Bedford Hatters side who will be out to repair the damage of having suffered losses in their last two home games. Having met just seven days ago at Grange Road where The Hatters won 2-0 you would feel that mission could well be accomplished. Whilst second from bottom of the table Sharnbrook, now on a seven game losing run journey to Rectory Road to face six place Shefford Town & Campton who will be keen to return to winning ways after their home defeat against Renhold United last weekend.

The final action in this division coming at Steppingley Road, the venue at which Flitwick Town look for just their third home win of the season when visited by a Marston Shelton Rovers side who have won three of their last four away games.

In Division One, both of the leading title contenders will be in home action but both have potential banana skin encounters. At Greenfield’s the visitors to face Shillington who will be looking for their ninth home win on the bounce are third place Pavenham who hit the road looking for their third away win on the bounce. Whilst at Stanbridge Road, Leighton United’s visitors are a Luton boys side who are now unbeaten in their last five away outings.

In the battle at the other end of the league standings both of the bottom two sides face trips on the road. Bottom of the table AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College Reserves making their way to Bedford Road Recreation Ground to take on a Sandy side who will be looking to end a run of two consecutive home defeats.Whilst Kings AFC now without a victory in their last nine outings journey to Groveside to face Henlow.

Other action coming at The Warren, the venue at which Elstow Abbey host Caldecote Reserves just 14 days after removing them from The Centenary Cup and in Mowsbury Park where Brickhill Tigers seek their first home win in five outings against the visiting Shefford Town & Campton Reserves.

In Division Two likewise both of the top two sides enjoy home advantage this weekend, league leaders Sundon Park Rangers winners of their last five league games hosting Queens Park Crescents in Stockwood Park who will hit the road looking for their fifth away league win on the bounce. Whilst second place Goldington in Mowsbury Park play host to a Westoning side who are yet to win on the road this season.

However, the standout fixture looks to be the Crawley Road clash between sixth place Cranfield United Reserves and fourth place Eastcotts AFC, where the two sides will be meeting for the second time inside four days having clashed after these notes were written at Weston Park in midweek.United looking to defend their seasons unbeaten home ways against their near neighbour visitors who hit the road now unbeaten in their last eight away league games and right there in the championship race.

Over at their Playing Field headquarters, Bromham United will look to ensure their visitors Oakley Sports M&DH Reserves don’t collect just their second away league win of the season. Whilst at The Hollow, Potton United Reserves take on Woburn Athletic who will hit the road looking for their third away win on the bounce. Plus at Lothair Road, St Joseph Reserves will be expected to collect all three points when they are visited by bottom of the table Meltis Albion losers of their last seven away games.

By contrast in division three its trips on the road for the top two clubs in the league table. League leaders Potton Town making their way to Jubilee Playing Fields to face a Wilshamstead Reserves side who have been beaten just the once at home in league action this season. Whilst second place Riseley Sports head for a Greenfield Road outing against Westoning Reserves.Still very much in the title/promotion race are third place Clifton for whom its home action at Whiston Crescent against Renhold United Reserves and fourth place Great Barford who at Fisher Close look for home win number four on the bounce against the visiting Stevington.

Other action comes on The Green, the venue at which hosts Ickwell & Old Warden Reserves now losers of their last four home games seek to repair the damage against a visiting Royal Oak Kempston side who despite sitting in third from bottom place in the league table have won their last four away league outings. Plus at Horseshoes Close, hosts Dunton now without a home win from their last five games entertain second from bottom of the table Kempston Hammers Sports who search out just their third league away win of the season.

In the words of Andy Williams “ we are almost there” well for Bedford Panthers that could be the division four league title will be just one win away should they collect the full three points from their visit to Digswell Playing Fields and their encounter against Shefford Town & Campton A and second place Elstow Abbey Reserves fail to collect all three points when they journey to Harvey Close to face Caldecote A who have won their last two home games.

The battle for the bronze medal place finish also might become clearer after the clash between hosts Marston Shelton Rovers now winners of their last eight home games and the visiting Kempston Athletic. However, Clifton Reserves still have aspirations to claim that third spot and will right there still in the mix should they collect all three points from their Hinksley Recreation Ground encounter against hosts Dinamo Flitwick.

Other action coming in Hillgrounds, the venue at which Kempston Con Club Sports will look to inflict the fourth consecutive away defeat upon the visiting Sandy Reserves and for bottom of the table Wootton Village its home action against a Flitwick Town Reserves side who have lost all of their last six away league outings.