Bedfordshire League preview

Peter Francis preview this Saturday ‘s matches

For the new Premier Division supported by Sportsform league leaders Arlesey Town Reserves,this weekend brings about a home game at the Armadillo Stadium against fifth place Lidlington United Sports who travel still unbeaten.

Whilst apart from the league leaders the only other club with a top-flight unbeaten tag for the season are sixth place Renhold United, for them it’s a home Playing Fields clash with second place Ickwell & Old Warden in what could be the match of the day.

However, perhaps with equal claim to that billing is the other Playing Fields clash at Oakley where hosts Oakley Sports M&DH take on the visiting Caldecote.

Over at Miller Road, Bedford Hatters will start the firm favourites to return to winning ways when visited by a yet to win Flitwick Town but things might not be that easy at Rectory Road for current league champions Shefford Town & Campton when called upon by AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College.

Also hitting the road will be fourth place Marston Shelton Rovers, they head to Cople Playing Fields looking for their fourth win on the bounce against hosts Bedford Sports Athletic who currently sit in second from bottom spot in the table with no points from their opening three games.

The only club below The Athletic in the standings are of course AFC Biggleswade and for them it’s a trip to Lodge Road to take on home side Sharnbrook who have opened their home season with two straight defeats.

The final action in the top-flight comes at Moggerhanger Playing Fields between yet to win and third from bottom of the table Blunham who play hosts to Wilshamstead.

Action in Division One brings about just one game when at Groveside Henlow play hosts to Sandy.

With the home side having lost their last two outings it will be the visitors who in having completed a league double over Henlow last season plus for good measure also knocking them out of The Centenary Cup who will start the day favourites to collect the spoils.

However, two other Division One clubs will be in action in the opening round of this season’s Bedfordfordshire FA Intermediate Cup. For both of them its trips on the road, Caldecote Reserves heading to Solway Way North to face Co-op Sports now of The Luton District and South Beds League who of course plied their trade in our own Division Two last season plus Lea Sports PSG make tracks to Creasey Park for a meeting with Spartan South Midlands League Reserve Division One side AFC Dunstable Reserves.

For the lower division sides this weekend the action is confined to ties in the opening round of The Bedfordshire FA Junior Cup, eight of the ties seeing our sides pit their wits against opposition from The Luton District and South Beds League Division One.

Yet just two of them are hitting the road, Sandy Reserves on their way to Stockwood Park to face Four Model and Bedford Park Rangers heading to Leagrave Park to take on North Sundon Wanderers.

The six to enjoy home advantage are Sundon Park Rangers who host FC Wisla (Luton) Reserves in Stockwood Park: Royal Oak Kempston who receive a visit to their Hillgrounds base by Caddington Reserves: Clifton at Whiston Crescent against Luton Deaf: Bedford Panthers at their Hockey Centre base against Jedenastka; Whilst at Cutler Hammer, Kempston Hammers Sports take on Square Rangers and at Gold Street, Riseley Sports play hosts to Farley Boys Reserves.

Also facing opposition from other leagues are Goldington in Mowsbury Park where they host Aylesbury & District League side FC Spandits Reserves and Clifton Reserves who hit the road to Mentmore Road Playing Fields to be hosted by Southcott Village Residents Association Reserves of The North Bucks League.

By tradition over the past few seasons the all Bedfordshire County Football League clashes have produced a fair share of giant-killing acts and this weekend’s fixtures bring about seven opportunities for this to happen again.

However, perhaps on early season form just two of the septet will really fancy their chances of an upset. Division Three Westoning Reserves who journey into Mowsbury Park to be hosted by Division Two outfit Queens Park Crescents and Division Four Kempston Con Club who play hosts to Division Three Potton Town at Hillgrounds.

Whilst don’t rule out that home advantage might just be the difference for Division Three Dunton at Horseshoes Close when Division Two Oakley Sports & MD Reserves come calling and on The Green where Division Three Ickwell & Old Warden Reserves take on Division Two Woburn Athletic.

In the other three potential giant-killing games all the odds appear to be stacked against the lower division side. At The Hollow, Division Two Potton United Reserves will be firm favourites to overcome Division Four Shefford Town & Campton A and in Hillgrounds, hosts Kempston Athletic of Division Four take on in form Division Three side Marsh Leys.Whilst at their Playing Field Headquarters, it will be a major shock if Division Two Bromham United dont prevail over Division Four visitors Flitwick Town Reserves.

These ties leaving us with just three all same Division clashes, they are headed by the all Division Two encounter in Leagrave Park between hosts St Joseph Reserves and Stopsley Park. Just 14 days ago St Joe’s prevailed over The Park 2-1 in league action to suggest they will once again emerge winners. Whilst another all Division Two encounter comes at Crawley Road where hosts Cranfield United Reserves take on Marabese Ceramics and the final fixture at The Warren comes in shape of an all Division Four game between hosts Elstow Abbey Reserves and Wootton Village in which The Abbey will start the firm favourites.