Bedfordshire League preview: March 2

This weekend’s clash at Harvey Close between Caldecote and Oakley Sports M&DH could well have a major bearing on where the silverware will be heading.

By Peter Francis
Thursday, 28th February 2013, 2:27 pm

With Caldecote having lost their season’s unbeaten home record last weekend and the leadership of the Premier Division supported by Sportsform to Oakley Sports M&DH, their visitors will travel looking to take their unbeaten ways up to eight games which would see them remain on the summit of the league table at least two points clear of their hosts.

Perhaps the third favourites for this seasons league crown are Renhold United, for them it’s home Playing Field action against Marston Shelton Rovers.United having won five of their seven home league outings to date knowing nothing less than the full three points will do if they are going to make a real serious challenge for their first ever top flight title during the closing two months of the season.

For promotion seeking Arlesey Town Reserves, who currently hold down third spot the visitors to face them at The Armadillo Stadium are AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College. With the visitors sudden upsurge in their form away from home that has seen them been defeated just once in their last five away outings this game is by no means a certain home win for the hosts.

Elsewhere down at the other end of the table, bottom of the league Bedford Sports Athletic travel to Steppingley Road to take on Flitwick Town. Their mission quite simply to record their first league win of the season and end an 11 game losing league run. With the Town having won just the twice on home soil all season, dare I suggest the Athletic could well achieve their aim.

Meantime, Sharnbrook’s quest to beat the drop sees them in home Lodge Road action against Ickwell & Old Warden. With the visitors having surprisingly dropped out of the title race with just three wins from their last seven league outings, they nevertheless with just two away league defeats to their name this season will start firm favourites to collect the spoils.

Other action coming at Jubilee Playing Fields, the venue at which in form Wilshamstead host Lidlington United Sports in a game that should see them chalk up win number four on the bounce. Whilst at The Carlsberg Stadium, AFC Biggleswade look to maintain their recent fine form when called upon by Bedford Hatters who have won just the once on the road all season and whom will be returning to The Carlsberg in seven days time to contest a Britannia Cup semi-final tie.

In Division One its away trips for both of the leading title contenders. Current league leaders Shillington having what seems on paper the easier task when they make their way to Hillgrounds to face bottom of the table AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College Reserves who are yet to record their first league win of the season. Whilst second place Leighton United journey to Bedford Road Recreation Ground to defend their seasons unbeaten away league ways against Sandy who have won four of their last five home league outings.

Also hitting the road will be third place Pavenham, for them it’s a visit to King George VI Playing Fields to take on second from bottom of the table Kings AFC. Yet with the visitors having lost their last three away league games, could this be the day Kings AFC will collect just their second home league win of the season.

Other action comes at The Warren, the venue at which hosts Elstow Abbey will try to prevent the visiting Luton Boys taking their unbeaten ways up to seven games and in Mowsbury Park, hosts Brickhill Tigers will look to end a run of five games without a win when visited by Caldecote Reserves who have failed to win on any of their last five league outings away from their Harvey Close base.

The Division Two title/promotion race perhaps still contains as many as six sides and whilst it will be a major surprise if current league leaders Sundon Park Rangers don’t collect the full three points from their home Stockwood Park encounter with bottom of the table Meltis Albion, many eyes will be attached for the result of the Ickleford Recreation Ground clash between third place hosts Marabese Ceramics and the visiting fourth place Cranfield United Reserves. The hosting Tilermen looking to extend their unbeaten home league ways to six games against a United side who travel in search of their third away win on the bounce.

Still also in that title/promotion race are of course second place Goldington, for them its a trip to Lothair Road seeking their first league away win since mid-November when they take on Stopsley Park. Whilst fellow promotion candidates Eastcotts AFC who currently sit in fifth spot head to Greenfield Road now unbeaten in their last seven away league outings to be hosted by Westoning.

Other action coming in Leagrave Park, the venue at which hosts St Joseph Reserves play an Queens Park Crescents side that last lost on the road in league action way back in mid-October at Oakley Sports M&DH Reserves.

It’s also Bedfordshire FA Junior Cup semi-final day. For division three Great Barford that means a home Fisher Close encounter with division two visitors Woburn Athletic who despite their higher league status on current league form will start the day the underdogs. Whilst at Oakley Playing Fields hosts Oakley Sports M&DH Reserves are visited by Bromham United who on current form will fancy their chances of making the trip to The Hollow on Friday April 26th for this seasons final tie.

In Division Three, with Great Barford away on cup duty its a chance for others to collect much needed league points to enhance their title/promotion hopes. For Clifton, that means a trip to Mowsbury Park to take on bottom of the table Bedford Park Rangers who are yet to win on home soil this season, thus anything other than the full three points for the visitors will be a major surprise. Whilst at Mill Lane, it’s home action for current league leaders Potton Town against third from bottom of the table Kempston Hammers Sports and at Gold Street, Riseley Sports take on Stevington in the always highly charged North Beds local derby part two having won the away encounter by a single goal back in late October.

Very much in need of points at the other end of the table are Royal Oak Kempston, for them it will the search for just home league win number two of the season when at Hillgrounds they play hosts to Westoning Reserves. Whilst at Horseshoes Close, sixth place Dunton Reserves take on fifth place Westoning Reserves and on The Green, ninth place Ickwell & Old Warden Reserves are visited by seventh place Renhold United Reserves.

In Division Four, for league leaders Bedford Panthers the visitors to their Hockey Centre base are second from bottom of the table Caldecote A. Whilst it’s also A team opposition for second place Elstow Abbey, they journey to Digswell Playing Fields without a win from their last five away league outings to face Shefford Town & Campton A who have won their last three home league outings and will be no easy pushovers.

For third place Marston Shelton Rovers Reserves, its a chance to take their winning home ways up to seven games against a Dinamo Flitwick side whose lone away league win of the season came at Flitwick Town Reserves back in early December and it’s also home action for fourth place Kempston Athletic, when in Hillgrounds they play hosts to Dunton Reserves who have failed to win any of their last eight league outings.

Other action coming at Whiston Crescent, the venue at which Clifton Reserves play hosts to Flitwick Town Reserves. The home side looking to take their unbeaten league ways up to four games against their visitors who have lost their last five away league outings.Whilst at Wootton Playing Fields, bottom of the table hosts Wootton Village are visited by Sandy Reserves whose lone away league win of the season surprise surprise came at top of the table Bedford Panthers back in early December.