Bedfordshire League preview: March 28
The spotlight this weekend falls upon the quarter-final ties in this season’s league cup competitions and for Premier Division supported by Sportsform clubs that means action in the Britannia Cup.
For current holders Shefford Town & Campton it’s home Hitchin Road action against AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College. Town have already won at Hitchin Road in league action back in early February and on current league form will perhaps start the game favourites to advance into the last four, but for certain the hosts will not release their grip on the famous old trophy without a fight so a close encounter could well be on the cards.
For last season’s beaten finalists Wilstead it’s a trip to Church Lane to be hosted by AFC Oakley M&DH where on current league form you would expect the hosts to progress into the hat for the Semi-final draw.
Whilst the other two ties will also see the hosting clubs favourites to gain their passage into the semi-finals.
At Marston Playing Fields despite their poor recent home form Marston Shelton Rovers will fancy their chances of seeing off the visiting Sharnbrook and just down the road at Weston Park the same comment applies to Wootton Blue Cross when they go head to head with Eastcotts AFC.
Away from the Britannia Cup there are just three Premier Division supported by Sportsform fixtures taking place.
League leaders Renhold United, still unbeaten on the road this season, head for a Pavenham Playing Fields encounter against eighth place Pavenham. Whilst at the other end of the table basement club Ickwell & Old Warden look for just their second home win of the season against tenth place local rivals Sandy who will be looking for their third win on the bounce.
Whilst just down the road at Harvey Close, second from bottom of the table Caldecote with just four home wins to their name this season entertain second place Flitwick Town who have lost just the twice on the road all season.
The cup action for Division One supported by Wests Citroen Bedford sides comes in the Centenary Cup with the tie of the round taking place at Fisher Close between hosts Great Barford and the visiting Cranfield United. With both clubs in fine league form and their league encounter earlier in the season at the same venue ending in deadlock this one is perhaps too close to call.
In the other three ties one would suggest its the visitors who will start the day favourites to advance into the last four. Riseley Sports just 14 days after their league victory over them at the same journey en route for a Hillgrounds outing against AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College Reserves. Whilst Elstow Abbey make the short trip down the road to Miller Road to face Meltis Albion where they won in league action just a month ago.
The final tie takes Queens Park Crescents on the road to Ickleford Playing Fields to be hosted by Marabese Ceramics and with both of their league encounters having finished in deadlocks this tie perhaps could go either way.
League action in the Division One supported by Wests Citroen Bedford section is down to just three games.
Over at Mill Lane tenth place Potton Town have now failed to win any of their last four games the visitors are third place Henlow now winners on their last four away games.
Whilst the other two games involve teams at the wrong end of the league table.
Second from bottom AFC Harlington with just two away wins to their name all season making tracks for a Cople Playing Fields outing against the team just one place above them in the standings Bedford SA who will be in search of their first home win of 2015 and at Rectory Road, eleventh place Shefford Town & Campton Reserves receive a visit from twelfth place AFC Oakley M&DH Reserves who hit the road in search of their first away win of 2015.
For Division Two sides it’s action in the Jubilee Cup where the undoubted tie of the round comes at Moore Crescent, the venue at which FC Houghton will look for revenge against a Stevington side who knocked them out of the Bedfordshire FA Junior Cup back in mid-January, the winners of this tie will for certain be the side all the others will wish to avoid in the Semi-final draw.
At King George VI Playing Fields it will be home action for Clapham Sports against Marston Shelton Rovers where they will start the firm favourites to progress but in the other two ties it will be the visitors who will start the favourites. Westoning making the journey to Cutler Hammer to face Kempston Hammers and Elstow Abbey Reserves on the road for a Jubilee Playing Fields encounter with the hosting Wilstead Reserves.
League action in division two will thus be down to just three games.
At Horseshoes Close, tenth place Moggerhanger United play hosts to Bedford United who trail them in the league standings by goal difference only and at their Playing Fields headquarters third from bottom of the table Renhold United Reserves now losers of their last four home league games look to repair the damage against the visiting sixth place Wootton Village who have lost just three times on the road all season. Whilst twelfth place Kempston Athletic having lost their last two home games play hosts to second from bottom of the table Caldecote Reserves losers of all of their last 10 away league outings.
For Division Three sides it’s action in the Watson Shield. Over at the Bedford Academy there is still a matter of a round two tie to be settled between the hosting Atletico Europa and the visiting Bedfordshire Saturday Youth League Leighton Town U17 for the right to host Sandy Reserves at the Quarter-final stage.
Whilst the last eight tie between Cranfield United Reserves and Lea Sports PSG will have taken place three days earlier on Wednesday 25th April under United’s Crawley Road floodlights.
The two Quarter-final ties taking place come at the Flitwick Football Centre where Flitwick Town Reserves will fancy their chances of seeing off the visiting Clifton and at the Sandy Academy the same comment applies when hosts Mid Beds Tigers are called upon by Shefford Town & Campton A.
League action in division three is thus down to three games. At Crawley Road, second place Cranfield United Reserves will be defending their seasons unbeaten home record against second from bottom of the table Caldecote A who will be looking for their first away league win of the season and at Bedford Road Recreation Ground, ninth place Sandy Reserves seek out their fourth home win of the season when called upon by eleventh place Westoning U20 losers of their last four away league outings.
The final action comes in Hillgrounds, the venue at which eighth place White Eagles meet seventh place Dinamo Flitwick for the second weekend running seeking revenge for their 4-0 defeat last weekend.
Action will then move onto the evening of Wednesday 1st April when there is just a programme of three games, all of which could have a significant bearing on the outcome of league titles come the end of April. In the Premier Division supported by Sportsform Division, league leaders and champions elect Renhold United travel for a outing at Hillgrounds against AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College. Whilst in Division One supported by Wests Citroen Bedford, title favouities Cranfield United at their Crawley Road base play hosts to Great Barford just four days after their Centenary Cup clash at Fisher Close.
Whilst the third game could well in a months time have been the contest to have settled the identification of this seasons Division Two when at Ampthill Town FC, Stevington go head to head with FC Houghton. The clubs meeting for the second time in four days following their clash in the Jubilee Cup at the weekend.
All these games kick off at 7.30pm.