Bedfordshire League preview: February 13

Ickwell v Sharnbrook PNL-161002-103112002
Ickwell v Sharnbrook PNL-161002-103112002

The main spotlight for Premier Division supported by Sportsform clubs this weekend falls upon the quarter-final ties in the Britannia Cup.

For Caldecote at Harvey Close it’s the chance to extract a spot of revenge on the visiting Ampthill Town Reserves who have already completed a league double over them this season.

Whilst talking of revenge, AFC Oakley M&DH travel to Weston Park to face Marston Shelton Rovers who handed them their only league away defeat so far this season just 28 days ago.

Elsewhere over at Lodge Road the ever improving hosts Sharnbrook will take heed from the fact that in their league account with the visiting Shefford Town & Campton back in late October they beat them 5-3 and since that day the Town have only managed to win just the twice on the road.

Whilst the fourth tie brings about local derby action at the Football Centre where Flitwick Town, having lost just the once on home soil this season, will perhaps start the favourites to overcome near neighbours Cranfield United despite United arriving at the Centre now winners of their last three away league outings.

With these ties taking place the Premier Division supported by Sportsform league action is down to a programme of just two games.

For bottom of the table Elstow Abbey that means a chance to gain their first away point when they hit the road to the Green to play 11th place Ickwell & Old Warden who have won just the three times on home soil this season.

Whilst at their Playing Field base 12th place Pavenham face no easy task to make it three home wins on the bounce as their visitors are fourth place Wilstead whose last six away outings have seen them remain unbeaten.

Likewise for Division One supported by Wests Citroen Bedford sides the main spotlight falls upon the ties in this season’s Centenary Cup.

Due to the recent wet weather and County Cup commitments that means it’s only first round action for the hosting Ickleford at their new home of Stotfold Recreation Ground against AFC Oakley M&DH Reserves for the right to travel to Westoning at the Quarter-final stage.

Whilst in the scheduled three quarter-final ties, for Houghton Athletic who caused the shock of round one when knocking out Stevington it’s home action at Moore Crescent against Shefford Town & Campton Reserves. Their league encounter at the same venue earlier in the season ended 0-0 and on recent league form another close encounter looks to be on the cards. Elsewhere over at Miller Road for the cup holders Meltis Albion its a chance to gain revenge for their 4-1 league defeat at the same venue on the opening weekend of 2016 when revisited by Queens Park Crescents.

Whilst down at Stockwood Park Athletic Track Sundon Park Rangers will be expected to place their name in the hat for the last four draw at the expense of the visiting Henlow.

Meantime Division One supported by Wests Citroen league action is down to just two games.

For second place Stevington, who still remain unbeaten on home soil at their Playing Field headquarters this season, it’s local derby action against tenth place Riseley Sports who have won just the once on the road this season to date.

Whilst at Mill Lane for seventh place Poton Town it will be the task of trying to stretch their unbeaten home ways up to five games when called upon by sixth place AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College Reserves.

For Division Two League cup action it’s the Jubilee Cup in which just two of the four quarter-final ties are taking place this weekend.

At Cutler Hammer it’s a tie between the two clubs who share this venue for league action, namely Kempston Hammers Sports who will be the ‘host’ and Kempston Athletic who will be the visitors.

Whilst at the Football Centre it’s a second clash inside seven days for the hosting Flitwick Town Reserves and the visiting Lea Sports PSG. Their league account ended 7-3 in favour of the Town to make them the firm favourites to advance into the last four.

These ties leave us with just three division two league fixtures.

At Grange Lane for second place Cople and Bedford SA who still remain unbeaten on home soil this season it’s a visit from eighth place Bedford United whose last five away outings have all ended in defeat.

Whilst fourth place Atletico Europa with just two away wins to their name this season head towards Wootton Playing Fields where the hosting ninth place Wootton Village have won just the once from eight attempts to date this season.

The final action comes at Marston Playing Fields where bottom of the table Marston Shelton Rovers Reserves, who are currently on a four game losing home run and eight games without a win, play hosts to sixth place Clapham Sports who will hit the road for their first away fixture of 2016 looking for their sixth league win on the bounce to keep them in the promotion mix.

For the two lower divisions the cup action comes in the shape of the Watson Shield which is also contested by four Bedfordshire Saturday Youth League sides, three clubs under their own name and the fourth under the BSYL representative banner.

Overall there are 10 first round ties to be played of which seven are taking place this weekend for the winners to make their passage into the last 16 where six sides having already received byes await them in the second round draw bag.

Of those four BSYL sides just three will be action this weekend. Sacred Heart Offley, being one of afore-mentioned sides granted byes, alongside Shefford Town & Campton A, Stevington Reserves, Bedford Albion, Lidlington United Sports and White Eagles.

However, of the BSYL sides just one, Linslade Galaxy, will enjoy home advantage when they play hosts to Sundon Park Rangers. The other two have to hit the road, Ampthill Town heading for a Whiston Crescent outing against Clifton and the BSYL Rep side en route in the same direction to Groveside to face Henlow Reserves.

Of the other ties taking place you would perhaps fancy runaway division four league leaders Mid Beds Tigers to have a better chance of securing a win at Renhold Playing Fields over division three Renhold United Reserves than that of fellow division four outfit Polonia Bedford who head for a 3G outing against division three league leaders Wixams.

Elsewhere a third division four side in with a chance of a spot of giant killing will be AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College A when they welcome to Hillgrounds for a meeting on the 3G surface division three Wilstead Reserves.

Whilst the final tie sees an all division three clash at Harvey Close where hosts Caldecote Reserves welcome AFC Dunton. When these sides met in league action back in mid-November at Horseshoes Close it was Dunton who won 5-1 but since that day Caldecote Reserves have enjoyed seven league wins on the bounce to suggest the outcome might be a little different this time around.

The lone division four league game of the day coming at Hurst Grove where bottom of the table Lidlington United Sports look for their first point when they play hosts to eighth place Flitwick Town A who have won just the once on the road all season at Henlow Reserves back in mid-October.