Junior football action this weekend centres around the ties in the opening round of this seasons various league cups.
For Premier Division supported by Sportsform clubs that means The Britannia Cup, the tie of the round perhaps coming at Rectory Road where last seasons beaten finalists Shefford Town & Campton receive a visit from the seven time winners and current league leaders Caldecote - who having won their last six away league outings will perhaps start the day favourites to progress into the last eight draw.
For current holders Oakley Sports M&DH, the defence of their cup sees them in home action against Arlesey Town Reserves. Having netted a 4-1 home win over them in league action just five weeks ago which signalled a down turn in the form of The Town, it will be The Sportsmen who will start the day the favourites to progress.
Just three of the other 11 participating clubs have their names already engraved on the famous old trophy and two of those go head to head at Jubilee Playing Fields. The venue at which 1991-92 season winners Wilshamstead host 1970-71 season winners Lidlington United Sports. The visitors have yet to record a win on the road this season in league action but will take heart from their 5-1 home league win over their hosts back in early November.
The third club with their name already engraved on the cup are 1973-74 season winners Ickwell & Old Warden, for them its a trip to Marston Playing Fields to be hosted by Marston Shelton Rovers. With the visitors having been beaten just the once on the road this season and The Rovers just twice at home by Arlesey Town Reserves and Caldecote this is a tie that could go either way.
Over at Hillgrounds, AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College host Bedford Hatters.Having removed The Hatters from The Bedfordshire Senior Trophy and drawn away against them in the league you would expect the Town to prevail. But hang on, The Town are now without a win since that Trophy defeat in early November whilst The Hatters are unbeaten in their last four outings to suggest its no forgone conclusion.
The league season begun for Flitwick Town with a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Sharnbrook who are the visitors to face them at Steppingley Road. Town are currently enjoying a rich vein of form as against Sharnbrook who have lost their last three away outings to suggest revenge could well be on the cards.
The final game comes at Renhold Playing Fields, the venue at which hosts Renhold United will start firm favourites against the visiting yet to win this season Bedford Sports Athletic.
For Division One sides that means Centenary Cup action. This weekend sees just four ties and for 2009-10 season winners Leighton United that’s a trip on the road to Chaul End Lane to face hosts Luton Boys. United still with a perfect 100% away league record expected to prevail over their hosts despite them having only lost twice on home soil this season.
Over at Hillgrounds, AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College Reserves have failed to win in league action this season thus visitors Shefford Town & Campton Reserves despite only winning once on the road this season in league action will travel to start the day favourites. A comment that certainly also applies to Shillington when they journey to King George VI Playing Fields to take on Kings AFC. The Shills with a perfect away league record facing a home side that has lost four of its five home league starts this season.
The fourth and final tie perhaps being the tie of the round when at their Playing Field headquarters Pavenham host Elstow Abbey who make the journey seeking revenge for a 3-0 home league defeat at The Warren back in late September.
Aside from the cup action there is one league game taking place when in Mowsbury Park, Brickhill Tigers search out home win number four on the bounce when visited by Sandy.
The cup action for Division Two sides takes place in The Jubilee Cup. Just one of this current sections sides have lifted the cup in the past, being the 2010-11 season winners Westoning who hit the road for The Hollow to face Potton United Reserves. Having not won on the road this season and United having shared the spoils in a 4-4 league draw at Greenfield Road in mid-November you would expect the hosts to prevail.
Over at Crawley Road, Cranfield United Reserves are still unbeaten at home in league action this season and this includes a 1-0 win just a fortnight ago over their visitors Stopsley Park to give them the edge in what might be another close affair.Whilst Eastcotts AFC journey to Leagrave Park looking to repeat their 1-0 league win over hosts St Joseph Reserves at the same venue in late October in another game that could go either way.
Just down the road in Stockwood Park, Sundon Park Rangers host Marabese Ceramics seeking revenge for last weekends home league defeat.Whilst at the other Crawley Road, Woburn Athletic entertain the visiting Queens Park Crescents having netted a 4-0 away league win over them in early October to start the day full of confidence of progressing into the last eight.
Away from the cup there is just one Division Two league game taking place, that comes in Mowsbury Park where league leaders Goldington will be fully expected to stretch their lead at the top of the standings when they are called upon by Meltis Albion.
For the Division Three and Four sides the action comes in the shape of The Watson Shield. Of the nine ties the draw has given us five Division Four v Division Three clashes to set up a spot of potential giant killing with four of those ties giving the lower division side the home advantage.Of those ties perhaps the best chance of an upset comes at Bedford Road Recreation Ground where the visitors to face Sandy Reserves are a Bedford Park Rangers side that has failed to win any of its last 11 outings.
Or perhaps in Hillgrounds where the now bang in form Kempston Athletic take on 2006-07 season winners Clifton. As you would expect still unbeaten on the road Marsh Leys to have too much in the locker for Clifton Reserves at Whiston Crescent and Kempston Hammers Sports to prevail over the first ever Shield winners in season 2002-03 Dunton Reserves at Horseshoes Close.
However, hitting the road are Bedford Panthers who are still 100% away from home in division four league action and could well cause an upset at Mill Lane against hosts Potton Town.
That leaves just two all Division three clashes and two all Division four clashes to find out the last 16 sides left standing. In those all division three ties. On The Green Ickwell & Old Warden will have to revenge a late October 6-1 league defeat if they are to overcome their visitors Renhold United Reserves. Whilst you would favour Riseley Sports fine away form to see them home when they make the short journey to take on Stevington at their Playing Fields headquarters.
In the two all division four encounters, at The Warren, still 100% at home Elstow Abbey Reserves will be firm favouties to overcome a Dinamo Flitwick side they have already beaten twice in the league but at Harvey Close, hosts Caldecote A will need to produce their first home win of the season if they are to overcome the visiting Flitwick Town Reserves.