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Sunday 26th August 2012
Its the big kick off next weekend.
The Bedfordshire County Football League kicks off its 2012-13 season this coming weekend with a series of 30 games. In the top flight Premier Division supported by Sportsform section reigning champions Shefford Town & Campton will commence their season at Rectory Road against newly promoted Lidlington United Sports who will be making their first appearance in the top section since the 1952-53 season some 60 years ago, when they were then simply Lidlington FC.
It is also trips on the road for two of the other three newly promoted clubs, Ickwell & Old Warden making the short trip to The Carlsberg Stadium to take on the newly formed AFC Biggleswade and Marston Shelton Rovers heading for a meeting with Oakley Sports M&DH, the visitors playing top flight football for the first time since season 1998-99 when they were simply Marston FC. For the fourth promoted club Bedford Sports Athletic its a wait of another seven days before their campaign gets under way on the road at Arlesey Town Reserves.
Talking of Arlesey Town Reserves, their season does commence this weekend with a visit to Moggerhanger Playing Fields to face Blunham. Whilst just down the road at Harvey Close, Caldecote start their quest for a record breaking ninth league title with a visit from AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College.
Other action in the top flight coming at Miller Road where Bedford Hatters host Wilshamstead and at Steppingley Road being the venue for Flitwick Town's home clash with Sharnbrook.
In Division One its a programme of just five games but they do include the welcome back to the Bedfordshire County Football League of Leighton United and Shillington. United after an absence of just one season playing hosts to Kings AFC at Stanbridge Road, whilst Shillington head to Bedford Road Recreation Ground to take on Sandy. The new club of Shillington unconnected to Shillington Saturday who left the league at the end of season 2009-10.
Another name change in Division One this season are Brickhill Tigers ( last seasons FC Meppershall ) who open their campaign by entertaining Henlow in Mowsbury Park. Whilst newly promoted Pavenham commence their campaign by hosting fellow newly promoted Shefford Town & Campton Reserves at their new home of Pavenham Playing Fields.
The fifth and final action of the division coming at Harvey Close where Caldecote Reserves take on Luton Boys.
In Division Two there are six games to enjoy, at Greenfield Road its an opening day clash between relegated clubs Westoning the hosts and their visitors Meltis Albion. Whilst having dropped two divisions from the top flight and renamed themselves from plain Woburn to Woburn Athletic, their journey back up the ladder starts with a visit to The Luton Regional Sports Centre to be hosted by Stopsley Park.
Another club to enjoy their first taste of division two football are newly promoted Goldington who host Potton United Reserves in Mowsbury Park, whilst Cranfield United Reserves who lifted the division three title last term commence with a Crawley Road home game against Queens Park Crescents.
Third promotion club of course being Eastcotts AFC who are in away action against Marabese Ceramics who with their new home of Ickleford Recreation Ground not available this weekend the game is being switched to a yet be agreed venue, details when known will be posted to website www.bedfordshirefootballleague.co.uk
The sixth encounter coming in Stockwood Park between hosts Sundon Park Rangers and league newcomers Oakley Sports M&DH Reserves following the merge close season of Oakley Sports with M&DH Oakley.
In Division Three its a programme of five games and for two of the three promoted clubs life in the higher section begins at home. Last seasons division four champions Bedford Park Rangers entertaining Stevington in Mowsbury Park and runners-up Marsh Leys playing hosts to Royal Oak Kempston at Cutler Hammer. The third promoted team Ickwell & Old Warden Reserves sitting the afternoon out.
With their Mill Lane ground not available this weekend Potton Town will be at Everton Playing Fields for home action against Riseley Sports and at Whiston Crescent, Clifton play hosts to newly relegated Great Barford. Whilst the fifth game comes at Jubilee Playing Fields between hosts Wilshamstead Reserves and their visitors Kempston Hammers Sports.
With Goldington Hammers having in recent days withdrawn from the league and Caldecote A granted permisson to delay the start of their season 14 days, Division Four action is down to just five games.
At Horseshoes Close, newly relegated Dunton Reserves are in local derby action against the visiting Sandy Reserves. Whilst at Hillgrounds the newly named Kempston Con Club Sports ( formerly Stewartby Village ) take on Wootton Village. Meantime, over at The Hockey Centre, Clifton Reserves are the visitors to face hosts Bedford Panthers. With league newcomers Elstow Abbey Reserves journey to Hinksley Road to take on Dinamo Flitwick and fellow newcomers Marston Shelton Rovers Reserves host Flitwick Town Reserves at their Playing Field headquarters.