Newbury in top of the table clash, Hungerford Town have chance of FA Cup upset

Newbury FC. Photo: Andrew Batt.
Newbury FC. Photo: Andrew Batt.

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The beginning of the season saw Newbury FC on the lips of a lot of people in the region, and with good reason, with two wins from two in the league, Ben Wickens side look to be on course for a promotion battle into the Thames Valley Premier League, the feeder into the land of Step 6 football for our Berkshire sides.

Newbury however face arguably their toughest test yet as they welcome Reading YMCA Rapids to Henwick in an early top of the table clash, pitting the home side who currently sit second against top of the table after both winning their opening two fixtures. Goals look to be in order for this fixture with Reading YMCA Rapids scoring nine in their last two fixtures, defeating Hambleden 6-0 & more recently taking a scalp at Barlows park, coming from being to beat Tadley-Calleva Reserves 2-3. Newbury have seen five goals in both of their opening fixtures, coming up trumps each time by the scorline 3-2.

Hungerford Town will welcome a break in Southern Premier League action as they look to find some form when they make the short journey down to Chippenham Town in the Second Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Danny Robinson. Photo: Jeff Youd.
Danny Robinson. Photo: Jeff Youd.

Danny Robinson’s side come into the fixture off the back of a score draw at Bullpit Lane against a struggling Dorchester Town in a fixture that would have looked favourable for The Crusaders on paper.

Hungerford’s hosts sit comfortably in the Vanarama National League South and will expect to dispatch of the West Berkshire side, but this is the FA Cup and a win for Robinson’s team could really kick start a change in fortune as they look to return to Step 2 next season.

The 5-1 scoreline inflicted on Tadley-Calleva during their FA Cup first qualifying round tie away at Didcot Town is undeserving as the Combined Counties Premier South side pushed their Step 3 hosts all the way and probably should have levelled the game given the chances and the possession they had.

Tadley’s league form however has been brilliant of late, winning three out of their four fixtures, keeping two clean sheets in the last two and creating a buzz around the town. Barlows Park plays host to Tooting & Mitcham in a fixture where Tadley, who may not be expected to pick up maximum points, will hope their visitors hit another spell of inconsistency.

Tooting & Mitcham, one of the favourites for the league alongside Redhill & Farnham have been inconsistent with results but dispatched Guildford City comfortably last time out.

Elsewhere in the region, AFC Aldermaston will be hoping to bounce back from midweek defeat when they travel to play-off hopefuls Totton & Eling in the Wessex League Division One.

Action from Sandhurst Town against AFC Aldermaston in 2016/17. Photo: Simon Bryce.
Action from Sandhurst Town against AFC Aldermaston in 2016/17. Photo: Simon Bryce.

Kintbury Rangers are in a very rich vein of form and will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the Wiltshere Senior League table when they welcome Calne Town Reserves. The Gers have bolstered their defence by bringing in experienced centre half Gareth Thomas on a dual-registration with Reading City.

As you may have heard on Episode S3 Ep86 of Berkshire Football Stories, Football in Berkshire are proudly displayed on the shirts of North Berks division one side Frilsham & Yattendon who currently sit top of their division after two wins in their first two fixtures.

The North Berkshire side travel to Sutton Courtnay in the Berks & Bucks Saturday Junior Cup looking to add a cup run to their impressive start.

At the foot of the same table lie Burghclere FC who have had a tough start to the season but the return of defender Jack Stockwell from university will bolster their squad as they welcome Lambourn Sports Reserves to Harts Lane, looking to earn their first points of the season.

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