Focus on the FA Cup with Dog & Duck double-header

Wellingborough Town boss Ben Watts
Wellingborough Town boss Ben Watts

The focus falls on the FA Cup this weekend and there is a double-header of action in store at the Dog & Duck.

First up, AFC Rushden & Diamonds take on Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division side Oxhey Jets tonight (Friday, 8pm) before Wellingborough Town entertain Bedfont & Feltham tomorrow afternoon.

Andy Peaks’ Diamonds got their ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division campaign up and running with a 2-1 success at Harborough Town on Tuesday night.

And, after they reached the third qualifying round of the FA Cup last season, the Diamonds boss is keen for another good run.

“We are hoping a few will turn out for the game,” he said.

“It’s a bit different having it on the Friday night but hopefully that will attract a bit more interest.

“It was important for us to get a win under our belts in the first league game and now we can focus on Oxhey Jets.

“We have had a look at them and we know a fair bit about their league from our experiences last season.

“But we had a great run in the FA Cup last year and we want to try to repeat that if we can.”

It’s been a difficult start to the UCL Premier Division campaign for Wellingborough after an opening-day defeat at Harrowby United was followed by a 3-1 home loss to Cogenhoe United on Tuesday night.

Doughboys boss Ben Watts was particularly disappointed with his team’s display at the weekend but happier with their response in midweek.

And, as they prepare to host Bedfont & Feltham tomorrow, the manager has admitted there is a desire to do well in the FA Cup this season.

“It’s something we have targeted,” Watts said.

“We have done a bit of homework on Bedfont and they have won two out of two so far so it will be a tough game.

“I know our boys will be up for the game. It’s important for the club that we give it everything we have in the FA Cup because there are financial rewards at the end of it.

Desborough Town make something of a trip into the unknown when they head to Midland League Premier Division side Boldmere St Michaels in the extra preliminary round this weekend.

But Ar Tarn boss Ian Walker believes his team will be full of confidence after a highly encouraging start to the new ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division campaign.

Ar Tarn pushed title favourites Holbeach United all the way last weekend before conceding a late goal to slip to a 2-1 defeat.

But Walker’s men hit back in emphatic style on Tuesday when another away game saw his team claim a fine 4-0 success at Long Buckby thanks to goals from Luke Cummins (2), Michael Byrne and Will Arnold.

Now they are ready to turn their attention to the FA Cup, although Walker admits he doesn’t know a great deal about the opposition.

“That’s the way it tends to be in these early rounds of the FA Cup,” the Desborough manager said.

“It’s always a big day for the club when this comes around and we know what is at stake.

“We don’t know a great deal about Boldmere but what we do understand is that they will be a strong side and that it will be a tough game for us.

“The good news is that we are going into it off the back of a good performance.”