ERIC HUGHES MEMORIAL KO CUP PREVIEW: Quarter-final spots up for grabs

SIX SIDES from the Premier Division have made it through to the second round of this season's Presstoprint-sponsored Eric Hughes Memorial Knockout Cup and two of those teams have been paired together in one of the ties of the round.

AFC Melksham, who claimed their first win of the season last weekend, have home advantage over The Castle FC, who have already beaten Mike Rogers' side 3-0 this term.

What promises to be a thrilling cup clash should be easy to call as Castle have been in great form, but having not played for three weeks, Tom Perkins' side may struggle at Christie Miller.

Another eye-catching tie sees first division Goatacre CC FC host cup holders Biddestone Social, who only booked their second round spot last weekend with a hard fought win over Staverton.

Goatacre have had it easy so far, with a 6-0 victory over White Horse B and 4-3 preliminary round win over Talbot setting up this weekend's fixture with Biddestone, who have yet to hit top form this term.

That said, Ashley Smith’s side should have few problems in booking their spot in the final eight of then competition.

Steeple Ashton Rangers' only success to date has come in the Knock Out Cup; their 5-3 victory over Miller Sports B has paired the villagers with third division Pig & Whistle United.

Top flight Ashton won’t be looking forward to their short trip to Awdry Avenue as last week's visit to Melksham ended in a 10-1 loss at the hands of AFC Melksham.

In what should be a David verses Goliath battle, First Division leaders Prestige Bodyworks, who have already accounted for stable-mates Corsham Wildcats and third division leaders Melksham Cosmos, should have few problems in disposing of Potterne CFC, for whom this will be their first game in the competition.

The formbook suggests another high-scoring win for Prestige, who should face little resistance from a Potterne side currently facing a fight to stay in Division Two.

Another the tie of the round looks set to be the one between first division Somerford FC and second division FC Buscots.

Buscots suffered Wiltshire Sunday Cup heartache a fortnight ago whilst Somerford, who are already in the quarter-finals of the WG Parr Trophy, will be looking to do to Buscots what they did to Bremhill View Boys and the Wren.

Buscots will be a much tougher opposition than the other two sides but Spike Chandler’s men ought to keep their challenge for silverware alive.

Second division Sutton Benger may have home advantage for their second round clash with Bradford Renegades but they will be massive underdogs against their top flight opponents, who reach the last four of the competition last term.

Although the Renegades have a new manager in Dan Mercer, they have a good chance of going one step further this term.

Westbury Rangers will hope that their pitch at Meadow Lane will be passed fit so that they can host first division Bromham (Sunday), in a match that should see Shaun Gardiner’s side advance into the last eight.

Rangers, who have been beaten finalists three times in the last nine seasons, have never lifted the cup in their 40 year history.

This could be their season as long as they can get past a Bromham side who will give it their best shot of causing an upset. 


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