FA Cup could provide a host of first-round upsets
Focus switches to FA Cup action, as lower-league opposition aim to cause upsets across eight first-round matches scheduled over three days, starting tonight.
BAA, hoping to be in the Premier Division next season, will be aiming for a shock when they take on Devonshire Cougars at the Rec (8pm), as Andrew Bascome goes up against his former team.
Bascome had some success as coach of Cougars, guiding them to maiden Premier Division and Friendship Trophy titles in his first full season as coach in 2004-05.
The former player is one of the leading coaches in the local game and will certainly have an upset in mind, when Cougars welcome him and his young BAA team to the Den, for what will be an intriguing tie.
BAA, second in the First Division, have not lost in the league since December 5 when Young Men’s Social Club defeated them 4-1.
Their last loss was in the Shield last Wednesday, when Hamilton Parish edged them 2-1 in the lone match ahead of the quarter-final round of matches which, the BFA announced yesterday, will be played on February 23, March 2, 9 and 15, along with Friendship matches.
With five of the eight FA Cup matches involving Premier Division sides against First Division opposition, there is a chance of an upset or two this weekend.
Parish, the First Division leaders, travel west to play Somerset Trojans tomorrow night.
Earlier in the day, Boulevard, third in the First Division, taking to the field at Southampton Oval against the Rangers in another match with upset potential.
Rangers are second from bottom in the Premier Division and facing the threat of relegation after a season in which they have won just one of their 13 matches so far.
Sunday’s five remaining fixtures will see Robin Hood, now comfortably in mid-table and with the threat of relegation behind them, taking on St David’s at Lord’s at noon.
Danté Leverock, the Hood player-coach, praised his team after their battling display against PHC in a make-up match two nights ago, which they lost 3-2.
“We’re got guys going into the under-20 national team so the future is bright for us,”
Leverock said of his youngsters, like goalkeeper Mataeo Holder, Cody Robinson, Malachi Henry, Ande Simons, Kwame Naylor and Daniel Cook who have been given chances this season after 13 players departed last summer.
“We played well against Dandy Town and well against PHC but we have to start picking up more points.
“We’re looking forward now, we want to get into the top six. That’s our goal.”
The other noon kick-off on Sunday, at Wellington Oval, will see Wolves of the First Division, going in search of an upset against Premier Division bottom side Somerset Eagles, who will be aiming to respond in a big way from their 12-0 thrashing at the hands of PHC last weekend.
St George’s meet North Village, whom they beat at home recently, in the second match of a double-header at Wellington, while PHC take on X-Roads at PHC Field (2.30pm), and Dandy Town face Devonshire Colts at Goose Gosling Field, also kicking off at 2.30pm.
Today: Dev Cougars v BAA (Dev Rec 8pm)
Saturday: Southampton Rangers v Boulevard (S Oval 2.30pm); Somerset v Hamilton Parish (Somerset 8pm)
Sunday: St David’s v Robin Hood (Lord’s 12.00); Wolves v Somerset Eagles (Wellington Oval 12.00); St George’s v North Village (Wellington Oval 2.30pm); PHC v X-Roads (PHC Field 2.30pm); Dandy Town v Dev Colts (Goose Gosling Field 2.30pm).