Saturday 19th August 2017
Leighton Town v Tuffley Rovers
FA Cup Preliminary Round
FA Cup fever will be in the air as Leighton Town entertain Tuffley Rovers on Saturday for the first game of the new season at Bell Close, after major refurbishment work on the Bedfordshire ground during the summer.
These sides have never met in the competition before, and both clubs saw off opposition from their own divisions in the previous round, Leighton beating Oxhey Jets whilst Rovers beat Woodley United to set up this South Midlands Premier v Hellenic Premier clash. Step 5 clubs alike, the winners of this clash will pocket a huge £1,925 and progress to the first qualifying round which will be played the first week-end of September.
Former Hellenic League side Leighton Town have started their season with a win and a loss in their two league games to date, whilst Tuffley have a win, a draw and a defeat in their opening three.
Town’s best FA Cup campaign was in the 2007/08 season where they reached the fourth qualifying round, where Tuffley reached the second qualifying round in 1999/2000.
Leighton manager Scott Reynolds spoke to Sports Shots ahead of the game:
“I know a bit about our opposition following my brief spell as assistant manager at Ardley United and therefore am looking forward to a tough encounter with a strong and experienced side. After a positive start to the season, we suffered a slight setback midweek but I felt we created enough good chances to win the game, and should have made better decisions defensively in the second half. That said, I have massive trust and confidence in our current squad and therefore this is our chance to get back on the horse and back to winning ways. A lot at stake financially in the FA Cup and the most prestigious competition we will ever take part in, so a massive game all round. Squad wise we are fairly strong. Both Bradley Kirkwood and Hateley Mercer picked up injuries on Tuesday. Tom Wyant, a goal keeper, comes back in from Kempston on loan & Carl Tappin returns to the squad”.
For Tuffley’s perspective on the game click here: http://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/tuffley-rovers-make-fa-cup-345235
Bell Close, Leighton Buzzard