4 January 2023
The Magic of the Cup
The first weekend of January is traditionally FA Cup 3rd Round week. 2023 is no different, and over the next few days a number of minnows will be pitting themselves against the apparently mighty with the aim of claiming the odd scalp or two. Footballing romantics subsequently watch on, looking out for the next Ronny Radford, Nigel Jemson or Tim Buzaglo.
In that spirit, the West London Vets’ League (WLVFL) also launches itself into cup action this coming weekend. 16 sides remain in the League Cup and all eight ties are scheduled to be playing this coming Saturday (7 January).
Banana skins aplenty
Ascot United’s Vets’ 2nd XI departed the competition before Christmas, but the 1st XI are very much still in there fighting. Dave Good’s charges travel to first division (i.e. second tier) Civil Service looking to ease their way into the quarter-finals. The hosts, however, have won their last three and will be looking to build on their decent pre-Christmas form. If shocks are what you’re after, then this game’s a definite possibility.
The real favourite for ‘shock of the round’ looks like it’s the game over at Brunel University between third division Hersham Southside and top flight Polytechnic. Indeed, you sense that the ‘Match of the Day’ cameras would be all over this one. The fact that the sides play their league football in very different places could nonetheless be deceiving; Poly are currently winless and bottom of the premier league whereas Hersham have won every game bar one (and they drew that one) and are on the verge of running away with the fourth tier. Definitely a game to keep an eye on.
Interesting ties all round
Elsewhere, top flight Sporting Kitz host MMB (Division Two) whilst West Kensington Kings (Division One) will be locking horns with league champions, Chelsea Veterans. On paper, both Kitz and Chelsea are hot favourites, but the cup moves in mysterious ways. WKK in particular have had an impressive 18 months in the WLVFL and it’ll be interesting to see how they fare against the best of the best. MMB, meanwhile, haven’t yet managed a league win in 2022-23 … a victory against Kitz would definitely be one to put in the ‘epic’ category.
Elsewhere, Whippett Wanderers (2nd in Division One) go toe-to-toe with Old Tenisonians (Division Two). The Wanderers have been in decent form of late and they’ll be quietly confident that they can book themselves a spot in the last eight. West London Rams and Nottsborough provide the only all-prem tie of the round. On paper, the Rams look strong favourites there.
The final two games see four of the league’s longest serving teams come together; Claygate Royals Hares (four points clear at the top of Division One) play Army Crusaders (Division Two) and high-flying Hillingdon Abbots (six points clear at the peak of Division Two) host Wandsworth Borough(Division One). Interesting ties one and all.
Go well everyone.