Chippenham Town v Slough Town, F.A. Cup 3rd Round Qualifying, Hardenhuish Park, Chippenham, Wilts. Saturday 5th Oct: K.O. 15h00
It is back to cup action this weekend. The winners proceeding to the 4th and final qualifying round of this season's competition, together with the other 39 match winners and the 24 National League (level 5) teams that will join the contest at this stage.
Rebels travel to the west country to play fellow National League South opponents Chippenham Town, the Bluebirds.
In the last round Slough Town had a comfortable win 0 - 3, away to Flackwell Heath (level 9); whereas Chippenham Town had a more difficult encounter against Cirencester Town (Level 8); drawing the opening tie 2 - 2, away; before winning the home replay 4 - 3 after extra time.
Their winning goal being netted in the 115th minute of play by Nat Jarvis, their Antigua and Barbuda international player who will be travelling to the Caribbean after this cup tie to represent his nation in their home and away matches against Guyana.
Slough Town have performed well in the last two F.A. Cup seasons, having reached the 2nd Round Proper on both occasions before losing at home against Football League Division One (level 3) opposition: 0 - 4 (Rochdale, season 2017/18) and 0 - 1 (Gillingham, season 2018/19).
The Bluebirds have not fared so well. Last season (2018/19) they reached the 4th Round Qualifying, losing 0 - 2 (H) against Maidstone United, having beaten Uxbridge, Bradford Town and Frome Town in the earlier rounds. In season 2017/18 they were knocked out by Billericay Town 3 - 2 (A) in the 3rd Qualifying Round, having beaten Poole Town and Moneyfields in the earlier rounds.
This season Chippenham are currently in 15th position in the league table with 14 points: P12 Home W3 D2 L1: Away W0 D3 L3 GF13 GA13. At home their results (attendances) are; D 1 - 1 Oxford City (582); W 2 - 0 Billericay Town (583); W 1 - 0 Weymouth (759); L 1 - 2 Braintree Town (468); W 2 - 1 Tonbridge Angels (578); D 2 - 2 Dulwich Hamlet (628). Average attendance 600.
Current Form Guide: (last match on right)
Chippenham Town: L L L W D D
Slough Town: W D W W W W
Last season Slough Town narrowly lost at Hardenhuish Park 1 - 0 (attendance 593); previously they met in Wiltshire during Bluebirds Southern Premier championship winning season (2016/17) when the match ended in a high scoring 3 - 3 draw (Rebels goal scorers being Guy Hollis, 50m; Simon Dunn, 73m; Charlie Moone, 89m).
Prediction: Theoretically, Rebels must start as favourites, but this is the F.A. Cup. I expect Slough Town to progress, but after a replay. Chippenham Town 1 - 1 Slough Town