A plethora of clubs from Nottinghamshire make up that of the United Counties League, and, ahead of the fixtures being announced in mid-July, the Step Five and Step Six league have announced the opening round draws for their Knock-Out Cup, and Reserve Cup competitions.
Although no sides from the county are in the latter of the two, the former, the Knock-Out Cup, which begins with the Preliminary Round in early September, sees a heavy contingents from within the Notts county boundaries.
Of those entered into the competition, six will play in the leagues’ Premier Division North as AFC Mansfield travel to St. Andrews (Leicestershire), Eastwood make the trip to last seasons’ FA Vase winners, Newport Pagnell (Buckinghamshire), Division One North champions Kimberley Miners Welfare face a local derby with newly promoted Blidworth Welfare (D1N), the re-named, Newark & Sherwood United (D1N) also have a local affair when away to Clipstone (D1N), Selston are on the road at Saffron Dynamo (Leicestershire), and Sherwood Colliery welcome another side in Hucknall Town.
Of the remaining Division One North sides, from which there are eleven Notts clubs, Clifton All Whites are home to Bourne Town (Lincolnshire), Dunkirk are away to nearby Loughborough Students (Leicestershire), Gedling Miners Welfare host Easington Sports (Oxfordshire), Newark Town are away to Deeping Rangers (Peterborough), Radford are at Heanor Town (Derbyshire), and Rainworth Miners Welfare face a trip to Cogenhoe United (Northamptonshire), with Southwell City and West Bridgford, both receiving byes into the First Round.
As the Preliminary Round (Knock-Out Cup) takes place in September, the remaining rounds will see that of the First and Second played in October, the Quarter-Finals in February next year, the Semi-Finals in April, and the Final on 1 May 2023.
Full draw (Notts clubs, in CAPS, only) Newport Pagnell Town vs. EASTWOOD CFC; KIMBERLEY MINERS WELFARE vs. BLIDWORTH WELFARE; SHERWOOD COLLIERY vs. HUCKNALL TOWN; Loughborough Students vs. DUNKIRK FC; CLIFTON ALL WHITES vs. Bourne Town; Saffron Dynamo vs. SELSTON; Deeping Rangers vs. NEWARK TOWN; GEDLING MINERS WELFARE vs. Easington Sports; Cogenhoe United vs. RAINWORTH MINERS WELFARE; St. Andrews vs. AFC MANSFIELD; CLIPSTONE vs. NEWARK & SHERWOOD UNITED; Heanor Town vs. RADFORD
Byes – SOUTHWELL CITY, WEST BRIDGFORD
In both competitions (Knock-Out Cup, and Reserve Cup) matches will be played over ninety minutes; if the scores are level, matches will then go straight to penalties to determine the winners.
In addition to the cup draws, the UCL has also announced an opening weekend, ground-hopping weekend, focussed on Leicestershire, but, for the Notts clubs, several are traveling across the borders that weekend with Radford, Hucknall Town and Selston on the Saturday, and West Bridgford on the Sunday, the weekend being that of 29-31 July.
The full, groundhop fixtures, over that weekend (Notts clubs in CAPS) is as follows –
Fri 29 July – Lutterworth Town vs. Rothwell Corinthians (19:30)
Sat 30 July – Birstall United Social vs. Saffron Dynamo (11:00); Barrow Town vs. RADFORD (13:45); Holwell Sports vs. HUCKNALL TOWN (16:45); Melton Town vs. SELSTON (19:30)
(NB – Holwell Sports and Melton Town matches will be played at Melton Town, Melton Sports Village, Melton Mowbray)
Sun 31 July – Leicester Nirvana vs. Belper United (12:00); St. Andrews vs. WEST BRIDGFORD (15:00)
The hosts’ addresses for respective clubs are to be found on the UCL app HERE.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @southwellcityfc Southwell’s home ground at Brinkley is a newcomer venue to the UCL.