Daventry Town to kick-off their season with the FA Cup
Daventry Town's 2022/23 season will start a week earlier than expected with a home tie against upwardly mobile Worcester Raiders in the extra preliminary round of the Emirates FA Cup.
The tie will be played at the Elderstubbs on Saturday, August 6 – a week before the new Northern Premier League Midlands campaign is due to get under way.
Fellow Worcestershire rivals Malvern Town or a Worcester City outfit which has fallen on hard times are waiting in the wings should the Purple Army take advantage of a favourable home draw at the initial stage.
Daventry will be fancied to get past Raiders but a potential tie against City would represent a tough challenge after they claimed a 3-0 warm-up success over NPL Midlands title favourites Halesowen Town.
The Raiders themselves finished runners-up behind Studley in Division One of the Hellenic League last season but won a surprise promotion to Step 5 when Walton Casuals dropped out of the Southern League.
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Raiders share the well-appointed Sixways Stadium with Worcester's Premiership rugby club and would relish a local derby against big brothers Worcester City in the preliminary round on August 20.
Worcester City were 1-0 winners at the Elderstubbs in the opening FA Cup tie of 2017 but these days are a shadow of the club which once occupied a prominent place in Non-League football.
Meanwhile, the luck of the draw means that Daventry Town will be one of 13 NPL Midlands teams involved in the extra preliminary round rather than entering the competiton a fortnight later.
Local interest in the FA Cup will be further heightened by a mouth-watering clash between United Counties League Premier Division clubs Bugbrooke St Michaels and Long Buckby at Birds Close.
In the FA Trophy, Daventry will host fellow NPL club Lincoln United in a competition which, like the FA Cup itself, uses penalty shoot-outs rather than replays to determine early-round outcomes.
Daventry opened their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 defeat at Cogenhoe United last weekend with Dylan Wilson on target and Arron Parkinson’s team are due to head to Coventry Sphinx this Saturday for their next summer outing.