UPTON AA welcome Marshalls to the Cheshire County Sports Club in the first round of the Pyke Cup in what promises to be an entertaining encounter.

Both Upton (22) and Marshalls (29) are among the top scoring sides in Division One of the West Cheshire League, although the latter have the second worst defence in the division having already shipped 35 goals.

The two teams are currently separated by just one place and two points in the league, but Upton boss Todd Reid says all statistics go out of the window when it comes to the cup.

He said: “It’ll be a very tough game. Marshalls have improved massively since appointing a new manager.

“Most of the goals they’ve conceded in the league came early in the season, but they’ve been in much better form recently pulling off some great results against Newton and Redgate.

“So, none of the numbers matter because the game has to be won on the day, and we can’t afford to take it lightly.

“We might have to make one or two changes with some players being unavailable, but we will be playing a strong team which I hope will be good enough to get us through.

“The Pyke Cup is something we want to win because as well as winning the league, the competition also finds the best team in our division.”

Meanwhile, Chester Nomads and Ashville were both handed first round byes to confirm their places in the quarter finals of this year’s Pyke Cup competition.

The bye leaves the Nomads free to travel to face the West Cheshire League Division One leaders, South Liverpool, in a mouth-watering league clash.

A win against the current table toppers would take the fourth placed Nomads to the summit, but a defeat would leave the side five points adrift having played a game more.

Six other sides are also competing for last eight spots in the Pyke Cup this weekend. Maghull host Newton (Wirral), Rainhill Town travel to Mossley Hill Athletic, and Neston Nomads visit Redgate Rovers.

Two more first round games will take place next weekend too when Ellesmere Port Town welcome Capenhurst Villa, while Vauxhall Motors Reserves go to South Liverpool.

Meanwhile, in the Division Three Shield, Chester Nomads Reserves will have to overcome their unbeaten league leaders FC Bootle St Edmunds for a place in the quarter finals.

The team travel to Bootle having won just two of their 13 league fixtures so far this season, which is in stark contrast to FC Bootle’s ten wins and two draws from 12.

Chester Nomads Reserves, though, go into the cup clash in good spirits having most recently earned themselves a morale boosting 3-1 victory over Neston Nomads.

Poulton Vics and Helsby are already through to the quarter finals thanks to last week’s 4-3 and 4-0 victories over Bootle Reserves and Ellesmere Port Town Reserves respectively.

Other first round fixtures in the Division Three Shield: Heswall Reserves vs West Kirby Reserves; Pensby FC vs Capenhurst Villa Reserves; Rainford United vs Marshalls Reserves; Marine FC Reserves vs Aintree Villa Reserves; Neston Nomads Reserves vs Willaston FC.