This week saw the BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup get underway for clubs in the Evo-Stik Southern League.
A number of Premier Division sides chose to blood youngsters in the competition, mirroring what many Premiership and Championship clubs do in the Carabao Cup.
This had a bearing on several `upsets` during the week.
Monday saw South West side Salisbury FC win the derby at the Avenue Stadium against Premier hosts Dorchester Town 2-1, thanks to goals from Stuart Green and then an 85th minute winner from Lewis Benson after David Jarrard had pulled the Magpies back on terms on the hour-mark.
South East side Cambridge City triumphed over Premier St Ives Town in the groundsharers derby at Westwood Road.
And it was tenants City who progressed in emphatic fashion, running out 6-2 winners.
Lewis Wilson netted after only 24 seconds and City were four-up at the break with Jordan Gent, Ross Paterson and Wilson again finding the net.
In the second half, St Ives got a goal back through Peter Clark, but Wilson restored City’s four-goal advantage with his third of the night.
Former City man Lee Chaffey pulled another back before Ryan Sharman thumped a header home late on to complete the rout.
Monday`s two other ties saw Premier side Slough Town win the derby at South East neighbours Beaconsfield Town`s Holloways Park on penalties after a 2-2 draw in normal time – Luke Neville equalising for the home side in stoppage time.
Slough won 5-3 in the shoot-out.
And an all-Premier tie saw Hitchin Town go through 4-2 at Top Field against Bishop`s Stortford, thanks to a hat-trick from Elliot Bailey.
There were plenty of ties on Tuesday night and lots of goals too.
Premier side Merthyr Town sent a youthful team to South West Shortwood United and suffered a 7-2 hammering in which Jacob Flower bagged a brace in a losing cause.
Will Hawes and Yeshaya Lomotey both also found the target twice for Shortwood.
Shortwood`s league rivals Didcot Town progressed to the second round after beating Premier side Banbury United 5-3 on penalties after the tie ended 2-2.
The Railwaymen went through 5-4 in the shoot-out.
Another South West winner were Barnstaple Town, who put their indifferent league form behind them to knock out Devonian Premier neighbours Tiverton Town 3-2 on penalties after a goalless draw at Mill Road.
South East side AFC Rushden & Diamonds had a penalty from skipper Liam Dolman 2 minutes after half-time to thank for their Hayden Road win over Premier outfit St Neots Town.
And it`s Diamonds` league rivals AFC Dunstable who will have local bragging rights for a while as they won the Creasey Park derby against Premier groundsharers Dunstable Town 3-1 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.
Premier side Redditch United were the round`s biggest winners, hammering South West strugglers Bishops Cleeve 9-1 at the Valley Stadium.
There were braces for Spencer Weir-Daley and Dior Angus and singles for Andi Thanoj, Orrin Pendley, Pauly Apostolopoulos, Guiyoulouwe Mailancol and Lewis Wright.
Redditch`s league rivals Basingstoke Town won the derby at South West neighbours Fleet Town`s Calthorpe Park 6-2 with Callum Bunting netting a hat-trick and Ben Wright a brace.
Kettering Town were 4-2 winners at the New Eyrie against old rivals Bedford Town, despite the Premier Division visitors having young keeper Justin Greatorex carried off with an injury.
The South East hosts` scored through new signing David Manu and Dean Drummett but Gary Stohrer, Liam Bateman, Rhys Hoenes and Samson Maagbe won it for the Poppies.
Marlow also hit four at home against South East rivals Aylesbury United – Junaid Bell bagging two of them – as did Premier side Kings Langley at South East newcomers Thame United – Gareth Price, Brendan Ocran, Mitch Weiss and Steve Ward the scorers.
AFC Totton also hit four at South West neighbours Winchester City in which Charlie Gunson struck a hat-trick, while Bristol Manor Farm maintained their good form since winning promotion by winning 3-1 at South West rivals Yate Town with Jordan Metters bagging a brace.
Well-travelled striker Matty Tubbs scored twice on his debut for Premier club Weymouth as they saw off South West side Wimborne Town 3-0 at the Bob Lucas Stadium, and the Terras` league rivals Frome Town won 2-1 at South West hosts Paulton Rovers, thanks to goals from Joe Raynes and Marcus Mapstone within 3 minutes of each other around the hour-mark.
Hayes & Yeading United saw off South East rivals Ashford Town (Middx) 3-0 at home, thanks to an Andrew Ofosu double, and bottom-markers Hanwell Town Tom Hunt and Callum Wright outgunned South East rivals Uxbridge`s Cory Watson.
Joe Tumelty scored twice as Larkhall Athletic won 2-1 at the Corinium Stadium against South West rivals Cirencester Town, and Nick Harrison did likewise for Cinderford Town as they edged out Slimbridge 3-2 in another all-South West tie.
Premier side Chesham United sealed a 3-0 win at The Meadow against South East outfit Aylesbury FC with Lewis Toomey, Adam Watkins and Giuseppe Iaciafano on target, John Frendo bagged a brace to help Premier Royston Town win 3-0 at Sharpenhoe Road against South East side Barton Rovers, George Bailey scored the only goal for the Crows` league rivals Biggleswade Town at South East Arlesey Town, while their league rivals Egham Town won 6-7 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Chalfont St Peter, while Gosport Borough`s poor season continued as they went out on penalties to South East newcomers Moneyfields 4-3 after a 2-2 draw in which Sam Pearce had pulled Moneys level 2 minutes into stoppage time.
The all-South West tie between Bideford and Taunton Town also went to spot-kicks which the Peacocks triumphed 5-4 following a 2-2 draw.
Wednesday saw Premier side Farnborough start with four academy players in the team to take on South East new boys Hartley Wintney and a complete bench of under-18s.
And they were stung 6-1 at Cherrywood Road, Paul Hodges bagging a brace for the visitors along with Jayden Englefield, Dean Stow, Jake Baxter and Aaron Parfitt, with Boro`s consolation being a stoppage time Jamie Cureton effort.
Kidlington won the night`s all-South West tie at home to Swindon Supermarine in which Anaclet Odhiambo maintained his good scoring form with another two.