Tuesday, 26 July 2016

HAVE PECKHAM TOWN GOT THE BEST SHIRT IN NON-LEAGUE THIS SEASON?

Peckham Town's shirt for the 2016/17 campaign is certainly a favourite of TheColdEnd and many non-league fans alike. Here we see Ghanian striker Paul Willen-Loba signing for The Menace, as they are nicknamed, with the shirt in question.

Peckham were promoted to the Premier Division of the Kent County League after being runner's up in Division One (West) last season. The club are to play their home games this season at Pynners Close Playing Fields which is opposite their usual home The Menace Arena in West Dulwich.

They open their league season on Saturday 13th August with a home game against Bexley before travelling to Kennington on Saturday 20th August. 

You can follow "The Pride Of Southwark: Providing Youth Opportunities & Sporting Regeneration Through Football in the Peckham and surrounding communities since 1982" on Twitter @PeckhamTownFC
 
Kent County League 
Premier Division 2016/17  
Bexley 
Borden Village 
Erith 147 Sports 
Farnborough OB Guild 
Faversham Strike Force Seniors 
Fleetdown United 
Greenways 
Guru Nanak
Hildenborough Athletic 
Kennington 
Lydd Town Reserves 
Metrogas 
Peckham Town 
Punjab United 
Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermondsey) 
Staplehurst Monarchs United 

Monday, 25 July 2016

SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE FIXUTRES RELEASED FOR THE 2016/17 SEASON

The Spartan South Midlands League have issued the Premier Division fixtures for the 2016/17 season as follows. The FA Cup fixtures also feature some Division One sides.  

SATURDAY 6th AUGUST
FA CUP EXTRA PRELIMINARY ROUND
Bedford v Welwyn Garden City
Brantham Athletic v Hadley 
Burnham v Oxhey Jets 
Cockfosters v Harpenden Town 
Cogenhoe United v Berkhamsted 
Edgware Town v Holmer Green 
FC Broxbourne Borough v Felixstowe & Walton United 
Flackwell Heath v Baldock Town 
Harefield United v Northampton ON Chenecks 
Haverhill Rovers v Hertford Town 
Hoddesdon Town v Stansted 
Leighton Town v Northampton Sileby Rangers
Leverstock Green v London Colney 
London Tigers v Sun Sports 
Newport Pagnell Town v Biggleswade United 
St Margaretsbury v Long Melford 
Tring Athletic v Desborough Town 
Wellingborough Town v Stotfold 
Wembley v Daventry Town 

SUNDAY 7th AUGUST
FA CUP EXTRA PRELIMINARY ROUND 
Crawley Green v Rothwell Corinthians 

TUESDAY 9th AUGUST
* games subject to potential FA Cup replay games 
PREMIER DIVISION
Oxhey Jets v Welwyn Garden City
Biggleswade United v Hadley
Edgware Town v FC Broxbourne Borough
Leighton Town v Cockfosters
London Colney v Berkhamsted
London Tigers v Sun Sports
St Margaretsbury v Colney Heath
Tring Athletic v Leverstock Green

The games of the evening of the opening fixtures for The Cold End is Hadley's visit to Second Meadow to play Biggleswade United who are two teams expected to be placed towards the top of the division this season. Over the first 15 games of last season United only won 4 games but their form dramatically improved and they won 16 of their last 27 games equating to a win% of 59.26%. Hadley finished sixth having played many of their games towards the end of the season after a number of games were called off due to problems with the pitch at Potters Bar Town where they were ground sharing. Now back at their improved Brickfield Lane home they will certainly one of the teams to beat. 

FC Broxbourne Borough WILL be playing this season after it was previously announced their first team will be folding. Terry Gritton will be the first team manager assisted by Damian Thomas who is a former Hoddesdon Town Captain. They play their first league game away at Edgware Town after entertaining Felixstowe and Walton United in the FA Cup at Goffs Lane.

WEDNESDAY 10th AUGUST
PREMIER DIVISION
Crawley Green v Holmer Green
Hoddesdon Town v Stotfold

SATURDAY 13th AUGUST
PREMIER DIVISION
Biggleswade United v Edgware Town
Crawley Green v Cockfosters
Hertford Town v Hoddesdon Town
Holmer Green v Berkhamsted
Leighton Town v Welwyn Garden City
Leverstock Green v St Margaretsbury
London Colney v Tring Athletic
London Tigers v Hadley
Oxhey Jets v Colney Heath
Sun Sports v FC Broxbourne Borough
Wembley Stotfold

On the opening Saturday of the season there is no mistake where the game of the day is. The local derby games between Hertford and Hoddesdon are always very well contested but you can add to that the fact manager's Gavin Kelsey and Paul Halsey have swapped jobs over the summer and many players moving from each club to the other. This makes it a game not to be missed. 

TUESDAY 16th AUGUST
PREMIER DIVISION  
Colney Heath v Sun Sports
Edgware Town v Oxhey Jets
FC Broxbourne Borough v Stotfold
Leighton Town v Hertford Town
London Colney v Crawley Green
London Tigers v Wembley
St Margaretsbury v Hadley

SATURDAY 20th AUGUST
*subject to team's involved in the FA Cup Preliminary Round 
PREMIER DIVISION
Berkhamsted v Oxhey Jets
Biggleswade United v London Tigers
Colney Heath v Welwyn Garden City
Crawley Green v Hoddesdon Town
Edgware Town v St Margaretsbury
Hertford Town v London Colney
Stotfold v Leverstock Green
Sun Sports v Holmer Green
Tring Athletic v Leighton Town
Wembley v FC Broxbourne Borough

SATURDAY 27th AUGUST
PREMIER DIVISION 
Cockfosters v Berkhamsted
Colney Heath v Biggleswade United
Edgware Town v Leverstock Green
FC Broxbourne Borough v Crawley Green
Hertford Town v Wembley
Holmer Green v St Margaretsbury
Leighton Town v Hadley
London Tigers v Hoddesdon Town
Oxhey Jets v London Colney
Sun Sports v Stotfold
Tring Athletic v Welwyn Garden City

TUESDAY 30th AUGUST
PREMIER DIVISION
Oxhey Jets v Crawley Green
Berkhamsted v London Tigers
FC Broxbourne Borough v London Colney
Hertford Town v Tring Athletic
Wembley v Cockfosters

WEDNESDAY 31st AUGUST
PREMIER DIVISION 
Hoddesdon Town v Edgware Town 

The League's Challenge Cup has also been drawn as follows -

ROUND ONE
Amersham Town v Risborough Rangers
Ampthill Town v United MK  
Aston Clinton v Tring Athletic 
Baldock Town v Oxhey Jets 
Biggleswade FC v Tring Town 
Biggleswade United v Pitstone & Ivinghoe 
Broadfields United v Tring Corinthians
Buckingham Athletic v Enfield Borough 
Clean Slate v Arlesey Town Reserves 
Cockfosters v Hatfield Town
Codicote v Hoddesdon Town 
Crawley Green v Grendon Rangers 
Edgware Town v London Tigers 
FC Broxbourne Borough v Colney Heath 
Hadley v Harefield United 
Hadley Wood & Wingate v Bedford 
Hale Leys United v Langford 
Hillingdon Borough v Loughton Manor 
Holmer Green v Leverstock Green 
Kensington Borough v Thame Rangers 
London Colney v Brimsdown 
MK Gallacticos v Wembley 
Mursley United v Old Bradwell United 
Southall v Stotfold 
St Margaretsbury v Hertford Town 
St Neots Town Reserves v Leighton Town 
Stony Stratford Town v Chesham United Reserves 
Sun Sports v Harpenden Town 
Totternhoe v New Bradwell St Peter 
Welwyn Garden City v The 61FC (Luton) 
Wodson Park v Berkhamsted 
Bye Winslow United

Division Two side 'The 61FC (Luton)' have been handed the toughest tie with an away trip to Premier Division and last season's trophy winner's Welwyn Garden City. The local derby game between St Margaretsbury and Hertford Town should also be a good game as Gavin Kelsey takes his new team to another one of his old clubs. Division Two new boy's MK Gallacticos will also be looking forward to welcoming Premier Division Wembley. 

A QUICK WORD WITH..........KEVIN BONDJANGA

Here is another part in the 'A quick word with' series where The Cold End speaks to Kevin Bondjanga who is currently the Captain of Hatch Lane FC-

KEVIN BONDJANGA IN ACTION FOR ENFIELD TOWN RESERVES IN 2011. Photo courtesy of @jancyclops
WHAT'S YOUR FOOTBALLING HISTORY?
I was born in Leytonstone and started playing football from a young age. My dad used to play for Paris St. Germain so the game was in my DNA. I joined my first football team Crownfield FC when I was just eight and stayed there playing as a midfielder before moving to Chingford in 2003 and continued playing right midfield until I signed for Highams Park Sorcerers under 13s in 2004 where I was moved to striker - I was top of  the team and league goalscoring charts. I then moved to nearest rivals Ridgeway Rovers. In my senior career I have played for Boreham Wood, Leyton, Enfield Town, Haringey Town, Hatch Lane, LOASS and Eton Manor. At present I am proud to be the Hatch Lane FC Captain.


WHEN WAS HATCH LANE FC FORMED AND HOW DID THE CLUB FORMATION COME ABOUT?
Hatch Lane was founded by Yinka Faleye in 2009 as he put together a team of Chingford boys who had known each other for a numerous of years and wanted to keep everyone out of trouble by getting them involved with football. Sporting the FC Barcelona kit of the 1990's Hatch Lane finished mid-table their first season. Halfway through the next season, sadly Yinka passed away and his good friends Ben Siaw, Derek Palton and Selly J took over the reigns at the club as they promised to deliver trophies. Since joining the East London Sunday League the club have won the East London Cup once, the Jubilee Cup twice and the Premier Division once in 2012/2013 as well as being runner's up twice in the last two seasons.

WHAT ARE YOUR AIMS FOR NEXT SEASON WITH HATCH LANE?
Next season the club are joining a new league named "The East London Barking & Dagenham Sunday League" which is a merged league between The London City Airport League and The East London Sunday League. We wish to be entered into the London Cup where we can progress and hopefully make a name for ourselves. We will look to win the league in our first season as well as retain the Jubilee Cup & win the Senior Cup.

WHATS THE BEST THING ABOUT FOOTBALL AT THIS LEVEL?
The best thing about football at this level is the different styles of play that you may come up against on a Sunday, it's very intriguing when you watch all of these players and see what each one can bring to a team. Arguably the worst thing about playing football at this level is no doubt the lack of officials (linesmen) and some of the decisions are SHOCKING to say the least by referees. It's also funny how many of the lads who play Saturday & Sunday will have their game called OFF on a Saturday but then the Sunday pitches over at Hackney Marshes are 10x better! Having said all of that Sunday is a family day and there's nothing better than enjoying football on with a group of friends who just love to play the game!

WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT THE GAME TO MAKE IT BETTER?
Apart from some decisions made by the referees there's not really much I'd change as you can't lose the tradition which comes along with Sunday football i.e shocking pitches, terrible challenges and what not, although it would be a touch if each team were supplied with oranges & water bottles.

PLAY THE BEAUTIFUL GAME OR THE RESULTS THAT MATTER?
If you're a very good team playing "football" is key because no one wants to wake up and play long ball to success you want to have some sort of pride whilst winning to correct way.

WHERE DO HATCH LANE PLAY THEIR HOME GAMES?
Hatch Lane play their home games at Hackney Marshes and will forever do so until the marshes gets closed down somehow. The team is very local and all of the boys live within about twenty minutes journey of the pitches.

WHAT GAME ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS SEASON? WHO ARE YOUR MAIN RIVALS?
Our main priority is getting to the cup finals as this is a special date for the club; a day out in the sun and 90 minutes away from a Trophy all in front of all our friends and family but most importantly of all in memory of our founder and legend Yinka! 

Our closest rivals are currently 'Dalston Lane (Queensbridge)' and a team called 'Reama'. No other club has beaten us as much as Dalston have since our formation and we look forward to playing them the MOST of all Sunday teams we've faced! 

Thank you to Kevin for talking to The Cold End and good luck to all at Hatch Lane FC for the 2016/17 season. 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

SOUTHERN COUNTIES EAST FOOTBALL LEAGUE 2016/17 OPENING FIXTURES

The new Southern Counties East Football League season kicks off on Saturday 6th August with teams invovled in FA Cup action and some Division One games played. Here is a list of the opening fixtures up to and including August Bank Holiday Monday.

Saturday 6th August
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round 
BOLD denotes SCEFL team
Ashford United v Corinthian 
Beckenham Town v Lancing 
Bridon Ropes v Canterbury City

BOTH CROYDON TEAMS ARE IN FA CUP ACTION ON THE OPENING DAY OF THE SEASON

Colliers Wood United v AFC Croydon Athletic 
Croydon v AFC Uckfield Town 
Crowborough Athletic v Farnham Town
Deal Town v Banstead Athletic 
Epsom & Ewell v Gravesham Borough 
Erith & Belvedere v Loxwood
Erith Town v Sutton Common Rovers 
Holmesdale v Haywards Heath Town
Horsham YMCA v Hollands & Blair 
Newhaven v Rochester United
Peacehaven & Telscombe v Lordswood
Sevenoaks Town v Sporting Club Thamesmead 




Sheppey United v Badshot Lea
Southwick v Cray Valley (PM)
Tunbridge Wells v Eastbourne United 

AFTER A NINE SEASON STAY IN THE RYMAN LEAGUE THE OYSTERMAN ARE BACK IN THE LEAGUE THEY LEFT WHEN IT WAS CALLED THE KENT LEAGUE.
Whitstable Town v Oakwood 

Division One


Crockenhill v Meridian VP
K Sports v Eltham Palace
Lydd Town v Phoenix Sports Reserves
Rusthall v Kent Football United
Sutton Athletic v Orpington

Tuesday 9th August
Division One
FC Elmstead v Orpington
Glebe v Lewisham Borough
Gravesham Borough v K Sports
Sutton Athletic v Eltham Palace

Friday 12th August
Premier Division 

FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL AT THE CULVERDEN STADIUM AT CORINTHIAN VISIT THE TOWN, AS THEIR SUPPORTERS SING, "FULL OF LAWYERS, DOCTORS AND ARCHITECTS!!!"
Tunbridge Wells v Corinthian

Saturday 13th August
Premier Division 
Bearsted v Croydon


Beckenham Town v Ashford United
Canterbury City v Crowborough Athletic
Cray Valley PM v Deal Town
Fisher v Rochester United
Hollands &amp v Blair Erith & Belvedere
Lordswood v Erith Town
Sevenoaks Town v Sheppey United
Whitstable Town v AFC Croydon Athletic

Division One 
Crockenhill v Lewisham Borough
Eltham Palace v FC Elmstead
Gravesham Borough v Glebe
Holmesdale v Sutton Athletic
K Sports v Bridon Ropes
Meridian VP v Forest Hill Park


Orpington v Lydd Town
Phoenix Sports Reserves v Rusthall
Snodland Town v Sporting Club Thamesmead

Monday 15th August
Division One
Sporting Club Thamesmead v Glebe

Tuesday 16th August
Premier Division  
Ashford United v Canterbury City
Corinthian v Lordswood
Crowborough Athletic v Sevenoaks Town
Deal Town v Whitstable Town
Erith & Belvedere v Cray Valley PM
Sheppey United v Hollands & Blair

Division One
Eltham Palace v Holmesdale
FC Elmstead v Meridian VP 

Wednesday 17th August
Premier Division
AFC Croydon Athletic v Fisher
Croydon v Beckenham Town
Erith Town v Tunbridge Wells
Rochester United v Bearsted

Division One
Bridon Ropes v Kent Football United
Lydd Town v Gravesham Borough
Rusthall v Snodland Town 

Saturday 20th August
clubs possibly involved in the FA CUP Preliminary Round 

Premier Divison 
Bearsted v Fisher

Divison One
Crockenhill v Kent Football United
FC Elmstead v Sutton Athletic
Glebe v Rusthall
Lydd Town v Eltham Palace
Orpington v Forest Hill Park
Phoenix Sports Reserves v Lewisham Borough
Snodland Town v Meridian

Tuesday 23rd August
Division One
Holmesdale v Crockenhill
Meridian VP v Glebe

Friday 26th August
Division One
Sporting Club Thamesmead v Eltham Palace 

Saturday 27th August
Premier Division 
Canterbury City v AFC Croydon Athletic
Cray Valley PM v Bearsted
Deal Town v Sevenoaks Town
Erith & Belvedere v Rochester United

Erith Town v Ashford United
Fisher v Corinthian
Hollands & Blair v Beckenham Town
Lordswood v Croydon
Sheppey United v Whitstable Town
Tunbridge Wells v Crowborough Athletic

Division One
Glebe v Phoenix Sports Reserves
Gravesham Brough v Crockenhill
Holmesdale v Snodland Town
Kent Football United v Forest Hill Park
Meridian VP v Lydd Town
Orpington v K Sports Green
Rusthall  v Lewisham Borough


Sutton Athletic v Bridon Ropes 

Monday 29th August
Premier Division
AFC Croydon Athletic v Erith & Belvedere
Ashford United v Sheppey United
Bearsted v Lordswood
Beckenham Town v Fisher
Corinthian v Hollands & Blair
Crowborough Athletic v Cray Valley PM
Croydon v Erith Town
Rochester United v Deal Town
Sevenoaks Town v Tunbridge Wells
Whitstable Town v Canterbury City

Division One 
Bridon Ropes v Sporting Club Thamesmead
Crockenhill v Orpington
FC Elmstead v Holmesdale
Glebe v Forest Hill Park
Lydd Town v Lewisham Borough
Phoenix Sports Reserves v Kent Football United
Rusthall v Gravesham Borough

Snodland Town v Eltham Palace
Sutton Athletic v K Sports

THE COLD END IS SEVEN YEARS OLD TODAY

THE COLD END IS SEVEN YEARS OLD TODAY. I FIRST STARTED THE BLOG BACK ON FRIDAY 24th JULY 2009 AND IT HAS SINCE GROWN INTO, WHAT IS HOPEFULLY THOUGHT OF BY MANY, AS A DECENT WEBSITE ABOUT NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL. 

ONE OF THE BEST MOMENTS IN THOSE SEVEN YEARS WAS WHEN THE COLD END WAS A NOMINEE FOR "THE BEST ESTABLISHED FOOTBALL BLOG" AT "THE FOOTBALL BLOGGING AWARDS" IN 2014 LINING UP ALONGSIDE SOME EXCELLENT PROFESSIONALLY RUN WEBSITES.

THANK YOU AS EVER TO EVERYONE WHO READS AND LOGS ON + ALSO ALL THE WONDERFUL FOOTBALL PEOPLE WHO I HAVE HELPED ME WITH INTERVIEWS THIS YEAR. 

I HAVE TO MENTION MY WIFE WHO CONTINUES TO PUT UP WITH MY OBSESSION WITH THE GAME... THANK YOU... I LOVE YOU LOTS!

THE COLD END IS A NOT FOR PROFIT WEBSITE WHICH AIMS TO PROMOTE THE GRASS ROOTS AND NON-LEAGUE GAME SO MORE PEOPLE SUPPORT THEIR LOCAL TEAMS AND GET TO KNOW PEOPLE VIA THE BEAUTFIUL GAME. 

ANYONE WHO WANTS TO USE ANY PHOTOS OR ARTICLES PLEASE FEEL FREE. ALL I ASK IS FOR IS A CREDIT GIVEN AND IF POSSIBLE A MENTION ON TWITTER @thecoldend

HERE'S TO A BRILLIANT 2016/17 NON-LEAGUE SEASON WHERE MANY NEW FRIENDSHIPS ARE MADE. GO OUT AND SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL CLUB - IT WON'T BREAK THE BANK AND YOU'LL BE MADE TO FEEL VERY WELCOME - YOU'LL NOT JUST BE ANOTHER CUSTOMER OR SEAT NUMBER! 





Saturday, 23 July 2016

ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE OPENING FIXTURES FOR 2016/17

The opening fixtures for the Essex Senior League have been released - The league opens on Saturday 30th July with no less than three East London derby games being Barking v Redbridge, Clapton v Tower Hamlets and Ilford v Barkingside (Landlords v Tenants)... it's all set to be another exciting season.

Saturday 30th July 
Barking v Redbridge 
Clapton v Tower Hamlets 
Haringey & Waltham v Sporting Bengal United 
Hullbridge Sports v Takeley 
Ilford v Barkingside
Waltham Forest v Basildon United

Tuesday 2nd August 
Hullbridge Sports v Haringey & Waltham 
Takeley v London Bari 

Saturday 6th August 
* clubs involved in FA Cup fixtures 
Wadham Lodge v West Essex 

Tuesday 9th August 
* subject to FA Cup replay games 
Barking v West Essex 
Basildon United v Southend Manor
Burnham Ramblers v Waltham Forest 
Clapton v Stansted FC 
Enfield 1893 v Sawbridgeworth Town 
Redbridge v Takeley  

Wednesday 10th August   
Barkingside v Tower Hamlets  
Eton Manor v Haringey & Waltham  
Wadham Lodge v Hullbridge Sports 

Saturday 13th August 
Barkingside v Barking 
Burnham Ramblers v Eton Manor 
Haringey & Waltham v Basildon United  
Hullbridge Sports v Southend Manor 
London Bari v Enfield 1893 
Takeley v Sawbridgeworth Town 
Wadham Lodge v Tower Hamlets 
West Essex v Redbridge 

Monday 15th August 
Barkingside v Redbridge 

Tuesday 16th August 
Burnham Ramblers v Hullbridge Sports
Enfield 1893 v Barking 
Haringey & Waltham  v Wadham Lodge 
London Bari v Clapton 
Sawbridgeworth Town v Ilford 
Southend Manor v Stansted 
West Essex v Basildon United 

Wednesday 17th August 
FC Romania v Takeley 
Waltham Forest v Eton Manor

NORTH SOUTH DIVIDE - WHAT IS THE STRONGEST DIVISION? + NATIONAL LEAGUE PREDICTIONS

KEY
Red denotes relegated
Green deonotes finished in relegation zone but received reprieve
Blue denotes finished in the top five
BOLD denotes promoted 
SEASON TEAMS 05/06 06/07 07/08 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16
04/05 SOUTHPORT 18th 23rd







04/05 ALTRINCHAM 22nd 21st 21st 15th 14th 22nd




05/06 NORTHWICH VICTORIA - 13th 19th 22nd



05/06 STAFFORD RANGERS - 20th 23rd






06/07 DROYSLDEN - - 24th




06/07 FARSLEY CELTIC - - 22nd







07/08 KETTERING TOWN - - - 8th 6th 15th 24th
07/08 BARROW - - - 20th 15th 18th 13th 22nd

08/09 TAMWORTH - - - - 16th 19th 18th 19th 23rd

08/09 GATESHEAD - - - - 20th 14th 8th 17th 3rd 10th 9th
09/10 SOUTHPORT- - - - - 21st 7th 20th 18th 19th 16th
09/10 FLEETWOOD TOWN - - - - - 5th 1st


10/11 ALFRETON TOWN - - - - - - 15th 13th 11th 21st
10/11 AFC TELFORD UNITED - - - - - - 20th 24th


11/12 HYDE- - - - - - - 18th 24th

11/12 NUNEATON - - - - - - 15th 13th 24th
12/13 CHESTER - - - - - - - 21st 12th 17th
12/13 FC HALIFAX - - - - -- - - 5th 9th 21st
13/14 AFC TELFORD UNITED - - - - - - - - - 23rd
13/14 ALTRINCHAM - - - - - - - - - 17th 22nd
14/15 BARROW - - - - - - -- - 11th
14/15 GUISELEY - - - - - - 20th
Notes
Altrincham finished in the relegation zone in 05/06, 06/07 and 07/08 but reprieved from relegation due to Boston United's double relegation, Canvey Island taking voluntary relegation and Halifax Town folding

Southport finished in the relegation zone in 10/11 but were reprieved from relegation due to Rushden and Diamond's demise.

Chester FC finished in the relegation zone in 13/14 but were reprieved from relegation due to the demise of Salisbury City and Hereford United. 

SEASON TEAMS 05/06 06/07 07/08 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16
04/05 GRAYS ATHLETIC 3rd 19th 10th 19th 23rd




05/06 WEYMOUTH 11th 18th 23rd




05/06 ST ALBANS CITY - 24th






06/07 HISTON - - 7th 3rd 18th 24th



06/07 SALISBURY CITY - - 12th 16th 12th*




07/08 LEWES - - - 24th






07/08 EASTBOURNE BOROUGH - - - 13th 19th 23rd



08/09 AFC WIMBLEDON - - - - 8th 2nd


08/09 HAYES & YEADING UNITED - - - - 17th 16th 21st

09/10 NEWPORT COUNTY  -- - - - 9th 19th 3rd

09/10 BATH CITY - - - - - 10th 23rd



10/11 BRAINTREE TOWN  - - - - - - 12th 9th 6th 14th 3rd
10/11 EBBSFLEET UNITED - - - - - - 14th 23rd


11/12 WOKING  - - - - - - - 12th 9th 7th 12th
11/12 DARTFORD - - - - - - - 8th 22nd 22nd
12/13 WELLING UNITED  - - - - - - - - 16th 20th
12/13 SALISBURY CITY - - - - - - - - 12th*

13/14 EASTLEIGH - - - - - - - - - 4th 7th
13/14 DOVER ATHLETIC  - - - - - - - - - 8th 5th
14/15 BROMLEY - - - - - - - - - - 14th
14/15 BOREHAM WOOD - - - - - - - - - - 19th
Notes
Salisbury City were demoted from the league in 09/10* as they were in adminstration. In 13/14 they were demoted after missing a deadline to clear outstanding debts, and then expelled in July 2014 despite minority owner Mark Winter offering £91,000 to safeguard the club's future. 

Dartford reprieved from relegation in 13/14 due to the demise of Hereford United and Salisbury City. 

In 04/05 only Champion's Grays Athletic were promoted. Play-Off winner's Eastbourne Borough lost to Altrincham in the only North/South play off final played. 

The North and South divisions of the Conference (now known as the National League) were formed in 2004/2005 - the league's start their thirteenth season in August with many clubs dreaming of promotion to non-league's top table and many owner's seemingly breaking the bank in order to do so. The bad news for the newly promoted sides to the National League (Maidstone United, Sutton United, Solihull Moors and North Ferriby United) is that most clubs that have gone before them have struggled in the lower reaches of the table.  Only three clubs promoted from the new Step Two have succesfully gained a further promotion to the football league - Fleetwood Town in 11/12, AFC Wimbledon in 10/11 and Newport County in 12/13. Looking at the fact two of those came from the South Division and that the average finishing position for the North sides is 16.65 compared to 13.98 for the South sides you could say the SOUTH is the strongest league?

AVERAGE FINISHING POSITION FOR PROMOTED NORTH SIDES - 16.65 
AVERAGE FINISHING POSITION FOR PROMOTED SOUTH SIDES -13.98  

Eastleigh and Dover Athletic have bucked the trend by finishing in the top ten for the last two seasons after promotion to the National League. Eastleigh had a chance to go up by finishing in the play-offs in their first season with Dover Athletic qualifying in their second season. All four promoted sides from the 13/14 season in Bromley, Boreham Wood, Guiseley and Barrow all stayed up albeit both Boreham Wood and Guiseley only by a few points.

So what chance do the promoted sides have this season in probably the most highly competative division in English football (odds courtesy of betway) -

MAIDSTONE UNITED
Odds offered to go down - 9/4
Title odds - 50/1

Can The Stones secure a third promotion in as many seasons to secure another level in the rapid rise up the pyramid? I think most of their huge number of supporters will be happy with a mid-table finish. Boss Jay Saunders has signed defender Jack Evans from Eastbourne Borough who started last season at Sutton United. He has played for Gillingham in the football league and the conference for Tamworth. Centre Back's Kevin Lokko (from Welling United) and Anthony Acheampong (ex Barnet signed from Ebbsfleet United) have also been recruited which has allowed the club to put Callum Davies up for transfer who surprised many by dropping down from League Two side Gillingham in January to join The Stones. Winger Tom Murphy has joined from Dover Athletic and Dumebi Dumaka, who impressed many fans for Grays Athletic before his move to The Gallagher Stadium last season, has comited to the club for the forthcoming season. The stadium capacity is now 3,030 which will be full at many of the games this season - Off the field the club are looking to raise £50,000 (they have a total of just over £11,000) from a supporters fund raising scheme "Stand up for Stones" to help build a new stand and increase the capacity further.

SUTTON UNITED
Odds offered to go down - 9/4
Title odds - 50/1

Paul Doswell has opted to keep a settled squad at the National League South Champions. Roarie Deacon, a midfielder, has joined after making 37 appearances for League Two side Crawley Town last season. He also played in the league Stevenage FC and came through the Arsenal youth set-up. Bradley Hudson-Odoi has also joined after imrpessing for Wealdstone last season - The striker scored 15 goals in 31 games for The Stones. 

NORTH FERRIBY UNITED
Odds offered to go down - 1/2
Title odds - 100/1

The Villagers proudly sit at non-league's top table for the first time in their 82 year history. They won via the play-offs and a 2-1 win over AFC Fylde. They are the bookmaker's favourites to go down.

Steve Housham has replaced succesful boss Billy Heath who left the club to join FC Halifax Town after the end of last season. The former Gainsborough Trinity manager has already gone on record saying it's going to be tough job with the playing budget he has been handed compared to some other clubs in the division but nobody expected them to win the FA Trophy in 2015 but they famously did - Can they show everybody the odd's compilers are wrong to think they will finish in the drop zone?


SOLIHULL MOORS
Odds offered to go down - 9/4
Title odds - 40/1

Founded in 2007 following a merger of Solihull Borough and Moor Green. Neither of these sides played in the top division in non-league football so this is unchartered territory for The Moors. Marcus Bignot has been in charge since 2011 and has slowly built up his squad - finishing 19th, 9th, 8th, 12th and finally champions last season. Bignot lost his first seven games in charge of the club!! He learnt his trade playing under Ian Holloway at Bristol Rovers and QPR so he'll certainly know how to motivate his squad.

THE COLD END NATIONAL LEAGUE PREDICTIONS

* knowing my record they'll probably be all wrong!!! 

MAIDSTONE UNITED will finish the highest of the promoted sides.
NORTH FERRIBY UNITED will finish in the bottom six.
GUISELEY who stayed up by just one point last season will also finish in the bottom six.
CHRISTIAN ASSOMBALONGA scored 31 in 34 appearances for Ryman Division One (North) Waltham Abbey last season - The Abbotts struggled towards the bottom of the table finishing in 21st (of 24 teams). Although he has moved up the pyramid I predict the 25 year old will score many goals for his new team Dagenham & Redbridge.
TRANMERE ROVERS will lose less than the 12 games they did last season and make a real challenge for the title.  

It will also be interesting to see how two other players who have moved from the Ryman League to the National League - 6ft 5" central-defender Moussa Diarra has moved North to Barrow from the title winner's Hampton & Richmond. The 26 year old defender netted 14 goals for The Beavers last season and will be a big part of their defence this season. Ethan Pinnock's displays in the centre of defence for Dulwich over the last few seasons  brought many a football league scout to Champion Hill. He has signed a professional contract and I predict big things to come for the 23 year old. FGR paid a five-figure sum for his services which I think is a bargain considering his potential.

DIARRA's goal-scoring feats for a centre back may make him a good value bet for first goal scorer in Barrow's matches.

NATIONAL LEAGUE
OPENING WEEK FIXTURES

Saturday 6th August
Barrow v Aldershot Town
Boreham Wood v Forest Green Rovers
Bromley v Tranmere Rovers
Dagenham & Redbridge v Southport
Eastleigh v Guiseley
Gateshead v Chester
Macclesfield Town v Torquay United
Maidstone United v York City - 12.15pm KO Live on BT SPORTS
North Ferriby United v Braintree Town
Sutton United v Solihull Moors
Woking v Lincoln City
Wrexham v Dover Athletic

Tuesday 9th August
Aldershot Town v Maidstone United 
Braintree Town v Eastleigh 
Chester v Dagenham & Redbridge 
Dover Athletic v Boreham Wood 
Forest Green Rovers v Sutton United 
Guiseley v Wrexham 
Lincoln City v North Ferriby United 
Solihull Moors v Woking 
Southport v Gateshead 
Torquay United v Bromley 
Tranmere Rovers v Barrow 
York City v Macclesfield Town 

Saturday 13th August 
Aldershot Town v Wrexham
Braintree Town v Macclesfield Town 
Chester v Maidstone United 
Dover Athletic v North Ferriby United
Forest Green Rovers v Gateshead
Guiseley v Dagenham & Redbridge 
Lincoln City v Sutton United
Solihull Moors v Bromley
Southport v Woking 
Torquay United v Barrow 
Tranmere Rovers v Eastleigh 
York City v Boreham Wood

Barrow have a 700 mile round trip on the second Saturday of the season when they travel to Torquay United - I wonder how many off their loyal fans will make the journey?