Thursday, 26 March 2015

RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION WEEKEND PREVIEW


Enfield Town's 2-1 defeat at Lewes on Wednesday made the table better reading for 4th placed Dulwich Hamlet and also the nine other teams in with a chance of finishing in the much coveted 5th place play-off spot. It's so tight with just five points covering 5th to 14th place - Grays Athletic's seven match unbeaten run (they have won five games) has put them in a great position as well as 12th placed Billericay Town (if they win their games in hand) and even 13th placed Kingstonian. It's a well worn football cliche at this time of year but managers will really be taking each game as it comes in the race for the play-offs. 

On the same evening Town were losing at Lewes it was three points for Mark Bentley's Grays Athletic side who beat Tonbridge Angels 3-1 thanks to a goal from Harry Agombar and a brace for Dumebi Dumaka. The Angels goal came from Billy Medlock who has returned to the club on loan from Vanarama South side Sutton United. He joined the Gander Green Lane club earlier in the season after scoring 17 goals for the club since joining them from Division One (South) side Eastbourne Town in the summer of 2014. The Cold End expects Medlock to score a number of goals between now and the end of the season. Watch out for him at Tonbridge Angels. Experienced defender Sean Cronin made his debut for Grays Athletic in the Wednesday night game having joined on loan from Vanarama South side Wealdstone where he has made over 170 appearances.

Table topper's Maidstone United had something to celebrate in the week when their under 21 side won the Ryman u21 South Division title for the second successive season with a 4-0 win over Lewes u21s. It seems the future is very bright at The Gallagher Stadium - it shows in the fact ex Stone's academy player Ben Swift has recently signed a one year professional deal with Aston Villa. The defender joined the Kent club in September 2013 before moving onto Villa in November last year initially on a six month scholarship. 

ODDS - MAIDSTONE UNITED ARE EVENS TO WIN THE GAME VERSUS MARGATE WHO ARE RATED AT 21/10 WITH THE DRAW AT 11/4.

The Stones could take a massive step towards the Premier Division title this weekend as they entertain Margate in a game which is an all ticket sell-out at The Gallagher Stadium. The Gate will be in good spirits though as they got back to winning ways in some style on Tuesday evening beating AFC Hornchurch 5-1 - this after a run of five league games without a win. Zac Attwood (2), Freddie Lapado, Ben Gerring and Tambeson Eyong got the goals on Tuesday.

FACT - IN THEIR LAST TWO AWAY GAMES MARGATE HAVE CONCEDED A TOTAL OF FIVE GOALS. MAIDSTONE HAVE SCORE FIVE IN THEIR LAST TWO HOME GAMES LETTING IN JUST ONE GOAL. 

Should The Gate win (which they need to do to keep alive their title hopes) it's in-form Hendon who could move within four points of Maidstone with one game in hand should they win their home game against fourteenth placed Leatherhead. The Tanners held The Stones to a 1-1 draw at Fetcham Grove last weekend. 

There is another fantastic game in prospect in North London when Dulwich Hamlet visit Wingate and Finchley. This game kick offs at 1pm so by the time Enfield Town kick off their home game with Hampton and Richmond The Hamlet could be nine points ahead of them if they win against Wingate who also need a win to keep their play-off hopes going. 

Bognor Regis Town (11th) entertain Metropolitan Police (7th) in another game which the result could mean the away side move up to the play-off spots or The Rocks move up to 6th depending on results elsehwere. In this calender year the Met don't have the best record away from their Imber Court home with their form reading DDLLDWLL with Bognor's home record reading WDDWWL. It certianly is a difficult game to predict? 

At the bottom of the table Harrow Borough are making a real fight of it to escape from the bottom four - New manager Steve Baker who joined from Division One (South) side Chipstead replacing Dave Anderson in January has had a real positive impact on the Earlsmead club. They are unbeaten in six league games and this weekend go to AFC Hornchurch the result of which could be crucial as to which team finished in and out of the bottom four at the end of the season. 

FACT - IN THE LAST SIX GAMES THERE ARE THREE SIDES WITHOUT A DEFEAT BEING HENDON, GRAYS ATHLETIC AND HARROW BOROUGH. CANVEY ISLAND AND DULWICH HAMLET ARE THE ONLY SIDES WITHOUT A VICTORY IN THE LAST SIX GAMES. 

Amazingly Harrow could have three trophies in their cabinet after a real season of struggle. They have already booked a place in the Middlesex Senior Cup final against Hanwell Town and are in two other semi-finals. In the Middlesex Charity Cup they play Uxbridge and in the London Senior Cup they play local rival's Hendon who beat Corinthian Casuals 5-1 tonight at Silver Jubilee Park.

ODDS - HARROW BOROUGH ARE 6/4 TO WIN AT BRIDGE AVENUE WITH A HOME WIN RATED AT 11/8. THE DRAW IS 11/4

Baker has stated in the local press he would trade cup success in order to stay-up and stated when he came into the club he set a point's target of 50 as Wingate were 'relegated' on 49 points last season before being reprieved. A victory on Saturday would put a nice five point gap between themselves and The Urchins and could move them out of the bottom four depending on Witham Town's result at East Thurrock United. 

FACT - HARROW BOROUGH HAVE ACHIEVED A POINTS PER GAME AVERAGE OF TWO OVER THE LAST SIX GAMES COMPARED TO A SEASON TOTAL OF ONE. AFC HORNCHURCH HAVE AN AVERAGE OF ONE POINT PER GAME OVER THE SIX COMPARED TO A SEASON AVERAGE OF 0.97

With Maidstone United v Margate, Wingate and Finchley v Dulwich Hamlet and AFC Hornchurch v Harrow Borough it's set up to be another exciting weekend in the Ryman Premier Division. 

The forthcoming midweek fixtures also have a big bearing on the the top, play-off race and bottom of the division. 

SATURDAY 28th MARCH
AFC HORNCHURCH v HARROW BOROUGH 
BOGNOR REGIS TOWN v MET POLICE 
BURY TOWN v GRAYS ATHLETIC 
CANVEY ISLAND v BILLERICAY TOWN 
EAST THURROCK UNITED v WITHAM TOWN 
ENFIELD TOWN v HAMPTON AND RICHMOND BOROUGH 
HENDON v LEATHERHEAD 
KINGSTONIAN v PEACEHAVEN & TELSCOMBE 
LEISTON v TONBRIDGE ANGELS 
MAIDSTONE UNITED v MARGATE 
VCD ATHLETIC v LEWES 
WINGATE AND FINCHLEY v DULWICH HAMLET 

MONDAY 30th MARCH 
BILLERICAY TOWN v KINGSTONIAN 
GRAYS ATHLETIC v MAIDSTONE UNITED 
HENDON v AFC HORNCHURCH 

TUESDAY 31st MARCH 
MET POLICE v MARGATE 

WEDNESDAY 1st APRIL 
GRAYS ATHLETIC v WINGATE & FINCHLEY 

league tables used courtesy of the excellent footballwebpages.co.uk

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL SUMMED UP IN TWO TWEETS

On a day when football fans have been protesting about the increasing of ticket prices in the top league of English football the world of football at non-league level is beautifully summed up in two tweets by Stuart Fuller who is the chairman of Ryman Premier Division Lewes FC. He took in a flag the Enfield Town fans accidently left at The Dripping Pan last night and it will be returned to the rightful owner. His wife even offered to press it - If awards were given for wonderful customer service I'm sure Lewes FC would win!! 

Enfield Town lost the game 2-1 with Emmett O'Connor netting the winner on his debut for The Rooks. The Canadian signed on loan with the Sussex side from League One side Crawley Town after signing for them in the summer and making four appearances so far.

Some highlights of the game are below courtesy of @etfctv 

 

3rd v 2nd AT GOLDSDOWN ROAD THIS WEEKEND


Last week, Kent did us the favour of beating New Bradwell St Peter 1-0, however this weekend they beat Cleanslate 3-0 at home to help themselves to second place at our expense while we, frustratingly, had a week off.

New Bradwell responded to last week's disappointment with a win over Pitstone & Ivinghoe, who arrived with 10 men (do not know what happened there).
  
However, in a sport where madness is never that far from the surface (ask Steven Gerrard), New Bradwell duly had their keeper sent off early to even the numbers. What was a tight game ended with two goals in the last four minutes for New Bradwell to wrap up a 3-0 win.

This weekend coming we see them pitched away to Grendon Rangers, who did not play last week and have not won either of their two games this month, which included a surprise home loss to strugglers, Tring Corinthians.

One would expect an away victory there but we will see. We go into this home tie having drawn this game 1-1 last season and still to record a victory over Kent in our three meetings so far.

The situation overall is quite fitting, as Kent became part of our history, when they were drawn as our first ever competitive opponents and so did New Bradwell SP as they were the first team we ever beat in a competitive game, when we came out 5-1 winners the following week at home.

It was pleasing to see young striker, Dominic Coker-Jo on the bench last week, as he returns from Uni, especially, as he is the only Limer to score against Kent Athletic. Last season's top scorer got the goal in a 1-1 draw in this tie last season and he scored our only goal in the 2-1 defeat to them this year.

Will he get the winner against them next week? It would be great if he did, as guess what......we re-write our history every time we play.

Spartan South Midlands League Division Two fixtures and recent results

Saturday 21st March 
Ealing Town 6 Tring Corinthians 2 
Hale Leys United 11 Willen 0 
Kent Athletic 3 Clean Slate 0 
Mursley United 2 Aston Clinton 0 
New Bradwell St Peter 3 Pitstone and Ivinghoe 0 
Old Bradwell United 9 Wolverton Town 0 
Totternhoe 1 The 61 FC (Luton) 0  

Tuesday, 24 March
Ealing Town 1 Aston Clinton 2


Saturday, 28 March
Brimsdown v Kent Athletic
Clean Slate v Ealing Town
Grendon Rangers v New Bradwell St Peter
Mursley United v The 61 FC (Luton)
Wolverton Town v Tring Corinthians


Tuesday 31st March 
Brimsdown v Totternhoe 

SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE DIVISION TWO 
CURRENT LEAGUE TABLE
TOP FOUR ONLY 
POS TEAM P GD PTS PP
1 HALE LEYS UTD 24 +81 67 85
2 KENT ATHLETIC 24 +45 55 73
3 BRIMSDOWN 24 +55 53 71
4 NEW BRADWELL ST PETER 23 +35 50 71

Depending on results elsewhere it's looking like Hale Leys United could secure the title next weekend in their trip to Kent Athletic on Saturday 11th April or even sooner in their home game versus Grendon Rangers on Saturday 4th April. 

THE ANGEL WIN THE JUNIOR DIVISIONAL SHIELD


The Angel FC took on Friendly FC in the East Herts Sunday Corinthian Football League Junior Divisional Shield Final at a very chilly Hertingfordbury Park yesterday evening.

The Angel (based out of The Angel pub in Sun Street, Ware) were only formed in the summer of 2014 and this was their first cup final. They play in Division Two of the league and prior to this game had won 2-3 at Hammondstreet in the Junior Invitational Shield on Sunday.

Friendly FC (named after their sponsor being the Friendly Service Centre in Ponders End) went into this game after last playing on Sunday 15th March when they won 4-2 versus Hertford Galaxy in a Division Three game.

Unfortunately the game wasn't a classic cup final with lots of goalmouth action and it was The Angel who narrowly triumphed 1-0 to take the glory with a goal in the first half. It did contain one of the best tackles I have seen for a long time by one of the Angel players when a Friendly player was through on goal and looking like scoring - it really was right out of the top draw - have a look at the video from 2m 10secs. 



Forget the millions of pounds in wages that the Premier League players pick up. These guys pay to play an turn out week in week out for the love of football.
Friendly FC's season is certainly not all over after this defeat as they have a great chance of taking the Division Three title as they are in 2nd place but only by goal difference to Thames Albion with only four games left to play. Their home game (Pound Close - Hoddesdon) against Thames Albion on Sunday 5th April looks a real title decider.

The next game for The Angel is away to Bury Green Rovers in the Junior Invitational Shield on Sunday at Goffs Lane.

CUP FINAL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE CUP FINAL DATES AND VENUES

The Cup final dates and venues for the SSMFL have been decided as follows.



Division One Cup Final at Langford FC 
Tuesday 28th April
Crawley Green v Welwyn Garden City
  
Reserve Challenge Trophy Final at Kings Langley FC
Wednesday 29th April
Risborough Rangers Reserves v Crawley Green Reserves
League Challenge Trophy Final at London Colney FC
Saturday 2nd May
Kings Langley v St Margaretsbury
Dudley Latham Memorial (Premier Division) Cup Final at Oxhey Jets FC
Monday 4th May
Berkhamsted v Colney Heath


Division Two Cup Final at Tring Athletic FC
Wednesday 6th May
Hale Leys United v Old Bradwell United

COULD THE BEACHBOYS BE HEADING FOR THE PLAY-OFFS?

Take a glance at the Vanarama South table and you'll see ex Ryman League side Concord Rangers in seventh place just a point of the play-offs. Danny Cowley's side have lost the same amount of games as table topper's Bromley and are on an unbeaten run of twelve games where they have picked up 26 points from a possible 36 available. Could the Essex side qualify for the play-offs with a chance of promotion to non-league's top division just two seasons after promotion for step three, five seasons from step four and seven from the Essex Senior League at step five? 

Their next three games come at home against ninth placed Ebbsfleet United (who have an outside chance of a place in the top five) on Saturday, an away game at Eastbourne Borough (12th) on Easter Saturday before hosting fellow play-off hopeful's Hemel Hemptead Town on Bank Holiday Monday. 

HOT-SHOT ZANONE SCORES ALL SEVEN


It was an amazing Tuesday evening for striker Stuart Zanone who scored all seven goals in the Kent side's 0-7 Southern Counties East League game at Lingfield. Zanone scored in the 28th, 29th, 44th, 52nd, 68th, 89th and 94th minutes in what will be a very memorable match for the ex Thamesmead Town and Rochester United player.

He has now scored a thirty-four times in his last seventeen games for Ashford.

The victory puts The Nuts and Bolts (as Ashford are nicknamed) up into second place in the league table but they are still ten points behind leader's Phoenix Sports who haven't lost in their twenty-nine league games played so far.