Monday, 23 May 2016


Essex Senior League side Basildon United have moved quickly to appoint Aaron Bloxham as their new manager following the departure of Craig Gillam who took The Bees to runner's up position in the league last season - It was their best finish since 1997/98 when they also came second. 

Twenty-nine year old Bloxham joins along with assistant John Radford from Essex Olympian League Premier Division side White Ensign. They had finished in fourth position after promotion from Division One in 2014/15 where they were runner's up to Harold Hill. 


Marvin Walker has been named as manager of new club Enfield Borough who will play at The Queen Elizabeth Stadium. He previously had succesful spells in charge at Wadham Lodge and Brimsdown FC as well as most recently at Enfield Town under 21s. 

Borough have announced two friendly games on Saturday 16th July against Ryan FC and on Tuesday 19th July at Essex Senior League side Sawbridgeworth Town. 


Sunday, 22 May 2016




Many column inches will be covered in the national press regarding West Ham United's opening game at The Olympic Stadium in East London this summer - Will any cover the fact there is a football ground a short distance down the road standing derelict and in need of some much needed love and attention - just a fraction of the money spent on the The Hammer's new home could bring The Hare and Hounds back up to a reasonable standard.

Those that graced the hallowed turf at Leyton FC's home and the fans who went to support them will be saddened to see the ground in it's present state - the above photos were taken recently by @Jt11John - he is well worth a follow on Twitter. The demise of Leyton FC in 2011 wasn't without controversy and is well written about elsewhere ( When Saturday Comes 2011 and Two Hundred Percent 2011 are excellent articlces) - it sadly saw the end of the beautiful game being played at the famous old stadium.

The local area is littered with clubs ground currently ground-sharing (London Bari at Clapton, Waltham Forest and Wadham Lodge, Barkingside at Ilford, Greenhouse Sports at Haringey Borough are few which spring to mind) so it's sad to see a stadium not being used when clubs are in desperate need of a home to call their own which could benefit the local community immensely.

The future of the stadium is unknown at this time - only time will tell if football will return to E10. 

1868 - Leyton FC formed
1927 - They beat Barking Town at The Den to win the FA Amateur Cup for the first time
1928 - Win the FA Amateur Cup again beating Cockfield 3-2 at Ayresome Park
1934 - Runners Up in the FA Amateur Cup losing 2-1 to Dulwich Hamlet at The Boleyn Ground
1937 - Runners Up in the FA Amateur Cup again to Dulwich Hamlet. This time 2-0 at The Boleyn Ground
1952 - Runners Up for a third time in the FA Amateur Cup. Walthamstow Avenue won a very local derby at Wembley Stadium 2-1.
1975 - Leyton FC and some of the people involved with Wingate FC form Leyton-Wingate (They moved East after losing the original club's Hall Lane ground when it was demolished to make way for the new M1 Motorway)*
 * Wingate FC started again at Arkley at Under 18 level -  They moved up from Sunday youth football, into the Hertfordshire Senior County League and then the South Midlands League. Due to the SML imposing an all floodlight rule for Premier Division sides the club left the league in 1991 after an eigth placed finish in the top division. They merged with Finchley to form Wingate and Finchley.

1982 - Leyton-Wingate champions of the Athenian League
1985 - Leyton-Wingate champions of Isthmian Division Two (North) - one place ahead of Finchley FC - Stevenage Borough were 4th!
1985/86 - An historic run in the FA Cup for Leyton-Wingate see's them visit The Vetch Field to play then    Swansea City who won the game 2-0. The former Leyton FC had qualified for the rounds's proper on several occasions in the past. 
1987 - Leyton-Wingate promoted to Premier Division after finishing runner's up in Division One. 

1991/92 - After this season Leyton-Wingate reverted back to Leyton FC. They had been relegated from the Isthmian Premier Division the previous season and finished 14th in Division One.   
1995 - Leyton FC merge with Walthamstow Pennant to form Leyton-Pennant. (Walthamstow Pennant were formed as Pennant FC in 1964 as a Junior side subsequently changed their name to represent Walthamstow when Walthamstow Avenue became part of Redbridge Forest in 1988) - The new club play at Wadham Lodge.

1997 - Leyton FC reformed and are founder members of the Spartan South Midlands League Division One.
2001 - Leyton FC win the Essex Senior League and are promoted to the Ryman League.
2002 - A High Court case rules that the reformed club have succesfully won the right to be recognised as an official continuation of the original club formed in 1868.
2003 - Leyton-Pennant re-named Waltham Forest FC
2005 - Leyton reach the play-offs in the Ryman Premier Division and narroly miss out on promotion to Conference South losing 2-1 to Eastleigh in the play-off final.
2008 - Leyton finish bottom of the Ryman Premier Division conceding a massive 123 goals in 42 matches. Just four league wins over the course of the season come at home to Horsham and Boreham Wood and away at Hastings United and Ashford Town (Middlesex). On the 15th December 2007 Hendon win 1-11 at The Hare & Hounds - this was part of a losing run in the league of 27 matches.
2011 - Leyton FC suspended from the Ryman League and withdraw from the competition. They were members of Division One (North). 
2016 - The Hare and Hounds Stadium stands derelict as above with the future as yet unconfirmed. 

Friday, 20 May 2016


There was big news in local football earlier in the week when Gavin Kelsey left his post as boss of Hoddesdon Town to take up the manager's position at Hertford Town. 

The Lillywhites have moved extremely quickly to appoint a successor to Kelsey and it's none other than Paul Halsey who left Hertford Town at the end of the season. 


The two league games between the two fierce local rivals will now be virtually unmissable next season as both sides harbour ambitions of promotion from the Step 5 Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division up to Step 4 on the non-league ladder. 

Kelsey's Hoddesdon Town team finished in third place last season with Halsey's Hertford Town in eighth position.  The bets are now well and truly on as to which team will finish ahead of which in the forthcoming season. 


AFC Sudbury have announced that they will send a strong side to help launch Newmarket Town's new 3G pitch at Cricket Field Road. The game will be a testimonial for AFC's record appearance holder Paul Betson who played 376 games between 1999 and 2007 when he left the club and went onto play for Ipswich Wanderers, Felixstowe and Walton United, Newmarket Town, Lakenheath and then back to Newmarket Town. He has made 200+ appearances for The Jockeys.

The management team of Jamie Godbold and Andy Reynolds have already been busy preparing for the new season by signing up a number of the Ryman Division One (North) title winning squad. Defender's James Baker, Ben Robinson and Jack Wilkinson have signed along with promising young centre forward Jordan Blackwell and goalkeeper Marcus Garnham who was player's and supporter's player of the year last season. Captain Sam Clarke who was manager's player of the year has also signed a two year deal with the club. Currently at 330 appearences he could overtake Betson's record of 376 games next season.

The club also have friendly games arranged at home to Histon on Friday 8th July and Royston Town on Saturday 23rd July and away at Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday 30th July,  Bishops Stortford on Tuesday 2nd August and Heybridge Swifts on Saturday 6th August.


Billericay Town have lost four players from last season's squad. Defender George Beavan has joined league rival's Tonbridge Angels, Glenn Poole has taken a player-coach role at Division One (North) side Thurrock with Mike Fondop-Talom and Jordan Cox stepping up to the Vanarama South division with Maidenhead United and Margate respectively. I'm sure Craig Edwards will be busy rebuilding his squad over the next few months. 


Bognor Regis Town have lost two of their succesful squad of the 2015/16 campaign. Defender Craig Robson has signed for Vanarama National side Dagenham and Redbridge with a big blow coming with striker Jason Prior leaving to join newly relegated Havant and Waterlooville. Prior scored 40 goals in 57 apperances for The Rocks last season. Signing the 27 year old is a real signal of intent for Hawk's boss Lee Bradbury ahead of the new Ryman Premier Division season. They have lost midfielder Scott Donnelly who was top scorer for the last two seasons who has opted to stay in the Vanarama South division by signing for Margate.

Burgess Hill Town have helped in the making of Sky One's new comedy Rovers. The comedy focuses of the supporters and staff of fictional club Redbridge Rovers. The first episode is due to be broadcast next Tuesday evening at 10pm. Manager of the club Ian Champman, reprieved from relegation to Division One (South), has announced that the majority of the squad from last season will be staying on for the 2016/17 campaign.


Manager of Dulwich Hamlet Gavin Rose faces a summer of rebuilding following a long list of players leaving Champion Hill. A trio have left to join Vanarama South side Welling United - Jordan Brown, Danny Waldren and Mitchell Nelson join ex Hamlet player's Xavier Vidal and.Luke Wanadio at Park View Road. Centre Forward's Ryan Moss and Damian Scannel have also left to join Kingstonian and Tonbridge Angels. Goalkeeper Phil Wilson and Jack Dixon have also left along with Preston Edwards who returns to Ebbsfleet United following his loan spell and Dipo Akinyemi - who impressed many with his performances in his short term loan deal from League Two side Stevenage. Hamlet have the following friendly games arranged -

Saturday 9th July - BROMLEY
Tuesday 12th July - Welling United
Thursday 14th July - Beckenham Town
Saturday 16th July - Lewes
Tuesday 19th July - CHARLTON ATHLETIC
Saturday 23rd July - MILLWALL
Tuesday 26th July - CRYSTAL PALACE
Saturday 30th July - Hampton & Richmond Borough
Friday 5th August - Tooting & Mitcham Utd

The club have a 443 offer for the home friendly games versus Bromley, Charlton Athletic, Millwall and Crystal Palace where for £30 (£12 concessions) you can gain access to all of the games four for the price of three.The offer is not open to season ticket holders but they will get half price entry. Details of the early bird offer are below -

In other news the club have submitted plans to Southwick Council on the redevelopment of Champion Hill. The proposed new 4000 capacity stadium will also contain a permenant base for the ASPIRE Academy along with a centre of excellence for sport, education and personal development for East Dulwich community.The club are urging as many people as possible, whether Dulwich Hamlet fans or not, to do their bit and show the strength of feeling behind the proposal for the redevelopment. Details to help the club can be found here - Dulwich's New Ground Proposal

Enfield Town have announced their first signing of the summer in defender Curtis Ujah who joins from Evo Stik Southern Premier Division side Chesham United. He played 47 times for The Generals scoring scoring 12 goals in the process including one very important one versus Town in the FA Cup in October. He has previously played for St Albans City, Maidenhead United, Bishops Stortford, Boreham Wood and Hayes & Yeading United. 

Town have arranged four friendly games so far which are as follows. They include a trip to Northern Premier League side Skelmersdale United in a game to remember and commemerate the 1967 FA Amatuer Cup Final between the old Enfield FC and Skem which attracted a crowd of 75.000 to Wembley Stadium which at the time was a record attendance for the stadium for a game other than the FA Cup final, League Cup final or International. The E's famously won the replay 3-0 at Maine Road.   

Friday 22nd July - BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION XI
Thursday 28th July - Ware
Saturday 30th July - Skelmersdale United
Tuesday 9th August - Haringey Borough

Folkestone Invicta have a pre-season game set up against Vanarama South side Concord Rangers for Saturday 16th July where they will welcome back Adam Flanagan to the club. The Rangers manager played for Invicta and was player of the season in 05/06 and scored in their famous FA Cup 1st Round game versus Chester City which they lost 2-1. City were then a a Football League side. They also have games away at Ashford United (Sat 9th July) and Hythe Town (Sat 6th August) as well as further home games against Faversham Town (Sat 30th July) and on Tuesday 12th July at home to Maidstone United which is Josh Vincent's Testimonial. The defender/midfielder was drafted into the team midway through the 2008/09 season when a wage freeze and financial crisis at the club saw many of the squad leaving. He has since played over 300 games for the Kent club.  

Jamie Stuart is the new manager of Grays Athletic. He is a club legend having played for the Essex side for five seasons after joining in November 2004. During his time with the club he won the Conference South, FA Trophy (twice) and competed in the Conference National Play-offs. He made over 200 appearances and was Captain for the 2007/08 and 2008/09 campaign. He started his playing career with Charlton Athletic going on to represent Millwall, Bury, Southend United, Hornchurch, Rushden and Diamonds, AFC Wimbledon, Sutton United and Margate. They have three pre-season games arranged so far being a home game against AFC Hornchurch on Wednesday 27th July and two away trips to Thurrock on Saturday 23rd July and down the Kent coast on Saturday 6th August to play Ramsgate.


Harlow Town have a busy pre-season schedule arranged beginning with a home game agianst St Albans City on Saturday 9th July. The following Tuesday they make the short trip to D1N side Brentwood Town before playing Cheshunt at Theobalds Lane and hosting their tennants Enfield 1893. They then travel to play on Newmarket Town's new 3G surface on Saturday 23rd July. They then have three trips to Ware, East Thurrock United and VCD Athletic before a home game against neighbour's Bishop's Stortford on Saturday 6th August. They have made a excellent signing in the experienced 32 year old defender Billy Jones. He has made over 300 football league appearances playing for Leyton Orient, Kidderminster Harriers, Exeter City, Crewe Alexandra (they paid £65,000 for his services), Cheltenham Town, Newport County and most recently Gloucester City. He is known to be a dead ball specialist playing at left back, centre back or in midfield. Layne Eadie who was the Manger's player, Supportet's player and player's plater of the season has signed a contract for next season along with the goal scoring expert Alex Read,  ex Stoke City centre-back Ibrahima Sonko, midfidler Fabion Simms and goalkeeper David Hughes who kept nine clean sheets in thirty appearances for The Hawks last seasons.

Havant and Waterlooville have signed Jason Prior and lost the services of Scott Donnelly as stated above. 31 year old Brian Dutton has also departed  along with midfielder Nic Ciardini and Middlesex born Danny Blanchett who has played for Northwood, Hendon and Harrow Borough earlier in his career. 

Hendon have lost the services of left-back Ollie Sprauge who is another Ryman League player joining Vanarama South side Welling United. He made over 100 appearances for The Greens. Gary McCann's side who narrowly avoided relegation last season will play Hitchin Town at Top Field on Thursday 21st July and Whyteleafe on Saturday 6th August. They also have home games against Margate on Tuesday 26th July and Hemel Hempstead Town on Tuesday 12th July. 

Kingstonian will travel to play Hampton and Richmond Borough in the Ryman Charity Shield on Tuesday 2nd August in a game which see's the league champions play the Ryman Cup winners. The K's have signed midfielder Jake Nicholson from Walton Casuals - He started his career with West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur where he made one appearance in the EUROPA league game against Hearts. He has since represented Morton, AFC Wimbledon, St Albans City, Hayes and Yeading United before joining D1(S) side Walton Casuals last season. Striker Ryan Moss has returned to Kingsmeadow from Dulwich Hamlet - He scored 26 goals in 53 games during the 2013/14 seasons for the K's. He went on to play for Margate in the 2014/15 where he scored the winning goal in their Ryman Premier play-off final. Several members of the squad from last season have also comited to playing for the K's for 2016/17 - Rob Tolfrey, Aaron Goode, Pelayo Pico Gomez, George Wells, Joe Turner, Lee O'Leary, Peter Dean, Sam Page, Alan Inns and Reece Beckles will be returning.

Leatherhead are another club to already have a busy pre-season shcedule sorted out -

Friday 8th July - Corinthians
Tuesday 12th July - East Grinstead Town
Saturday 16th July - Margate
Tuesday 19th July - HERNE BAY - to be played at River Lane)
Saturday 23rd July - Godalming Town
Tuesday 26th July - MAIDSTONE UNITED
Saturday 30th July - AFC HORNCHURCH 
Tuesday 2nd August - South Park
Saturday 6th August - FAVERSHAM TOWN 

Lowestoft Town will  have to adjust to travelling North to play teams such as AFC Fylde, Harrogate Town, FC United of Machester and Bradford Park Avenue to being back in the Ryman Premier and look forward to journeys to Staines Town, Harrow Borough and Bognor Regis Town - The Trawlerboys have certainly clocked up some mileage over the last few seasons. They have one pre-season game arranged so far when Braintree Town visit Crown Meadow on Saturday 23rd July. Dean Mason, Robert Eagle and Elvjis Putnins have all departed the club over the past few weeks. 
Needham Market have moved quickly to sign striker Emmanuel Osei from promoted East Thurrock United. Ollie Brown, Ollie Mann & Jordan Patrick have all departed Bloomsfields with Kem Izzet currently transfer listed. 


Manager Johnson Hippolyte will be busy preparing The Swans for the forthcoming season which will be his first full campaign in charge at Wheatsheaf Lane. I fully expect Staines Town to finish much higher than the 16th place they achieved last season. They play away at Marlow on Saturday 16th July before a very local trip to Staines Lammas at The Lucan Pavillion Recreation Ground on Saturday 23rd July. The Swans played on this site for a few seasons after WW2 before the move to their current home. Wealdstone visit on Tuesday 26th July before an away trip to South Park on Saturday 30th July. 

Play-Off semi-final loser's Tonbridge Angels have strengthend their already impressive squad with the arrivals of centre-forward Andre McCollin, midfielder Damien Scannel and defender George Beavan. With these quality signings they will be one of the favourites for the title next season. Anthony Riviere, Bradley Woods-Garness, Charlie Webster and Laurence Ball have all departed Longmead. The Angels will play in the Geoff Harvey Tournament at Corinthian Causals on Saturday 9th and 10th July and have home games against AFC Wimbledon XI (Sat 23rd July), Thamesmead Town (Sat 30th July) and Tunbridge Wells (Sat 6th August). They also travel to Sutton United on Tuesday 2nd August. They also have a weekend away to the North-East when on Friday 15th July when they face Bedlington Terriers followed by Blyth Spartans on Saturday 16th July.  

Worthing, promoted via the Division One (South) play-offs, have the chance to crown an already succesful season tonight when they travel to The Amex Stadium to play Eastbourne Borough in The Parafix Sussex Senior Cup. The club has already sold over 1000 tickets for the game against the Vanarama South side. 


Wednesday, 18 May 2016


2) BARKINGSIDE - relegated from Ryman Division One (North) 
6) ENFIELD 1893
13) REDBRIDGE - relegated from Ryman Division One (North) 
22) WEST ESSEX - promoted from the Middlesex County Premier Division  

The Essex Senior League for the forthcoming season should look like the above subject to ratification at the league's AGM. Leaving the league are Champion's Bowers and Pitsea who move up to the Ryman Division One (North) and Newham who struggled playing at Tilbury last season and finished bottom of the table. They have resigned from the league and have reverted back to their old name of London APSA joining the Essex Olympian League where they have been placed in Division One.

Barkingside and Redbridge who finished in the bottom two places of the Ryman D1N should drop down and return to the Essex Senior League. 

West Essex were due to play FC Assyria tonight in the Middlesex County League where a win would of won them the title. Unfortunately their opponents couldn't raise a side so they were awarded the three points which has given them the Middlesex County League Premier Division title. As their twitter feed stated they would of preferred to win it on the pitch but their achievement is still a very good one and see's the club, who currently ground share at Barking's Mayesbrook Park, move up to the Essex Senior League for next season. They still have one more game scheduled to play which is at home to CB Hounslow United Reserves on Saturday. 

West Essex's spiritual home is around the Highams Park, E4 area but their first team have been ground sharing at Barking this season in order for the club to progress up the football pyramid. 

If all is correct the league will run with a constitution of 22 clubs for the first time in it's illustrious history.  

Waltham Forest will be under new management for the 2016/17 campaign with former Broxbourne Borough and Ware boss Kem Kemal joining to replace Turgut Esendagli who departed to take a full time post as Chief Scout at football league side Crawley Town. 

Tony Ievoli has left Wadham Lodge and has been named boss of Ryman Division One (North) side Brentwood Town. He has been replaced by Neil Day who has been with the club in a coaching capacity last season. 

Some of the member clubs have already announced some dates for pre-season friendlies.  

Clapton's are as follows - 
Saturday 16th July - COCKFOSTERS 
Saturday 23rd July - WELWYN GARDEN CITY 
Saturday 30th July - Codicote 
Tuesday 2nd August - WHITE ENSIGN

Southend Manor look to have a very busy pre-season schedule with ten games already arranged as follows - 
Saturday 2nd July - Non-League Chance XI 
Saturday 9th July - AFC Barnston 
Tuesday 12th July - Romford 
Thursday 14th July - Old Southenians 
Saturday 16th July - THURROCK 
Tuesday 19th July - AFC HORNCHURCH 
Saturday 23rd July - Halstead Town 
Tuesday 26th July - Basildon Town 
Saturday 30th July - Hailsham Town 
Saturday 6th August - Earls Colne 



Just over five miles seperate Spartan South Midlands League local rival's Hoddesdon Town and Hertford Town and there has been some very keenly contested derby games between them since The Lillywhites were promoted back up to the Premier Division in 2013. The tension mounted last summer when striker and fan's favourite Tommy Wade swapped the blue shirt of Hertford for the white one of Hoddesdon 

The rivalry and pressure was stretched further today when the shock news was announced that Gavin Kelsey is the new manager of Hertford Town. 

Kelsey only joined Hoddesdon last season from another local side in St Margarestbury but guided them to the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup which was their best performance since 1969/70, won the Premier Division Cup and mounting a credible challenge for the title eventually finishing in third place which is arguably their best ever league finish in their history.  

Hoddesdon are now looking for a new boss ahead of next season where they will be ground-sharing at Wodson Park (the home of Ryman Division One (North) side Ware FC) due to Lowfield not currently up to the correct ground grading standard for promotion to Step Four on the non-league ladder which the club are aiming for. 

Hertford Town fans, many of whom were disappointed with popular manager Paul Halsey leaving the club, will now be eagerly anticipating the forthcoming season and looking higher up the table than their eighth placed finish they achieved in 2015/16. 

The local derby games between the two which attracted crowds of 302 and 337 last season will be very interesting to say the least.