Friday, 15 December 2017

BOSTIK LEAGUE - WEEKEND PREVIEW


PREMIER DIVISION
Brightlingsea Regent v Staines Town
Burgess Hill Town v Merstham
Enfield Town v Dorking Wanderers
Harlow Town v Folkestone Invicta
Harrow Borough v Leiston
Kingstonian v Margate
Needham Market v Metropolitan Police
Tonbridge Angels v Dulwich Hamlet
Tooting & Mitcham United v Thurrock

With second placed Billericay Town in Trophy action Dulwich Hamlet could go five points clear at the top of the table with a win at Tonbridge Angels who will include former Heybridge Swifts midfielder Sam Bantick in their squad who scored eighteen goals for the Essex side this season.  

Tooting and Mitcham United, Harlow Town and Needham Market (all just above the drop zone which in-form Worthing occupy) will all be looking to get points on the board in their games. 

NORTH DIVISION
Aveley v Hertford Town - Friday 15th December
AFC Hornchurch v Cheshunt
Bowers & Pitsea v Barking
Brentwood Town v Waltham Abbey
Bury Town v Grays Athletic
Norwich United v Canvey Island
Romford v Mildenhall Town
Soham Town Rangers v Ware
Witham Town v AFC Sudbury

In the North Division their is a big game at The Len Salmon Stadium as Bowers and Pitsea (2nd) go to Barking (5th). Table topper's AFC Hornchurch who lost 2-0 to Canvey Island in their last game will look to get back to winning ways at home Cheshunt (22nd) who were well beaten 4-0 at Bowers and Pitsea last time out. 

Craig Edwards takes charge of Ware for the first time when they travel to Soham Town Rangers. The former Kingstonian boss has signed midfielder Sam Alderson from his former side this week whom has also played for Cambridge City and St Neots Town. Ryan Maxwell, Jamie Guy, Lee Flynn, Leon Antoine and goalkeeping coach Alex Smits have all left the club this week as Edwards rebuilds the team at Wodson Park.  

SOUTH DIVISON
Ashford United v Horsham
Carshalton Athletic v Herne Bay
Corinthian-Casuals v VCD Athletic
East Grinstead Town v Thamesmead Town
Greenwich Borough v Sittingbourne
Guernsey v Walton Casuals
Hythe Town v Molesey
Phoenix Sports v Chipstead
Ramsgate v Lewes
Shoreham v Faversham Town
South Park v Hastings United
Whyteleafe v Cray Wanderers

It's really tight at the top of the South Division with Lewes leading the way from Corinthian-Casuals and Carshalton Athletic by just three points - Lewes lost 3-2 at Carshalton in midweek. Cray Wanderers are in fourth place by just four points from top with games in hand over the current top three. 


SOUTH DIVISION 
CURRENT TABLE - TOP FOUR ONLY 
P TEAM P GD PTS FORM
1 LEWES 22 +29 48 DWWDWL
2 CORINTHIAN-CASUALS 23 +24 45 WLDLDW
3 CARSHALTON ATHLETIC 23 +12 45 WWWDDW
4 CRAY WANDERERS 21 +32 44 DWWDWW


FA TROPHY FIRST ROUND PROPER
Billericay Town v Havant & Waterlooville 
Hampton & Richmond Borough v Heybridge Swifts 
Haringey Borough v Leyton Orient
Hendon v Bath City 
Wealdstone v Wingate & Finchley 

Five clubs (three Premier Division and two from the North Division) represent the league in the FA Trophy with four facing games against Vanarama South Division clubs and Haringey Borough facing maybe the biggest game in their history as Vanarama National Division side Leyton Orient visit Coles Park. 

Heybridge Swifts go to Hampton & Richmond Borough (3rd) are on winning run of ten games scoring twenty-four goals in the process. Former Wycombe Wanderers and Woking midfielder has been in great form lately along with former AFC Wimbledon winger Brendan Kiernan - both have scored in goals in all of their last three games. 

Billericay Town entertain 2017 Isthmian League champion's Havant & Waterlooville who are currently in fourth place in their division so will be really tough opposition for the Essex side. 


THE FIVE CLUBS STILL REPRESENTING THE BOSTIK LEAGUE ON THE ROAD TO WEMBLEY IN THE BUILDBASE FA TROPHY





Wednesday, 13 December 2017

BOSTIK LEAGUE DEVELOPMENT DIVISIONS - AN UPDATE

The Bostik League has three development divisions this season being the North, Central and South. They are proving a good success forging a pathway for younger under 23 players to get valuable game time allowing them hopefully to move onwards and upwards into the first team of their respective clubs.   

NORTH DIVISION
CURRENT TABLE - TOP FOUR ONLY  

POS TEAM P GD PTS
1 WINGATE AND FINCHLEY 10 +26 25
2 WITHAM TOWN  12 +6 20
3 HARINGEY BOROUGH 11 +2 17
4 WARE 9 +10 16

In the North Division Wingate & Finchley are leading the way under the management of former Cockfoster's boss Dean Barker. There is a top of the table clash next Wednesday at The Maurice Rebak Stadium when Witham Town visit - Wingate have won all five of their home league games so far. 

Wingate's last league game saw them win 9-0 against AFC Hornchurch with goals coming from Ben Pattie (3), Ned Clarke (3), Keir Dickson (2) and Elijah Seymour.  Last week the young side beat Hanwell Town 3-0 in the Middlesex Charity Cup with both Pattie and Clarke on the score-sheet again alongside Antoine Akinola.

Former QPR youth player Pattie has made many appearances for the first team this season - the twenty-one year old is one to look out for. 




DEAN BARKER TALKS AFTER THE RECENT AFC HORNCHURCH GAME

Haringey Borough are in third place and currently have Darnell Goather-Braithwaite as top scorer on seven goals - He is another former Queens Park Rangers academy player where he made appearances for their under 18 side last season. 

CENTRAL DIVISION 
CURRENT TABLE - TOP FOUR ONLY  

POSTEAMPGDPTS
1TOOTING AND MITCHAM9+3727
2BURGESS HILL TOWN 8+1322
3CARSHALTON ATHLETIC8+1118
4MOLESEY 13-516

In the Central Division it the free scoring Terrors who are leading the way with a 100% winning record over their nine games played - Tooting's Stefan Ilic leads the divisions scoring charts on eleven goals closely followed by Shamal Edwards on ten. Both have featured on the sub's bench for the first team of late. They have two games scheduled before Christmas this coming Thursday at home to second placed Burgess Hill Town where a win would put them eight points clear at the top of the table. They then travel to The Dripping Pan next Monday to face Lewes. 

SOUTH DIVISION 
CURRENT TABLE - TOP FOUR ONLY  

POSTEAMPGDPTS
1HASTINGS UNITED13+2629
2FAVERSHAM TOWN 11020
3RAMSGATE11+1318
4GREENWICH BOROUGH12-717
Hastings United lead the way in the South Division followed by Faversham Town who have two games in hand over them as do currently third placed Ramsgate. Hasting's Davide Rodari leads the way on eleven goals scored - He turned down a contract with Eastbourne Borough to sign for the club and was was a regular in the under 19 and development squads last season. He has also been a regular in the first team for this campaign. Rodari, 18, was born in Itlay and began his career in the Inter Milan youth set up as well as a spell with Team Ticino in Switzerland. 


FORTHCOMING FIXTURES 
WEDNESDAY 13th DECEMBER 
DEVELOPMENT NORTH 
Billericay Town v Barking 
* i'm unsure if this game is going ahead yet due to the ice and snow etc.  

THURSDAY 14th DECEMBER 
DEVELOPMENT CENTRAL
East Grinstead Town v Shoreham 
Tooting & Mitcham United v Burgess Hill Town 

DEVELOPMENT SOUTH 
Margate v Greenwich Borough 

SATURDAY 16th DECEMBER 
DEVELOPMENT SOUTH 
Faversham Town v Greenwich Borough 

MONDAY 18th DECEMBER 
DEVELOPMENT CENTRAL 
Lewes v Tooting & Mitcham United 

DEVELOPMENT SOUTH 
Cray Wanderers v Whyteleafe 

TUESDAY 19th DECEMBER 
DEVELOPMENT SOUTH 
Margate v Ramsgate 

WEDNESDAY 20th DECEMBER 
DEVELOPMENT NORTH 
Billericay Town v AFC Hornchurch 
Ware v Cheshunt 
Wingate & Finchley v Witham Town 

THURSDAY 21st DECEMBER 
DEVELOPMENT CENTRAL 
Burgess Hill Town v Carshalton Athletic 

DEVELOPMENT NORTH 
Barking v Tilbury 

DEVELOPMENT SOUTH 
Margate v Whyteleafe

WEDNESDAY 27th DECEMBER 
DEVELOPMENT NORTH 
Billericay Town v Wingate & Finchley
Witham Town v Haringey Borough 

THURSDAY 28th DECEMBER 
DEVELOPMENT SOUTH 
Margate v Hastings United 

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE - RACE FOR THE TITLE - AN UPDATE


ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE 
CURRENT TABLE - TOP FIVE ONLY 
TEAM P GD PTS PPG
REDBRIDGE 21 +33 52 2.48
FC ROMANIA 21 +36 48 2.29
TAKELEY  21 +40 47 2.24
BASILDON UNITED  20 +25 47 2.35
GREAT WAKERING ROVERS 20 +36 46 2.30

TOP FIVE CURRENT FORM TABLE

TEAM P GD PTS
GREAT WAKERING ROVERS 6 +15 18
REDBRIDGE 6 +15 18
FC ROMANIA  6 +17 16
BASILDON UNITED 6 +8 15
TAKELEY  6 +10 10

TOP FIVE v TOP FIVE TABLE 

TEAM P W D L GF GA GD PTS PPG
BASILDON UNITED  3 2 0 1 4 2 +2 6 2.00
GREAT WAKERING ROVERS 2 1 0 1 5 2 +3 3 1.50
REDBRIDGE  2 1 0 1 3 4 -1 3 1.50
TAKELEY  4 1 1 2 3 3 0 4 1.00
FC ROMANIA  3 1 0 2 3 7 -4 3 1.00










The race for the title in the Essex Senior League looks set to be a highly exciting one with just six points separating the current top six who aside from Wadham Lodge are the form sides in the competition. Table topper's Redbridge have only dropped 11 points from the 63 they have played for which equates to 17.46% compared to Great Wakering Rovers 14 points from 60 which is 23.33% so it really is very close.



TOP FIVE - POINTS PER GAME 

Second placed FC Romania are keeping the pressure on Redbridge with nine wins from their last ten games played - they have improved from 1.82 points per game over their first eleven games to 2.80 in their last ten games played. 

Wadham Lodge's (currently 14th) form had improved under new boss Marc Farrell but the news is he resigned after Saturday's 2-2 draw at Enfield 1893 FC - the club have yet to announce who will take over. 

The league's forthcoming fixtures are below (weather permitting of course) with the game between FC Romania and Great Wakering Rovers on Saturday standing out as well as Rovers home game on Saturday 23rd December against Basildon United - 

WEDNESDAY 13th DECEMBER 
FC Romania v Waltham Forest - Errington Cup 
Hackney Wick v Enfield 1893 
Ilford v Basildon United 

FRIDAY 15th DECEMBER 
Woodford Town (2017) v Sporting Bengal United 

SATURDAY 16th DECEMBER 
Burnham Ramblers v Wadham Lodge 
Clapton v Takeley 
FC Romania v Great Wakering Rovers 
Hullbridge Sports v Redbridge 
Sawbridgeworth Town v Barkingside 
Stansted v Hackney Wick 
Tower Hamlets v Basildon United 
Waltham Forest v Southend Manor 

MONDAY 18th DECEMBER 
Barkingside v Hullbridge Sports 
Enfield 1893 v West Essex 

TUESDAY 20th DECEMBER
Takeley v Sawbridgeworth Town

SATURDAY 23th DECEMBER 
FC Romania v Barkingside 
Great Wakering Rovers v Basildon United 
Hackney Wick v Waltham Forest 
Hullbridge Sports v Sawbridgeworth Town 
Ilford v Redbridge 
Southend Manor v Burnham Ramblers 
Takeley v Stansted 
Tower Hamlets v Woodford Town (2017)
Wadham Lodge v Sporting Bengal United 


Monday, 11 December 2017

THE RACE FOR THE SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION TITLE


SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE 
PREMIER DIVISION TABLE - TOP FIVE ONLY 
TEAM P GD PTS PPG
BERKHAMSTED 17 +22 41 2.41
HARPENDEN TOWN 17 +18 39 2.29
WELWYN GC 15 +22 38 2.53
HODDESDON TOWN  21 +14 34 1.62
BIGGLESWADE FC  17 +11 33 1.94

Berkhamsted are currently top the SSMFL Premier Division - they are the only step five side in the country left with an unbeaten league record having won twelve and drawn five of their seventeen games played. With their two games in hand Welwyn Garden City can overtake them - The Citizens have lost just one of their fifteen games played winning twelve and drawing two of them. 

Harpenden Town and Biggleswade FC (both promoted from Division One last season) will be really pleased with their current placings. Hoddesdon Town are currently fourth but with twenty one games played are probably out of the title race already. 

The three teams with a current Points Per Game (PPG) record of over 2 are the top three of Berkhamsted, Harpenden Town and Welwyn Garden City. 

POINTS PER GAME RECORD OF THE CURRENT TOP FIVE   

TOP FIVE CURRENT FORM TABLE

TEAM P GD PTS
HARPENDEN TOWN  6 +9 16
BIGGLESWADE FC  6 +4 13
WELWYN GC  6 +4 13
HODDESDON TOWN 6 +8 12
BERKHAMSTED 6 +3 12


The current table toppers are bottom of the current form table for the top five dropping what could be important points in three draws against Edgware Town, Biggleswade United and Crawley Green. The form side for the whole division is currently sixth placed Leverstock Green who have won all of their last six league games. They had a terrible start to the campaign losing their four opening fixtures but as the below shows they have improved remarkably since then. With this up-turn in form I think, although they might not finish top of the table, they might have a say in where the title ends up in the games they have scheduled against the current top five.  


LEVERSTOCK GREEN COMPARISON OF FORM

P W D L GF GA GD PTS PPG
9 3 1 5 14 20 -6 10 1.11
8 7 1 0 26 12 +14 22 2.75


If you take a look at the top six v top six table you can see the current top three arguably have a tougher set of games having only played two and three games opposed to six for Leverstock Green, Biggleswade FC and Hoddesdon Town. 

TOP SIX v TOP SIX 
GAMES PLAYED TABLE 

TEAM P W D L GF GA GD PTS PPG
BERKHAMSTED 3 2 1 0 11 6 +5 7 2.33
HARPENDEN TOWN 3 1 2 0 7 3 +4 5 1.67
LEVERSTOCK GREEN 6 3 1 2 13 13 0 10 1.67
BIGGLESWADE FC  6 2 2 2 10 10 0 8 1.33
HODDESDON TOWN  6 1 2 3 7 13 -6 5 0.83
WELWYN GARDEN CITY 2 0 1 1 2 3 -1 1 0.50


There are some very interesting fixtures coming up for the top six sides - 

Berkhamsted FC 
The Comrades were recently knocked out of the FA Vase by local rival's Tring Athletic and have a chance to gain some revenge in a home league game on Saturday 23rd December. They then take a tough trip to Leverstock Green on Saturday 30th December before hosting Harpenden Town on Saturday 6th January. 

Harpenden Town 
As well as their trip to to Berkhamsted they face an away trip to Biggleswade FC on Saturday 16th December as well as Welwyn Garden City on Saturday 30th December. 

Welwyn Garden City 
Adam Fisher's side have an important game at Hoddesdon Town on Saturday 23rd December as well as the home game versus Harpenden Town.  

Hoddesdon Town 
The Lillywhites next three league games are at home to Hadley and the afformentioned game against Welwyn GC before a New Year/Christmas local derby at St Margaretsbury on Saturday 30th December. 

Biggleswade FC 
Biggleswade's next league game is against Harpenden Town on Saturday 16th December before two hugely anticipated local derby games at Biggleswade United (Saturday 23rd December) and at home to Stotfold (Saturday 30th December). 

Leverstock Green 
Scott Dash's in form side face Colney Heath this Tuesday at Pancake Lane (weather permitting!) and then travel to Biggleswade United and Holmer Green prior to Christmas. 



Sunday, 10 December 2017

DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR HATFIELD TOWN - HILLINGDON BOROUGH UNLUCKY NOT TO PICK UP A POINT

It was double celebration for Hatfield Town yesterday as their first team and reserves both won their respective games. 





 THE SCORER OF OXHEY JETS FIRST TWO GOALS
MATCH ACTION FROM HATFIELD TOWN RESERVES v OXHEY JETS VETS 

Hatfield Reserves are having a good season in the Herts Senior County League Reserve & Development Division 1 currently placed in second position played Oxhey Jets Vets in the Gregg Cup with a 1.30pm kick off at Birchwood Leisure Centre allowing me to see the first half before making the short journey to The Gosling Stadium to watch the first team versus Hillingdon Borough. 

Oxhey are also having a decent campaign currently in third position in the R&D Division 2 - they were 1-2 up when I left on a chilly Hertfordshire afternoon. The score ended 5-3 and sees Hatfield through to the Second Round where they face the winners of the Knebworth Reserves v Buntingford Town Reserves game yet to be played. Below are the first three goals scored in the game - 



Kevin Pearman's first team welcomed struggling Hillingdon Borough to The Gosling Stadium who had only won one of their sixteen league games played so far prior to kick off. This came way back on Tuesday 15th August when they won 1-3 at Rayners Lane. 


HILLINGDON'S KEEPER WAS BRILLIANT. HE CALLED FOR THE REF TO STOP PLAY WHEN ONE OF THE HATFIELD PLAYERS WAS DOWN INJURED. HE ALSO ENCOURAGED HIS TEAM THROUGHOUT THE GAME - HE IS PICTURED HERE WEARING A HATFIELD TOP LOANED TO HIM BY THE HOME SIDE. 

Despite being stuck at the bottom of the table they started really well and were the better side in the opening twenty minutes or so. From what I saw they have some really good young players in their side and some good results will come over the forthcoming months with a little bit of luck and some hard work on the training pitch. 


Rhys Springer-Downes playing on the right wing stood out for me. He was released from Championship side Queens Park Rangers over the summer where he played in the academy under 18 side managed/coached by Paul Furlong. He is listed as a right back/defender - I think with the right attitude and commitment he could play at a higher level of football. He has a good touch and can take players on. He is definitely a player to watch out for. 

They were 0-1 up early on when a header from a corner came back off the post and was poked home through a bunch of Hatfield defenders on the line. They had chances to make it 0-2 but it was Hatfield who struck back with three goals prior to half time to make it 3-1. 

Hillingdon can be somewhat aggrieved by the third goal as the free kick given where Hatfield scored from seemed to be a great tackle - the replay is from 8m 40secs.   


BETTER RESULTS ARE HOPEFULLY ON THEIR WAY FOR A HARD WORKING HILLINGDON SIDE

The home side had chances to make an entertaining game safe but full credit must go to the visitors who never gave up making it 2-3 with a great effort from outside of the box about ten minutes before full time. They were unlucky not to make it 3-3 right on full time when a free kick rattled the post. 

My Man of the match goes to former Hertford Town, Hoddesdon Town and Enfield Town midfielder Phil Lowen who was brilliant in midfield for Hatfield Town. 

After the game Hatfield boss Kevin Pearman said "I thought we were very lucky to still be in the match when we got our goals . Hillingdon ran us ragged early on but we played well for fifteen minutes at end of the first half. The second half we done okay early on and created chances. Once we let the second in we rode our luck till the end. Hillingdon never gave up and can consider themselves unlucky not to get something from the game. Phil Lowen is an amazing player. Some of his ball control under pressure and on a frozen pitch was a pleasure to watch" 


MATCH HIGHLIGHTS 




You have to go back to April 2015 when Hatfield Town last won three league games in a row when then Manager Ashley Purser's team beat London Lions (2-1), Langford (5-0) and Risborough Rangers (2-1) in The Blue Boy's most succesful season of recent times when they finished fourth in the Spartan South Midlands League Division One. 

The Blue Boy's recent good run has put them on five wins from nineteen league games played so far in the 17/18 campaign - they just need four more to equal last season's total of nine wins in forty league games played.

Both clubs are in need of some support from their local communities. Hillingdon Borough had pulled out of the league last January only for Everton winger Yannick Bolasie to step in and help out his former side. Why not get down to The Middlesex Stadium or The Gosling Stadium to watch them play and cheer them on. 

There next two games couldn't be tougher. They face a local derby at home to Broadfields United next weekend with table topping and currently unbeaten in the league Southall visiting on Saturday 23rd December. 

The Blue Boys have a break now until Saturday 23rd December when they make the short trip to Codicote. It would be great to see a three figure crowd at this local derby game - The Cod Army had 48 at their last home game versus St Neots Town Reserves. 

Friday, 8 December 2017

THE BLUE BOYS MAKE IT TWO WINS ON THE SPIN WITH VICTORY OVER BRIMSDOWN

Hatfield Town won just two of their opening sixteen Spartan South Midlands League Division One games but things have been better in the last week with two wins on the spin at The Gosling Stadium. Kevin Pearman's side had a tremendous 4-0 win over Rayners Lane on Tuesday 28th November which they followed up with a 3-1 victory in Tuesday evening's game against Brimsdown

The Blue Boys were well on top in the opening period of the game having two good chances early on from headers from corners - one was saved and the other went wide. Brimsdown came back into it when they had their own header from a corner cleared off the line and then hit the post from close range. Their management will take many positives from the game and it could of been a different result had one of these chances gone in. 

It was 1-0 shortly after when another header from a corner was deflected into his own net by an unlucky Brimsdown defender. The visitors then levelled things up with a well worked goal but it was Hatfield who went in at the break 2-1 up thanks to a brilliant free kick from outside of the box. Was it a foul that the free kick was given for? - Check out the replay on 

Hatfield made the game safe when a corner was headed back into the box and headed home from close range by Paul Otim who celebrated so much he gave himself cramp. The referee was somewhat harsh telling him to get up despite the Hatfield players saying he needed treatment. 

This was a great result for the Hatfield squad and management who have a chance to win three in a row when bottom of the table Hillingdon Borough visit The Gosling Stadium tomorrow. The Middlesex side only have one league victory so far which came back on Tuesday 15th August at Rayners Lane (1-3) - Hatfield beat them 4-1 on Tuesday 5th September in the League Challenge Trophy. Equally Hillingdon will be looking to get another win under their belts to help them climb up the table. 

Brimsdown host Harefield United at Coles Park tomorrow looking to get back to winning ways. Both clubs need some support and would welcome anyone along to their games. 

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE WEEKEND FIXTURES

FRIDAY 
Redbridge v Woodford Town 

SATURDAY 
Barkingside v Hullbridge Sports 
Basildon United v Takeley
Burnham Ramblers v West Essex
Enfield 1893 v Wadham Lodge 
Hackney Wick v FC Romania 
Southend Manor v Clapton 
Stansted v Ilford 
Tower Hamlets v Sporting Bengal United 
Waltham Forest v Sawbridgeworth Town 

The race for the Essex Senior League title looks like it's going to be a really exciting one with just five points currently separating the top five in the league table. 

Redbridge are currently top and they entertain Woodford Town on Friday where a victory would put them five points clear from Takeley (2nd) who have a tough trip to Basildon United (5th) on Saturday. Great Wakering Rovers (3rd) are not in action with FC Romania on the road to Hackney Wick. 

Hullbridge Sports (the only remaining ESL side left in the Vase) are currently bottom of the table - They go to Barkingside (17th) this weekend. 

After Friday night's game Redbridge have another home game on Tuesday at home to Great Wakering Rovers - the result of which could have a massive effect on the placings in the table. Their three league defeats have come against title rival's Takeley as well as Enfield 1893 and Burnham Ramblers. 

If you are local to any of the Essex Senior clubs why not pop along and catch a match?