Wednesday, 22 March 2017

RACE FOR THE TITLE AND PLAY-OFFS IN THE RYMAN DIVISION ONE (NORTH)



POS TEAM P GD PTS PP FORM
1 BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT 40 +45 87 105 WWWLWW
2 MALDON & TIPTREE  40 +48 78 96 WWLWLL
3 AFC HORNCHURCH  40 +35 76 94 WWWLWD
4 THURROCK 40 +36 73 91 WWWLLD
5 HARINGEY BOROUGH 40 +33 71 89 LWWWWW
6 CHESHUNT 40 +19 69 87 WLLWWL
7 BOWERS & PITSEA 39 +30 68 89 WLWWLD
8 NORWICH UNITED  39 +8 66 87 WWLLWW
9 PHOENIX SPORTS  39 +3 66 87 WWWDWW


The race for the play-off spots is now realistically down to teams in the top nine of the division. Tenth placed Aveley probably still have a chance but with a maximum points total of 82 should they win all their remaining seven games it's a tough one - they have lost three of their last six league games. 

At the top of the table Brightlingsea Regent are nine points clear so depending on second placed Maldon and Tiptree's results they now need just ten more points for the title which will reduce should The Jammers and AFC Hornchurch drop points in their remaining six games. 

Fifth placed Haringey Borough are one of the form teams in the division - only Phoenix Sports have gained more points in the last six games. Their five wins in six has helped push them into the play-off picture with Cheshunt and Bowers pushing them all the way. 

Brightlingsea Regent's next two games are against Haringey Borough (5th) and AFC Hornchurch (3rd) so it could be a very interesting and exciting month ahead in the race for promotion to the Premier Division for 2017/18.   

KEY FIXTURES OVER NEXT TWO WEEKS

SATURDAY 25th MARCH 
CHESHUNT v THURROCK 
6th v 4th - this a real must win game for The Ambers and a massive play-off six pointer for both sides. 

HARINGEY BOROUGH v BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT 
Another massive game for both sides as two of the form sides of the division meet. Regent need a win to cement their title aspirations with Borough needing the points for their play-off hopes. 

TUESDAY 28th MARCH
NORWICH UNITED v PHOENIX SPORTS 
8th v 9th - Defeat for either of these teams would possibly end their play-off hopes and a draw will be no good to either. 

SATURDAY 1st APRIL 
BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT v AFC HORNCHURCH 
Another highly important game for the current table toppers - If they drop points against Haringey Borough and then lose this game it could see The Urchins the pressure on the home side will really be on. 

NORWICH UNITED v CHESHUNT 
Another play-off six pointer for The Ambers. 

THURROCK v HARINGEY BOROUGH 
4th v 5th in the current table or 11th v 3rd in the form table. This could be a dress rehersal for a potential play-off semi-final or even final. 

WHERE DID THE TEAMS FINISH IN LAST TWO SEASONS?
   

TEAM 14/15 15/16
BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT 6th  8th 
MALDON & TIPTREE 19th  7th
AFC HORNCHURCH 23rd(Prem) 5th
THURROCK  5th  2nd
HARINGEY BOROUGH  1st (Essex) 15th
CHESHUNT  18th  6th
BOWERS AND PITSEA 2nd (Essex) 1st (Essex)
NORWICH UNITED  1st (Eastern) 1st (Eastern)
PHOENIX SPORTS  1st (SCEL) 15th 


Since two successive demotions in 2012 and 2013 Thurrock have been knocking on the door to get back up again finishing 6th, 5th (lost in the play-off final to Brentwood Town) and 2nd (lost in play-off semi-final to AFC Hornchurch) so could it be their year in the play-offs at Ship Lane. 

Both Bowers and Pitsea along with Norwich United will be very happy with their first season at Step Four of the non-league ladder - no matter where they finish I'm sure they will kick on and improve next season. 

RACE FOR THE GOLDEN BOOT 

Liam Nash of Maldon & Tiptree currently on thirty goals leads the way with Cheshunt's Jason Hallett, Aaron Condon of Brightlingsea Regent and Leon McKenzie (AFC Hornchurch) on twenty-six goals closely following him. Lamar Reynolds on twenty-two goals of Brentwood Town (20th place) who has spent some of the season out injured has arguably had the best season of all of them scoring goals for an under-performing side. 

Nash played for Hullbridge Sports before joining Billericay Town and then Aveley on loan during the 15/16 season where he was made Captain. He joined The Jammers from Great Wakering Rovers at the start of this season. He did play a trial match for Norwich City against Chelsea when he was at Hullbridge Sports - he scored a hat-trick in the game but nothing came of it. Could he now be ready to make a step up the non-league ladder? 

Condon has had a brilliant first season at Step Four having joined Regent from Eastern Counties League side FC Clacton last summer where he scored 32 goals last season. 

Reynolds is well travelled around Essex non-league circles having represented Grays Athletic, Heybridge Swifts, Aveley and Barking. 

FOOTBALL FOR A FIVER THIS WEEKEND - GRAYS ATHLETIC v ENFIELD TOWN

There is a chance for football fans to watch some value for money football this weekend as Grays Athletic are offering entry to their game versus Enfield Town for only £5 for adults, £3 for concessions and only £1 for kids/under 16s. 

Grays Athletic currently ground-share at The Mill Field and with Aveley moving to a new ground in the summer this is one of the final chances to visit the ground. 

  

Sunday, 19 March 2017

#DROPWATCH IN THE RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION


RYMAN PRMIER DIVISION 
CURRENT TABLE - BOTTOM NINE ONLY
POS TEAM P GD PTS PP FORM
16 CANVEY ISLAND 40 -25 47 65 LWWWWW
17 FOLKESTONE INVICTA 39 -9 45 66 DLLWLL
18 MERSTHAM 36 -1 44 74 WDDLWL
19 KINGSTONIAN 38 -9 44 68 DDLLLL
20 BURGESS HILL TOWN 38 -19 43 67 LLWLLD
21 LEATHERHEAD 39 -4 41 62 WDLWWL
22 HENDON 39 -27 41 62 LLWWLW
23 AFC SUDBURY  39 -20 40 61 LLWLLL
24 GRAYS ATHLETIC  40 -46 32 50 LWWLLL


How tough the step up from Level 4 to Level 3 on the non-league ladder can be is perfectly illustrated by the battle to avoid relegation from the Ryman Premier Division. 

Both the Division One North and South Champions from last season are in danger of returning. Folkestone Invicta (17th) and AFC Sudbury (23rd) both comfortably won their respective titles last campaign. Burgess Hill Town were the 2015 D1(S) champions and are joined in the battle to beat the drop by the 2015 D1(S) play off winners (Merstham) and 2014 play-off winner's Leatherhead.  

Canvey Island who just a few weeks ago looked doomed to life in D1 (N) for the 2017/18 season have given themselves a real chance of staying up by winning their last five games in a row - they only won seven of their first thirty-five games! 

Both Hendon and Leatherhead have shown some real fight winning three of their last six games - Kingstonian fans (who will be ground sharing with Leatherhead next season) will be very anxious as The K's have not won in eight games picking up just two points from the twenty-four available.

Folkestone Invicta who have the worst away record in the division with just two wins in nineteen games have a tough week ahead with lots of mileage visiting Leiston on Tuesday followed by Lowestoft Town on Saturday - that's a total of around 640 miles travelled for just two games. This is after their trip to table topper's Bognor Regis Town on Saturday in which they were winning 0-1 at half-time only for The Rocks to run in 7 (seven) goals in the second half for the game to finish 7-1 and a 0-2 loss at Leatherhead last mid-week.  

On Saturday there are two fixtures that have a real feel of relegation six pointers - Make no mistake AFC Sudbury v Hendon and Burgess Hill Town v Kingstonian are massive games!

In the last three seasons the total points needed to finish outside the bottom four has been 51, 49 and 47 - Leatherhead and Hendon are on 41 points already with seven games to play so I would say this season teams will need 51 points (at least) to beat the drop. This would make teams from the Met Police (on 50 points in fifteenth placed) upwards just about safe - of course it's still mathematically possible for them to go down.  

#DROPWATCH FORTHCOMING FIXTURES

MONDAY 20th MARCH
DULWICH HAMLET V KINGSTONIAN 

TUESDAY 21st MARCH 
BURGESS HILL TOWN v HARLOW TOWN 
LEISTON v FOLKESTONE INVICTA 

SATURDAY 25th MARCH 
AFC SUDBURY v HENDON 
BOGNOR REGIS TOWN v CANVEY ISLAND 
BURGESS HILL TOWN v KINGSTONIAN 
GRAYS ATHLETIC v ENFIELD TOWN 
LEATHERHEAD v WINGATE AND FINCHLEY 
LOWESTOFT TOWN v FOLKESTONE INVICTA 
MET POLICE v MERSTHAM 

CHARITY EVENT IN MEMORY OF LAURIE CARROLL NEXT SATURDAY

Bengeo Tigers and Hertford Town Football Club are holding a charity day next Saturday which will be a celebration of football and a tribute to Laurie Carroll who played for The Tigers - He sadly passed away in September 2016 aged only nine years old. 

There will be under 10 friendlies on the Hertingfordbury Park from 1pm with Hertford Town v Holmer Green at 3pm. Food and drink will be available throughout the event with admission before 2pm only £2. After 2pm it's adults £6, concessions £3 and kids only £1. All proceeds will be split between Cancer for Kids and Mudlarks which is a locally based charity supporting adults with learning disabilities and mental health issues. 

There is also a raffle being held with some fabulous prizes on offer. Amongst them is a signed shirt by the Arsenal ladies squad,  a framed Stevenage shirt signed by the Boro squad, a signed Middlesborough shirt and a very rare top which was worn by an Arsenal player before the 2015 FA Cup Final.

This event needs the support of all people local to Hertford and beyond - Please try and pop along - you'll receive a friendly welcome from all on what should be a very memorable day.  

Contact @BengeoTigersOff on Twitter for any more information or if you are a local (or National) business I'm sure they would appreciate some more prizes donated to their raffle. 







Friday, 17 March 2017

RYMAN DIVISION ONE (NORTH) WEEKEND FIXTURES


AFC Hornchurch v Wroxham 
Bowers & Pitsea v Waltham Abbey 
Brightlingsea Regent v Bury Town 
Dereham Town v Aveley 
Haringey Borough v Great Wakering Rovers 
Maldon & Tiptree v Brentwood Town 
Norwich United v Ware 
Romford v Heybridge Swifts 
Soham Town Rangers v Thurrock 
Tilbury v Phoenix Sports 
VCD Athletic v Cheshunt

SO CLOSE FOR THE CROWS - IT'S LOOKING LIKE STEP THREE FOOTBALL FOR 2017/18


EVO-STIK SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE (CENTRAL) 
CURRENT TABLE - TOP TWO ONLY 
POS TEAM P GD PTS PP FORM
1 ROYSTON TOWN  35 +65 90 111 WWWWWW
2 FARNBOROUGH FC  34 +35 73 97 WWWDWW

Royston Town can take a big step to the Southern League Division One (Central) title with a victory at second placed Farnborough FC. Even if they are defeated it's still looking like their title to lose as they have only lost three league games in their thirty-five played so far. They lost 1-4 at Hanwell Town and 3-6 at Barton Rovers in September followed by a 1-2 defeat at Kidlington in January. 


If they are promoted it'll be the first time in their long history (formed in 1875 - they are the second oldest football club in Hertfordshire) they have played at Step Three of the non-league ladder. The highest was when they were members of the Isthmian League Division Two (North)/Division Three between 1984 to 1994 which at the time was Step Four. 

ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE WEEKEND FIXTURES


FRIDAY 17th MARCH 
Tower Hamlets v Ilford 

SATURDAY 18th MARCH
Barking v Southend Manor 
Barkingside v Eton Manor 
Basildon United v Waltham Forest 
Clapton v West Essex 
FC Romania v Stansted 
Hullbridge Sports v London Bari 
Sporting Bengal United v Burnham Ramblers 
Takeley v Enfield 1893 FC 
Wadham Lodge v Sawbridgeworth Town 

Barking can take another step closer to the ESL title with a win against fifth placed Southend Manor on Saturday. They won 2-4 at Wadham Lodge on Wednesday and another three points will put them on a total of 87 points with their nearest challenger's Clapton able to get to 94 points subject to them winning against West Essex and FC Romania able to reach 90 points subject to a victory at home to Stansted. 

The East London Derby game between Tower Hamlets and Ilford under the lights at The Mile End Stadium on Friday should attract a larger than usual crowd.