Wednesday, 29 February 2012

AMPTHILL BEATEN BY BATTLING HODDESDON

The Spartan South Midlands League produced yet another highly entertaining game last night when in Division One it was third v second at Lowfield. Hoddesdon Town welcomed Ampthill Town in a game that had been highly anticipated by supporters of both sides. Ampthill's league form going into the game read DWWWWWDW with Hoddy's equally impressive reading DWWWWWWWL.

Ampthill started well and had the ball in the net after some early pressure but the goal was ruled out for offside. Their number 9 Tyrone Taylor showed some good touches and headed the ball on numerous occasions during the game, He also possess a huge throw-in which the visitors used several times but the Hoddy back line performed well all night. Tom Massey in the centre of defence had a great game along with midfielder Barrington Brotherton who sat in front of the back four and worked hard throughout the 90 minutes.

Hoddy scored all their three goals in the first half via a brace from Dean Barker and a fantastic goal from Jamie Brandon just prior to half time. His outside of the boot strike from outside of the box would be replayed all over the TV if a Rooney or Robin Van Persie had of scored it!!

Ampthill showed some decent play in the second half trying to get back into the game but found Hoddy at their very best in all departments. Goalkeeper Kieron Extence made two really good saves towards the end of the game.

What was refreshing to see was Ampthill's manager Craig Bicknell telling his player's to 'get off the ref's back, stop whinging and play the game' when his team started to question the official after a few borderline decisions. Good to see!!
STARTING XI's

Hoddesdon Town Ampthill Town
1. Kieron Extence 1. Tom Kennard
2. Colin Metivier 2. Paul Ericsson
3. Kevin Metivier 3. Danny Hart (Capt)
4. Tom Massey 4. Robbie Goodman
5. Tom Boxer 5. Alvin Rajaram
6. Dave Ayres  6. Christian Lester
7. Barrington Brotherton 7. Rocky Williams
8. Tony Neilson 8. Steve Flux
9. Dean Barker 9. Tyrone Taylor
10. Jamie Brandon 10. Lea Coulter
11. Billy Wingrove (Capt) 11. Danny Nicholls
TEAM FORMATIONS

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS


As you can see from the below league table it was really was a must win match for Hoddesdon Town to still be in with a shout for promotion. Only the top two teams go up to the Premier Division so it's still looking good for Ampthill Town (as they have four games in hand over Hoddy) and table topper's London Colney.

Spartan South Midlands League Division One - Current Table - Top three only
PWDLGFGAGDPTS
London Colney3024337124+4775
Ampthill Town2919736126+3564
Hoddesdon Town33203109251+4163

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

MANCHESTER CITY THROUGH AFTER TWO GOAL VICTORY AGAINST ENFIELD TOWN


Whilst the majority of football fans in North London were getting their fix watching the Arsenal v Tottenham game on Sunday afternoon there was another game taking place at The Donkey Dome where Enfield Town Ladies (of the South East Women’s Combination – Step 4) welcomed Manchester City Ladies (of the FA Women’s Premier League North – Step 3) who had made the long trip down South for the FA Women’s Cup Fourth Round tie.




The visitors were much the better side and controlled the game from the off against a determined and hard working Town side who done their very best to match their higher division opponents.  City passed the ball around impressively and everyone of their players looked comfortable on the ball.

City scored a goal in either half via Becky Grocott and Sarah Buffel. They could have made it three or four if it wasn’t for Town keeper Kelly Cooper making some good saves during the second 45 minutes – One being of real high quality.




So for the Town Ladies side its back to league and league cup action for the rest of the season but they can take alot of heart from their successful FA Cup run to the Fourth Round.

Town's next game comes in the Ryman League Women's Cup against League rival's Lewes on Wednesday 7th March at the famous Dripping Pan ground. After that they travel to play Crystal Palace in the league on Sunday 11th March and then make another trip to Lewes on Sunday 18th March - this time hoping to put a dent in the home side's current 100% league record.  
The Cold End wishes Manchester City LFC all the best in the next round were they have been drawn against Everton LFC who play in the FA Women’s Super League which is the top division in the Ladies’ game.

TEAM LINE UPS (subs in bold)


ENFIELD TOWN LFC MANCHESTER CITY LFC
1. Kelly Cooper 1. Danni Brown
2. Beth Demery 2. Charlotte Farrel
4. Kelly Herrett 3. Kelly McLellan
5. Claire Gooch (Capt) 4. Rebecca Lee
6. Kelly Hughes 5. Abbie McManus
8. Beth Lovell 6. Chelsea Nightingale
11. Sara Sinclair 7. Danni Young
12. Holly Brandon 8. Amanda Goodwin
15. Leanne Mabey 9. Lindsay Savage (Capt)
16. Cally Browne 10. Becky Grocott
17. Emma Thomas 11. Sarah Buffel
3. Claire Pavett12. Josie Green
9. Regan Coleman14. Krystle Johnston
7. Sheree Oliver15. Nicola Worthington
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Monday, 27 February 2012

TOWN WORK HARD FOR ALL IMPORTANT THREE POINTS

Town came away from Cricklefields with a deserved three points in the bag after Saturday's game with Waltham Forest. On a difficult playing surface that is showing the signs of two teams playing on it week in week out The Stags put up a decent performance at the back putting lots of men behind the ball against their visitors. The home side featured two ex Town players within their ranks in goalkeeper Eric Barratt and Midfielder Elton Sackey.

It was Barratt (who was known as Eric Pudaloff when he made three appearances for the Town in the  2008/09 season) who kept his team in with a chance during the first making two good saves from Michael Ewang and Liam Hope. The first from Ewang was straight out of the top draw.
The game was won in the second half with goals from Leon Osei and Liam Hope. The Stags pulled back a late goal when what appears to be a very soft penalty was given against Craig McKay.

Substitute Joel Parker's spot kick was well saved by Noel Imber only for fellow sub Arian Retkoceri to be first to the ball to make it 1-2 with only a few minutes left. In truth this was only the real shot The Stags had on target and although Manu Dagher (who impressed in the Forest game at the Queen Elizabeth stadium in December) and target man Richard Shittu worked hard they didn't cause Noel Imber any problems during the match.

Perhaps Forest were missing the talents of Courtney White (6 goals in 11 games during his recent loan spell from Premier Division Billericay Town) who scored twice for his parent club against Cray Wanderers at the weekend.

The other talking point in the match was Elton Sackey receiving a straight red card for a challenge in the second half. See replay on 8min 40sec + on video to make up your own mind??

The cold end apologies for the footage of the first Town goal being so short. My big fat sausage fingers pressed the wrong button when I was editing and deleted the start and finish of the move.
TEAM LINE UPS
WALTHAM FOREST ENFIELD TOWN
1. Eric Barratt 1. Noel Imber
2. Ibrahim Conteh 2. Lee Allen
3. Iwaki Ordono 3. Jey Siva
4. Elton Sackey 4. Craig McKay
5. Antone Douglas 5. Dave Kendall
6. Kurtis Spencer 6. Rudi Hall
7. Luke Stanley (Capt) 7. Adam Wallace
8. Mbive Lokando 8. Michael Ewang
9. Richard Shittu 9. Liam Hope (Capt)
10. Jamie Moore 10. Dean Pennant
11. Manu Dagher 11. Leon Osei
12. Joel Parker (on for 7) 12. Dan Forward (on for 7)
13. Aaron Omand 14. Mark Kirby
14. Steven Gonzalez 15. Tyler Campbell (on for 9) 
15. Tony Iyaki (on for ??) 16. Bryan Hammatt
16. Arian Retkoceri (on for 9) 17. Neil Johnston
 
TEAM FORMATIONS
MATCH HIGLIGHTS

Friday, 24 February 2012

SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - THE RACE FOR THE TITLE

SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - CURRENT TOP THREE
TEAM P W D L GF GA GD PTS
1. ROYSTON TOWN 28 23 0 5 93 29 +64 69
2. DUNSTABLE TOWN 29 21 5 3 89 37 +89 68
3. AFC DUNSTABLE 29 22 2 5 75 31 +44 68
RECORD AGAINST THE TOP THREE
TEAM P W D L GF GA GD PTS
1. DUNSTABLE TOWN 3 2 0 1 8 4 +4 6
2. AFC DUNSTABLE 2 2 0 0 3 1 +2 6
3. ROYSTON TOWN 3 0 0 3 4 10 -6 0

It's come down to a three horse race for title glory between Royston Town and the two Dunstable clubs in the SSMFL Premier Division. The Crows, currently top of the table, are probably just about favourites at present due to their game in hand but would of been in a much stronger position had they not lost last Saturday at home to Dunstable Town who recorded what could turn out to be a massively important 2-5 victory.
Royston's record against their rivals for the title is a complete mirror image of the their sparkling form in their other matches with three defeats in three matches.

The forthcoming month of March sees two all important games taking place when second Dunstable Derby takes place on Saturday 18th March and AFC Dunstable travel to Royston on Saturday 31st March.

Tomorrow sees AFC Dunstable entertain Hillingdon Borough, Dunstable Town make a trip to Hertford Town and Royston Town welcome Broxbourne Borough to Garden Walk.

Royston then play their game in hand on Tuesday night when they face a tricky trip to fifth placed Tring Athletic.

With only one point between the current top three it's setting up to be a very exciting title race going towards the business end of the season.

THE NEXT FOUR GAMESROYSTON TOWNDUNSTABLE TOWNAFC DUNSTABLE
BROXBOURNE BORO Hertford Town HILLINGDON BORO
Tring Athletic HAREFIELD UNITED Tring Athletic
St Margaretsbury Hatfield Town BERKHAMSTED
HATFIELD TOWN LONDON TIGERS Broxbourne Boro






ROMFORD EDGE IT (JUST!!) IN CRICKLEFIELD'S CRACKER



Ilford welcomed local rival's Romford to Cricklefield Stadium on Wednesday night in what turned out to be a really entertaining Ryman Division One (North) game. As ever there was the small band of loyal Ilford fans present along with a decent travelling contingent from nearby Romford and a good group of local ground hoppers.

The Cold End won't spoil it by stating the score in this game but just say it really could of finished about 5-5 in the end. Match highlights are below including all the goals.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
do not adjust the picture...the floodlights at Ilford are not the best for filming games.



What is disappointing to see is that the main stand at Cricklefield has, since the cold end's last visit back in August, been at the hands of some senseless and mindless vandals. The ground has it's critics but the main stand is decent enough for this level of football so to see defaced and spray painted is very sad indeed.








Wednesday, 22 February 2012

RYMAN NORTH TITLE & PLAY OFF RUN-IN

It's all getting a bit exciting in the Ryman Division One North with a gap of 12 points opening up between Town in 2nd place and third place Needham Market who could reduce the gap to 9 if they win their game in hand. The Marketmen also have to play Enfield Town and Leiston in the space of 3 days at the beginning of April so could still have a say in who wins the league.

Leiston's next two games are at home to Romford and away at Brentwood Town.

The below are charts for the final games down to tenth placed Potters Bar Town. The Cold End apologises to fans of Heybridge Swifts and Waltham Abbey (11th and 12th places) but thinks those teams have lost too many games so far to qualify for the play offs. I am here to be proved wrong though?

<> 
DATE LEISTON ENFIELD TOWN NEEDHAM MARKET HARLOW TOWN
25/2/12 ROMFORD Waltham Forest ILFORD Grays Athletic
28/2/12 - - WALTHAM ABBEY -
3/3/12 Brentwood Town AFC SUDBURY Thamesmead Town WALTHAM ABBEY
6/3/12 - - - Heybridge Swifts
7/3/12 - - Grays Athletic -
10/3/12 CHATHAM TOWN Ware HARLOW TOWN Needham Market
13/3/12 WALTHAM FOREST Soham Town Rangers - -
17/3/12 WALTHAM ABBEY ILFORD Potters Bar Town Romford
20/3/12 - - - REDBRIDGE
24/3/12 Ilford Maldon & Tiptree WALTHAM FOREST BRENTWOOD TOWN
31/3/12 REDBRIDGE HARLOW TOWN Great Wakering Rovers Enfield Town
7/4/12 Tilbury Needham Market ENFIELD TOWN AFC SUDBURY
9/4/12 NEEDHAM MARKET WALTHAM ABBEY Leiston Ware
14/4/12 Maldon & Tiptree Cheshunt ROMFORD WALTHAM FOREST
21/4/12 Enfield Town LEISTON Chatham Town THAMESMEAD TOWN
28/4/12 POTTERS BAR TOWN Grays Athletic BRENTWOOD TOWN Ilford
GAMES LEFT12121313
HOME GAMES LEFT7576
AWAY GAMES LEFT5767
PTS SO FAR66645251
POSSIBLE PTS1021009190
DATE GRAYS ATHLETIC BRENTWOOD TOWN TILBURY AFC SUDBURY
25/2/12 HARLOW TOWN Potters Bar Town Ware Great Wakering Rovers
28/2/12 - Great Wakering Rovers - WARE
3/3/12 Soham Town Rangers LEISTON REDBRIDGE Enfield Town
6/3/12 - ROMFORD SOHAM TOWN RANGERS -
7/3/12 NEEDHAM MARKET - - -
10/3/12 ILFORD Waltham Forest HARLOW TOWN BRENTWOOD TOWN
13/3/12 Potters Bar Town - Cheshunt Waltham Abbey
17/3/12 Ware TILBURY Brentwood Town REDBRIDGE
20/3/12 - - - -
24/3/12 HEYBRIDGE Harlow Town AFC SUDBURY Tilbury
31/3/12 AFC Sudbury SOHAM TOWN RANGERS Heybridge Swifts GRAYS ATHLETIC
7/4/12 CHATHAM TOWN Waltham Abbey LEISTON Harlow Town
9/4/12 Romford ILFORD Great Wakering Rovers SOHAM TOWN RANGERS
14/4/12 BRENTWOOD TOWN Grays Athletic POTTERS BAR TOWN Thamesmead Town
21/4/12 Waltham Abbey REDBRIDGE MALDON & TIPTREE Romford
28/4/12 ENFIELD TOWN Needham Market Thamesmead Town HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS
GAMES LEFT13131313
HOME GAMES LEFT7676
AWAY GAMES LEFT6767
PTS TO DATE50*484848
POSSIBLE PTS89878787
DATE POTTERS BAR TOWN REDBRIDGE
25/2/12 BRENTWOOD TOWN SOHAM TOWN RANGERS
28/2/12 - Thamesmead Town
3/3/12 Maldon & Tiptree Tilbury
6/3/12 - CHESHUNT
10/3/12 GREAT WAKERING ROVERS THAMESMEAD TOWN
13/3/12 GRAYS ATHLETIC -
17/3/12 NEEDHAM MARKET AFC Sudbury
20/3/12 - Harlow Town
21/3/12 Waltham Forest -
24/3/12 Waltham Abbey WARE
31/3/12 THAMESMEAD TOWN Leiston
7/4/12 Ilford GREAT WAKERING ROVERS
9/4/12 CHESHUNT Waltham Forest
14/4/12 Tilbury HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS
21/4/12 WARE Brentwood Town
28/4/12 Leiston CHATHAM TOWN
GAMES LEFT1313
HOME GAMES LEFT77
AWAY GAMES LEFT67
PTS TO DATE4545
POSSIBLE PTS8487

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

RUDI HALL SCREAMER LIGHTS UP PANCAKE NIGHT

At this stage of the season if your football team is challenging for the title every fan and manager will tell you it doesn't matter how good the performance is as long as the three points are in the bag after 90 minutes. This was one of those occasions as Town never really clicked or hit 100% against a Chatham Town side who came to Donkey Lane and put in a decent hard working performance passing the ball around well at times. Despite The Chats playing some decent soccer they didn't trouble Noel Imber in the Town goal aside from a good chance just prior to Rudi Hall's fantastic strike which made it 2-0.

Town had gone 1-0 up in the first half via an Own Goal from a set-piece and made the score line 3-0 in injury time through Dean Pennant following good work by Neil Johnston and Adam Wallace.

Town's back four of Jey Siva, Craig McKay, Dave Kendall and Lee Allen all put in good performances but it was Rudi Hall who was very busy in the first half to go with his goal of the season contender who picked up the man of the mach award.

Elsewhere tonight Redbridge recorded a good 2-1 at home to Harlow Town thus putting a dent in The Hawks own title ambitions and Leiston got a valuable 1-0 win away at Thamesmead Town to stay top of the table. Down at the bottom of the table Great Wakering Rovers won a very important game at Ware by 2 goals to nil with the other game finishing Waltham Abbey 5 Soham Town Rangers w.

SELECTED MATCH HIGHLIGHTS ARE BELOW including all three goals

Monday, 20 February 2012

CHATHAM TOWN TOMORROW NIGHT

Enfield Town's title challenge continues tomorrow night when fourteenth placed Chatham Town make their first trip to The Donkey Dome.

The Chats were well beaten at home to AFC Sudbury on Saturday and have a record of two wins, one draw and three losses in their last six league games.

On their travels they have lost their last four league games but won their previous two at Great Wakering Rovers (2-3) and impressively at Needham Market (0-1) prior to that. In total they have four away wins, two draws and eight defeats in their fourteen away league games. The other victories coming at Ilford (0-1 - 14/9/11) and and Maldon and Tiptree (0-1) on the opening day of the season.

The Chats are player/managed by Kevin Watson who famously captained The Team Bath side who reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup in 2002.

MUST WIN FOR THE MOTORMEN??

There are several other important league games taking place tomorrow night with fourth placed Harlow Town (W 4 L 2 in their last six league games) travel to tenth placed Redbridge (W 3 D 1 L 2) in game The Motormen really need to win to keep their play-off hopes alive.

Leiston are on the road as well as they make the long trip from Suffolk to South London to take on Thamesmead Town who will be looking to banish the memories of their 1-5 defeat at home to Grays Athletic on Saturday.

Draw specialists Soham Town Rangers (equal with Tilbury on most draws (9) in the league) entertain Waltham Abbey who lost to Ilford on Saturday.

HUGE THREE POINTS ON OFFER AT WODSON PARK

There is a massive game down at the bottom of the league at Wodson Park when Ware, who have picked up some form of late (3 wins in their last 6), welcome Great Wakering Rovers in a real relegation six pointer. Rovers have to be due a win soon as their last victory came 18 games ago way back on the 5th October 2011 when Ilford were beaten 1-2 at Cricklefields.

The Foxes are the other side down the bottom of the table and they play on Wednesday night in a local derby versus Romford. They too have started their traditional after Christmas surge in form with two wins in their last six games gaining seven points from a possible fifteen.

MANCHESTER CITY TO GRACE THE HALLOWED TURF OF DONKEY LANE

Yes!! - the above headline is correct and Manchester City will be playing at The Queen Elizabeth Stadium next Sunday 26th February 2012.

Enfield Town Ladies continued their excellent run in The FA Women's cup yesterday with a 2-0 home victory over Mauritius Sports Association to earn a place in the fourth round proper where they face Manchester City Ladies who play in The FA Women's Premier League Northern Division. Holly Brandon and Beth Demery were the scorers in Sunday's game.

City's league is at Step 3 of the Women's pyramid which is one step above Town's current South East Combination Women's Football League at Step 4.

City have qualified for this stage by beating Oxford United LFC in the third round by a scoreline of 4-1 (who are currently top of the Step 5 Southern Region Women's Football League with a 100% league record) and Leeds City Vixens 9-1 (play at Step 3 in the same division as City) in the second round. Both games were played at their home ground at The Regional Athletics Ground, Rowsley Street so Sunday's game will be their first away trip in the competition.
They currently sit 2nd in the table on 28pts with two games in hand over table topping Leicester City on 29pts so will be the toughest opponents for manager John Abbott's team so far.

Town have been in the Cup since the Third Qualifying Round beating Hethersett Athletic (0-5 away), Bracknell Town (0-5 away), Queens Park Rangers (4-2 on pens after 1-1 draw at home) and Mauritius Sports in the game on Sunday.
The game kicks off at 2pm at Donkey Lane. Admission is a bargain at £3 with a programme with kids at £1.

There is another game on in the local area on Sunday when Tottenham Hotspur face Arsenal in The Premier League. The Cold End thinks you'll get better value for money at The QE STAD and if you arrive early you can catch the first half hour of the North London Derby in the Butler's Bar before hand. Why not come down and support the Ladies on to victory??

COME ON TOWN!!



SUBSTITUTES COMBINE TO BEAT THE SWIFTS

It wasn’t the best performance of the season but Enfield Town did just enough to overcome a decent Heybridge Swifts side at The Donkey Dome in the pouring rain on Saturday afternoon.

After 45 minutes of few clear cut chances it was only a Liam Hope penalty, after Adam Wallace had been brought down, which separated the sides at half time.  
THE TOWN SUBS WARM UP IN THE POURING RAIN AT HALF TIME

 WORKING ON THE SURFACE DURING THE BREAK - RONNIE STURGESS WOULD BE VERY PROUD OF THE HARD WORK JACK LUCAS CARRIES OUT AT THE QUEEN ELIZABETH STADIUM 
Heybridge pushed for an equaliser with left winger Solomon Ofori impressing with his pace on the ball and centre forward Luke Callander getting in a few good efforts on target - one of which was well saved and stung the hands of Noel Imber. Callander equalised on 82 minutes and looked to have rescued the Swifts a point but it was not to be for the away side as Town went down the other end and won the game with a goal scored almost immediately after.
Town’s two substitutes combined when new signing Tyler Campbell crossed for Michael Ewang to strike the ball home from just inside the area past former Town keeper Jason Willis
Liam Hope added a third to help him in his pursuit of Sam Newson and the Ryman North golden boot. Needham’s top scorer currently has a tally of 21 league goals with Liam closing in on him on 18 goals. James Baker (AFC Sudbury) and Jeff Hammond (Harlow Town) follow them on 13 goals each.
Callander so nearly reduced the score line to 3-2 when he hit a rocket of free kick from well outside of the box which smashed off the angle of post and bar.  The Swifts front man has one of the hardest shots I’ve seen this season. 
    
THE TEAM LINE UPS
Neil Johnston was given sponsor’s man of the match as he put in another hard working shift in midfield but it was the cold end’s opinion that Lee Allen, playing at right back, may have just edged it with his performance against the trickery of Solomon Ofori. Had Lee not been at 100% and given him a bit more space he may set up or scored a goal for the Swifts. Craig McKay also played well in the centre defence with a few well timed tackles standing out.

HOW THEY LINED UP?
Ofori has been with the Swifts since November and did score in a trial match for Championship side Burnley  in July 2011. He made a number of appearances for Mauritius Sports in the Essex Senior League last season.
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS ARE BELOW


Elsewhere on Saturday third placed Needham Market dropped points in a 1-1 draw away at Tilbury with Harlow Town and Grays Athletic also winning to make up the play off zone. There is now a nine point gap between Town in second and Needham in third place. Harlow could close that to 7 points should they win their game in hand. A full and detailed table can be found at the official Ryman League website here


THE TEAMS PAYING RESPECT TO RONNIE STURGESS PRIOR TO THE GAME
The afternoon started with a minute’s silence to honour the memory of former Enfield FC and Enfield Town groundsman Ronnie Sturgess who so sadly passed away recently.  Ronnie was involved with and a dedicated supporter of the old club for many years and also tended to Barnet’s Underhill pitch where he won an FA Groundsman of the Year award in 2004.
He also managed and assisted Enfield Town with the creation of the new pitch at Donkey Lane where the excellent quality of the playing surface serves well to the memory of a very popular and well liked man. 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

ESSEX OLYMPIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE RACE FOR THE TITLES



Premier Division Current Table - Top Three Only 
                    P  W  D L GF GA  GD  PTS 
1. FRENFORD SENIOR  14 11 2 1 25 11 +14  35 
2. KELVEDON HATCH   15 10 3 2 40 14 +26  33
3. WESTHAMIANS      15 9  1 5 38 22 +16  28 

In the Premier Division it looks as though it's going to be straight fight between last season's Champions and third placed sides in Kelvedon Hatch and Frenford Senior. Westhamians are back in third place with Frenford able to go ten points clear of them if they win their game in hand. What is strange is that only four teams in the fourteen team division have scored fewer goals than the current leaders, these are the bottom three (Harold Hill, Galleywood & Canning Town) along with tenth placed M&B Club.

The fixtures for March and April are yet to be released but when they are there will be two important games listed being the two clashes due between Frenford Senior and Kelvedon Hatch which will probably decide where the league title goes.

Harold Wood Athletic who have (as shown below) have won the title twice in the last three seasons are having, by their high standards, a relatively poor season and are currently in ninth position.

An indication of the strength and stability of the league is that out of the previous twenty-one season's champions only Danbury Trafford (folded in 1998 after their title win), Standard (Harlow) (left the league as Nortel (Harlow) in 2001 and I believe are no longer playing) and Takeley (now in the Essex Senior League) are no longer members.

RECENT PREMIER/SENIOR DIVISION CHAMPIONS 

2010/11 - KELVEDON HATCH 
2009/10 - HAROLD WOOD ATHLETIC 
2008/09 - HAROLD WOOD ATHLETIC 
2007/08 - WHITE ENSIGN 
2006/07 - WHITE ENSIGN 
2005/06 - HAROLD WOOD ATHLETIC 
2004/05 - WHITE ENSIGN 
2003/04 - WHITE ENSIGN 
2002/03 - BISHOPS STORTFORD SWIFTS 
2001/02 - TAKELEY 
2000/01 - RAYLEIGH TOWN
1999/00 - BISHOPS STORTFORD SWIFTS
1998/99 - BISHOPS STORTFORD SWIFTS 
1997/98 - DANBURY TRAFFORD 
1996/97 - KELVEDON HATCH 
1995/96 - KELVEDON HATCH 
1994/95 - WRITTLE 
1993/94 - KELVEDON HATCH 
1992/93 - STANDARD (HARLOW)
1991/92 - STANDARD (HARLOW)
1990/91 - HERONGATE ATHLETIC 

Senior Division One Current Table - Top Three Only 
                      P  W  D L GF GA  GD PTS 
1. SOUTHMINSTER ST L  16 12 2 2 43 20 +23 38
2. WADHAM LODGE       16 8  2 6 32 31 + 1 28
3. HERONGATE ATHLETIC 13 9  1 3 31 15 +16 27

In Division One it looks as though Southminster St Leonards are champions elect with a ten point lead over second placed Wadham Lodge. It could get interesting if Herongate Athletic win their three games in hand but the cold end can only see Southminster winning the league if they carry on their excellent form so far (12 wins in 16 games). It's looking good for Southminster joining the Premier Division of the league which they joined in 2008

Senior Division Two Current Table - Top Three Only 
                P  W  D L GF GA  GD PTS 
1. SPRINGFIELD  16 13 1 2 44 23 +21 40 
2. BROOMFIELD   14 10 0 4 43 23 +20 30
3. ROYDON       15 9  3 3 36 24 +12 30

In Division Two it's a similar story with Chelmsford based Springfield having a ten point lead over local rival's Broomfield. Broomfield do have two games in hand over the leaders and still have to travel the short 2 mile distance from Angel Mead to Springfield Hall Park for a potential title decider against Springfield.

Senior Division Three Current Table - Top Three Only 
                      P  W D L GF GA  GD PTS 
1. STAMBRIDGE UNITED  15 9 2 4 48 26 +22 29
2. NEWHAM UNITED      12 9 1 2 38 16 +22 28  
3. OLD BARKABBEYANS   12 6 4 2 27 14 +13 24

Two clubs new to the league feature in the top three of Division Three. Stambridge United have made a great return to the league they left in 2008/09. Last season they finished 2nd in the Southend Borough Combination and are in with a shot of the Division Three title this season but it has to be said Newham United and Old Barkabbeyans look better placed with games in hand and only a few points difference. Old Barkabbeyans are also new to the league this season.

1995 Senior Division One Champions Writtle are currently bottom of the pack with only one win to their credit so far. This came in a 3-2 victory over 2nd bottom Toby. In their last game they were hammered 10-0 versus Stambridge United. They were founder members of the league in 1966 and were last in the top division in 1998/99. Hopefully they can return back up the league tables soon.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

RYMAN DIVISION ONE (SOUTH) - THE RACE FOR THE TITLE & PLAY-OFFS

RYMAN DIVISION ONE (SOUTH) - CURRENT TABLE (TOP NINE ONLY) 

                         P  W  D  L  GF  GA  GD  PTS 
1. BOGNOR REGIS TOWN     28 19 7  2  70  22 +48  64
---------------------------------------------------
2. WHITEHAWK             28 19 4  5  53  21 +32  58*    *3 pts deducted 
3. DULWICH HAMLET        26 17 5  4  50  17 +33  56
4. MAIDSTONE UNITED      29 17 4  8  50  30 +20  55
5. FOLKESTONE INVICTA    28 16 6  6  57  37 +20  54
---------------------------------------------------
6. WORTHING              28 15 8  5  55  28 +27  53 
7. CHIPSTEAD             27 13 7  7  45  30 +15  46
8. HYTHE TOWN            28 13 5  10 47  48 - 1  44
9. GODALMING TOWN        25 12 6  7  38  35 + 3  42 

In the Ryman Division One (South) it's looking good for Bognor Regis Town to banish the memories of losing the league title by one goal on the last day of the season. They are six points ahead of Whitehawk who have had three points deducted. Bognor have recently sold their star player Jason Prior to League Two AFC Wimbledon so will have to do without the striker's goals in the title run in.

The Rocks nearest challengers look to be Dulwich Hamlet (who beat them in the play-off Semi-Final last season) who, if they win their two games in hand, will be within just two points off the South Coast club.

Bognor have already played Dulwich Hamlet and Whitehawk twice in the league with their final four league games scheduled to be away at Worthing, home versus Whyteleafe and Walton & Hersham and away at Maidstone United.

Realistically, in the race for the play-offs, it looks as if it's the team's placed from ninth place upwards who can finish in the top 5. Tenth placed Ramsgate are currently fifteen points adrift of fifth place which could go down to twelve points if they win their game in hand but it's alot to make up over the remaining 15 games. It could be done but I would say The Rams would need to lose a maximum of 2 of those 15 games which is a tough ask for a side who have lost 10 in their 27 games so far. The cold end also thinks Hythe Town have already lost too many games (10 in 28) to finish in the top five.

If Godalming Town win their three games in hand over fifth placed Folkestone Invicta they would go just three points below the play-off zone.  They will need to start scoring a few more goals as they are the lowest scorers in the current top nine by 9 goals to Hythe Town. The below list shows there are some really good matches coming up over the next few weeks.

FORTHCOMING KEY FIXTURES

Saturday 18th February
DULWICH HAMLET v MAIDSTONE UNITED
3rd v 4th clash that's bound to attract a good crowd at Champion Hill. A must win game for Hamlet to keep in touch with Bognor Regis who play mid-table Walton Casuals at home.

Tuesday 21st February
GODALMING TOWN V DULWICH HAMLET
Another must win game for Hamlet which is equally important for the home side to win to push up towards the play-offs.

Saturday 25th February
GODALMING TOWN V BOGNOR REGIS TOWN
Neil Baker and Jon Underwood's side face a second title challenger at home within five days.

Saturday 3rd March
BOGNOR REGIS TOWN V FOLKESTONE INVICTA
DULWICH HAMLET V WORTHING
Two important matches - Title challengers v play-off contenders

HYTHE TOWN V WHITEHAWK
Another match featuring two of the potential final top five

WEATHER WIPES OUT TWO RYMAN NORTH WEEKENDS

The big freeze has wiped out two successive Ryman North weekends with the last league game played back on Tuesday 31st January 2012 when Redbridge recorded a 3-0 win over Tilbury in front of 68 people at Oakside.

Hopefully with the weather showing some signs of improvement the games scheduled for next Saturday can go ahead with no problems. Enfield Town are due to face Heybridge Swifts at The Queen Elizabeth Stadium with table topper's Leiston travelling to Dan Trenkel's Great Wakering Rovers side. Hopefully Trenks can do the Town a favour and get something from the game in their fight to keep out of the bottom two.

FIXTURES DUE FOR SATURDAY 18th FEBRUARY 2012

BRENTWOOD TOWN V WALTHAM FOREST
CHATHAM TOWN V AFC SUDBURY
ENFIELD TOWN V HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS
GREAT WAKERING ROVERS V LEISTON
HARLOW TOWN V CHESHUNT
ILFORD V WALTHAM ABBEY
MALDON AND TIPTREE V REDBRIDGE
ROMFORD V POTTERS BAR TOWN
SOHAM TOWN RANGERS V WARE
THAMESMEAD TOWN V GRAYS ATHLETIC
TILBURY V NEEDHAM MARKET

The forecast for next Thursday is for temperatures of 9 degrees so fingers crossed all the snow should disappear before the weekend.

BALDOCK TOWN BEAT THE BIG FREEZE!

The snow covered terrace yesterday afteroon


Away from the many organised ground hopping games that are played each year yesterday’s Hertfordshire Senior County game at Norton Road between table topping Baldock Town and Standon & Puckeridge may well lay claim to being the most hopped game ever.

With no games on in the local area due to the snow and severe weather there was a large crowd of neutrals at the ground that has a 3G artificial pitch.



Baldock Town are having their best season since the club were ‘re-formed’ out of the ashes of the old Baldock Town in 2003. The new club were simply called Baldock from 2003 to 2006 and then Baldock Town.  Going in to the game they were top of the table by six points above their nearest challengers Metropolitan Police (Bushey) with third placed Codicote (who have played 3 more games) way back by a margin of 13 points.




Town had a record of 18 wins from their 21 games with only one defeat coming at home against Sandridge Rovers on Saturday 29th October.

S&P were in eighth position on 8 wins from 23 games with their last game being a 3-5 home defeat to Chipperfield Corinthians.  They have been involved in some amazing games this season with a 4-8 defeat to Bedmond Sports & Social in the Aubery Cup and a 5-5 league draw at Met Police Bushey standing out.


Some of the snow that had been previously removed off of the 3G pitch
The two teams had met twice before in the league (Baldock won 2-3) and in the Anagram Records Trophy (Baldock won 5-0) and it was another defeat for Standon yesterday.
Most of the people present made the excellent decision of sitting in the far stand at the ground which has an unobstructed view from the cage around the pitch and also an added bonus of the sun warming them up in the sub zero tempretures. It was reported that it was -3 at midday in Baldock Town centre.

Baldock’s front pairing of Kane Dougherty and Louis Taylor were impressive all afternoon against a Standon backline which worked hard and didn’t really deserve to be on the back of a 5-1 defeat. Both have played at a higher level in the Spartan South Midlands League with Stotfold with Taylor leading the league’s scoring charts on 29 goals prior to yesterday afternoon’s game.

Standon’s goal was arguably the best  of the game coming in the second half when a mazy run was finished off from the edge of the box with a outside of the boot strike into the top corner.  Baldock may argue their fifth was the best which was a chip from outside of the box also into the corner of the net. Both goals were fantastic high quality finishes.

Hopefully some of the money generated from the bumper crowd yesterday will help Baldock raise some of the £2,160 needed to get their pitch inspected and passed for possible promotion (if they finish in the correct position in the league) to the Spartan South Midlands League for the 2012/13 season. If the club do get promotion it’ll be brilliant to see the Hertfordshire  town’s name represented further up the non-league pyramid towards where the old club left in 2001.

Yesterday’s goal haul was the seventh time in twenty six league and cup matches Baldock have scored five+ goals this season
Baldock travel to Metropolitan Police Bushey on Saturday 7th April which is looking like the title decider in the Premier Division.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS BELOW
(minus Baldock's 2nd goal which wasn't captured on camera. They are worth a watch for Standon's goal from 4mins 17secs and Baldock's fifth goal from 5mins 55secs)  


Finally a note for my lovely sister-in-law (she's married to a Manchester United fan but it doesn't make her all bad!) who works with Baldock's Kane Dougherty - I tried and failed to get the word Smorgasboard into the match report.  

Thursday, 9 February 2012

COLD CONDITIONS CONTINUE

The cold snap continues at present with the midweek local games all wiped out. The temperatures are due to increase with Saturday's forecast for Soham (where Town are due to travel) showing a maximum of 2 and a minimum of -4 degrees with the Sun apparently making a welcome appearance for some of the day.

Snow is still lying on the ground in the local area so it's looking like another weekend with lots of postponements due. The adverse conditions do make for some picturesque images of the grounds to be taken. Below are pictures taken today of Herns Way the home of Spartan South Midlands League Division One side Welwyn Garden City with a few of Gosling Park where Premier Division One Hatfield Town and Hertfordshire Senior County League side Codicote play.

HERNS WAY










GOSLING PARK