Thursday, 26 March 2015
RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION WEEKEND PREVIEW
Enfield Town's 2-1 defeat at Lewes on Wednesday made the table better reading for 4th placed Dulwich Hamlet and also the nine other teams in with a chance of finishing in the much coveted 5th place play-off spot. It's so tight with just five points covering 5th to 14th place - Grays Athletic's seven match unbeaten run (they have won five games) has put them in a great position as well as 12th placed Billericay Town (if they win their games in hand) and even 13th placed Kingstonian. It's a well worn football cliche at this time of year but managers will really be taking each game as it comes in the race for the play-offs.
On the same evening Town were losing at Lewes it was three points for Mark Bentley's Grays Athletic side who beat Tonbridge Angels 3-1 thanks to a goal from Harry Agombar and a brace for Dumebi Dumaka. The Angels goal came from Billy Medlock who has returned to the club on loan from Vanarama South side Sutton United. He joined the Gander Green Lane club earlier in the season after scoring 17 goals for the club since joining them from Division One (South) side Eastbourne Town in the summer of 2014. The Cold End expects Medlock to score a number of goals between now and the end of the season. Watch out for him at Tonbridge Angels. Experienced defender Sean Cronin made his debut for Grays Athletic in the Wednesday night game having joined on loan from Vanarama South side Wealdstone where he has made over 170 appearances.
Table topper's Maidstone United had something to celebrate in the week when their under 21 side won the Ryman u21 South Division title for the second successive season with a 4-0 win over Lewes u21s. It seems the future is very bright at The Gallagher Stadium - it shows in the fact ex Stone's academy player Ben Swift has recently signed a one year professional deal with Aston Villa. The defender joined the Kent club in September 2013 before moving onto Villa in November last year initially on a six month scholarship.
ODDS - MAIDSTONE UNITED ARE EVENS TO WIN THE GAME VERSUS MARGATE WHO ARE RATED AT 21/10 WITH THE DRAW AT 11/4.
The Stones could take a massive step towards the Premier Division title this weekend as they entertain Margate in a game which is an all ticket sell-out at The Gallagher Stadium. The Gate will be in good spirits though as they got back to winning ways in some style on Tuesday evening beating AFC Hornchurch 5-1 - this after a run of five league games without a win. Zac Attwood (2), Freddie Lapado, Ben Gerring and Tambeson Eyong got the goals on Tuesday.
FACT - IN THEIR LAST TWO AWAY GAMES MARGATE HAVE CONCEDED A TOTAL OF FIVE GOALS. MAIDSTONE HAVE SCORE FIVE IN THEIR LAST TWO HOME GAMES LETTING IN JUST ONE GOAL.
Should The Gate win (which they need to do to keep alive their title hopes) it's in-form Hendon who could move within four points of Maidstone with one game in hand should they win their home game against fourteenth placed Leatherhead. The Tanners held The Stones to a 1-1 draw at Fetcham Grove last weekend.
There is another fantastic game in prospect in North London when Dulwich Hamlet visit Wingate and Finchley. This game kick offs at 1pm so by the time Enfield Town kick off their home game with Hampton and Richmond The Hamlet could be nine points ahead of them if they win against Wingate who also need a win to keep their play-off hopes going.
Bognor Regis Town (11th) entertain Metropolitan Police (7th) in another game which the result could mean the away side move up to the play-off spots or The Rocks move up to 6th depending on results elsehwere. In this calender year the Met don't have the best record away from their Imber Court home with their form reading DDLLDWLL with Bognor's home record reading WDDWWL. It certianly is a difficult game to predict?
At the bottom of the table Harrow Borough are making a real fight of it to escape from the bottom four - New manager Steve Baker who joined from Division One (South) side Chipstead replacing Dave Anderson in January has had a real positive impact on the Earlsmead club. They are unbeaten in six league games and this weekend go to AFC Hornchurch the result of which could be crucial as to which team finished in and out of the bottom four at the end of the season.
FACT - IN THE LAST SIX GAMES THERE ARE THREE SIDES WITHOUT A DEFEAT BEING HENDON, GRAYS ATHLETIC AND HARROW BOROUGH. CANVEY ISLAND AND DULWICH HAMLET ARE THE ONLY SIDES WITHOUT A VICTORY IN THE LAST SIX GAMES.
Amazingly Harrow could have three trophies in their cabinet after a real season of struggle. They have already booked a place in the Middlesex Senior Cup final against Hanwell Town and are in two other semi-finals. In the Middlesex Charity Cup they play Uxbridge and in the London Senior Cup they play local rival's Hendon who beat Corinthian Casuals 5-1 tonight at Silver Jubilee Park.
ODDS - HARROW BOROUGH ARE 6/4 TO WIN AT BRIDGE AVENUE WITH A HOME WIN RATED AT 11/8. THE DRAW IS 11/4
Baker has stated in the local press he would trade cup success in order to stay-up and stated when he came into the club he set a point's target of 50 as Wingate were 'relegated' on 49 points last season before being reprieved. A victory on Saturday would put a nice five point gap between themselves and The Urchins and could move them out of the bottom four depending on Witham Town's result at East Thurrock United.
FACT - HARROW BOROUGH HAVE ACHIEVED A POINTS PER GAME AVERAGE OF TWO OVER THE LAST SIX GAMES COMPARED TO A SEASON TOTAL OF ONE. AFC HORNCHURCH HAVE AN AVERAGE OF ONE POINT PER GAME OVER THE SIX COMPARED TO A SEASON AVERAGE OF 0.97
With Maidstone United v Margate, Wingate and Finchley v Dulwich Hamlet and AFC Hornchurch v Harrow Borough it's set up to be another exciting weekend in the Ryman Premier Division.
The forthcoming midweek fixtures also have a big bearing on the the top, play-off race and bottom of the division.
SATURDAY 28th MARCH
AFC HORNCHURCH v HARROW BOROUGH
BOGNOR REGIS TOWN v MET POLICE
BURY TOWN v GRAYS ATHLETIC
CANVEY ISLAND v BILLERICAY TOWN
EAST THURROCK UNITED v WITHAM TOWN
ENFIELD TOWN v HAMPTON AND RICHMOND BOROUGH
HENDON v LEATHERHEAD
KINGSTONIAN v PEACEHAVEN & TELSCOMBE
LEISTON v TONBRIDGE ANGELS
MAIDSTONE UNITED v MARGATE
VCD ATHLETIC v LEWES
WINGATE AND FINCHLEY v DULWICH HAMLET
MONDAY 30th MARCH
BILLERICAY TOWN v KINGSTONIAN
GRAYS ATHLETIC v MAIDSTONE UNITED
HENDON v AFC HORNCHURCH
TUESDAY 31st MARCH
MET POLICE v MARGATE
WEDNESDAY 1st APRIL
GRAYS ATHLETIC v WINGATE & FINCHLEY
league tables used courtesy of the excellent footballwebpages.co.uk