Saturday, 23 July 2016


Red denotes relegated
Green deonotes finished in relegation zone but received reprieve
Blue denotes finished in the top five
BOLD denotes promoted 
SEASON TEAMS 05/06 06/07 07/08 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16
04/05 SOUTHPORT 18th 23rd

04/05 ALTRINCHAM 22nd 21st 21st 15th 14th 22nd

05/06 NORTHWICH VICTORIA - 13th 19th 22nd

05/06 STAFFORD RANGERS - 20th 23rd

06/07 DROYSLDEN - - 24th

06/07 FARSLEY CELTIC - - 22nd

07/08 KETTERING TOWN - - - 8th 6th 15th 24th
07/08 BARROW - - - 20th 15th 18th 13th 22nd

08/09 TAMWORTH - - - - 16th 19th 18th 19th 23rd

08/09 GATESHEAD - - - - 20th 14th 8th 17th 3rd 10th 9th
09/10 SOUTHPORT- - - - - 21st 7th 20th 18th 19th 16th
09/10 FLEETWOOD TOWN - - - - - 5th 1st

10/11 ALFRETON TOWN - - - - - - 15th 13th 11th 21st
10/11 AFC TELFORD UNITED - - - - - - 20th 24th

11/12 HYDE- - - - - - - 18th 24th

11/12 NUNEATON - - - - - - 15th 13th 24th
12/13 CHESTER - - - - - - - 21st 12th 17th
12/13 FC HALIFAX - - - - -- - - 5th 9th 21st
13/14 AFC TELFORD UNITED - - - - - - - - - 23rd
13/14 ALTRINCHAM - - - - - - - - - 17th 22nd
14/15 BARROW - - - - - - -- - 11th
14/15 GUISELEY - - - - - - 20th
Altrincham finished in the relegation zone in 05/06, 06/07 and 07/08 but reprieved from relegation due to Boston United's double relegation, Canvey Island taking voluntary relegation and Halifax Town folding

Southport finished in the relegation zone in 10/11 but were reprieved from relegation due to Rushden and Diamond's demise.

Chester FC finished in the relegation zone in 13/14 but were reprieved from relegation due to the demise of Salisbury City and Hereford United. 

SEASON TEAMS 05/06 06/07 07/08 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16
04/05 GRAYS ATHLETIC 3rd 19th 10th 19th 23rd

05/06 WEYMOUTH 11th 18th 23rd

05/06 ST ALBANS CITY - 24th

06/07 HISTON - - 7th 3rd 18th 24th

06/07 SALISBURY CITY - - 12th 16th 12th*

07/08 LEWES - - - 24th

07/08 EASTBOURNE BOROUGH - - - 13th 19th 23rd

08/09 AFC WIMBLEDON - - - - 8th 2nd

08/09 HAYES & YEADING UNITED - - - - 17th 16th 21st

09/10 NEWPORT COUNTY  -- - - - 9th 19th 3rd

09/10 BATH CITY - - - - - 10th 23rd

10/11 BRAINTREE TOWN  - - - - - - 12th 9th 6th 14th 3rd
10/11 EBBSFLEET UNITED - - - - - - 14th 23rd

11/12 WOKING  - - - - - - - 12th 9th 7th 12th
11/12 DARTFORD - - - - - - - 8th 22nd 22nd
12/13 WELLING UNITED  - - - - - - - - 16th 20th
12/13 SALISBURY CITY - - - - - - - - 12th*

13/14 EASTLEIGH - - - - - - - - - 4th 7th
13/14 DOVER ATHLETIC  - - - - - - - - - 8th 5th
14/15 BROMLEY - - - - - - - - - - 14th
14/15 BOREHAM WOOD - - - - - - - - - - 19th
Salisbury City were demoted from the league in 09/10* as they were in adminstration. In 13/14 they were demoted after missing a deadline to clear outstanding debts, and then expelled in July 2014 despite minority owner Mark Winter offering £91,000 to safeguard the club's future. 

Dartford reprieved from relegation in 13/14 due to the demise of Hereford United and Salisbury City. 

In 04/05 only Champion's Grays Athletic were promoted. Play-Off winner's Eastbourne Borough lost to Altrincham in the only North/South play off final played. 

The North and South divisions of the Conference (now known as the National League) were formed in 2004/2005 - the league's start their thirteenth season in August with many clubs dreaming of promotion to non-league's top table and many owner's seemingly breaking the bank in order to do so. The bad news for the newly promoted sides to the National League (Maidstone United, Sutton United, Solihull Moors and North Ferriby United) is that most clubs that have gone before them have struggled in the lower reaches of the table.  Only three clubs promoted from the new Step Two have succesfully gained a further promotion to the football league - Fleetwood Town in 11/12, AFC Wimbledon in 10/11 and Newport County in 12/13. Looking at the fact two of those came from the South Division and that the average finishing position for the North sides is 16.65 compared to 13.98 for the South sides you could say the SOUTH is the strongest league?


Eastleigh and Dover Athletic have bucked the trend by finishing in the top ten for the last two seasons after promotion to the National League. Eastleigh had a chance to go up by finishing in the play-offs in their first season with Dover Athletic qualifying in their second season. All four promoted sides from the 13/14 season in Bromley, Boreham Wood, Guiseley and Barrow all stayed up albeit both Boreham Wood and Guiseley only by a few points.

So what chance do the promoted sides have this season in probably the most highly competative division in English football (odds courtesy of betway) -

Odds offered to go down - 9/4
Title odds - 50/1

Can The Stones secure a third promotion in as many seasons to secure another level in the rapid rise up the pyramid? I think most of their huge number of supporters will be happy with a mid-table finish. Boss Jay Saunders has signed defender Jack Evans from Eastbourne Borough who started last season at Sutton United. He has played for Gillingham in the football league and the conference for Tamworth. Centre Back's Kevin Lokko (from Welling United) and Anthony Acheampong (ex Barnet signed from Ebbsfleet United) have also been recruited which has allowed the club to put Callum Davies up for transfer who surprised many by dropping down from League Two side Gillingham in January to join The Stones. Winger Tom Murphy has joined from Dover Athletic and Dumebi Dumaka, who impressed many fans for Grays Athletic before his move to The Gallagher Stadium last season, has comited to the club for the forthcoming season. The stadium capacity is now 3,030 which will be full at many of the games this season - Off the field the club are looking to raise £50,000 (they have a total of just over £11,000) from a supporters fund raising scheme "Stand up for Stones" to help build a new stand and increase the capacity further.

Odds offered to go down - 9/4
Title odds - 50/1

Paul Doswell has opted to keep a settled squad at the National League South Champions. Roarie Deacon, a midfielder, has joined after making 37 appearances for League Two side Crawley Town last season. He also played in the league Stevenage FC and came through the Arsenal youth set-up. Bradley Hudson-Odoi has also joined after imrpessing for Wealdstone last season - The striker scored 15 goals in 31 games for The Stones. 

Odds offered to go down - 1/2
Title odds - 100/1

The Villagers proudly sit at non-league's top table for the first time in their 82 year history. They won via the play-offs and a 2-1 win over AFC Fylde. They are the bookmaker's favourites to go down.

Steve Housham has replaced succesful boss Billy Heath who left the club to join FC Halifax Town after the end of last season. The former Gainsborough Trinity manager has already gone on record saying it's going to be tough job with the playing budget he has been handed compared to some other clubs in the division but nobody expected them to win the FA Trophy in 2015 but they famously did - Can they show everybody the odd's compilers are wrong to think they will finish in the drop zone?

Odds offered to go down - 9/4
Title odds - 40/1

Founded in 2007 following a merger of Solihull Borough and Moor Green. Neither of these sides played in the top division in non-league football so this is unchartered territory for The Moors. Marcus Bignot has been in charge since 2011 and has slowly built up his squad - finishing 19th, 9th, 8th, 12th and finally champions last season. Bignot lost his first seven games in charge of the club!! He learnt his trade playing under Ian Holloway at Bristol Rovers and QPR so he'll certainly know how to motivate his squad.


* knowing my record they'll probably be all wrong!!! 

MAIDSTONE UNITED will finish the highest of the promoted sides.
NORTH FERRIBY UNITED will finish in the bottom six.
GUISELEY who stayed up by just one point last season will also finish in the bottom six.
CHRISTIAN ASSOMBALONGA scored 31 in 34 appearances for Ryman Division One (North) Waltham Abbey last season - The Abbotts struggled towards the bottom of the table finishing in 21st (of 24 teams). Although he has moved up the pyramid I predict the 25 year old will score many goals for his new team Dagenham & Redbridge.
TRANMERE ROVERS will lose less than the 12 games they did last season and make a real challenge for the title.  

It will also be interesting to see how two other players who have moved from the Ryman League to the National League - 6ft 5" central-defender Moussa Diarra has moved North to Barrow from the title winner's Hampton & Richmond. The 26 year old defender netted 14 goals for The Beavers last season and will be a big part of their defence this season. Ethan Pinnock's displays in the centre of defence for Dulwich over the last few seasons  brought many a football league scout to Champion Hill. He has signed a professional contract and I predict big things to come for the 23 year old. FGR paid a five-figure sum for his services which I think is a bargain considering his potential.

DIARRA's goal-scoring feats for a centre back may make him a good value bet for first goal scorer in Barrow's matches.


Saturday 6th August
Barrow v Aldershot Town
Boreham Wood v Forest Green Rovers
Bromley v Tranmere Rovers
Dagenham & Redbridge v Southport
Eastleigh v Guiseley
Gateshead v Chester
Macclesfield Town v Torquay United
Maidstone United v York City - 12.15pm KO Live on BT SPORTS
North Ferriby United v Braintree Town
Sutton United v Solihull Moors
Woking v Lincoln City
Wrexham v Dover Athletic

Tuesday 9th August
Aldershot Town v Maidstone United 
Braintree Town v Eastleigh 
Chester v Dagenham & Redbridge 
Dover Athletic v Boreham Wood 
Forest Green Rovers v Sutton United 
Guiseley v Wrexham 
Lincoln City v North Ferriby United 
Solihull Moors v Woking 
Southport v Gateshead 
Torquay United v Bromley 
Tranmere Rovers v Barrow 
York City v Macclesfield Town 

Saturday 13th August 
Aldershot Town v Wrexham
Braintree Town v Macclesfield Town 
Chester v Maidstone United 
Dover Athletic v North Ferriby United
Forest Green Rovers v Gateshead
Guiseley v Dagenham & Redbridge 
Lincoln City v Sutton United
Solihull Moors v Bromley
Southport v Woking 
Torquay United v Barrow 
Tranmere Rovers v Eastleigh 
York City v Boreham Wood

Barrow have a 700 mile round trip on the second Saturday of the season when they travel to Torquay United - I wonder how many off their loyal fans will make the journey? 

No comments:

Post a Comment