In football we all know two seasons are never the same but if we look at the statistics from the last three Ryman Premier Division seasons where forty-six games have been played there are the following facts -
* No team has qualified for the play-offs having lost more than 13 times
* The average amount of games lost to finish from 2nd to 5th is 10.25.
* The average amount of points needed to finish 5th is 79.67. The highest being 83 in 2013/14 and the lowest being 75 in 2014/15.
Looking at the league table at present it appears the title race is now between Havant & Waterlooville and Bognor Regis Town meaning these two teams will more than likely finish in the top two positions which leaves only three play-off spots left with Leiston, Tonbridge Angels, Needham Market and Dulwich Hamlet in the best position to fill those places. Although on current form Leiston won't make it - they have the worst record of any team in the division in the last six games played having picked up just one point from their last eighteen available.
Wingate and Finchley are currently in fifth place and are the best placed of the other teams to snatch a play-off place but you have look at the amount of games they and the other teams have lost and think it's a tough ask where they can only really afford to lose one other game and win all the others.
RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
ALTERNATE TABLE - TOP TWELVE ONLY
|TEAM||GAMES LOST||POSS PTS||CHANCES|
|HAVANT & WATERLOOVILLE||6||104||TITLE + PLAY OFFS|
|BOGNOR REGIS TOWN||6||102||TITLE + PLAY OFFS|
|TONBRIDGE ANGELS||9||93||PLAY OFFS|
|NEEDHAM MARKET||9||93||PLAY OFFS|
|DULWICH HAMLET||7||93||PLAY OFFS|
|WINGATE & FINCHLEY||12||90||OUTSIDE CHANCE|
|HARLOW TOWN||14||84||OUTSIDE CHANCE|
|BILLERICAY TOWN||12||84||OUTSIDE CHANCE|
|ENFIELD TOWN||11||81||OUTSIDE CHANCE|
|STAINES TOWN||16||78||NO CHANCE|
SATURDAY 4th MARCH FIXTURESAFC Sudbury v Folkestone Invicta
Bognor Regis Town v Leatherhead
Burgess Hill Town v Lowestoft Town
Enfield Town v Havant & Waterlooville
Grays Athletic v Metropolitan Police
Harlow Town v Billericay Town
Hendon v Leiston
Kingstonian v Harrow Borough
Merstham v Staines Town
Tonbridge Angels v Needham Market
Wingate & Finchley v Canvey Island
Worthing v Dulwich Hamlet
The games of the day tomorrow are Tonbridge Angels (3rd) v Needham Market (4th) and Worthing (11th) v Dulwich Hamlet (9th). A defeat for The Rebels in their game will all but end their outside play-off hopes with Hamlet playing catch up following their FA Trophy games played.
Tonbridge Angels drew 1-1 with Havant on Tuesday evening with Needham Market drawing 2-2 in their game with Bognor Regis Town last weekend. Havant's Jason Prior scored an 82nd minute equaliser at Tonbridge to cancel out Alex Akrofi's 13th minute goal.
Lots of National press attention will be focused on the Harlow Town v Billericay Town where former Liverpool, Fulham, West Ham United and Leicester City defender Paul Konchesky will make his debut for The Blues after signing from League One side Gillingham in mid-week. Manager Craig Edwards parted company with 'Ricay on Thursday with new owner Glenn Tamplin rumoured to be in the dug-out for this one. Konchesky won't be the only former Premier League player on show as The Hawks have former Reading, Stoke City, Portsmouth and Hull City centre-back Ibrahima Sonko in their squad. With all the money being spent at The New Lodge they are now the team everybody wants to beat - I'm sure everyone associated with Harlow Town will be well up for this local Essex derby game.
At the opposite end of the table it's still Grays Athletic who occupy bottom spot despite winning their last two games against Billericay Town and Harrow Borough. The other sides occupying the bottom four are Hendon, Canvey Island and Leatherhead. AFC Sudbury have the worst record in the last six games played of the current bottom seven teams picking up just one win, one draw and suffering four defeats scoring just two goals which is something they will really need to change to avoid the drop back to Division One (North). They host Folkestone Invicta tomorrow - A home win would pull the Kent side (currently in sixteenth placed) back towards the dreaded drop-zone.
Hendon (at home to Leiston), Canvey Island (away at Wingate) and Leatherhead travelling to Bognor Regis Town all face tough games against teams much higher up the table. Grays Athletic host Met Police (15th).
RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
CURRENT TABLE - BOTTOM SEVEN ONLY
|19||BURGESS HILL TOWN||33||-15||39||78||WWDLLL||30.30%|
A FEW RANDOM FACTS ABOUT THE SEASON SO FAR
* LEISTON won their first five games of 2017 but have since lost six in a row.
* GRAYS ATHLETIC (23 games) have lost the most amount of games so far - they are followed by AFC SUDBURY (18) along with CANVEY ISLAND (17) and HENDON (17).
* AFC SUDBURY have failed to score in seven of their ten league games played since the turn of the year.
* The crowd of 2,217 which saw Dulwich Hamlet v Bognor Regis Town on 8th October is the top crowd so far with the 68 that witnessed Met Police v Wingate and Finchley the lowest.
* The bookmakers show Havant as title favourites at 5/6 with Bognor Regis Town at 13/8. The rest are rated 16/1 and over.
* Matthew Blake of Leiston leads the goal-scoring charts at present on 23 scored closely followed by Lloyd Dawes of Worthing on 20.