Wednesday, 6 June 2018


AFC Hornchurch
The Urchins ran away with the Bostik North division comfortably finishing thirteen points ahead of their nearest challengers Potters Bar Town last season. Winning the title means step three football will return to Bridge Avenue for the first time since they were relegated at the end of the 2014/15 campaign.  They had gone close to getting back up in their two previous seasons when losing in the 2016 play-off final and the 2017 play-off semi final. 

The club have made a number of new signings in preparation for the forthcoming season. The eye catching one being the recruitment of striker Sean Marks who played over thirty times for Vanarama National League side Maidenhead United last season. The 32 year old brings with him lots of experience having spent 8 years at Braintree Town prior to his move to The Magpies. He has also played for Heybridge Swifts. 

Goalkeeper Callum Chafer has also joined after an impressive two year spell with Bowers and Pitsea. He came through the youth teams at Hornchurch and has also played for Redbridge and Romford - He will replace Sam Mott who has moved to Ashford United. Central Midfielder Tobi Coker, 19, returns for a second spell with the club having made 7 appearances on loan in the 2016/17 season. He joins from Barnet's academy squad. He played in The Bee's famous Middlesex Senior Cup game of 2016 when Enfield Town won 5-6 on penalty kicks at The Hive Stadium. Coker came on at half time substitute in that game and scored one of the penalties in the shoot out. 

Midfielder Jordan Clark has also joined from Thurrock FC where he made 39 appearances last season scoring 8 goals. In addition to these signings the club have also confirmed Kenzer Lee, Alex Bentley, Nathan Cooper, Theo Fairweather-Johnson, Connor Hogan, Jamie Hursit, Jay Porter and George Purcell have all returned from last season and signed up for the 2018/19 Bostik Premier campaign. 

One player who won't be in action next season in club legend and Captain Elliot Styles who, after an incredible 541 games for The Urchins, has called it a day due to family and work commitments. He made his debut for the club in September 2006 mainly playing as a central defender but in recent seasons has been moved into midfield. He has also worn the goalkeeping gloves on three occasions and scored 32 career goals for the club. 

The pre-season schedule for the Essex side sees a side from Arsenal u23s visit on Tuesday 31st July which should be a well attended game. 

Saturday 14th July – Hullbridge Sports
Tuesday 17th July – CONCORD RANGERS
Saturday 21st July – Cheshunt 
Saturday 28th July – Canvey Island 
Tuesday 31st July – ARSENAL u23s
Saturday 4th August – Bury Town  

Bishop's Stortford
The Blues return to the Isthmian League for the first time since 2004. In their eleven year spell at Step Two their most successful season was in 2006/07 when finishing fifth and losing to Salisbury City in the play-off semi-final. A run of 10th, 9th, 18th, 16th, 10th, 17th, 15th, 16th and 11th finishes was followed by relegation in 2016/17 before a one season stay in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division last season when they finished 18th of 24 teams. Their stay at Step Two included the controversial move of placing them in the Northern Division where they faced trips to Workington, Blyth Spartans and Colwyn Bay amongst others from 2011 to 2013. 

Their loyal fans will be looking forward to renewing their local Essex/Hertfordshire border rivalry with Harlow Town - the two clubs were last in the same league in the 2001/02 Isthmian League Division One. Around 15 miles separate Woodside Park and The McCullochs Arena.    

On the pitch it'll be a new look for the team with Adam Flint the new man in charge. He moved across from Bostik North Witham Town with his assistant James Robinson and has already confirmed defender Joe Robinson will be saying with the club having made 50 appearances last season. 

Thursday 19th July - VCD Athletic 
Saturday 21st July - DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE
Tuesday 25th July - AFC Sudbury 
Saturday 28th July - CAMBRIDGE UNITED 
Tuesday 31st July - Aveley 

Bognor Regis Town

After the glory of promotion to the Vanarama South in 2017 it was a season to forget for The Rocks as they finished bottom of the division winning just five of their forty-two games league games played and are back in the familiar territory of Isthmian League football for the 2018/19 campaign. 

Former professional player Robbie Blake has joined Nyewood Lane as first team coach after spending the last two years coaching at football league side Portsmouth. Blake, 42, made over 500 football league appearances from 1994 to 2013. He will assist Manager Jack Pearce and replaced the outgoing Darin Killpatrick who leaves the club after an incredible 18 years service as player, manager and coach. 

Harvey Sparks, 23, has joined from Worthing. The left sided midfielder scored 8 times in 41 games for their south-coast rivals last season. 

Dan Beck, Doug Tuck, Corey Heath, Keaton Wood, Harvey Whyte, Calvin Davies, Tommy Scutt and Chad Field have all committed for the season with Tommy Block, 18, a played to look out for next season. The midfielder who can also play as central-defender made 38 appearances last year and is reported by the club's website to have turned down the chance to play for club's higher up the pyramid to stay with The Rocks. 

Tuesday 17th July - BRIGHTON u23 
Friday 20th July - Horndean 
Tuesday 24th July - PORTSMOUTH 
Friday 27th July - Salisbury 
Friday 3rd August - Gosport Borough

Brightlingsea Regent 
It was a reasonable first season at Step 3 on the non-league pyramid for the Essex side as they finished in 20th place on 48 points from 46 league games played. This was despite successful manager James Webster leaving the club to drop down to the Bostik North division with Aveley.  Tom Rothery re-joined from Needham Market where he had been coaching to be made new manager in October. He had worked with Regent previously as coach under Webster. 

Prior to Webster's departure the team had a points per game total of 1.28 with their record under Rothery being 0.94 points per game. If Regent have around this total next year they will have a total of 43 points which will see them in a relegation fight so he will know the team have to improve results with their defensive record of letting in over 2 goal per game last season a particular concern. 

Many of last season's squad have committed for 2018/19 with a few new players joining. Harvey Hodd signing from Lowestoft Town who the former Norwich City Academy and Fleetwood Town midfielder has been representing for the last two seasons. Harry Morgan, also a midfielder, has joined from Heybridge Swifts - the 21 year old has also played for Chelmsford City at step two where he played over seventy times for the Vanarama South side. 22 year old defender Bradley James has joined from Eastern Counties League side FC Clacton. Attacking Midfielders Joe Maybanks and Matt Baxter (both aged 20) have joined from Braintree Town. Baxter came through the academy at Spurs before joining The Iron. Goalkeeper James Bradbrook has signed permanently having spent the final few months of last season on loan at North Road from Needham Market. 

Saturday 14th July - IPSWICH TOWN XI
Tuesday 17th July - Brantham Athletic 
Friday 20th July - NEEDHAM MARKET 
Tuesday 24th July - FC CLACTON 
Friday 27th July - Long Melford 
Tuesday 31st July - AFC Sudbury 
Saturday 4th August - BOWERS & PITSEA 
Burgess Hill Town 
The Hillians will play their fourth season at Step Three of the non-league ladder having been promoted in 2015 as Champions of Division One (South). They have finished 21st (reprieved from relegation), 19th and last season 23rd where in an ordinary season they would of returned to Step Four. Last season they conceded 102 goals winning only nine of their forty-six games played so like his counterpart at Brightlingsea Regent manager Ian Chapman will know this will need to be improved if they want to stay away from the relegation battle next season. 

Chapman has signed many of last season's squad along with Connor Tighe who has joined from Whitehawk. He was with The Hillians last season where he scored 9 goals and made 5 assists during a loan spell. Striker Tom Pope has joined from Worthing scoring against Burgess Hill last season.  

Saturday 7th July - East Grinstead Town 
Tuesday 17th July - HORSHAM 
Tuesday 24th July - Eastbourne Borouh 
Saturday 28th July - HAYWARDS HEATH TOWN 
Saturday 4th August - Harrow Borough 

Carshalton Athletic 
The Robins return to the top division of the Isthmian League after a four year stay in Division One (South) (or Bostik South as it was known as last season). They were Champions last season under player/manager Peter Adeniyi who has assembled a very impressive squad at Colston Avenue with many young players attracting interest with scouts visiting from higher up the pyramid last season. Two players in Ricky Korboa and Ola Sogbanmu have already committed for next season. Winger/Striker Korboa, 21, has been part of Jamie Vardy's V9 academy and is good friends with Mikel Miller who left the club in January for Scottish Premiership side Hamilton Academical.  Sogbanmu, 26, counts Woking, Boreham Wood and Farnborough amongst his former clubs. 

The historic club have been knocking on the door of the Isthmian Premier Division for the last few seasons and got some very good fortune when they were promoted at the end of last season despite losing on penalty kicks in the play-off final against Walton Casuals. The sad demise of Thurrock FC opened up another place at Step Three which allowed The Casuals promotion as they were the side with the best points per game ratio in the losing Step 4 play-off finalists. I think The Casuals deserved some luck having also lost the 2017 play-off final on penalty kicks (against Dorking Wanderers) and missing out on the 2016 play-offs following a 3 point deduction after being deemed to play an ineligible player in a league game against Faversham Town. The club thought they had cleared his Dave Hodge's suspension by playing him in a county cup fixture. 

The clubs loyal fans will be hoping their season will be a little bit better than their last at the top level of Isthmian football which was way back in 1973/74 when they won just three games of 42 played letting in 107 goals! 

Their top scorer last season was Max Oldham (19) closely followed by Gabriel Odunaike (18) with Dulwich Hamlet and Enfield Town fan's favourite Harry Ottaway also playing for the club last season.  

The Casuals have two pre-season games scheduled with Crystal Palace u23s visiting on Saturday 21st July and League One side Bristol Rovers sending an XI to play at King Georges Field on Tuesday 24th July. 

Dorking Wanderers 
A new era in football in the Surrey town will begin for the 2018/19 season as The Wanderers finally moved into a newly re-developed Meadowbank Stadium which was the former home of Dorking FC. To mark the opening of the multi-million pound facility there is a celebrity football match and family fun day planned on Sunday 8th July with the chance of winning an all-inclusive holiday to Mexico for everyone attending. Visit the club's website for ticket details and more information. 

Enfield Town 
The 2017/18 season was one of transition for The Towners as manager Bradley Quinton departed for Braintree Town and former Chesham United manager Andy Leese took over with the task of rebuilding an almost entirely new squad at Donkey Lane. A run to the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round where they so nearly beat Vanarama National Division side Maidstone United was the highlight where they finished in seventeenth place in the table. 

There will be a change in the dugout as the club has seen player/assistant manager Darren Purse move on to a coaching role with football league side Oxford United along with coach Shaun Reece who has taken over as manager of Spartan South Midlands League Division One side Enfield Borough. 
Mario Noto has been made player/assistant manager - He has coaching experience with Boreham Wood with Steve Wales coming in as first team coach. 

The club have announced two signings with 21 one year old centre-back Taofiq Olomowewe joining. He spent some time on loan from Vanarama South side Wealdstone last season and was with Premier League Burnley during the 2016/17 campaign. Left Back Remi Sutton, 25, has moved from Thurrock FC where he made 43 appearances last season. These additions look like the right signings for Leese as he looks to address the defensive record for his team who let in 80 goals in their 46 league games during 2017/18. 

The club will also have an under 23 side running who will enter the Bostik Development league. 


Tuesday 17th July - Greenwich Borough 
Tuesday 24th July - Cheshunt 
Saturday 28th July - Rushden & Diamonds 
Tuesday 31st July - OXFORD UNITED 
Saturday 4th Auust - HENDON 

Folkestone Invicta 
A fourth placed finish last season was a great achievement for the club who were promoted from Division One (South) in 2016. Neil Cugley has been in charge since the summer of 1996 and following the departure of Arsene Wenger from Arsenal is now the longest serving manager in the top seven tiers of the English game having now been in charge of over 1000 Invicta games. 

Another long serving person in Michael Everitt has been made player/coach - He has played over 600 games for his home town club. Many of last season's squad have signed on for another season including striker Ade Yusuff who had a very impressive 2017/18 campaign. 

Another striker in Alfie Paxman has been signed from Bostik South side Ramsgate where the 20 year old has been putting in some eye catching performances. 

Haringey Borough 
There hasn't been any news of note out of Coles Park as the club prepare for their first season as Step Three on the non-league ladder. It was a tremendous achievement for long serving boss Tom Loizou as the club continues to celebrate it's second promotion since 2014/15. 

Hashtag United will ground share with Borough for the 2018/19 season with the social media founded side entering non-league football at Step 6 level which has angered a few non-league fans. I would look on the positive side of things in that many young people will be looking forward to watching the side play and will in turn show interest in the non-league game. There could be some decent crowds heading down White Hart Lane for their games as well as watching Borough. 

Saturday 7th July - COGGESHALL TOWN 
Tuesday 10th July - ENFIELD BOROUGH 
Saturday 14th July - ROYSTON TOWN 
Tuesday 17th July - CHESHUNT 
Saturday 21st July - Hendon 
Saturday 28th July - Waltham Abbey 
Saturday 4th July - BARTON ROVERS 

Harlow Town 
The Hawks will need to improve from last season if they want to avoid a relegation battle. They lost 25 of their 46 league games played in 2017/18 and finished 21st of 24 teams which in an ordinary year would of seen them relegated to the Bostik North division. 

Mark Holloway (formerly of Grays Athletic and AFC Hornchurch) has joined as first team coach.  

They will host Leyton Orient on Saturday 7th July in their first pre-season friendly which will most likely be well attended game with many O's fans visiting. 

The K's are still without a ground to call home and it sadly looks to be that way for the foreseeable future. One positive is that they will be back playing in The Royal Borough of Kingston next season having agreed a ground share with Corinthian Casuals in Tolworth. It's just under a four mile journey from the former home at Kingsmeadow which is much better for their fans compared to the 13 mile trip they had to Leatherhead last season.

On the pitch Manager Leigh Dynan has made some real notable signings in preparation for the forthcoming campaign. The K's look to have a real strong squad and if all goes well will be right up the top of the division.  

Striker Louie Theophanous, has joined after spending some of last season on loan with The K's where he scored 3 times in 6 games before moving on to Vanarama National League side Woking. He started the 2017/18 campaign with big spending Billericay Town where he scored 14 goals.  Midfielder Reece Williams-Bowers (formerly of Leatherhead, Molesey and Lewes) has also signed. The 19 year old was part of the AFC Wimbledon youth set up a few seasons ago. 

The K's will no doubt have one of the best strike partnerships in the division as Elliott Buchanan will partner Theopnanous. The Bostik Premier golden boot winner (39 league goals!) has joined from Staines Town.  Defender Jay Gasson has joined from Metropolitan Police with forward Muhammadu Faal joining from Dulwich Hamlet - He spent sometime on loan with the club last season. Midfielder Aaron Lamont re-joins the club after a spell in the Vanarama South with Truro City - He played 42 times for The K's in the 2016/17 campaign. Another midfielder in Tommy Brewer has joined from Staines Town where he was Captain making 171 appearances for The Swans after joining them from Hampton and Richmond Borough in 2014. 

Their first two pre-season Saturday games have a seaside feel to them as they visit Weymouth and then Hastings United. 

Saturday 14th July - Weymouth 
Tuesday 17th July - Slough Town 
Saturday 21st July - Hastings United 
Tuesday 24th July - South Park 
Saturday 28th July - Westfield 
Tuesday 31st July - Whyteleafe 
Tuesday 7th August - CRYSTAL PALACE XI 

It's all change at Fetcham Grove as Sammy Moore and Jack Midson depart for Vanarama South side Concord Rangers who are making some really impressive signings. The new man in charge is Nikki Bull who done so well under some difficult and challenging circumstances when in charge of Margate in the Vanarama South from December 2015 to February 2017.

Bull has signed strikers Elliott Benyon and Shaun Okojie with defender Will Salmon also joining from Metropolitan Police. Okojie transferred from Corinthian-Casuals to Vanarama National side Aldershot Town in the summer of 2017 having scored 40 goals in 39 starts - His time with The Shots didn't really work out and he joined Vanarama South Eastbourne Borough in January. During his time with The Casuals many football league sides showed an interest in him - Now 22 years old he may well get a move to higher up the pyramid should he put in an impressive season with The Tanners. 30 year old Benyon was with Wealdstone, Enfield Town (loan) and Whitehawk last season and has played in the football league with Torquay United, Southend United and Swindon Town. 

The Dripping Pan, many fans favourite away day, makes a welcome return to Step Three football after their promotion from the Bostik South division. Manager Darren Freeman has signed striker Luke Blewden who returns for second spell with The Rooks from Tonbridge Angels. Attacking Midfielder Nassim Dukali, 23, joins from Bostik South side Greenwich Borough whom he joined midway through the 2017/18 campaign from Herne Bay. He scored 14 goals and made 15 assists in the division so will no doubt chip in with some goals and good play in the Premier Division. Goalkeeper Lewis Carey comes in from Thamesmead Town and will take over the number one slot from retiring Chris Winterton - the 24 year old has counts Bromley, Eastbourne Borough and Tonbridge Angels among his former clubs. 

Another attacking midfielder joins from League One side Southened United - Nico Cotton, 21, had been with The Shrimpers since he was 13 years old. Former Lewes Captain Jack Walder has returned after spells with Hastings United and Crowborough. 

Freeman has also signed up a number of last season's successful squad as he looks to push on in the 2018/19 campaign.  

There will be a change in the dug out at Hartsdown Park as Steve Watt has departed to be be replaced by a joint management team of Steve Brown and Mike Sandmann. Brown, 46, best known for his playing career at Charlton Athletic where he made 242 appearances was assistant to Watt last season and has also been in charge of Ebbsfleet United and Lewes as well as being assistant at Dover Athletic. The duo have made a number of signings to improve a squad that finished in seventh place missing out on play off spot by just two points. 

Midfielder Alex Brown, 25, has joined from Vanarama South side Dartford from whom Margate fought off a number of other clubs for his signature. Stiker Joe Taylor joins from Folkestone Invicta - He spent 15 years with the club in the youth and academy sections. Goalkeeper Henry Newcombe joins from Wycombe Wanderers - He spent sometime on loan with Bostik North side Canvey Island last season. Defender Ollie Boulding, 20, joins from Vanarama National side Ebbsfleet United. Alex Flisher has committed to the club as well which will be like having a new signing as he spent all of last season out with an ACL injury picked up in a pre-season friendly game against local rival's Ramsgate. 

I expect The Gate to be challenging at the top of the table for the forthcoming season. 

Saturday 7th July - Deal Town
Tuesday 10th July - Sevenoaks Town 
Saturday 14th July - GILLINGHAM 
Tuesday 24th July - Ashford United 
Tuesday 31st July - THAMESMEAD TOWN
Saturday 4 August - RAMSGATE 

The Moatsiders have made a superb signing in Kenny Beaney who captained Dulwich Hamlet to their play-off win last season. Other players joining are Calum Davies who is a striker who played for Leatherhead previously and Deon Moore, 19, joining from League One side Peterborough United. Since promotion from Division One (South) they have finished in 10th, 14th and 18th positions. 

PRE-SEASON FREINDLY GAMES Saturday 14th July - Three Bridges 
Tuesday 17th July - Tooting & Mitcham United
Saturday 21st July - Hampton & Richmond 
Tuesday 24th July - Whyteleafe S
Saturday 28th July - CRYSTAL PALACE XI
Tuesday 31st July - AFC WIMBLEDON XI
Saturday 4th August - South Park  

Potters Bar Town 
It will be a season to remember for The Scholars as will be playing at Step Three of the non-league ladder for the first time in their history. No signings have been announced as yet but I'm sure Steve Ringrose will have a team ready to compete in the Premier Division as a full pre-season schedule has been announced.   

Saturday 7th July - Broadfields 
Saturday 7th July - Southall 
Tuesday 10th July - Uxbridge 
Wednesday 18th July - Edgware Town 
Saturday 21st July - Harrow Borough 
Tuesday 24th July - CHESHAM UNITED 
Saturday 28th July - BEACONSFIELD TOWN 
Tuesday 31st July - WATFORD under 23s 
Saturday 4th August - Biggleswade   

Tonbridge Angels 
After relegation from Step Two in 2014 The Angels narrowly missed suffering another demotion in 2014/15 when they finished just above the drop zone in the Isthmian Premier Division. Since then they have finished 4th, 6th and last season 11th. Manager Steve McKimm has been made a few signings firstly confirming left sided winger Joe Turner is staying for the forthcoming season along with a number of other players such as Liam Smith, Craig Stone, Callum Abonis-Taylor and Tommy Whitnell. 

Joel Nouble, 22, is another player to be looking for a club following the demise of Thurrock FC and he has joined Tonbridge Angels. The 6ft 3inch forward started his career in the Chelsea academy before moving to Millwall and Dagenham & Redbridge. He made 41 appearances for The Fleet last season. 

Defensive/Midfielder James Folkes, 28, has rejoined the club after a spell in the Bostik North division with Grays Athletic. He was with The Angels for three years up until February 2017 where he made 128 appearances. 

Former Maidstone United striker Alex Akrofi has departed the club where he scored 34 goals in 68 starts along with former Billericay Town defender/midfielder George Beavan who has also left following his two year spell with The Angels. 

Saturday 14th July - GILLINGHAM  
Tuesday 17th July - Sevenoaks Town 
Saturday 21st July - TUNBRIDGE WELLS
Tuesday 24th July - Faversham Town 
Saturday 28th July - Gravesham Borough (@ Chatham Town FC) 
Saturday 4th August - East Grinstead Town 
The Hawks rejoin the Isthmian League after a five year spell in the Vanarama South where in 2015 they narrowly missed out on promotion to non-league's top division when they lost to Boreham Wood in the play-off final and in 2016 losing to Ebbsfleet United in the play-off semi-final. 

Since May 2016 the club have had Pablo Asensio, Richard Hill, Alan Payne (temporary), Paul Reid and Alan Payne (joint managers), Andy Woodman, Jimmy Dack, Dan Harding (temporary) and Steve King as managers. 

King returned to The TerraPura Ground (he had previously been in charge between February 2014 and February 2016) in September 2017 after the club had made a poor start to the season losing 9 and drawing 2 of their opening 11 games. King brought in an almost entirely new squad and worked hard winning 8 of their remaining 31 games which unfortunately was not enough to prevent relegation. King has now departed for Welling United and has been replaced by Jude MacDonald who had been in charge of the successful under 18 team at the club which has just won back to back league titles. He will be assisted by Jay Lovett and Matthew Elphick. 

MacDonald has made a number of signings including Lucas Rodrigues, 20, who made 22 appearances for the club last season before going out on loan to Burgess Hill Town. Rodrigues was raised in Brighton so is a fan's favourite for The Hawks. Defender/Midfielder Harry Shooman has joined from Saltdean United - he is former youth team captain for The Hawks. 19 year old Reece Hallard, a midfielder, has joined from Worthing where he played 22 times in the Bostik Premier last season. 

Lewis Broughton, Luke Emberson, Robbie Keith and Leon Moore have also signed moving up from the academy at Whitehawk. 

Tuesday 17th July - HAYWARDS HEATH 
Tuesday 21st July - SHOREHAM 
Saturday 28th July - AYLESBURY UNITED 
Monday 6th August - Hastings United 

Wingate & Finchley
The majority of the squad has committed for the season with Wingate also announcing club legend Marc Weatherstone has returned after his 100 match spell where he helped Dulwich Hamlet to promotion from the Bostik Premier. He has made 434 appearances for The Blues.

Attacking midfielder Chace O'Neill, 24, has joined from Tooting and Mitcham United - He was a former youth team scholar at Tottenham Hotspur. David Manu, 22, a pacey winger has also joined (from Bedford Town) and has also played for North Greenford United and Uxbridge in his career. Central-Midfielder George Craddock joins from Canvey Island - He previously played for East Thurrock United and Braintree Town. Former Harlow Town player Layne Eadie has also signed from St Albans City following a successful loan spell in North London last season. 

Saturday 7th July - BEACONSFIELD TOWN @ Barnet Lane 
Tuesday 10th July - KINGS LANGLEY @ Barnet Lane 
Saturday 14th July - WELWYN GC @ Barnet Lane 
Tuesday 17th July - Barking 
Saturday 21st July - BIGGLESWADE TOWN @ Barnet Lane 
Tuesday 24th July - ST ALBANS CITY 
Saturday 28th July - Hayes and Yeading United  
Tuesday 31st July - Royston Town 
Saturday 4th August - Chesham United 
Tuesday 7th August - ENFIELD BOROUGH 

Boss Adam Hinshelwood has lost a few of last season's squad but he has signed experienced defender James Crane who leaves Bognor Regis Town after a ten year spell where he played over 400 times for The Rocks. Another defender in Will Miles has joined from Burgess Hill Town and a number of players from last season have also committed. 

Keep reading THE COLD END for more Bostik League news and season previews. 

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