Sunday, 23 February 2020

IMPORTANT VICTORY FOR THE EAGLES AT THE NEW ROKER PARK








SOME VIEWS OF STOTFOLD'S IMPRESSIVE NEW ROKER PARK STADIUM.

With the top four due to be promoted to Step Five of the non-league ladder at the end of the season today's game at The New Roker Park between seventh placed Stotfold and sixth placed MK Robins was a very important one for both clubs. 






Stotfold went into the game on a good run of eight wins and one draw in nine league games with MK Robins on four defeats, two draws and three wins in nine games - The Eagles had been in good scoring form also with 34 goals scored in those nine games. It's clear to see their player/manager Luke Gregson has built an impressive squad which combined with the move to their new stadium has sent a real positive feel through the club. MK Robins had lost 2-1 at struggling Park View FC in midweek. 



HAPPY TIMES FOR STOTFOLD PLAYER-MANAGER LUKE GREGSON WHO PLAYED FOR NEAR ENOUGH THE FULL 90 MINUTES - HE WAS SUBSTITUTED WITH ONLY A FEW MOMENTS LEFT IN THE GAME. 

They included Josh Coley in their line-up who started the season as a Norwich City player on loan at Scottish Championship side Dunfermline Athletic - The 21 year old player played for Hitchin Town before joining Baldock Town in 2017 when they were managed by Gregson where his performances earnt a move to Norwich City. He played seven times in Scotland before going back to Norfolk in January where his contract was cancelled by mutual consent - Today's game was his second game for Stotfold. To have a player of his quality playing at Step Six of the non-league ladder is amazing - I expect him to be playing much higher up the pyramid in the near future. 

On a blustery day in front of a decent crowd of 205 people at The New Roker Park it was the home side who were much the better side - They had had 644 for their ground opening against local rival's Shefford Town and Campton on Saturday 8th February and then 168 against London Lions on Tuesday 11th February. 

Owen Robertson on the left wing was a real attacking threat for the home side especially in the first half - He created a number of chances and also hit the post from close range when it looked easier to score before Kieran Barnes curled home the opening goal on 27 minutes. It was 2-0 early in the second half when Coley finished from close range. 

The Robins then came back into the game but never really looked like scoring on a day to forget for them - Coley's pass into Kim Forsythe late in the game allowed him to make it 3-0 and take the all important three points. 

The Eagles will look to carry on their good form at home to Buckingham Athletic on Tuesday evening before a local derby away day to Shefford Town & Campton next weekend. 

For The Robins and their management team of Terry Shrieves, Lee Coulter and Glynn Creaser it's Challenge Cup Semi-Final at Premier Division Potton United on Tuesday evening followed by a home game against Hillingdon Borough on Saturday. I wish them the best of luck in these games - they are a fantastically welcoming club and could do with a few more local fans supporting them. If you are based in Milton Keynes please pay them a visit. 

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS - MINI 


MATCH HIGHLIGHTS - FULL 


SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE 

DIVISION ONE - CURRENT TABLE - TOP SEVEN ONLY
POS TEAM P GD PTS FORM
1 ST PANTELEIMON 25 +56 62 WWWWDW
2 NEW SALAMIS  26 +64 56 WWWDWW
3 WINSLOW UNITED  23 +25 49 WWWDWL
4 RAYNERS LANE  26 +18 49 DWLWWW
5 STOTFOLD  24 +37 48 WWWWDW
6 SHEFFORD TOWN & CAMPTON 29 +4 46 WWLLLL
7 MK ROBINS  26 +1 46 LLWDLL

In the race for the title today both St Panteleimon and New Salamis had big wins - St Panteleimon won 0-8 at Shefford Town & Campton with Ayub Albadri netting four times. New Salamis put six past Park View FC with no reply. Winslow weren't in action - there next game is in midweek when Park View visit them. Rayners Lane won 0-3 at Ampthill Town in the other game involving the current top seven. 

Friday, 21 February 2020

ANAGRAM RECORD TROPHY QUARTER-FINALS

Anagram Records Trophy Quarter-Finals 
to be played on Saturday 29th February 

Sarratt v Hilltop
Buckhurst Hill v Rayleigh Town
Sandridge Rovers v Hutton
Bovingdon v Letchworth Garden City Eagles 

The Anagram Records Trophy Quarter-Finals take place next weekend with two SSMFL D2 sides left in Sarratt and Bovingdon, two HSCFL Premier Division sides in Sandridge Rovers and Letchworth Garden City Eagles along with Middlesex County League Premier Division side Hilltop. 

There are three teams left representing the Essex Olympian League Premier Division in Buckhurst Hill, Rayleigh Town and Hutton. 



KNEBWORTH FC APPOINT NEW MANAGEMENT DUO


There has been some exciting news for Hertfordshire Senior County League Division One Knebworth over the past few days as they have announced a new management duo for the rest of the season. David Bass and Liam Kenna will oversee things for The K's starting with their away game at St Margaretsbury Reserves tomorrow and then a home game against Hinton on Saturday 29th February.  

Former Welwyn Garden City player Kenna started the season as a player for Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division Baldock Town and recently came on as substitute for Division One Stotfold in their opening game at their new ground against Shefford Town & Campton. 

Bass counts Stevenage Borough, Hitchin Town, Kingstonian, Scarborough, Carlise United and Rotherham United amongst his former clubs as a player. 

The Cold End wishes both Liam and David the best of luck at Knebworth FC. 



BETVICTOR ISTHMIAN LEAGUE - WEEKEND PREVIEW

SATURDAY 22 FEBRUARY 2020

PREMIER DIVISION
Bishop's Stortford v Hornchurch 
Bowers & Pitsea v Leatherhead 
East Thurrock United v Cray Wanderers 
Folkestone Invicta v Wingate & Finchley
Haringey Borough v Bognor Regis Town 
Horsham v Cheshunt 
Kingstonian v Worthing 
Lewes v Brightlingsea Regent 
Margate v Carshalton Athletic 
Merstham v Enfield Town
Potters Bar Town v Corinthian-Casuals 

The game of the day comes at Rookery Hill where East Thurrock United, fresh from their important 2-0 home victory over Carshalton Atlhetic in midweek, entertain fifth placed Cray Wanderers. The home side are in eighth placed on 48 points from twenty seven games played with The Wands on 55 from thirty games played making this another must win game for The Rocks in the race for the play-offs. Table topper's Worthing are scheduled to travel to Kingstonian although this game is subject to a pitch inspection as, i suspect, a few other games will be too with all the rain we've been having. 

MATCH ACTION FROM THE RECENT FC ROMANIA v CHIPSTEAD GAME - THE CHIPS ARE BACK IN HERTFORDSHIRE TOMORROW AT HERTFORD TOWN.

Second placed Folkestone Invicta welcome twenty-first placed Wingate and Finchley to the Kent Coast in a game both teams need the win for different reasons. The Blues are four games unbeaten (2 draws and 2 wins) with Luke Ifil getting a 90th minute equaliser at home to Bowers and Pitsea last weekend when they have been down to 10 men following Sean Grace's red card on 58 minutes. This will be a hard game for Invicta who have lost two in their last six games but won 1-0 at title rival's Worthing last weekend.  

NORTH DIVISION
Basildon United v Cambridge City 
Brentwood Town v Felixstowe & Walton United @ Tilbury FC
Bury Town v Great Wakering Rovers 
Canvey Island v AFC Sudbury 
Coggeshall Town v Hullbridge Sports 
Grays Athletic v Maldon & Tiptree
Heybridge Swifts v Aveley 
Histon v Tilbury 
Soham Town Rangers v Romford 
Witham Town v Dereham Town 

Table topper's Maldon & Tiptree won an important game 1-2 at Bury Town (3rd placed) in midweek and go to Grays Athletic tomorrow. With games in hand over Heybridge Swifts in 2nd place and Bury Town along with being in front by 6 and 9 points ahead it's The Jammers who are firm favourites for the title. 

The game of the day comes at Scraley Road where Heybridge Swifts welcome FA Trophy heroes and currently 4th placed Aveley. Swifts were 2-4 up at Canvey Island last Saturday but the game ended up 4-4 with The Islanders scoring two late goals from Michael Finneran and Tobi Joseph. Aveley drew 3-3 at AFC Sudbury with Alexander Akrofi scoring his 14th and 15th league goals of the season.

ROMFORD TAKE A TRIP TO SOHAM TOWN RANGERS TOMORROW WHO HAVE FIVE WINS IN THEIR LAST SIX LEAGUE GAMES. 

At the bottom of the table Felixstowe & Walton United are without a win in eight games and with Romford starting to win a few games now they will need to pick up points in their fight to stay off the bottom of the table. They travel to 17th placed Brentwood Town in a game scheduled to be played at Tilbury's Chadfields ground. Romford travel to Soham Town Rangers (11th) looking to get their third win a row - Rangers are one of the form sides of the division with five wins and one defeat in their last six league games.  

ACTION FROM THE RECENT HERTFORD TOWN v HARLOW TOWN GAME.

SOUTH CENTRAL DIVISION 
Barking v Tooting & Mitcham United 
Bedfont Sports v Ashford Town 
Bracknell Town v Staines Town
Chalfont St Peter v Uxbridge 
FC Romania v Chertsey Town 
Hanwell Town v Waltham Abbey 
Hertford Town v Chipstead 
Marlow v South Park 
Northwood v Ware  
Westfield v Harlow Town

It's second v fifth at Reynolds Field as Hanwell Town welcome Waltham Abbey - The home side have four wins in six games with The Abbotts on three wins, one draw and two defeats in six games. The home side need to pick up a win to keep up the pressure on table topper's Ware who have scored 76 goals in their 27 games played so far. They go to bottom of the table Northwood who are under the new management of Rob Ursell following the departure of Jamie Leacock - There were a number of new faces in his first game against Bedfont Sports and there is likley to be more tomorrow with defender Dave Thomas (from Hanwell Town), attacking midfielder Luke Jones (from Chalfont St Peter), forward Radu Stefanoaica (from Broadfields United) and Excellence Muhemba (from Harrow Borough) all joining the club this week. Stafanoaica has scored 12 goals in 19 appearances for the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division side this season and was in Uxbridge's youth set up last season. 

Staines Town are without a league win in thirteen games and went down 2-0 at relegation rival's Ashford Town in midweek - they have a tough away trip to Bracknell Town tomorrow. The Robins are without a defeat in nine league games and are in good form under new boss Bobby Wilkinson (formerly of Hungerford Town and Wealdstone) who was appointed in early December. The Swans with just two wins all season are in real danger of a third relegation in six seasons. 

SOUTH EAST DIVISION
Chichester City v Hythe Town 
Cray Valley PM v Burgess Hill Town
Faversham Town v Phoenix Sports 
Guernsey v Ashford United 
Hastings United v Sittingbourne
Haywards Heath Town v Sevenoaks Town 
Herne Bay v Three Bridges 
VCD Athletic v Whitstable Town 
Whitehawk v East Grinstead Town 
Whyteleafe v Ramsgate 

In the South-East division just three points currently separate the top three of Ashford United, Hastings United and Whitehawk. Fourth placed Cray Valley are only two points off of Whitehawk so it's all to play for in the race for the title. 

Ashford United make the trip to Guernsey and will have former Hornchurch striker George Purcell in their line up. He has joined his fourth Isthmian League club of the season this week having started with Canvey Island before joining Grays Athletic and Great Wakering Rovers. 

Hastings United host Sittingbourne and Whitehawk host bottom of the table East Grinstead Town. Sittingbourne are without a win is 6 league games but did win 3 in a row before their current winless run. 

CRAY VALLEY HAVE WON THEIR LAST FIVE GAMES IN A ROW.

Ashford United are the form side of the division winning 8 and drawing 1 of their last 10 games - their solitary defeat came against title rival's Cray Valley who have won their last 5 games in a row and have been hitting the back of the net on a very frequent basis - they have scored 18 times in their winning run. Former Dulwich Hamlet striker Gavin Tomlin has scored 5 of those goals. They host 15th placed Burgess Hill Town tomorrow. 

ACTION FROM RAMSGATE v CHICHESTER CITY ON THE OPENING DAY OF THE SEASON.

  

Thursday, 20 February 2020

SOME NON-LEAGUE NUMBERS

Boreham Wood are currently on a fourteen game unbeaten run in the Vanarama National League with their last league defeat being on Saturday 26th October when AFC Fylde won 0-2 in Hertfordshire. The run has seen them move up to fifth in the race for a play-off place in non-league's top division. It's looking like it's going to be an exciting end to the season as there are currently only four points between Yeovil Town in fourth position and Stockport County in tenth position. The Glovers are the visitors to Meadow Park on Saturday before a trip to Aldershot Town on Tuesday. 

Centre Forward Kabonga Tshimanga, 22, has been amongst the goals for The Wood after his move from Vanarama South side Oxford City last summer. He has attracted many football league scouts to Wood games this season. He started his career with MK Dons and then dropped down into non-league football with Boston United before Oxford City. 

The Wood stuck with manager Luke Garrard after a difficult 2018/19 campaign where they finished 20th and only just missed out on relegation to Step Two. They finished 4th in 2017/18 and got to the play-off final at Wembley where they lost to Tranmere Rovers 2-1. Could they go one better this season? 


Bradford Park Avenue are nine points adrift at the bottom of the Vanarama North Division and are currently on a run of ten league games without a win. The have three victories in their thirty league games played so far which came away at Darlington (0-1) and at home to Hereford (3-2) and Altrincham (2-0). They host Kettering Town on Saturday who are currently in eighteenth position. They have conceded seventy-seven goals in those thirty games. They could be returning to the Northern Premier League they left in 2012 for the 2020/21 campaign. 


In the BetVictor South-East division East Grinstead Town are bottom of the table with just one victory in their twenty-four games played. That win came at the 23rd time of asking when The Wasps won 1-2 at Three Bridges thanks to goals from Gil Carvalho and Dan Thompson. They drew 2-2 with the same opponents in their last game and travel to third placed Whitehawk on Saturday. They are six points behind Ramsgate in nineteenth place. Since promotion from the Sussex County League in 2014 they have finished in 22nd, 20th, 18th, 22nd (all of 24 teams) and last season ended up in 13th of 19 teams, 



Stowmarket Town are seventeen points ahead of second placed Norwich United in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division. They face tenth placed Whitton United on Saturday. The Old Gold and Blacks have scored eighty-six goals in their twenty-five league games so far of which they have won 21 and drawn 4 - Josh Mayhew has scored 28 goals in 32 league and cup games. If they continue their blistering scoring form they should end the season on around one-hundred and thirty league goals scored. They scored 126 in 2017/18 when finishing third in the table. 
The Suffolk side will be in North London on Wednesday 18th March when they travel to play First Division South side Hackney Wick in the Thurlow Nunn Challenge Cup Semi-Final - The Wickers have beaten Newbury Forest, Benfleet, Haverhill Rovers amd Little Oakley to get to this stage. 



In Hackney Wick's division the table is currently topped by White Ensign who have won their last ten league games in a row. They host third placed Halstead Town on Saturday in a very important game in the race for the title. Could we seen the Southend based club (who currently groundshare at Great Wakering Rovers) in the Essex Senior League for 2020/21? 


In the County Motor Works Vauxhall Mid-Essex Division Three Basildon Sporting Village lost their first league game of the season last Saturday when their title rival's Brentwood Athletic Reserves won 3-1 thanks to a Charlie Jacobs hat-trick. They are now four points behind Brentwood but have a game in hand. They have a local-derby to contend with on Saturday when Pitsea Athletic visit them on Saturday. 

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

A FAMOUS EVENING FOR NETHERTON UNITED AS THEY REACH THE HITCHINGBROOKE CUP FINAL

HOW THE SURFACE AT NEW LAMB MEADOW LOOKED AT HALF TIME

It was nineteenth in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division (Step Five) v fourth place in the Chromasport Peterbrough & District Premier Division (Step Seven) on Tuesday evening as Arlesey Town entertained Netherton United in the Hitchingbrooke Cup Semi-Final. The fact the game was on was fantastic - a big congratulations must go to the Arlesey Town ground staff with all the rain that has fallen over the past few days caused many locally based games to be called off. 

The home side started well and had a number of good chances with Connor Barker in the away goal making a number of good saves before Chris Down scored for the away side striking a free kick from outside of the box low and hard past Robbie Ponting in the Arlesey goal. 

The real talking point of the game came moments later when Arlesey's Alassane Gomis was red carded for what the referee deemed to be a trip on the Netherton forward around 10 metres outside of the penalty box - the incident is included in the highlights below and has sparked some debate both in the ground and on social media. 

The second half saw Netherton United put in a solid hard working display defending really well on a heavy rain soaked
pitch. Arlesey had a great chance to score when Charlie Moss laid the ball across to substitute Bukele Mukudi in front of goal - When his shot went over the bar from close range you just knew it wasn't going to be their night. The final score was 0-1 in front of a crowd of 43 people at New Lamb Meadow. 

Looking at the league table Netherton United are probably favourites to win the title - They are just two points behind Peterborough North End Sports but have three games in hand and two over Stamford Lions (2nd) and Moulton Harrox (3rd) who are both on 34 points. They travel to Ketton, who are second from bottom in the table, on Saturday. The have applied for promotion to step six for the 2020/21 season. 

Chico Ramos's Arlesey Town welcome Wembley on Saturday for a SSMFL Premier Division fixture where there is a bumper 60 page programme on offer in including part 2 of their 25th FA Vase anniversary series. 

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS 



Monday, 17 February 2020

DIAL SQUARE FC - FORMED 2020


There will be a new club competing in non-league football for the 2020/21 season as DIAL SQUARE FC have been formed recently by a group of disgruntled Arsenal fans with the aim to climb the non-league pyramid over the next few seasons. The name is of course a nod to the history of Arsenal - they were formed as "Dial Square" in 1886 by a group of workers employed by the Dial Square workshop at the Royal Arsenal armaments factory in Woolwich -  They played their first match on 11th December 1886 against Eastern Wanderers on an open field on the Isle of Dogs, which they won 6–0. They were renamed "Royal Arsenal" soon after. 

The new club were looking to join the Combined Counties League Division One but it has been announced on their website they will be starting below Step Six - they will ground share at CCL Premier Division Abbey Rangers who are based in Addlestone, Surrey. 

Dan Parsons will be the manager of the first team who has been working as a scout for Knaphill FC this season and previously was at Shalford FC who play in the Guildford & Woking Premier Division from 2015 to 2017. He has also managed Colne Valley Ladies and Knaphill u23's. He will be assisted by Jamie Barrett who worked with him at Shalford and Colne Valley.

The club are looking at crowd funding and have sponsorship opportunities with more details found on twitter - @DialSquareFC1 and their club website - dialsquarefc.com