Wednesday, 24 November 2021

SOME NON-LEAGUE NUMBERS AND NEWS

17 - Chesterfield's Kabonga Tshimanga has scored more goals than Southend United (11), Dover Athletic (13), Kings Lynn Town (15), Yeovil Town (16) and Wealdstone (16) in The Vanarama National League. Signed from Boreham Wood in the summer the 24 year old striker has scored two hat-tricks against Barnet and Weymouth which has helped him to the that total.. 

0 - Dover Athletic are still yet to record a victory in The Vanarama National League - they have drawn three of their sixteen games played putting them on a points total of -9 having started the season on -12. A crowd of just 399 was at The Crabble last night to see their 2-3 defeat to Wealdstone. 

- Chesterfield, Boreham Wood and Wrexham are the only three sides left without a home defeat so far in The National League. No Teams are left without an an away defeat. 

9 - There are nine non-league clubs left in this season's Emirates FA Cup with two all non-league ties in next weekend's Second Round. Buxton of the Pitching-In Northern Premier League are the lowest ranked side left in the competition having beaten Sherwood Colliery (after a replay), Rushall Olympic, City of Liverpool, Kettering Town (after a replay) and York City to get this stage. Some many argue that Chesterfield (currently non-league) are a bigger club than League Two side Salford City for their tie - When The Spireites famously got to the Semi-Final in 96/97 as a third tier side Salford City were finishing bottom of the North West Counties Premier League. 

EMIRATES FA CUP SECOND ROUND 
GAME FEATURING NON-LEAGUE SIDES 
Rotherham United (League 1) v Stockport County (Step 1) 
Gateshead (Step 6) v Charlton Athletic (League 1) 
Buxton (Step 3) v Morecambe (League 1) 
Yeovil Town (Step 1) v Stevenage (League 2) 
Kidderminster Harriers (Step 2) v FC Halifax Town (Step 1) 
Salford City (League 2) v Chesterfield (Step 1) 
Boreham Wood (Step 1) v St Albans City (Step 2) 
 
1,959 - Ambitious South Shields have a very impressive average crowd for their Pitching-In Northern Premier League games so far this season. The Mariners had spent a few seasons in the Northern League Division Two (step 6) up until 15/16 when they achieved three promotions in as many seasons to get to where they are now. Had it not been for the two curtailed seasons they could well be playing in non-league's top division by now. They are now operating as a full time club but there is only currently between Matlock Town (1st),v South Shields (2nd), Buxton (3rd) and Bamber Bridge (4th) in the NPL Premier Division table.  They visit Stafford Rangers who are 7th in the table on Saturday. 

3 - Chistian Assombalonga scored three goals in twelve appearances for Northern Premier League Midlands Division side Spalding United earlier this season. The 31 year old striker has recently returned to Waltham Abbey for a fourth spell at Capershotts. I expect to see his name on the scoresheet sooner rather than later. Their next games are at home to Thame United (10th) and a local derby away at Harlow Town (6th). The Abbotts are currently in 9th place and are 8 points off the play-off places. 


FREE ENTRY - There is a big game in the Pitching-In Isthmian League South-East division on Saturday afternoon as Ramsgate (currently in third place) host table topper's Cray Valley PM - Both teams have played fourteen league games with The Rams on 29 points and The Millers on 33 points. Crowds at the WW Martin Community Stadium have been good this season with an average of 442 in league games so far which in comparison to 212 in the 18/19 campaign is a huge increase. Former Crystal Palace academy player Josh Ajayi, 19, has been in great form for The Rams this season scoring 13 goals so far. 


RISING BALLERS moved across from the Sunday League scene to join the Middlesex County League Division One Central/East this season. However after just eight league games they have withdrawn from the league - they were playing home games ground sharing at Rowley Lane the home of London Lions. RB have now partnered up with Combined Counties League Division One side Kensington & Ealing Borough with the management and players moving across. Mahrez Bettache's first game in charge of K&E was a 0-1 away win at Bedfont & Feltham on Saturday with Ayomide Faniyan scoring the only goal of the game. Their next game is away to FC Deportivo Galicia on Saturday 4th December before a home game (they groundshare with Hanwell Town) against British Airways on Wednesday 8th December. 

NEWPORT (IOW) who were members of the Southern League and Isthmian League in the 1990s and 2000s spending one season in the Premier Division of the Southern League were relegated to the step six Wessex League Division One in 2018/19. On the field they are currently second in the table to Bemerton Heath Harlequins and looking good for promotion despite losing their St Georges Park ground and currently having to groundshare at Smallbrook Stadium which is home to the Island's speedway team and Isle of Wight League side Ryde Saints FC. - There are plans for a new ground in the town by the start of the 2022/23 season. Other clubs on the Island are COWES SPORTS who currently play in the Wessex Premier and EAST COWES VICTORIA ATHLETIC who play with Newport in Division One. There should be a big crowd for the Christmas Bank Holiday game on Monday 27th December when The Vics visit Smallwood. 292 saw The Port win at East Cowes on August Bank Holiday. 

Monday, 22 November 2021

THE BLUE BRAZIL FACING A REAL FIGHT TO RETAIN THEIR SCOTTISH LEAGUE STATUS

POS TEAM P GD PTS FORM
8.  STRANRAER 14 -6 16 WDLDLW
9. ELGIN CITY  13 -7 12 WLLLWL
10. COWDENBEATH 14 -16 6 DLLLLL

COWDENBEATH are six points adrift at the foot of the Cinch Scottish League Two having won just one of their fourteen league games played so far which came against ELGIN CITY in their first home game of the season. Their last six results have been defeats 0-2, 2-4 (v Civil Service Strollers in the Scottish Cup), 0-1, 0-1, 0-1 and 0-3 meaning their last goal scored in the league was on Friday 1st October when they drew 1-1 with Edinburgh City with Kris Renton scoring in scoring in the 83rd minute. 

The play-offs were introduced in the Scottish pyramid in 2014/15 where the champions of The Highland League and Lowland League play off to play the club who finished bottom of League Two for a place in the Scottish League for the next season. 

The Blue Brazil finished bottom in 2016/17 beating East Kilbride on penalty kicks after a 1-1 aggregate draw and then in 2017/18 they beat Cove Rangers 3-2 on aggregate. 

After the defeat to Lowland League side Civil Service Strollers manger Gary Bollan along with his management team of Craig Easton and Ian Flaherty departed. Bollan has been replaced with former Rangers, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Millwall, Aberdeen, Livingston, and Motherwell player Maurice Ross who is assisted by Scott Patterson who was most recently assistant manager at Partick Thistle. He was signed by Liverpool in 1992 when Graeme Souness was manager who paid then Highland League side Cove Rangers £15,000 for his services. 

With BONNYRIGG ROSE ten points clear at the top of the Lowland League and FRASERBURGH & BRECHIN CITY (relegated last season) at the top of the Highland League it could be a real battle for The Fife club to retain the league status they have held since 1905. 

FORTHCOMING FIXTURES 
Saturday 4th December - STIRLING ALBION 
Saturday 11th December - Stranraer 
Saturday 18th December - ALBION ROVERS 
Wednesday 22nd December - EDINBURGH CITY 



PITCHING IN ISTHMIAN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION MIDWEEK PREVIEW




Monday 22nd November
CARSHALTON ATHLETIC v HORSHAM 
The Robins were drawing 1-1 at Hornchurch on Saturday when the lights went out on 38 minutes resulting in the game being abandoned. The Hornets have won three games in three since their FA Cup First Round defeat at Carlisle United - they have beaten Pagham (4-0) in the Sussex Senior Cup followed by a 0-6 victory at Brightlingsea Regent and 1-3 at Leatherhead on Saturday. Former Brighton & HA and Crawley Town striker Shamir Fenelon has been in good from for Horsham scoring four goals in their last three matches. If the Carshalton Athletic who beat Folkestone Invicta 5-0 at home a few weeks ago turn up then you can see only one result being a home win. However, if the team who lost at Welwyn GC in the FA Trophy turn up then Horsham could get a point here? 

COULD HORSHAM PICK UP A POINT OR MORE TONIGHT AT CARSHALTON ATHLETIC?

Tuesday 23rd November 
ENFIELD TOWN v HORNCHURCH 
A very good 3-1 win over Mertsham on Saturday for The Towners with Muhammadu Faal scoring two more goals - He has scored 14 league goals so far this season. A home win would put Andy Leese's side just two points behind league leaders Worthing. Former Towner's Joe Wright, Mickey Parcell and Billy Bricknell are likely to feature for The Urchins so will be wanting to put one over on their former side. Likely to be a very competitive game at Donkey Lane - Expect a few yellow cards issued I think! 

COULD THE EX-TOWNERS PUT ONE OVER TOWN ON TUESDAY EVENING?

LEWES v CORINTHIAN-CASUALS 
A tremendous 3-0 win over Folkestone Invicta for Lewes on Saturday albeit two late goals put some gloss on the score-line with Joe Taylor scoring his 14th league goal of the season. Casuals are a tough team to beat with just three defeats in their last ten league games but could only draw 1-1 at under new management East Thurrock United on Saturday. Looking at the table - 3rd v 13th should mean a home win but with The Casuals you just never know? 
POTTERS BAR TOWN v BOWERS & PITSEA 
The Scholars were 0-1 up at Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday before another floodlight failure saw the game abandoned. In their last ten league games they have only lost to Cheshunt and Worthing so are very tough to beat. Bowers only have one win on their league travels being the incredible 2-3 win over Brightlingsea Regent in which they were 2-0 down on 88 minutes. All points towards a home win. 
WINGATE & FINCHLEY v CHESHUNT 
The Ambers recorded one of the results of the season so far by winning 1-2 at Worthing on Saturday with debutant Rowan Liburd netting both goals - He has played in the football league for Reading, Wycombe Wanderers and Stevenage as well as being a full International for St Kitts & Nevis. Craig Edward's side are unbeaten in seven league games and have only conceded 3 goals in those games. The Blues have lost their last four league games so the form says away win. 

Wednesday 24th November
CRAY WANDERERS v FOLKESTONE INVICTA 
8 defeats and 24 goals conceded in 10 games for Cray Wanderers they lost 2-1 at Kingstonian on Saturday who haven't been in great form themselves. Just two wins in their last six games has seen Invicta drop down to 8 points behind league leader's Worthing. They should have enough to get the three points here but The Wands need points to climb away from the relegation spots? 

THE WANDS NEED TO PICK UP POINTS TO PULL AWAY FROM THE DROP ZONE

BUILDBASE FA VASE UPDATE - THIRD ROUND DRAW MADE

AFC Liverpool 2-0 Redcar Town 
Andover New Street 1-2 Hamworthy United (
Atherstone Town 3-1 Long Eaton United
Athletic Newham 5-3 Pagham 
Aylestone Park 1-5 Anstey Nomads 
Baldock Town 2-2 Hadley - 4-5 on penalties (played Sunday 21st November) 
Bashley 2-2 Shaftesbury - 6-5 on penalties 
Bemerton Heath 1-4 Clevedon Town
Billingham Synthonia 2-1 West Auckland Town  
Boldmere St Michaels 1-1 Congleton Town - 2-4 on penalties
Bridgewater United 1-0 Mousehole 
Brixham AFC 1-5 Tavistock AFC (played Friday 19th November) 
Brockenhurst 4-1 Brimscombe & Thrupp 
Buckland Athletic 3-1 Falmouth Town 
Bury AFC 3-1 Birtley Town (played on Sunday 21st November) 
Carlisle City 0-1 Abbey Hey  
Cobham 0-3 Egham Town 
Cockfosters 0-4 Tring Athletic
Coventry United 1-1 Westfields - 5-3 on penalties 
Deal Town 1-2 Littlehampton Town 
Eccleshill United 2-3 Barton Town 
Fakenham Town 1-1 Stansted - 4-2 on penalties (TBC) 
Fareham Town 3-5 Abbey Rangers 
Flackwell Heath 0-1 Guildford City 
Frimley Green 5-1 United Services Portsmouth (TBC) 
Gorleston 2-3 Buckhurst Hill 
Glebe 1-1 Hanworth Villa - 5-3 on penalties  
Harborough Town 2-0 Wellingborough Town
Harefield United 2-3 Berks County
Holker Old Boys AFC 0-3 Wythenshawe Town 
Lichfield City 3-0 Highgate United 
Liskeard Athletic 2-3 Keynsham Town 
Loughborough Students 2-0 Gresley Rovers 
Milton United 2-3 Beckenham Town 
Mulbarton Wanderers 1-2 London Lions  
Newcastle Benfield 2-0 Emley AFC 
Newport Pagnell Town 1-1 Leighton Town - 2-1 on penalties 
New Salamis 2-0 Ipswich Wanderers
North Shields 2-2 North Ferriby - 6-5 on penalties  
Norwich CBS 0-3 Lakenheath
Pilkington 3-1 Burscough 
Prestwich Heys 3-1 Winterton Rangers  
Racing Club Warwick 1-3 Coventry Sphinx
Raynes Park Vale 6-2 Blackfield & Langley 
Royal Wootton Bassett Town 2-0 Torpoint Athletic 
Rugby Town 1-0 Hinckley Leicester Road 
Saffron Walden Town 5-1 Cornard United 
Sandbach United 1-0 Hanley Town 
Sheerwater 2-3 Sheppey United 
Shefford Town & Campton 1-1 Risborough Rangers - 5-4 on penalties
Southall 2-2 Chatham Town - 3-1 on penalties
Stansfeld 2-1 Badshot Lea (played on Sunday 21st November) 
Stourport Swifts 3-1 Kimberley Miners Welfare
Street 1-1 Oldland Abbotonians - 5-4 on penalties  
Thornaby 1-1 Consett - 3-4 on penalties 
Tunbridge Wells 1-0 Walton & Hersham  
Wallingford Town AFC 1-0 North Greenford United 
Walsall Wood 2-0 Deeping Rangers 
Wendron United 3-6 New Milton Town
Whitchurch Alport 1-1 Malvern Town - 5-3 on penalties 
Whittlesey Athletic 0-0 Worcester City - 7-6 on penalties 
Wroxham 1-1 Newmarket Town - 6-5 on penalties  

There were some fantastic results in the Second Round of the FA Vase. Locally we saw Shefford Town and Campton of the Spartan South Midlands League Division One entertain Risborough Rangers who are top of the SSMFL Premier Division and unbeaten in league fixtures. The game ended 1-1 in front of a very good crowd of 292 with the home side going through 5-4 on kicks from the penalty mark. 

Buckhurst Hill went to Gorleston who are top of the Thurlow Nunn Premier with the First Division South side recorded a glorious 2-3 victory with the winner coming in added time. 

Whittlesey Athletic of the Thurlow Nunn First Division North beat Midland League Premier Division side Worcester City 7-6 on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw at Feldale Field. 

Athletic Newham and Saffron Walden Town will represent the Essex Senior League in the Third Round following 5-3 and 5-1 against Pagham and Cornard United.  

North Shields and Rugby Town are the only previous winners involved in the competition. The Robins came through on penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw against North Ferriby. 

Rugby Town won 1-0 against fellow United Counties League Premier Division South side Hinckley Leicester Road - HLR had won 23 of their 25 games played this season prior to the game with their only results not being wins a 1-1 draw against Hanley Town in the FA Cup followed by a 2-1 defeat in the replay.  

Another fantastic result was in the all EBAC Northern League tie as Billingham Synthonia (sixth in Division Two) won 2-1 against West Auckland Town who are currently second in Division One. 

In total there are now 49 step five clubs and 15 step six clubs left in the draw which is detailed below. 

TEAMS LEFT IN THE COMPETITION BY LEAGUE

STEP FIVE (49 clubs)

FORMER WINNERS 
FORMER RUNNER'S UP 
FORMER SEMI-FINALISTS

COMBINED COUNTIES PREMIER NORTH (3)
Abbey Rangers 
Egham Town
Southall 

COMBINED COUNTIES PREMIER SOUTH (3)
Frimley Green 
Guildford City 
Raynes Park Vale 

EASTERN COUNTIES PREMIER (3)
Fakenham Town 
Lakenheath 
Wroxham 

ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE (2)
Athletic Newham 
Saffron Walden Town 

HELLENIC PREMIER (1)
Royal Wooton Bassett Town  

MIDLAND LEAGUE PREMIER (4) 
Lichfield City 
Stourport Swifts 
Walsall Wood 
Whitchurch Alport 

NORTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE (3) 
Consett AFC 
Newcastle Benfield 
North Shields

NORTH COUNTIES EAST PREMIER (2)
Barton Town 
Congleton Town 

NORTH WEST COUNTIES PREMIER (2)
AFC Liverpool 
Prestwich Heys 

SOUTHERN COUNTIES EAST PREMIER (4) 
Beckenham Town 
Glebe 
Sheppey United
Tunbridge Wells

SOUTHERN COMBINATION PREMIER (2)
Crawley Down Gatwick
Littlehampton Town

SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS PREMIER (3) 
Hadley 
New Salamis  
Tring Athletic 

UNITED COUNTIES PREMIER NORTH (2)
Antsey Nomads 
Loughborough Students  

UNITED COUNTIES PREMIER SOUTH (5)
Coventry Sphinx
Coventry United  
Harborough Town 
Newport Pagnell Town 
Rugby Town

WESSEX PREMIER (3)
Bashley
Brockenhurst 
Hamworthy United 

WESTERN PREMIER (7)
Bridgwater United
Buckland Athletic 
Clevedon Town
Keynsham Town 
Street 
Tavistock AFC 
Wellington AFC 

STEP SIX (15 clubs) 

COMBINED COUNTIES DIVISION ONE (3) 
Berks County
London Lions  
Wallingford Town  

EASTERN COUNTIES FIRST DIVISION (SOUTH) (1)
Buckhurst Hill

EASTERN COUNTIES FIRST DIVISION (NORTH) (1)
Whittlesey Athletic 

MIDLAND LEAGUE DIVISION ONE (1)
Atherstone Town 

NORTH WEST COUNTIES DIVISION ONE SOUTH (3)
Abbey Hey 
Sandbach United
Wythenshawe Town 

NORTH WEST COUNTIES DIVISION ONE NORTH (2)
Bury AFC 
Pilkington 

NORTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION TWO (1)
Billingham Synthonia

SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS DIVISION ONE (1)
Shefford Town & Campton

SOUTHERN COUNTIES EAST DIVISION ONE (1)
Stansfield 

WESSEX LEAGUE DIVISION ONE (1)
New Milton Town 

FORMER WINNERS & SEMI-FINALISTS
(1) Bashley lost to Emley AFC at the semi-final stage in the 1987/88 season. 
(2) Billingham Synthonia reached the semi-final in 2006/07 where they lost to AFC Totton. 
(3) Consett AFC were finalists in the delayed 2019/20 competition where they lost to Hebburn Town.
(4) North Shields were winners of the FA Vase in 2015 beating Glossop NE in the final. 
(5) Wroxham lost to Whitley Bay in the 2010 final. 
(6) Tunbridge Wells lost to Spennymoor Town in 2013 final. 
(7) VS Rugby win the 1983 final defeating Halesowen Town 1-0 in the final. The club have since changed their name to Rugby United in 2000 and then Rugby Town in 2005. 
(8) Walsall Wood lost to Warrington Rylands in the 20/21 semi-final. 
(9) Southall lost to Halesowen Town in 1986 final.  

PREVIOUS WINNERS OVER LAST TEAN SEASONS & WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
1975 - Hoddesdon Town - Essex Senior League (Step 5) 
1976 - Billericay Town - Vanarama South (Step 2) 
1977 - Billericay Town - Vanarama South (Step 2) 
1978 - Blue Star - Northern Alliance Premier (Step 7)  (A)
1979 - Billericay Town - Vanarama South (Step 2) 
1980 - Stamford - Northern Premier Division One Midlands (Step 4) 
1981 - Whickham - Northern League Division One (Step 5) 
1982 - Forest Green Rovers - League Two 
1983 - VS Rugby - United Counties Premier South (Step 5) 
1984 - Stansted - Essex Senior League (Step 5) 
1985 - Halesowen Town - Northern Premier Division One Midlands (Step 4) 
1986 - Halesowen Town - Northern Premier Division One Midlands (Step 4) 
1987 - St Helens Town - North West Counties D1 North (Step 6) 
1988 - Colne Dynamoes - Dissolved in 1990 (B) 
1989 - Tamworth - Southern League Premier Central (Step 3)
1990 - Yeading - Southern League Premier South (Step 3) (C) 
1991 - Guiseley - Vanarama North (Step 2) 
1992 - Wimborne Town - Southern League Premier South (Step 3) 
1993 - Bridlington Town - Northern Premier D1 East (Step 4) 
1994 - Diss Town - Thurlow Nunn First Division North (Step 5) 
1995 - Arlesey Town - Spartan South Midlands Premier (Step 5) 
1996 - Brigg Town - Northern Counites East D1 (Step 6) 
1997 - Whitby Town - Northern Premier League Premier (Step 3) 
1998 - Tiverton Town - Southern League Premier South (Step 3) 
1999 - Tiverton Town - Southern League Premier South (Step 3) 
2000 - Deal Town - Southern Counties East Premier (Step 5) 
2001 - Taunton Town - Southern League Premier South (Step 3) 
2002 - Whitley Bay - Northern League Division One (Step 5) 
2003 - Brigg Town - Northern Counties East D1 (Step 6)  
2004 - Winchester City - Southern League D1 South (Step 4) 
2005 - Didcot Town - Southern League D1 Central (Step 4) 
2006 - Nantwich Town - Northern Premier League Premier (Step 3) 
2007 - Truro City - Southern League Premier South (Step 3) 
2008 - Kirkham & Wesham - Vanaram North (Step 2) (D) 
2009 - Whitley Bay - Northern League Division One (Step 5)  
2010 - Whitley Bay - Northern League Division One (Step 5) 
2011 - Whitley Bay - Northern League Division One (Step 5) 
2012 - Dunston UTS - Northern Premier League Division One East (Step 4) 
2013 - Spennymoor Town - Vanarama National North (Step 2) 
2014 - Sholing - Southern League Division One South (Step 4) 
2015 - North Shields - Northern League Division One (Step 5) 
2016 - Morpeth Town - Northern Premier League Premier Division (Step 3) 
2017 - South Shields - Northern Premier League Premier Division (Step 3) 
2018 - Thatcham Town - Isthmian League Division One South Central (Step 4) 
2019 - Chertsey Town - Isthmian League Division One South Central (Step 4) 
2020 - Hebburn Town - Northern Premier League Division One East (Step 4) 
2021 - Warrington Rylands - Northern Premier League Division One West (Step 4) 

A) denotes club ceased operations in 2009 and reformed in 2018
B) denotes Colne Dynamoes dissolved in 1990. Colne FC were formed in 1996 and play at The Holt House ground former home of the Dynamoes. Colne FC got to the SF stage in 03/04 losing to AFC Sudbury. 
C) Yeading merged with Hayes in 2007 to form 'Hayes & Yeading United'. 
D) Kirkham and Wesham were re-named AFC Fylde in 2008. 

THIRD ROUND DRAW 
to be played on the weekend of Saturday 11th December 
AFC Liverpool v Pilkington 
Abbey Hey v Bury AFC
Newcastle Benfield v Consett AFC 
Barton Town v North Shields 
Wythenshawe Town v Billingham Synthonia 
Stourport Swifts v Rugby Town 
Loughborough Students v Sandbach United 
Atherstone Town v Whitchurch Alport 
Coventry Sphinx v Coventry United 
Prestwich Heys AFC v Harborough Town 
Lichfield City v Congleton Town 
Walsall Wood v Anstey Nomads 
Whittlesey Athletic v Newport Pagnell Town 
Tring Athletic v Saffron Walden Town
London Lions v New Salamis 
Buckhurst Hill v Wroxham 
Lakenheath v Shefford Town & Campton 
Fakenham Town v Hadley 
Tunbridge Wells v Wallingford Town
Glebe v Beckenham Town 
Abbey Rangers v Athletic Newham 
Stansfeld v Frimley Green 
Berks County v Egham Town 
Crawley Down Gatwick v Raynes Park Vale 
Littlehampton Town v Sheppey United 
Guildford City v Southall 
New Milton Town v Keynsham Town 
Bridgwater United v Bashley 
Street v Brockenhurst 
Buckland Athletic v Wellington
Royal Wootton Bassett Town v Hamworthy United 
Tavistock AFC v Clevedon Town

There are some very exciting games in prospect in the Third Round including a West Midlands local derby as Coventry Sphinx host Coventry United. London Lion v New Salamis, Littlehampton Town v Sheppey United and Glebe v Beckenham Town stand out for me. A full preview of the games will follow. 



Wednesday, 17 November 2021

PITCHING IN ISTHMIAN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION WEEKEND PREVIEW

DENOTES PROMOTION TO STEP TWO 
DENOTES QUALIFICATION FOR THE PLAY-OFFS OR RELEGATION 
DENOTES STEP 3/4 PLAY-OFFS
POS TEAM P GD PTS FORM 
1.  WORTHING 15 +16 37 DWWWWW
2. ENFIELD TOWN  14 +16 29 WWDWWL
3. FOLKESTONE INVICTA 14 +14 29 WWDDLW
4. LEWES  15 +16 27 WLWDLW
5. BISHOP'S STORTFORD 15 +9 26 WWDWDW
6.  KINGSTONIAN  14 +5 26 WLDWWL
7.  CHESHUNT  15 +10 25 WDWWDW
8.  MARGATE  14 +2 24 WLWWLD
9.  CARSHALTON ATHLETIC  14 +14 22 DWDLWW
10.  BOGNOR REGIS TOWN  14 +7 22 WWWDLD
11.  MERSTHAM  15 +1 21 WWWLLW
12.  HORNCHURCH  15 +4 20 DLDWWL
13.  CORINTHIAN-CASUALS 14 0 19 WLWLWW
14.  POTTERS BAR TOWN  13 0 18 DDWWWL
15. HARINGEY BOROUGH  16 -3 18 DLDDLL
16.  WINGATE & FINCHLEY  14 -7 15 DLWLLL
17.  BOWERS & PITSEA  12 -7 12 WLLDLW
18.  EAST THURROCK UNITED 15 -23 12 LLLLLW
19.  CRAY WANDERERS  12 -12 10 LLWDLL
20. BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT 16 -32 10 LLLLLL
21. HORSHAM  12 -2 9 LLLDLW
22. LEATHERHEAD 16 -28 8 LDLWLL

WEEKEND FIXTURES 

BISHOP'S STORTFORD v WINGATE & FINCHLEY 
The Blues are unbeaten in seven league games and recorded a good 2-1 home win over Enfield Town in midweek - their winning goal was scored in the 96th minute! Wingate & Finchley are struggling for any sort of form of late with their only win against struggling Brightlingsea Regent in their last six league games. They were well beaten 1-4 at home to Folkestone Invicta on Tuesday evening.

ENFIELD TOWN'S GOAL AGAINST BISHOP'S STORTFORD FROM TUESDAY 

BOWERS & PITSEA v HARINGEY BOROUGH 
The entire crowd present at B&P's game at Brightlingsea Regent in midweek will still be wondering how they picked up three points in the game as up until 88 minutes they were 2-0 down. They scored on 88mins and then two in injury time to win the game! Two of the goals were scored by substitute Michael Ademiluyi - It was B&P's first league win in five games. It's been a disappointing season by Haringey Borough's high standards so far with just four wins in sixteen games  - they are without a league win in nine games.    
 
BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT v POTTERS BAR TOWN 
Up until the dying moments it was a good first game for new Regent manager Brett Munyard on Tuesday evening so despite the defeat I'm sure he'll take lots of positives from it. Louis Hawes (goalkeeper), Andy George, Zack Littlejohn, Luke Skinner, Dom Locke all made their debuts for Regent in this game having followed Munyard from Essex Senior League side White Ensign. Striker Dan Gilchrist was another debutant who has recently left AFC Sudbury where he was a substitute in their FA Cup First Round game with Colchester United - He has also played for Stanway Rovers.  

The Scholars narrowly lost at Worthing in their last league game and were 0-1 up at Bedford Town (top of the Southern League Division One Central) in their FA Trophy game on Saturday before it was abandoned due to an incident in injury time that has been well reported elsewhere - the FA have since awarded the tie to them and they now travel to Braintree Town in the next round. 

Forward Kazaiah Sterling has been The Scholar's star player since making his deubt in October against Horsham. Sterling, 22,  was released by Tottenham Hotspur in the summer and played football league games for Sunderland, Doncaster Rovers and Southend United as well as in the Scottish second tier for Greenock Morton. Since his arrival he has scored 5 goals in as many games. Former Enfield Town forward Ben Ward-Cochrane scored the goal in the game at Bedford Town on Saturday which was a wonderful team goal passing out from the back described as like watching Barcelona by some present in the ground - Although the way the Spanish team are playing this year it would be best to chose another team to compare it to. 

Lee O'Leary's side only have defeats to Worthing, Cheshunt and Hornchurch in their last ten games.

EAST THURROCK UNITED v CORINTHIAN-CASUALS 
This will be new joint manager's Marc Harrison and Liam Wallace's first game in charge of The Rocks. James Bracken has built an incredibly hard working squad at Corinthian-Casuals whose only defeats in their last six league games have come at home to Enfield Town who scored late goals to make it 2-1 and 0-2 defeat also at home to in form Bishop's Stortford. They also ran St Albans City very close in their FA Cup 4th QR tie with The Saints scoring a 90th minute equaliser in the first game and then losing on penalties in the replay at Clarence Park. Their hasn't been any announcements made in respect of new signings for the Essex side but i'm sure one or two will join over the coming weeks. 


MATCH ACTION FROM ENFIELD TOWN'S RECENT VISIT TO CORINTHIAN-CASUALS

ENFIELD TOWN v MERSTHAM 
There is a eight point gap between second placed Town and table topper's Worthing following Andy Leese's sides 2-1 defeat in midweek at Bishop's Stortford and the south coast side's 1-3 win at Hornchurch. It was Town's first defeat since losing to a injury time goal at Margate on Saturday 26th September with Stortford's winner also coming very late into stoppage time. They have played six league games at Donkey Lane so far winning five and drawing one against Worthing. The Moatsiders have had a real up and down sort of season so far with their form in their last ten games reading LLWLWWWLLW - On their travels in the league they have won 3 of 8 games at Cheshunt (0-1), Corinthian-Casuals (0-3) and Leatherhead (2-3). They were recently knocked out of the FA Trophy at Step Four side Welwyn Garden City. Former Margate, Leatherhead and Whitstable Town striker John Ufuah is their danger man with seven goals to his name so far this season. 

HORNCHURCH v CARSHALTON ATHLETIC 
Many fans thought The Urchins, after their history making FA Trophy win last season, were going to be one of the teams to beat with the impressive squad that Mark Stimson has built at Bridge Avenue also a factor. They are currently in 12th position having lost 7 of their 15 league games player so far as well as defeats to Wingate & Finchley in the FA Trophy and Bowers & Pitsea in the FA Cup. 

Stimson has freshened up his squad in recent weeks with the signing of striker Billy Bricknell from Enfield Town who is yet to scored in seven games. Defenders Junior Nkwonta and Daniel Obi, both aged 18, have also joined on loan from Vanarama National side Dagenham and Redbridge and started in their recent home defeat to Worthing. 

The Robins are another side whose season so far has been a real up and down affair - After very impressive 6-1 (v Brightlingsea Regent) and 5-0 (v Folkestone Invicta) home wins they followed it up with a 2-1 defeat at Step Four side Welwyn Garden City at the weekend in the FA Trophy. 

I wouldn't like to predict the outcome of this game - It could go either way? 

KINGSTONIAN v CRAY WANDERERS 

GAMES P W D L GF GA GD PTS 
FIRST SEVEN 7 6 0 1 17 7 +10 18
LAST SEVEN 7 2 2 3 8 13 -5 8

The above is a comparison on The K's form this season which was 'title-winning' in the first seven games at a PPG of 2.57 which has now reduced to 1.14 over the last seven played with wins coming at Bowers & Pitsea and at home to Horsham which both ended 1-0. 

Hayden Bird's side did get a morale boosting FA Trophy victory at Sothern Premier Central team Royston Town last Saturday albeit on kicks from the penalty mark after a 1-1 draw at Garden Walk. 

It's been a real struggle for Cray Wanderers this season who are just above the relegation zone with 3 wins in 12 league games played - Two of those victories came in the opening two games against Lewes and Hornchurch so since then their only league win came at Carshalton Athletic 1-3 at the beginning of October. They have had some good wins in the FA Trophy beating Kings Langley and Bedfont Sports at home to set up a home game with Vanarama South side Ebbsfleet United in the Second Round. 

Another really difficult game to predict the outcome of? 

LEATHERHEAD v HORSHAM 
A massive game for both sides and real relegation six pointer as they currently occupy the relegation spots. Horsham will go into this game full of confidence following their 0-6 win at Brightlingsea Regent and a 4-0 home win against Pagham in the Sussex Senior Cup. Manager Dom Di Paola will want the Horsham who achieved brilliant results in the FA Cup against Eastbourne Borough and Woking to turn up to Fetcham Grove on Saturday and not the team who have lost 7 of their 12 league games played so far. 

The Tanners only league wins have come against Bowers & Pitsea on the opening day of the season and more recently against East Thurrock United. If they lose on Saturday they will be well adrift at the bottom of the table. 

LEWES v FOLKESTONE INVICTA 
One of the games of the day as 4th plays 3rd which should be well attended at The Dripping Pan. Invicta got back to winning ways in midweek with a 1-4 win at Wingate and Finchley - Winger Kieron McCann bagged a hat-trick in the game. 

Lewes have scored 39 goals in 15 league games so will be a real test for Invicta's defence who have only let in 16 goals in 14 games. Neil Cugley's side have drawn 5 of their league games so far which had put them eight points behind Worthing at present. 

MARGATE v BOGNOR REGIS TOWN 
8th v 10th in the table - A battle between two sides who could well make the play-off places with the squads they have their disposal. The Gate have 5 wins in 7 league home games with The Rocks currently undefeated on their travels. I think it could end all square here? 

WORTHING v CHESHUNT 
Eight points ahead at the top of the table and only 2 points dropped, which came against second placed Enfield Town, in their last 33 on offer - Worthing are now clear favourites for the title! 

The Ambers are also having a very good season and are unbeaten in six league games with four clean sheets recorded in those games. They will be bolstered by the recent signing of St Kitts & Nevis International striker Rowan Liburd who joins from Vanarama South side Billericay Town and counts Reading and Stevenage among his former clubs. 

Craig Edward's side has an impressive record on their travels with just 1 defeat, 2 draws and 4 wins in 7 league games played so far and have only conceded 2 goals in their last 6 league games. 

They certainly won't be push overs for the current table toppers - I reckon they may come away from the south-coast with a hard earned point. 

COULD THE AMBERS SPRING A SURPISE AT WORTHING ON SATURDAY?

LOTS OF MANAGERIAL CHANGES IN THE PITCHING IN ISTHMIAN PREMIER AND NORTH DIVISIONS

PREMIER DIVISION 

BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT
The Essex side parted company with Manager Tom Austin and his assistant Ryan Salter after their 1-6 away defeat at Carshalton Athletic on Saturday 6th November. Regent had just three wins in their fourteen league games played which came at home against Merstham and Leatherhead early in the season and away at Cray Wanderers in late September. 

Austin and Salter took over in from Kem Izzet in October 2020 and are replaced by Brett Munyard who makes the move up from Essex Senior League side White Ensign. He brings with him assistant manager Mark Healy and coach Ricky Stubbs. 

They have been with White Ensign for the last six seasons helping them rise from the Essex Olympian League to the Essex Senior League. 

The first game under the new management team come last night at home to Bowers & Pitsea which was an amazing game in which Regent were 2-0 up on up until the 88th minute but ended up losing 2-3. On Saturday Potters Bar Town visit which should be another good game.  

EAST THURROCK UNITED 
The Rocks have struggled all season towards the bottom of the Premier Division and following a run of seven defeats in a row including an 0-8 league home defeat to Enfield Town and a 0-6 FA Trophy home defeat to Kingstonian they parted company with former Romford boss Paul Martin. He had been in charge since April 2020 when he took over from club legend John Coventry. 

Steve Wiseman and Jim Cooper (former boss of the Met Police and Grays Athletic) took temporary charge of the club's home game against Lewes last midweek which ended in a unexpected 2-0 win. 

Marc Harrison and Liam Wallace have now been announced as the new joint management team having recently left Division One (North) side Tilbury where they had been in charge for three seasons. Prior to their spell with The Dockers they lead Basildon United to promotion from the Essex Senior League to Step Four. 

LEATHERHEAD 
The Tanners parted company with Nikki Bull after their October defeat to Enfield Town and a new structure has been put in place at Fetcham Grove. 

Mustafa Bashkal has joined as as head coach after a spell in charge of Essex Senior League side Clapton. Qayum Shakoor is the new Head of Football - He has experience of scouting, recruitment and mentoring at football league side Crawley Town. Kush Johal is the new Football Consultant assisting with operational and logistical matters. 

Adam Simpson also came in as joint head coach with Bashkal. He had recent experience at Dartford and Crawley Town along with spells in the Caribbean and Hungary.  He has since resigned his position a few days ago. 

Leatherhead have won two league games so far which came on the opening day of the season (3-2 at Bowers & Pitsea) and recently 0-2 at East Thurrock United which was Paul Martin's last game in charge of The Rooks. 

There has been a large turn over of players with just Isaac Ogundere, Craig McGee and Alex Sami remaining in the starting XI from the Bower's opening day game to the their most recent game which was a 0-2 home defeat to Corinthian Casuals.

NORTH DIVISION 

AVELEY 
The Essex club parted company with Keith Rowland in early November who had been in charge at Parkside for two years which included an amazing run to the FA Trophy Quarter-Finals in the 2019/20 season. 

Danny Scopes in the new boss - He lead Vanarama South side Concord Rangers to the 2020 FA Trophy final which ended in a narrow 0-1 defeat to Harrogate Town who were a football league side by the time the delayed final was played. He had two succesful spells in charge of The Beachboys. 

He brings with him Lee Minshull who was his assistant at Concord Rangers and first team analyst Scott Wagstaff who also successfully worked with the duo on Canvey Island.  

BASILDON UNITED 
John Guyton parted company with The Bees on Wednesday 10th November who had been in charge for thirteen months after moving from a highly successful spell with Bowers and Pitsea u23s. His last game in charge was a 0-2 home defeat to Stowmarket Town. 

Basildon United's new boss is Jon Fowell who has most recently been in charge of Clapton and Ilford in the Essex Senior League. Colin Read and former Enfield boss Matty Hanning have joined as part of the coaching team. 

A host of new signings have also been announced as The Bees look to move away from the foot of the table. 

BRENTWOOD TOWN 
The Blues have shown their ambition to get back to the Isthmian Premier Division they played in 2015/16 with the recent appointment of former Aveley, Braintree Town, Bishops Stortford and Chelmsford City boss Rod Stringer. This is first managerial appointment since leaving City in January 2020. 

He took over from the departing Adam Flannagan in October and has since won six games in a row including FA Trophy victories over AFC Sudbury and Staines Town. Striker Tom Richardson has been in fine form scoring seven times in those six games. 

They have been drawn at home to Vanarama South side Dulwich Hamlet in the next round of the FA Trophy - The South London side won't be relishing this game. 

CANVEY ISLAND 
The Islander's are top of the table and looking very good this season. They recently bid farewell to boss Mark Bentley who had been in charge since October 2018 - He moves up to form part of the new coaching team at Southend United whom he made 93 appearances for between 2004 to 2006. 

Brad Wellman is the new manager with Sammy Knott as his assistant who had been part of the club's coaching team with Bentley. 

COGGESHALL TOWN 
Stuart Nethercott and Karl Duguid were announced as new joint manager's of The Seedgrowers in October. Both had worked together with Heybridge Swifts with Nethercott (former boss of Maldon & Tiptree and Ware) returning for a second spell with the club he manged to the Thurlow Nunn Premier title and promotion to the Isthmian League. Duguid has also managed Stanway Rovers when they were in the Thurlow Nunn Premier. Duguid (500 + football league appearances) and Nethercott (300+) bring with them a huge amount of experience in the game. 

GREAT WAKERING ROVERS 
Rovers parted company with Stephen Butterworth in October. He had been in charge at Burroughs Park firstly on a temporary basis in January 2019. 

His replacement is former Basildon United coach Glenn Robson who is assisted by Peter Dutton who also worked with him at The Bees. 

GRAYS ATHLETIC 
Jim Cooper stood down from his position and announced his retirement from the game in late August. Stepping up into the manager's position is Paul Joynes who was assistant to Cooper from when he joined Grays in February 2019. 

He has been assistant manager to Martin Hayes at Bishops Stortford and Dover Athletic as well as being manager at Gray's local rival's Tilbury and Aveley as well as Waltham Abbey and being player/manager at Romford. 

HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS 
Julian Dicks left the club in early September - The former West Ham United player had only been in charge since July for his second spell with the club. He was assisted by Karl Duguid (now Coggeshall Town joint manager) who was replaced by former Southend United boss Steve Tilson who is now the manager at Scraley Road. His last job in management was with C&K Basildon Ladies between 2015 to 2018. 

HULLBRIDGE SPORTS ARE ON THE LOOK OUT OF THEIR THIRD MANAGER OF THE SEASON

HULLBRIDGE SPORTS 
Darren Manning and his assistant James Wakeling left the club in September. They had lead the club to promotion from the Essex Senior League in 2018/19. 

Stephen Sullivan was announced as the new boss with Stephen Southgate assisting but it's been announced today (Wednesday 17th November) that he had stepped down from his position due to heavy work commitments but will remain active within the club. 

The Sports are still without a league win this season. 

Their next two games are at home to under new management Basildon United this coming Saturday and then AFC Sudbury visit on Saturday 27th November.  

TILBURY 
Marc Harrison and Liam Wallace departed Chadfields in early November and are now the new management team at East Thurrock United. 

The Dockers will announced today that former Aveley boss Keith Rowland is their new boss who will be assisted by Luke Wilson who had been temporary manger following the departure of Harrison and Wallace. 

WITHAM TOWN 
Marc Benterman has recently stood down from his role as first team manager but the former Stansted boss will remain at Spa Road working with the academy. Chris Taylor is currently interim manager with an announcement of the new boss expected to be made in the forthcoming weeks.