Sunday, 22 May 2022

LEIGHTON TOWN BUILDING FOR THE NEW SEASON WITH SIGNINGS MADE ALREADY

 

Leighton Town, who finished in 4th place of the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division and famously won the Bedfordshire Senior Cup beating Southern League D1 Central Champions Bedford Town, have been busy planning for the 2022/23 season. They have announced the above friendly games starting on Saturday 9th July with a trip to SSMFL Division One Real Bedford. 

The club have also announced midfielder Luke Pyman who scored in the cup final has committed to playing for Town next season along with the acquisition of brother's Kyle and Gary Connolly who played for Step Three side King's Langley last season. 

Kyle is a left-back who who joined Kings Langley for Hemel Hempstead Town in 2019. He made over 200 appearances for The Tudors and has also spent time with the academy teams of Arsenal, Boreham Wood and Watford. 

Gary has been with Kings Langley since 2011, aside from a year in Australia, playing in over 250 games for them. He is a defender/midfielder who played for Leverstock Green prior to joining KLFC. 

Of course it's very early days yet but with former Hemel manager Lee Bircham in charge being assisted by former Aylesbury United boss Tony Joyce since the end of March it's likely they'll be amongst the favourites for the SSMFL Premier title for next season.  

CHARITY MATCH AT WARE FC NEXT SUNDAY

 


ANGELO HARROP THE NEW BRAINTREE TOWN BOSS - NWACHUKU SIGNS FOR AFC SUDBURY

 

Angelo Harrop has stepped down as joint manager of AFC Sudbury to to take the stop up to Vanarama South side Braintree Town.

Harrop had been joint boss of the Suffolk club since the summer of 2021 and along with Rick Andrews oversaw their historic run to the FA Cup First Round proper where they played Colchester United at The MEL Group Stadium. 

Harrop started out in management with Stanway Rovers in 2013 where he had also been Director of Football - He also played for Stowmarket Town in the 17/18 when Andrews was boss. 

AFC Sudbury, who missed out on the Isthmian North Division play-offs finishing seventh last season, have confirmed Andrews will stay as Manager and have wished Angelo all the best getting his chance to manage a club two levels above. 

Since dropping down from The National League in 2019 The Iron were in 21st (of 22) place of the 19/20 curtailed season where there was no relegation. This season they finished 17th (of 21) with four wins in their last ten games pulling them away from the one relegation spot.  

AFC have announced the signing of striker Nnamdi Nwachuku who played for Marlow in the Isthmian South-Central Division last season scoring 26 goals in league and cup games.   

Nwachuku played in the Colchester United and Reading academy before making his name in non-league football with Coggeshall Town when The Seed Growers rose from the Thurlow Nunn Premier to Step Four - He scored 101 goals in 100 games for the Essex club. He moved to Welling United in October 2019 but this didn't work out and he then played for Cambridge City before moving to Marlow.

Only Tilbury, Coggeshall Town, Barking, Hullbridge Sports, Witham Town, Basildon United and Romford scored fewer goals than AFC last season so the addition of Nwachuku will certainly help their goals for column for the 22/23 campaign. 


WELCOME TO NON-LEAGUE'S TOP TABLE - DORKING WANDERERS

"Money Talks" and "Amazing what bundles and bundles of money does" are some of the phrases I picked up off of social media yesterday after Dorking Wanderers achieved their promotion to The Vanarama National Division in the most dramatic of fashion with a 3-2 victory over Ebbsfleet United.

It doesn't take a genius to work out that for a squad to be built with the aim of promotion from Step Two to Step One does cost money as you need good players but to say "Money Talks" is being a little harsh I think - Anyone not in the know from reading those comments may think the club has brought in players with Vanarama National and/or football league experience but that's far from the case as you'll see below.

Two of the players involved yesterday were playing at Step Three (Dan Lincoln - Farnborough and Jordan Cheadle - Carshalton Athletic) and one was in Step Four (Darren Oldaker - Hythe Town) at the beginning of this season!

Harry Ottaway was also signed in January from Step Three Carshalton Athletic but wasn't in the squad yesterday.

I think it takes a combination of things in respect of players, management, coaching and behind the scenes graft by many people to have a successful squad.

The Dorking Wanderers manager Marc White divides opinion with some fans but love him or dislike him you can't help but admire what he had done with the club he formed in 1999 along with Mark Lewington, Ian Davidson, Lee Spickett and Penny Gregg. I'm sure he wouldn't of thought Wanderers would be rubbing shoulders with teams like Oldham Athletic and Scunthorpe United in non-league's top division in 2022 when they first took to the field in the The Crawley & District League at The Big Field in Brockham which was the first pitch they played on.

Wanderers moved into Meadowbank in the summer of 2018 which had been the home of Dorking FC who had been dissolved in 2017. The ground had been shut since 2017 as it had been shut due to it failing to meet health and safety requirements. Millions of pounds have been invested in the upgrade of the stadium and its now a community sports facility and the home to the Surrey County Football Association.

Where other historic grounds have been lost to property developers we should be celebrating that Meadowbank is still here and thriving despite the loss of the original Dorking FC who played in the Isthmian League and Combined Counties League.

Below is the current squad for Dorking Wanderers - I'm sure they'll be some movement both in and out of the club following their promotion as some players always move on with the increase in travelling in The National League.

STARTING XI YESTERDAY
DAN LINCOLN - 26 year old goalkeeper signed from Step Three side Farnborough in November 2021. Started his career as a professional with Reading from 2013 to 2015 spending time on loan with Harrow Borough, Met Police, Farnborough and Nuneaton Town. Since his release from Reading he has played for a number of non-league sides and is most known for his time with Bognor Regis Town from 2016 to 2019 who he helped with promotion from the Isthmian Premier to the Vanarama South. Has also played first class cricket for Middlesex and Kent.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE APPEARANCES - 0

BARRY FULLER - Hugely experienced 37 year old defender who started his career with Charlton Athletic spending time on loan away from The Valley with the League Two side Barnet before a permanent move to Stevenage Borough in 2006 who were then playing in the top level of non-league football. He moved up to football league side Gillingham in 2008 and went on to play for Barnet, AFC Wimbledon and have another spell with The Gills prior to his move to Meadowbank in 2020.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE APPERANCES - 393

JORDAN CHEADLE - Signed from Isthmian Premier side Carshalton Athletic in December 2021. Has also played for Walton Casuals and Kingstonian. He made 143 appearances for The Robins.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE APPEARANCES - 0

DAN GALLAGER - Signed from Isthmian Premier side Leatherhead in the summer of 2019. Started his career with AFC Wimbledon where he made just one football league apperance as a late substitute against Plymouth Argyle in 2015. He spent time on loan with Kingstonian before joining The Tanners in July 2017.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE APPEARANCES - 0

LUKE MOORE - Yesterday's game against Ebbsfleet United would of been bitter sweet for Moore. He started his career with his home town club in 2006 after coming through the academy ranks with The Fleet. He moved on to AFC Wimbledon in 2009 and was part of the team who won promotion to the football league in 2011. He left The Dons in 2014 and has since played for Margate, Billericay Town and Leatherhead. Age 34. Has been with The Wanderers since 2017.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE APPERANCES - 82

JOSH TAYLOR - 27 year old midfielder who joined the club last summer for Havant & Waterlooville. Has also played for Sutton United and Maidstone United.
FOOTBAL LEAGUE APPERANCES - 0

JAMES McSHANE - Attacking Midfielder who is regarding as one of Molesey FC's greatest every players. He joined The Moles from Staines Town in 2009 and made over 200 appearances for them. Had a short spell away from Molesey in 2012 with Chipstead, Egham Town, Walton Casuals and Walton & Hersham. Played for Clyde and East Stirlingshire as a youngster. Now in his sixth season with Dorking Wanderers,
FOOTBALL LEAGUE APPEARANCES - 0

NICKY WHEELER - Signed from Eastbourne Borough in January 2020. Stated his career in the Charlton Athletic academy before playing for Lewes, Burgess Hill Town, Tonbridge Angels, Dagenham & Redbridge, Billericay Town and Woking.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE APPERANCES - 0

JIMMY MUITT - Singed in the summer of 2019 from Bognor Regis Town - Started his career with Brighton & HA before moving to Lewes before joing The Rocks.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE APPEARANCES - 0

ALFIE RUTHERFORD - 23 year old centre-forward who signed from Havant & Waterlooville in 2020 from Havant & Waterlooville. Also counts Bognor Regis Town, Eastbourne Borough (loan) and Moneyfields as a former clubs. Rutherford is a fantastic player and I'm sure will play in the football league sooner rather than later.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE APPEARANCES - 0

JASON PRIOR - The fourth former Bognor Regis Town player in the starting XI yesterday. Now aged 33 he started his football career in the Wessex League with AFC Newbury and Moneyfields where he moved from midfield to striker and never looked back. His goal-scoring alerted Bognor Regis Town whom he joined in 2009 scoring 95 goals in 126 games for The Rocks where he had a trial with Newcastle United. He moved to League Two side AFC Wimbledon in January 2012 but was injured in his debut game following by a leg break in his second game back in April 2012. He spent time on loan with Dartford and then joined The Darts on a permanent basis before playing for Gosport Borough (loan) and Margate before a move back to Nyewood Lane where he scored 40 goals in 52 games in the 15/16 season. He moved on to Havant & Waterlooville from 2016 to 2018 before joining The Wanderers.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE APPEARANCES - 9

SUBS
KANE WILLS - Joined in 2020 from Eastbourne Borough having previously played for Worthing and Ebbsfleet United. Started his career with Brighton & HA academy. Another player to count Bognor Regis Town as a former club.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE APPEARANCES - 0

DARREN OLDAKER - 23 year old midfielder signed from Isthmian South side Hythe Town in November 2021. He came through the academy ranks of QPR and Gillingham where he spent time on loan with Hythe Town. He then dropped into non-league with Billericay Town, Westfield and Welling United.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE APPEARANCES - 21

BOBBY JO TAYLOR - Signed from Ebbsfleet United in 2021. Played in the Chelsea, Gillingham and Cambridge United youth systems before signing as a professional at The Abbey Stadium in 2012. He made 7 football league appearances for The U's in the 2014/15 season before moving on to Maidstone United in 2015 whom he helped to promotion against Ebbsfleet in the National South play-off final on 2016. He has since played for Aldershot Town, Bromley and Dover Athletic.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE APPEARANCES - 7

SAMI EL-ABD - Defender and the sixth former Bognor Regis Town player involved yesterday. He signed from The Rocks in 2018. He has previously played for Peacehaven & Telscombe, Whitehawk, Chelmsford City, Lewes, Hayes & Yeading and Team Bath.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE APPEARANCES - 0

ED HARRIS - Another player who joined from Havant & Waterlooville. Has been with the club since 2019 and previously played for QPR, AFC Wimbledon and Dover Athletic.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE APPEARANCES - 0

FORMER ROCK'S SAMI ED-ABD, KANE WILLS, JASON PRIOR, ALFIE RUTHERFORD, JIMMY MUITT and DAN LINCOLN ALL INVOLVED FOR DORKING WANDERERS IN YESTERDAY'S GAME. 


Friday, 20 May 2022

A NEW NAME AT STEP SIX FOR MIDDLESEX - SPARTANS YOUTH FOOTBALL CLUB

Brentford have rightly made headlines in recent years with their promotion to the Premier League but there is another club in the local area who have progressed up the football pyramid this summer. 

SPARTANS YOUTH FC who have played matches in Carvillle Hall Park, Gunnersbury Park and Boston Manor Park since they were formed in 2006 - All of which are a stone's throw from both Griffin Park and The Brentford Community Stadium. 

Spartans played in the Middlesex County League in the 15/16 and 16/17 campaigns before joining the Surrey Elite Intermediate League in 2017 which is now known as the Surrey Premier County Football League. The first team have been playing games at Northwood FC for the 2021/22 season which whilst it's not ideal at around 13 miles away from their spiritual home it's the only thing the club can do at present to progress to Step Six of the non-league ladder. 

The club were founded in 2006 by Mark Stow who has worked as a scout and in recruitment for Chelsea, Watford, Exeter City, Cardiff City, Charlton Athletic, Colchester United and Blackburn Rovers. They now have a number of teams from youth to the first team.

For the 2022/23 SPARTANS YOUTH will be playing the Combined Counties League Division One alongside Bedfont & Feltham, Hillingdon Borough, FC Deportivo Galicia and Molesey to name a few teams. 

I WISH SPARTANS YOUTH FOOTBALL CLUB THE BEST OF LUCK FOR THE FORTHCOMING SEASON. 

SPARTAN YOUTH FC RECENT LEAGUE RECORD 
note - the Surrey Elite Intermediate League was re-named for the 21/22 season
2021/22 - Surrey Premier County League - 5th 
2020/21 - Surrey Elite Intermediate League - 6th* 
2019/20 - Surrey Elite Intermediate League - 5th 
2018/19 - Surrey Elite Intermediate League - 2nd 
2017/18 - Surrey Elite Intermediate League - 12th  
2016/17 - Middlesex County League Division One West - 2nd 
Lost in the Division One Cup Final to AFC United 
2015/16 - Middlesex County League Division One West -  8th 
Lost to British Airways (Speedbird) in the Middx FA Junior Cup Final 

You can follow the club on twitter - @SpartansYouthFC

STRINGER STAYS AT BRENTWOOD TOWN

P W D L GF GA GD  PTS PPG
7 2 1 4 9 11 -2 8 1.14
31 22 2 7 64 30 +34 68 2.19

The above is a form comparison (not including the two play-off games) for Brentwood Town's season both prior and after the appointment of former Aveley, Braintree Town, Bishop's Stortford and Chelmsford City boss Rod Stringer. The Blues qualified for the play-offs by finishing in third place beating Stowmarket Town in the semi-final and losing to Canvey Island in the final on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw at Park Lane. Their final league position was just five points below title winner's Aveley so it could be argued had he been in charge from the the start of the season they may well have won the league! 

There is no doubt with Stringer in charge for the 22/23 season the Essex side will be one of the favourites for The Pitching In Isthmian League North Division title. 

 

Thursday, 19 May 2022

MR BOWERS SIGNS FOR THE SCHOLARS

Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division club Potters Bar Town have already been busy signing players for the 2022/23 season. 

They have announced 'Mr Bowers & Pitsea' has signed for the club - Lewis Manor scored 22 goals in 44 games for the Essex club last season and was instrumental in their historic FA Cup run to the First Round and playing League One Lincoln City. 

Manor holds the record goal-scorer and number of appearances for Bowers & Pitsea - His final appearance for the club put him on 275 games where he fittingly scored the final goal of the season in the 2-2 draw at Lewes.

He will no doubt get a fantastic reception from the fans when he returns to The Len Salmon Stadium with the Hertfordshire club next season.  

Potters Bar Town have also announced the signing of centre-back Ethan Kaiser who was with Cray Wanderers last season. He joined The Wands mid-way though the 21/22 campaign from South-Central Division side Bedfont Sports after impressing Cray in a FA Trophy tie between the two clubs in November. He came through the ranks at Tooting & Mitcham United before making a handful of appearances for Tonbridge Angels in the 20/21 season. 

There will no doubt be more signings announced in the coming months - Will The Scholars, under the management of Sammy Moore, finish higher than the thirteenth place they ended the 21/22 campaign in which is the highest finish in the non-league pyramid they have ever achieved in their history.  

(Picture courtesy of @pbtfc