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Who are we NOT going to play next season?

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Dave
comrade powell
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Who are we NOT going to play next season? Empty Who are we NOT going to play next season?

Post by comrade powell Fri Apr 29, 2022 2:36 pm

As the season enters the final straight remarkably there are only two clubs who we will definitely be facing next season and those who delight in travelling to Essex will be relieved to know that they are Concord and Chelmsford! The other 18 could still be playing at level 5 or 7 come August.

At the bottom it's a shootout between Welling and Billericay although mathematically Tonbridge and Braintree are not yet safe. The latter pair only need a point against ourselves and Hemel tomorrow to be sure of not being overtaken by bottom placed Ricay who face tough games against Eastbourne and Ebbsfleet over the bank holiday weekend. Welling are two points better off (but with a much worse goal difference) and play Hungerford and Maidstone. It looks like this may go to the final Saturday.

Two wins from their remaining three matches will ensure Maidstone are champions but this will be confirmed tomorrow if they beat Chelmsford and Dorking lose to St Albans.

The other play off places are almost decided and it's mainly a case of jockeying for positions to gain a bye or get home advantage. In 3rd and 4th places Ebbsfleet and Dartford are one point apart and competing for home advantage in the semi finals. They could both be caught by Oxford but our opponents on the final day are realistically competing with Eastbourne to avoid the eliminator matches.

The one outcome still up for grabs is the final play off spot. It's currently held by Havant with Chippenham just one point behind and the two meet on the final day in Hampshire. St Albans, Slough, Dulwich, Hampton, Hungerford and Hemel are in the following positions hoping that these two slip up.

All the clubs going for the title or playoffs have three games remaining except for Slough and Dulwich - the latter don't play tomorrow and will be out of contention if Havant or Chippenham win.

So which three do you want to lose?

I'll be delighted to see Maidstone and the obnoxious element amongst their supporters regain what they seem to regard as their rightful place in the NL. Although they have what is probably the best 3G pitch at this level, the town is very bland apart from a pleasant walk along the river footpath.

And although Dorking have been the best team I've seen this season it's a nice town to visit. That certainly can't be said of Havant and I've never enjoyed the 'welcome' at their ground.

Unlike most of the Facebook posters on this subject, I like Welling's old ground and hope they survive at Ricay's expense.
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Post by Dave Fri Apr 29, 2022 6:10 pm

Welling can go, they look likely to be spending big again next season judging by their hasty business in March. At the top, the other big spenders Dorking can go, preferably as champions but highly unlikely.

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Post by comrade powell Sat Apr 30, 2022 10:48 pm

Braintree's win today means that only three can go down, with Tonbridge needing just one point from two matches to guarantee safety. It's as you were with the bottom two, Billericay and Welling, who both surprisingly won away. If Welling win on Monday against Maidstone then Ricay must win at home to Ebbsfleet or they're doomed.
Dorking's surprise defeat at home to Dulwich meant that Maidstone are promoted following their win over Chelmsford.
Only Havant, Chippenham and St Albans are still in the running for the final play off place after Hungerford, Hampton and Hemel all lost. Chippenham (home to Hungerford) need to at least match Havant's result (away to Hemel) on Monday so that they can overtake them in the final match of the season when they meet at Westleigh Park. A win for Havant on Monday will eliminate St Albans.
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Post by Luton Roman Sat Apr 30, 2022 11:05 pm

comrade powell wrote:Braintree's win today means that only three can go down, with Tonbridge needing just one point from two matches to guarantee safety. It's as you were with the bottom two, Billericay and Welling, who both surprisingly won away. If Welling win on Monday against Maidstone then Ricay must win at home to Ebbsfleet or they're doomed.
Dorking's surprise defeat at home to Dulwich meant that Maidstone are promoted following their win over Chelmsford.
Only Havant, Chippenham and St Albans are still in the running for the final play off place after Hungerford, Hampton and Hemel all lost. Chippenham (home to Hungerford) need to at least match Havant's result (away to Hemel) on Monday so that they can overtake them in the final match of the season when they meet at Westleigh Park. A win for Havant on Monday will eliminate St Albans.

Dorking lost at St.Albans, the 'race for 7th' goes on with Chip, remarkably still involved.

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Post by comrade powell Sun May 01, 2022 10:27 am

Silly me! Dorking host Dulwich on Monday. Really surprising that the team who played us off the park at Champion Hill won't even be in the play offs. They were scoring goals for fun before Christmas but have only managed seven in their last twelve games.
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Post by comrade powell Mon May 02, 2022 5:16 pm

So Welling stay up and send Ricay down. Sounded like a great finish in their win over Maidstone.
St Albans lose so final play off spot is between Havant and Chippenham who need to win there on Saturday to qualify.
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Post by comrade powell Thu May 12, 2022 9:47 am

So we will meet our close neighbours (!) Eastbourne after their defeat to Oxford last night. Good luck to Chippenham tonight but we don’t want to lose the festive derbies.
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Post by Jon_BOA Thu May 12, 2022 10:26 am

Agreed, we don't want Chippenham to go, but God I do hate that we play them Boxing Day and NYD, it is such a waste of our closest game. While I fully understand (and probably grudgingly accept it is correct) the reasons for playing your closest rivals at Christmas, I do wish we'd play a team slightly further away - but still close - and save those games for a normal week, the year we had them on a Saturday and Chippenham came to us on a Tuesday night, was better IMO than playing them on Boxing Day and NYD.

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Post by comrade powell Thu May 12, 2022 3:32 pm

Hmm… Would the TP attendance be as large if Chipp visited on a midweek evening? I know that the Club always request that our fixtures with them are at Christmas/NYD and for obvious reasons.

Since we started playing them again only one game has been played on an evening - a balmy August one which was our first home fixture - the attendance was lower than the festive ones against them.

And the alternative would presumably be Taunton who we’ve no history with and I’m guessing wouldn’t create as much interest. Would probably be like those non events with WsM….
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Post by Jon_BOA Mon May 16, 2022 11:02 am

It's an interesting question Martin, as our crowds are now so large that I'm not sure having Chippenham on a bank holiday makes much of a difference to the size, however, I'm also willing to concede the point as the WSM games were consistently terrible, and as I admitted in my first post I can accept it makes sense, I just much prefer going on none bank holidays when the £3.50 return train fare is available!

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Post by 2weirdtown Mon May 16, 2022 9:50 pm

I think there is potential to establish a lasting rivalry with Taunton.  Their attendances have shot up in recent years, culminating in 2303 at their final home game this season.  I am aware this can dip should they struggle to establish at a higher level but it shows the town will get behind them.   The town has an established identity/history as the (historical) county town of Somerset not to mention HQ for Somerset CC. This is unlike WSM which is not much more than an endless dormitory for Bristol.
I am sure Taunton FC and its fans will want to establish bragging rights over Bath, the largest town/city in Somerset.
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Post by 2weirdtown Mon May 16, 2022 10:06 pm

Oh, and perhaps I should mention that Taunton has a larger population than Yeovil. Plenty of potential to establish another Somerset rivalry as we may not be attending City/Yeovil derbies again for a while yet.
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Post by comrade powell Sun May 22, 2022 9:29 am

So farewell for at least 12 months to Dorking. Good to see the second best club for once being rewarded via the playoffs which really need revising in my opinion.

I expect they will enjoy a first season of survival in the NL as ourselves and Weymouth did but whether they can become established at that level will presumably depend on their finances.

I fear for their supporters in that tiny ground and the locals in the pleasant town when fans from the bigger NL clubs arrive.
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Post by comrade powell Sun May 22, 2022 9:43 am

Although I’m not a fan of playoffs I take back my opening comment above. Someone has posted on the NLS forum the winners for the past fully completed seasons…

Last five play-off finals:
2015/16: 2nd v 3rd, 3rd place promoted
2016/17: 2nd v 4th, 2nd place promoted
2017/18: 4th v 6th, 6th place promoted
2018/19: 2nd v 3rd, 2nd place promoted
2022/22: 2nd v 3rd, 2nd place promoted

But that certainly underlines the need to get rid of the two eliminator matches.
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Post by tovid Mon May 23, 2022 9:02 am

With the expanded league it certainly makes no sense having the eliminator matches. But the FA may feel it maintains interest for more teams deeper into the season so keep the format.
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Post by comrade powell Mon May 23, 2022 6:32 pm

I don’t think it’s an FA decision. Only the three NL divisions have the extra two clubs qualifying for the playoffs so I assume it is something which was agreed by clubs at its AGM. As we know, the weightings for any vote are loaded in favour of the 24 NL clubs and any additional opportunity for promotion to their Mecca of L2 will be snapped up.
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