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22/23 Fixtures

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22/23 Fixtures Empty 22/23 Fixtures

Post by comrade powell Wed Jul 06, 2022 9:39 pm

So what do people think? My first thought is that I hope we have a large enough squad to get us through such a long season!

Quite why the NL thought it a good idea to increase the number of teams to 24 is beyond me and I wonder how many of the part time teams at this level opposed the move. And even those who didn't might not be too impressed with eight midweek fixtures.

I guess those with far less travelling, such as Hampton and Dulwich, won't be that fussed (although the former may think differently when they come to us on a Tuesday in December.) It must be some seasons since we've had a scheduled midweek fixture as distant as Hemel (240 miles round trip) and yet we go to Oxford, Farnborough, Slough and Hungerford on Saturdays.

Dartford, Eastbourne and Hampton looks a much tougher start than we were given last season with our first three opponents finishing in the bottom six.

The stand out match of the opening two months looks to be the visit of Weymouth on 13/9 - that will see the completion of one fifth of the season and will perhaps be an opportunity for supporters to give an early assessment of the strength of the squad and our prospects. It's also when we start what will hopefully be a long cup run.

And talking of long runs in the knock out competitions, should we be successful then scheduled league trips to Concord, Hungerford, Slough, St Albans, Tonbridge and Worthing may have to be rearranged (as of course will be the case if the home club is still involved). Fortunately only the TP fixtures with Eastbourne and Ebbsfleet are at similar risk.

Later in September we make the trip down to Taunton to meet up with some familiar faces. No doubt City fans will travel there in large numbers, even though it's on a Tuesday, but the rest of the year's away matches involve long journeys before we open the new one at Chippenham.

The first three months of 2023 see a slight reduction in scheduled fixtures but April sees six crammed in so that the season can be finished for the precious play offs.

Hopefully we are going to enjoy a memorable season with the players being carried along on a wave of goals, wins and adrenalin but at this stage the saying 'more means less' comes to mind!
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Post by City 'til we're relegated Thu Jul 07, 2022 8:12 am

I suppose that, with the continual reorganising/streamlining of the pyramid, there was a need identified for a fourth step 3 division. This would have necessitated 8 clubs being promoted with 4 going down from NLN and 4 from NLS instead of 3. To help balance this they increased membership of the two step 2 leagues by 2 clubs each. That is my guess at the thinking.

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Post by stillmanjunior Thu Jul 07, 2022 1:22 pm

I don't know how long this arrangement is set for as I'm sure they wanted to downsize the National League at one stage. Assume that means our levels too. It feels like a lot but perhaps not as bad as recent years with FA Trophy replays scrapped and postponements less likely with nearly a third of the division playing on 3G surfaces. I'm still surprised they didn't give us an extra game in August but with pre-seasons being quite hectic most clubs might welcome it.

Some interesting early games. Welling are spending big and start against three newly promoted sides. Eastbourne's first home game in the past two seasons have ended 0-3 and 0-5 so be nice for them to maintain that slow start. Opening day also sees the repeat of two play-off matches - Ebbsfleet v Chippenham, Oxford v Eastbourne. And we start and finish at home for the second season in a row.
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Post by comrade powell Thu Jul 07, 2022 1:39 pm

Good point re 3G pitches. Off the top of my head the following have them…
Eastbourne, Oxford, Havant, Hemel, Slough
Who have I left out?
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Post by stillmanjunior Thu Jul 07, 2022 2:46 pm

Tonbridge and Worthing.
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Post by comrade powell Thu Jul 07, 2022 3:29 pm

Thanks. And another positive is that we go to Eastbourne in August so the temperature may climb above 5 degrees for once (but I shall take my winter coat just in case)
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Post by LB Thu Jul 07, 2022 8:09 pm

As somebody said elsewhere, it is a pity that the Farnborough and Taunton away games couldn't be the other way round. The distance isn't that much different (bearing in mind Comrade's point about Hemel away on a Tuesday) and a Saturday game at Taunton would see an even bigger away following I am sure. Similarly is a shame Weymouth home isn't on a Saturday (or perhaps August Bank Holiday Monday) as could well have seen 2000+.

As for the number of games, it does seem ironic that there are four extra when the season has been shortened by a week (last season I think there were actually two rounds of games in May) and this always meant more midweek games.

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Post by stillmanjunior Thu Jul 07, 2022 9:48 pm

Hampton don't seem particularly happy that they have to come to us on a Tuesday night. They haven't played on a Saturday at Twerton since February 2018. In contrast us going there midweek doesn't feel like much of a chore going by our other games. Six of our last eight meetings have been played on Tuesday nights.
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Post by PHILB1973# Sat Jul 09, 2022 12:44 pm

comrade powell wrote:Good point re 3G pitches. Off the top of my head the following have them…
Eastbourne, Oxford, Havant, Hemel, Slough
Who have I left out?

You can add Chippenham to that list ( in due course).
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