Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
Hello & welcome to a feature piece looking at the top and bottom of all three Isthmian Leagues (Premier, North & South) as we come into the fifth month of the season (tables & results up to & including Dec 2nd)
Bostik Premier Division
At the summit, Dulwich Hamlet lead ambitious Billericay Town by three points though the Essex side have a number of games in-hand on the teams around them. Glenn Tamplin’s big-spending side has had success in both the FA Cup & FA Trophy so far this term while Hamlet have shown their intentions again after numerous promotion near-misses in recent years and off-the-pitch ‘issues’. In the chasing pack; Staines, Folkestone, Hendon & Metropolitan Police are seperated by just four points. Completing the top ten are Margate, Leiston, Wingate & F & Brightlingsea.
At the bottom, Worthing’s difficult start on & off-the-pitch certainly has had an impact as they sit seven points adrift at the foot of the table. It should be said that the earlier problems with the Woodside pitch have now been rectified, after a short spell ground-sharing at Bognor Regis. Above them, nine clubs are seperated by just five points. Tooting & Mitcham, Harlow and Needham complete the bottom four while Burgess Hill, Thurrock, Dorking, Leatherhead (though they have at least two games in-hand), Enfield Town and Merstham are just above Needham to show how tight this division is. With only one side being relegated this term, Worthing have work to do in the coming months you feel.
Bostik Division North
At the top of a highly-competitive division, AFC Hornchurch are leading the way with a four-point cushion over the chasing pack while also having games in-hand most of the sides immediately below them. Dereham Town, Bowers & Pitsea & Canvey lead the pack also looking for promotion as at least two sides go up this term. Recently-promoted Potters Bar and Barking are another four points further back while Maldon & Tiptree, Haringey Borough, Waltham Abbey and Hertford Town round out the top ten with only two points seperating those four sides.
At the foot of the table, Romford are four points behind the sides above them, having recorded only one win so far this term. Norwich Utd and Cheshunt are the sides most in danger of being caught by Paul Martin’s side though above them five teams are bunched up with only three points seperating them. Ware, Aveley, Mildenhall, Brentwood and Tilbury are those sides that could get dragged into a relegation scrap though again it has to be noted only one side will make the drop into Step 5 this term.
Bostik Division South
Lewes lead the South division having tasted defeat only once in 20 matches so far this term. They have a four-point cushion over Corinthian Casuals and Carshalton who lead the promotion-chasing pack (at least two sides will gain promotion ala Bostik North). Below them, six teams are seperated by five points. Cray Wanderers, Greenwich, Hythe Town & Sittingbourne lead that ‘mini-pack’ with Walton Casuals and Phoenix Sports just behind them. Whyteleafe complete the top ten.
At the bottom, points deductions have had an effect on two sides in the bottom four. Shoreham sit bottom after being deducted six points for ‘registration irregularities’, they are nine points adrift of Ashford Utd. East Grinstead and Molesey (who were stripped of three points due to fielding an ineligible player) complete the bottom four. Above them, the ten sides (11th – 20th) are only seperated by six points in an incredibly close mid-table. South Park, Herne Bay, Thamesmead and Hastings Utd head up this pack while Chipstead, Guernsey, Horsham, VCD Athletic, Ramsgate and Faversham round it up, with all ten believing they could push their way up the standings if they get on a good run.