Bostik Division North Matchday #1 Preview

Written by Scott W  (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello and welcome to the new Isthmian Division North season, now known as the Bostik League Division North after twenty years of it being known as the Ryman League. It’s been mentioned that only one club will be relegated come season’s end and two will be promoted. Below is a list of the fixtures on Matchday #1.

Saturday 12th August  (3pm KO’s)

AFC Hornchurch v Soham Town Rangers      Venue: Bridge Avenue

Jimmy McFarlane’s Urchins welcome Soham to Bridge Avenue. Hornchurch have recruited a number of good players during the summer, including the likes of forwards Bradley Warner and Theo Fairweather-Johnson. Soham’s late revival of form at the latter stages of the season certainly assisted them in averting relegation last term and will look for a positive start here.

AFC Sudbury v Canvey Island           Venue: Wardale Williams Stadium

This encounter sees two sides that were both relegated last term clash as Canvey travel to Sudbury on the Suffolk/Essex border. Both sides will also be looking for a favourable campaign and may well be in the play-off hunt come season’s end. Former Bowers & Pitsea forward David Knight are among the signings Danny Heale has made in the close-season.

Aveley v Bowers & Pitsea               Venue: Parkside

Aveley welcome Bowers & Pitsea in what is their first league match at their brand-new Parkside home, which they will continue to share (as they did with Mill Field) with tenants Grays Athletic for the next two seasons. In what could be an even more highly-contested division than last term, both sides may be angling for another run at the play-offs this term.

Barking v Waltham Abbey        Venue: Mayesbrook Park

Essex Senior League champions Barking welcome Waltham Abbey to Mayesbrook Park in their first match back at Step 4. The hosts have a much-changed squad and a new co-manager in Justin Gardner this term, joining Glen Golby in the dug-out. The Abbotts will be looking to avoid the nerves of a relegation dogfight this season, as they had at times last campaign. Will Barking see previous ESL champions Bowers & Pitsea’s ‘yardstick’ of a top-six finish last season as encouragement for them? Perhaps, though I suspect they’d be content with a mid-table finish in April.

Brentwood Town v Hertford Town       Venue: The Brentwood Arena

Brentwood welcome Bostik North newcomers Hertford Town to the Brentwood Arena. Craig Shipman starts his first full season in charge with a squad largely the same as last term, though forward Lamar Reynolds clinched a big move to EFL Two side Newport County during the summer. Hertford might be thankful for the temporary reduction in relegation this season, though it’ll be an adventure for Gavin Kelsey’s men this term.

Bury Town v Romford          Venue: Ram Meadow

Romford travel to Ram Meadow in their season’s opener. Both these sides achieved creditable mid-table finishes last term. Paul Martin’s side has stayed in the division for around a decade and will look to continue to progress this term.

Dereham Town v Cheshunt       Venue: Aldiss Park

Dereham welcome Cheshunt to Aldiss Park. The Magpies appointed Neal Simmons in the summer as their new manager, as they look to improve on their 18th place finish last term. Cheshunt, who for a while last season looked to be contenders for a play-off spot, eventually finished a very creditable 10th. Jonny Ashman is among their summer signings as they perhaps quietly seek another tilt at the play-offs this term under manager Paul Wickenden.

Heybridge Swifts v Mildenhall Town              Venue: Scraley Road

Jody Brown’s side have made a number of intriguing signings in the summer as they look to avert another scramble with the drop, after their final-day heroics last season. They welcome newcomers Mildenhall to Scraley Road. I saw Heybridge in pre-season at Southend Manor in which they played very well, they might fancy a tilt at a top ten-finish, under the radar.

Norwich Utd v Haringey Borough         Venue: Plantation Park

The Planters take on ‘Borough in their league opener. Both sides perhaps performed above expectations last term as they achieved top-ten finishes.

Tilbury  v  Grays Athletic                 Venue: Chadfields

Tilbury welcome Grays to Chadfields. Tilbury finished 12th last season, as Grays finished bottom of Isthmian Premier last term. Grays though have overseen somewhat of a squad re-construction which has seen old faces such as Lamar Johnson and Jamie Slabber return to the club. Under Jamie Stuart’s tenure, they will be going for an immediate return to Bostik Premier.

Ware  v   Maldon & Tiptree           Venue: Wodson Park

Ware, who were reprieved from the drop in the summer, welcome last season’s play-off finalists Maldon & Tiptree to Wodson Park. Maldon’s top-scorer last term Liam Nash grabbed a huge transfer to League One side Gillingham in the summer though Kevin Horlock’s Jammers will again look to be in the promotion reckoning this season.

Witham Town v Potters Bar Town      Venue: Spa Road

Finally, Witham welcome newcomers Potters Bar to Spa Road. Ex-Stansted forward Sam Ashford is among the additions to Adam Flint’s side this term. It could be an ‘open book’ as to how these two get on this season.

Check back at the weekend for the the first Bostik League Division North results round-up of the new season.

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Match Report: Southend Manor 2 – 6 Heybridge Swifts (PSF)

Pre-Season Friendly

Venue: Southchurch Park

Date: Tuesday 11th July 2017 7.45pm KO

 Southend Manor : Yellow Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Black Socks

 Heybridge Swifts: Black & White Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

S Manor v Heybridge (PSF 11.7.17) (Credit - Peter D)
Manor pushing forward during the 1st half.. (Credit: Peter D)

Scott W reporting (Follow me on Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

On a very wet evening at Southchurch Park, ESL side Southend Manor welcomed Isthmian North side Heybridge Swifts in another pre-season encounter.

The visitors started the match the brighter of the two sides and took the lead with 17 minutes on-the-clock as the impressive Ryan Henshaw getting a tap-in from close range. As the half-hour mark approached, Swifts were the better side going forward though against the run of play, Micky Hopkins slotted home past the Heybridge defence to level things up on 26’.

Heybridge didn’t rest of their laurels though as only four minutes later, new signing Harrison Chatting made a good run into the Manor box and slotted home well to restore the visitors’ lead. The visitors then extended their lead just before the break, first with a cool tap-in by fellow new signing Luke Callander and then moments later Henshaw powered in a 30-yard pile-driver as two goals in just three minutes gave Jody Brown’s side a comfortable advantage at the interval.

Half-Time: Southend Manor 1 – 4 Heybridge Swifts

The second half began with both sides making substitutions though would the changes undermine the rhythm in the second half? No chance! Heybridge continued to drive forward and create decent chances, though the Manor ‘keeper made a number of good saves during the entire match. Manor pulled another goal back ten minutes into the second half as Harry Hatt scored with a looping effort. Manor 2 – 4 Heybridge

During the next 25 minutes or so, Heybridge continued to pile forward and although the lashing rain made conditions even tougher to play on, the visitors could’ve easily got at least four more goals during this period. Though on balance, Hopkins could’ve also got a hat-trick as he missed two guilt-edged chances to reduce Manor’s deficit.

Into the last ten minutes and Heybridge finally got the reward they arguably richly deserved as Josh Fogbohun headed in from close range with six minutes remaining. Just two minutes later, fellow substitute Marley Andrews drilled an effort low into the left corner to complete an excellent showing at times from the visiting side.

Manor deserve some credit as well as they stuck to the task quite well at times though they will also know that before the season proper gets underway, they will need to improve at the back.

FT: Southend Manor 2 – 6 Heybridge Swifts

Hopkins 26’                     Henshaw 17’, 44’

Hatt 55’                          Chatting 30’

Callander 42’, Fogbohun 84’, Andrews 85’

In closing, I’d like to thank Southend Manor, Stuart Marshall, Peter Dudley for the earlier image & also wish both sides well for the forthcoming campaign.

Ryman League Division North Round-up – Saturday April 22nd 2017

Scott W reporting (Follow me on Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello & welcome to another round-up of action that took place on the final weekend of the Ryman League Division North league season on Saturday (22nd April) & after the results, check out the final table to see where your side finished at the end of the league season.

UPDATE: Including the play-off semi-final Results & goal-scorers.

AFC Hornchurch 1  – 4  Bowers & Pitsea          Attendance: 247

Bowers came from behind to end a memorable season with a thumping win at Bridge Avenue. Hornchurch started well by opening the scoring on 17’ thanks to Leon McKenzie’s goal. Eight minutes later, Callum Leahy levelled for Rob Small’s men. Six minutes after the break, hot-shot Brad Warner put Bowers ahead before Lewis Manor doubled the lead on 57 minutes. Warner grabbed his second late-on to give the visitors a big win though they fell a point short of the play-offs, though 6th place still shows Bowers have had a brilliant first season in Ryman North. Hornchurch finish 4th and will face Thurrock away in the play-offs next week.

Cheshunt 2  –  2  Brightlingsea Regent     Attendance: 152

Cheshunt held champions Brightlingsea to a creditable draw at Theobalds Lane. Robbie Rees put Regent ahead on the quarter-hour before Jason Hallett levelled for the home side nine minutes later. Just after the hour mark, Billy Hunt once again gave Regent the lead, before a late goal from Tom Bruno meant that Cheshunt ended a run of three straight league defeats here, finishing in 10th spot, eight points off the top five. Regent continued their long unbeaten run away from home, and go up to the Isthmian Premier Division with a total of 103 points in a brilliant campaign for James Webster’s side.

Dereham Town 2   –  3  Tilbury         Attendance: 158

Tilbury edged to victory at Aldiss Park in what was long-serving Dereham manager Matt Henman’s final match in charge. The Dockers took the lead through Emiel Aiken nine minutes before the break. With 13 minutes remaining, substitute Reece Conway doubled the visitors’ lead. Dereham reduced their arrears two minutes later when hot-shot Ryan Crisp struck. Tilbury were reduced to ten men with nine to go after Arinse Uade saw red for two bookings.  Aiken struck with moments left to double Tilbury’s advantage. Crisp grabbed his & Dereham’s second of the afternoon just before the final whistle came, Dereham end the season winless in eight league matches, in 18th place. Tilbury finish unbeaten in their last five league matches, in 12th spot.

Great Wakering Rovers   1 –  4   Bury Town        Attendance: 118

Wakering waved goodbye to the Ryman North with a disappointing defeat at Burroughs Park. A four-goal blitz in 12 minutes before half-time sealed it for Bury Town. Josh Mayhew put Town in front on 33 minutes. Only five minutes later, Mayhew grabbed his & Bury’s second of the match. As Half-time approached, Luke Read struck a quick-fire double to all but win it for Ben Chenery’s side. Wakering did pull one back through Neil Richmond with 20 minutes left though they finish the season bottom of the table and will go into the Essex Senior League next season hoping for a swift return. Bury finish the season unbeaten in their last six matches, in 11th place.

Haringey Borough  2  – 1     Norwich Utd       Attendance: 122

Haringey picked up the positive result they needed late on to secure the final play-off-spot at Coles Park. Haringey opened the scoring only five minutes in, thanks to an OG by Norwich’s Andy Wilton. Norwich Utd levelled through Christy Finch midway through the first-half. Haringey secured the points late on thanks to hot-shot Rolston Gabriel, their third straight league win. Haringey finish 5th, and take on Maldon & Tiptree away in mid-week.

Heybridge Swifts    3  – 2      Phoenix Sports      Attendance: 231

Heybridge produced a stirring comeback to avoid the drop at Scraley Road. Phoenix took the lead on the quarter-hour thanks to Kweku Ansah’s goal. Zak Bryon doubled their advantage ten minutes later. Four minutes after the break, Heybridge started their comeback as Lewis Godbold struck. Only five minutes afterward, George Cole levelled for Swifts. The home side’s survival mission got harder when they had Reece Grant sent off with 25 minutes left. Though Heybridge would not be denied as Godbold got his second goal 11 minutes from time to ensure his side stay up on goal difference. Heybridge finish 21st, while Phoenix finish a very creditable 9th.

Romford    0  –  0   Aveley               Attendance: 102

Romford ended their season with this shut-out at Ship Lane. Romford had to play 29 minutes with ten men as Greg Akpele was sent off for two bookable offences. Romford finish in 16th place with 56 points, while Aveley finish 7th, thanks largely to a nine-match unbeaten run in the league and much to look forward to next season as they move into their new Parkside home.

Soham Town Rangers  4   –  3   Maldon & Tiptree              Attendance: 183

Soham produced a brilliant display at Julius Martin Lane to secure their place in the division next season, edging out Maldon & Tiptree. Hot-shot Sam Mulready put Soham ahead on 22 minutes, before Joshua Pollard levelled for the visitors two minutes later. Eleven minutes after the re-start, substitute Kieran Bailey gave Maldon the lead though they were pegged back just two minutes afterwards by Soham’s Lloyd Groves. Maldon re-took the lead thanks to hot-shot Sam Newson on 68 minutes. Though two goals late on from Mulready and Groves, both getting their braces sealed the win Robbie Mason’s side needed to survive, they finished in 19th spot. Maldon finish in 2nd spot with 91 points and entertain Haringey Borough in the play-offs in mid-week.

Thamesmead Town  1-2  Brentwood Town       Attendance: 100

Brentwood continued their excellent form with the win in what was Thamesmead’s final match at Bayliss Avenue before they start their ground-share with Dartford next season. Leon Gordon put the Blues ahead on 21 minutes. Archie Johnson levelled for the Mead nine minutes before the break. Brentwood’s ‘Player of the Year’ Lamar Reynolds polished off a fine season with the winner five minutes after the re-start to give his side their 4th straight league win. Brentwood finish in 14th place, while Thamesmead finish 17th.

VCD Athletic   2 – 0   Ware      Attendance: 125

VCD sent Ware to despair at Oakwood with this victory. Mitch Hahn gave Keith McMahon’s side the lead five minutes before the break. Just past the hour, Derek Duncan sealed the points for the home side, which ultimately sent Ware down. VCD finish 15th, whilst Ware finish 22nd, relegated despite their recent upturn in form.

Witham Town 2  – 1   Waltham Abbey           Attendance: 70

Witham picked up the win over strugglers Waltham Abbey at Spa Road. Scott Kemp put Witham ahead just past the quarter-hour mark. Jack Daveney put Abbey on terms just before the half-hour. Moments later, Luke Mallet got what would be the winner to give Town all three points. Witham finish in 13th place, while Abbey finish 20th, only surviving the drop on goal difference.

Wroxham   0 – 2   Thurrock               Attendance: 120

Thurrock picked-up the win in Wroxham’s swansong match in the division at Trafford Park. Substitute Michael Pindy put the visitors ahead just after the hour, before Jack Barham struck late on to seal the points for Mark Stimson’s side and give their 4th straight league win. Thurrock take on AFC Hornchurch at home in mid-week, thanks to their 3rd place finish. Wroxham finish 23rd and relegated, though their rebuilding job starts now ahead of the new season.

Here’s a look at the final Ryman North table… 

Position Team P W D L GD (+/-) Points
C Brightlingsea Regent 46 32 7 7 +57 103
2 (P/O) Maldon & Tiptree 46 29 4 13 +56 91
3 (P/O) Thurrock 46 27 8 11 +45 89
4 (P/O) AFC Hornchurch 46 24 13 9 +36 85
5 (P/O) Haringey Borough 46 2 6 15 +34 81
6 Bowers & Pitsea 46 23 9 14 +36 78
7 Aveley 46 21 13 12 +11 76
8 Norwich Utd 46 24 6 16 +10 75
9 Phoenix Sports 46 22 9 15 -1 75
10 Cheshunt 46 20 11 15 +13 71
11 Bury Town 46 20 9 17 +8 69
12 Tilbury 46 17 13 16 -6 64
13 Witham Town 46 16 11 19 -3 59
14 Brentwood Town 46 17 5 24 -14 56
15 VCD Athletic 46 15 11 20 -23 56
16 Romford 46 15 11 20 -31 56
17 Thamesmead Town 46 16 6 24 -8 54
18 Dereham Town 46 15 9 22 -19 54
19 Soham Town Rangers 46 14 11 21 -16 53
20 Waltham Abbey 46 14 9 23 -16 51
21 Heybridge Swifts 46 13 12 21 -17 51
22 Ware 46 15 6 25 -18 51
R Wroxham 46 6 7 33 -61 25
R Great Wakering Rovers 46 6 7 33 -72 25
               

 

Here’s how the play-offs Semi-Finals shape up:

Wednesday 26th April KO: 7.45pm

Maldon & Tiptree   5  –  4    Haringey Borough   Venue: Park Drive Attendance: 412

Nash 6′, (pen) 12′, 20            Richards 14′, Gabriel 49′, 76′

Newson 51′, Mills 83′            Benjamin 90′

Thurrock    1 – 0     AFC Hornchurch       Venue: Ship Lane  Attendance: 481

Sutton 12′

Play-off Final takes place on Sunday 30th April

Maldon & Tiptree  v   Thurrock    Venue: Park Drive   KO: 3pm

Thank you for reading these round-ups this season, hope you enjoyed it.