Starting tonight, there are a number of matches this week which could turn out to be crucial in the race for the Premier Division title, playoff places in all of our divisions, and at the bottom of the North Division. Here’s our preview!
Leatherhead have been one of the form sides of the last two months. Unbeaten in their last six matches, tonight they travel about as far east as they can without falling off the edge, as they take on Brightlingsea Regent at the Taydal Stadium. The Tanners are four points behind fifth place Margate with three matches in hand, so victory would put them in a commanding position as they attempt to crash the end of season promotion party. Regent will undoubtedly prove stout opposition, but given they are now free of any relegation worries they’ve nothing to play for but pride. Mind you, they aren’t short of that, their first season in the Premier Division bringing them many notable moments- and they will undoubtedly want to add another one with victory!
Back at Fetcham Grove, Leatherhead’s tenants Kingstonian will entertain Merstham.
We also have an important match in the North Division, as fourth place Haringey Borough travel to Aveley. Victory would mean that Tom Loizou’s side confirmed their place in the playoffs, but James Webster’s men will be looking to bounce back after their home hammering at the hands of Maldon & Tiptree on Saturday.
Tuesday night sees two crucial matches at the top of the Premier Division, as leaders Billericay Town play their game in hand over second place Dulwich Hamlet, travelling to Westhumble to take on Dorking Wanderers. The home side come into this game on the back of a 5-3 victory over third place Folkestone Invicta, and were unlucky 1-0 losers against Glenn Tamplin and Harry Wheeler’s men just one month ago, so will be confident of causing an upset. A victory for Billericay, however, will see them go four points clear of Dulwich Hamlet with only four matches left to play.
Invicta are also in action, as they look to bounce back from that defeat when travelling to Thurrock. There are also matches at Lowestoft Town and Tonbridge Angels.
In the North Division promoted AFC Hornchurch could be hosting an enormous party, given they need only one more point to clinch the title. Mildenhall Town are the visitors. Perhaps more critical, however, is the battle for a playoff place between neighbours Maldon & Tiptree and Heybridge Swifts. Swifts currently have the upper hand, three points clear of the Jammers in sixth place with a game in hand, and they travel to Hertford Town, whilst the Jammers are also on the road, as they face the Dockers of Tilbury.
At the bottom of the table Norwich United have a difficult task as they travel to Canvey Island. The Gulls still need points to confirm their playoff place, so United will need to be on top form if they are to claim the points they need to climb out of the relegation place. Their rivals at the bottom, Romford, travel to Witham Town, but will take heart from their six match unbeaten run. Town are in inconsistent form, winning three and losing three of their last six.
There are also matches at Dereham Town and Soham Town Rangers.
In the South Division Carshalton Athletic can follow up their promotion on Saturday by putting one hand firmly on the winners trophy, as they travel to Ramsgate, whilst Walton Casuals will look to close the gap on sixth place Hythe Town to two points with victory at already relegated Shoreham. There are also matches at Molesey, Sittingbourne and South Park.
Wednesday evening sees a massive match at Fetcham Grove, as Leatherhead take on Dulwich Hamlet. Depending on Monday/Tuesday results the Tanners could surge into the top five, whilst Hamlet could potentially go to the top of the table.
The Premier Division has three matches tonight, and the biggest is undoubtedly at New Lodge, as Billericay Town take on Needham Market. Just how crucial this match could be will, of course, depend on results on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, but the Blues will be desperate for three points. Market have lost their last two away matches, but came into those after away victories at Leatherhead and Enfield Town and a draw at Staines Town, so don’t expect them to roll over. Dorking Wanderers play once more at Westhumble, Wingate & Finchley the visitors, whilst there is a crucial match for Staines Town’s playoff hopes as they travel to Imber Court to face Metropolitan Police.
In the South Division, Chipstead host South Park.
The North Division hosts a clash of the titans at the Len Salmon, as third place Bowers and Pitsea entertain Heybridge Swifts. A win for Bowers will see them back into an automatic promotion place, whilst Swifts may well need the points if they are to remain ahead of their noisy neighbours in that final playoff spot. There are also matches at Bury Town, Cheshunt and Witham Town.
Friday sees AFC Hornchurch take on Aveley at Bridge Avenue, and if they haven’t already clinched the title they will be determined to do so tonight.
For a complete list of fixtures, click here.