A Big Bostik (North) pre-season, part three: AFC Sudbury to Dereham Town

By Ian Townsend

An eight-part guide to the - currently announced- pre-season fixtures involving our clubs. We take a look at the first half of the North Division.

Part three of our pre-season guide brings you the first half of the North Division (alphabetically, we’re not making a prediction on their finishing positions!).

AFC Sudbury

Mark Morsley’s side finished last season in twelfth place when perhaps they may have been expected to do rather better. The approach to the new campaign has seen the return of Jordan Blackwell from Stanway Rovers, and the announcement of a comprehensive set of friendly fixtures which will include the visits of East Thurrock United and Braintree Town.

Aldiss Park, home of Dereham Town

Aldiss Park, home of Dereham Town

  • Sun 01 July, H – West Wratting
  • Tues 10 July, H - East Thurrock United
  • Sat 14 July, A- Harlow Town
  • Tue 17 July, H- Braintree Town
  • Fri 20 July, A – Newmarket Town
  • Tue 24 July, H- Bishop’s Stortford
  • Tue 31 July, H- Brightlingsea Regent
  • Fri 03 Aug, A- Needham Market


Manager James Webster seems to have spent the summer building a team to match the Millers beautiful stadium, and to have constructed a pre-season schedule to match. The only concern that fans at Parkside might have is that there are so many friendly matches the team might be exhausted before the important stuff starts!

  • Thu 05 July H FC Clacton
  • Sat 07 July H East Thurrock United
  • Tue 10 July H Dartford FC
  • Thu 12 July H Southend United
  • Sat 14 July A Brantham Athletic
  • Mon 16 July H Billericay Town
  • Fri 20 July A Erith Town
  • Tue 24 July A Hullbridge Sports
  • Tue 31 July H Bishop's Stortford
  • Sat 04 Aug H Faversham Town

Brentwood Town

Brentwood Town


Barking had a successful first Bostik North season, flirting with the playoffs for much of the campaign before finishing in tenth place. They’ll be hoping for more of the same this time around- and perhaps even a little better. Here’s their pre-season line up:

  • Saturday July 7th - Away to Burnham Ramblers FC
  • Saturday July 14th - Away to Ashford United FC
  • Tuesday July 17th - Home to Wingate & Finchley FC
  • Saturday July 21st - Away to Corinthian FC
  • Tuesday July 24th - Home to Harlow Town FC
  • Saturday July 28th - Away to Newcastle Benfield FC
  • Tuesday July 31st - Home to East Thurrock United FC
  • Saturday August 4th - Away to VCD Athletic FC

Basildon United

Aveley FC

Aveley FC

Basildon, promoted after a second place finish in the Essex Senior League last season, have not yet published on their website the details of their pre-season programme- we’ll bring it to you when we have it. This will be their first Isthmian League campaign since 1991.

Bowers & Pitsea

Bowers came so close to promotion last season, finishing the campaign in third place after being in the top two for many months before falling in the Playoff Semi-Final. Will this be their year? After finishing sixth the previous season they surely have to be amongst the favourites.

As they are laying a new 3G pitch prior to the new season, ALL OF THESE FRIENDLIES ARE AWAY FROM HOME:

Canvey Island FC

Canvey Island FC

  • 14th July- Frenford
  • 17th July- Glebe
  • 21st July- Sittingbourne
  • 24th July- VCD Athletic
  • 28th July- Ramsgate
  • 31st July- Hertford Town
  • 4th August- Brightlingsea Regent

Brentwood Town

There were moments- when outplaying Dartford in the FA Trophy and defeating AFC Hornchurch, for example- when Town looked like world-beaters during the last campaign, but their season was beset by inconsistency. That said, Craig Shipman will be confident that they can do better next time out, and he’s set up an exciting pre-season to help them prepare.

  • July 3rd Chelmsford City Home
  • July 7th Concord Rangers Home
  • July 11th West Ham United XI Home
  • July 18th West Essex Away
  • July 21st Southend Manor Away
  • July 24th Waltham Abbey Home
  • July 26th Takeley_FC Away
  • July 31st Harlow Town Home
  • 2nd August Clapton Home

Bury Town

Town finished last season in ninth place, and will have to cope with the loss of prolific forward Cemal Ramadan, but will still be expected to challenge for a Playoff place next time out. The pre-season fixtures against a Leyton Orient XI, Cambridge City and AFC Hornchurch look particularly attractive.


  • Tue 10 19:45 A Newmarket Town
  • Tue 17 19:45 A Hadleigh United
  • Sat 21 15:00 A Long Melford
  • Tue 24 19:45 H Cambridge City
  • Sat 28 15:00 A Wroxham


  • Fri 3 19:45 H Leyton Orient XI
  • Sat 4 15:00 H AFC Hornchurch

Canvey Island

Canvey have made a number of impressive signings as they approach the new season, and seem determined to do better than their Playoff Final defeat next time out. Danny Heale has lined up the following pre-season fixtures:

  • Sat 14 Jul - 15:00 - East Thurrock United - Home
  • Tue 17 Jul - 19:45 - VCD Athletic - Home
  • Sat 21 Jul - 15:00 - Herne Bay - Away
  • Tue 24 Jul - 19:45 - Redbridge - Home
  • Sat 28 Jul - 15:00 - AFC Hornchurch - Home
  • Tue 31 Jul - 19:45 - Cray Wanderers - Home
  • Sat 04 Aug - 15:00 - Thamesmead Town - Home

Coggeshall Town

Coggeshall are approaching their first ever Isthmian League season with confidence, and after home fan James Partridge sang the praises of the beer and sausage rolls in a recent ‘Taking a Bostik bow’ feature, surely we all want to visit? The highlights of their pre-season package look to be the visits of Leiston, Braintree Town and Ipswich Town Under 23’s.

  • Saturday 7th July Away Haringey Borough 3pm
  • Saturday 14th July Home Leiston 3pm
  • Saturday 21st July Away Haverhill Rovers 3pm
  • Tuesday 24th July Home Braintree Town 7.45pm
  • Saturday 28th July Home Ipswich Town U 23’s 3pm
  • Tuesday 31st July Away Hadleigh United 7.45pm
  • Saturday 4th August Home Cheshunt 3pm

Dereham Town

The Magpies had a superb 2017/18, their fifth in the Isthmian League, and although they fell away towards the end of the season (ending it in eight place) they spent much of the campaign in the promotion and playoff places. Next season they might find themselves amongst the favourites to compete at the top end of the table.

Their pre-season looks like this:

  • 06 Jul 2018 Fakenham Town A
  • 13 Jul 2018 Great Yarmouth Town H
  • 21 Jul 2018 Braintree Town H
  • 24 Jul 2018 Thetford Town A
  • 31 Jul 2018 Gorleston A
  • 03 Aug 2018 Mattishall H

Look out for Felixstowe to Witham Town shortly!

Where next?

Five more moves! Incoming for Kingstonian, Felixstowe, Burgess Hill Town, Bury Town and East Grinstead Town
Taking a Bostik bow: Bognor Regis Town We asked supporters from our new or returning clubs to write an introduction to the footballing love of their lives. Here's Tommy McMillan on a club many will know well, Bognor Regis Town.

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