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It's Big Tuesday!

By Ian Townsend

How big? Well big enough to have an (almost) full Step Four programme and three matches in the Premier Division. Here's our preview.

Horsham are looking forward to the FA Cup clash with National League Dartford at the weekend, but tonight’s fixture against Wingate & Finchley will perhaps be even more important, as a win will catapult them into fourth place in the table. The visiting Blues are fourth from bottom and have lost their last two matches, and go into this game knowing that defeat could see them drop into the bottom three if Bognor Regis Town and Cheshunt draw at Nyewood Lane.

Neither the Rocks nor the Ambers will want a draw, however; both will be desperate to pick up three points and get their seasons back on track. Bognor have lost their last three league matches, conceding eight goals and not getting on the scoresheet at all; whilst the Ambers have three defeats in their last four, but each defeat has been by the odd goal and Craig Edwards men will be hopeful that they can begin to turn decent performances into points. Tonight would be a good time to start, as victory will lift them three places into sixteenth.

Bishop’s Stortford are another side with top five pretentions, but the Blues have yet to find consistency and followed two victories with defeat at Folkestone Invicta on Saturday. Their opponents tonight, Cray Wanderers, are certainly consistent- they seem to consistently leave every match with a point, having drawn four of their games to far this season, so Stortford might find them difficult to beat- but the Blues haven’t drawn a single match so far this season. Perhaps tonight might be the first.

North Division

We’ve nine matches in the North Division tonight, and the big one is at Maldon & Tiptree, where the Jammers host sixth place Canvey Island. The home side have a one hundred percent record, whilst the Gulls have slipped off the pace slightly after an excellent start, losing their last two matches.

Second placed Coggeshall Town will welcome Felixstowe and Walton United, whilst Bury Town, in fourth, put their unbeaten record on the line against AFC Sudbury, the yellows struggling to find any consistency so far this season.

Great Wakering Rovers- who, incidentally, will be the subject of our Matchday feature on Saturday- put their fifth place on the line as they travel to Basildon United, the Bees looking for a turnaround in form after losing four of their five matches so far, whilst Witham Town- who walloped Histon on Saturday- would love a repeat of that result as they entertain bottom side Romford. The Boro are haemorrhaging an average of four goals a game at present, and will need to stop the rot if they are not to spend another season fighting relegation.

Heybridge Swifts, in seventh place, travel to Hulbridge Sports, in tenth. A win for either could see them end the day inside the top five, and Sports will be looking for their third win in a row whilst Swifts are searching for their first win in three.

Brentwood Town are still looking for their first win; but they did manage a draw last time out. Their opponents are sick of the sight of draws- Aveley have drawn three of their last five and will be hoping to turn one point into three this evening.

Histon haven’t drawn a match yet this season, but they host a side desperate to turn single points- and good performances- into victories. Draw specialists Dereham Town do have four points from their last six, however.

Finally, Soham Town Rangers have been excellent in front of goal this season, but have conceded as many as they have scored. They host Cambridge City- and their visitors will be desperate to get back to winning ways after three successive defeats, the latest coming at the hands of Felixstowe and Walton United on Saturday.

South Central

Hanwell Town and Tooting & Mitcham United will look to take advantage of Westfield’s absence tonight by going to the top of the table- all three sides are unbeaten and have thirteen points. The Geordies look to have the best chance of success, as they host an FC Romania side who conceded ten goals in their last two league matches (and another eight in the Velocity Trophy); whilst the Terrors bring Bedfont Sports to Imperial Fields and will want to get back to winning ways after losing their 100% record when drawing with Harlow Town on Saturday.

The Hawks have lost only one game this season, but they will head to face a Ware side not short in confidence as they haven’t lost any. The side Ware defeated at the weekend, Chalfont St Peter, travel to face a Hertford Town side who seem to be in disarray after conceding sixteen goals in their last three League matches- nine of them in defeat to Westfield at the weekend.

We have four sides still looking for their first victory. The team at the bottom of the pile, Ashford Town, host a Chertsey Town side who have started their first South Central campaign in promising fashion, with only one defeat. Second bottom Barking host a Waltham Abbey side who are still searching for consistency, whilst the other two sides yet to win, Northwood and Staines Town, face each other at Northwood Park. Woods have played far better than their points tally would suggest, whilst the Swans have been magnificent in cup competitions and if they could bring that form to the league would be near the top rather than the bottom.

Chipstead are in good form, having won their last four matches in all competitions. They host a South Park side who ended a run of four games without a win by walloping Staines at the weekend.

Marlow, who suffered a surprising home defeat to Chertsey at the weekend, will look to bounce back against Uxbridge- but the visitors won’t be short on confidence after winning six-nil on Saturday.

South East

We start at the top of the South East table, where Chichester City host another Sussex side in Three Bridges. City defeated previous leaders Cray Valley PM at the weekend, whilst Bridges were losing to Hastings United- but prior to that match the visitors had defeated two other Sussex sides, and they will be confident of bouncing back.

The big match of the evening is another Sussex derby, as second place Whitehawk travel to third place- and unbeaten- Hastings United; a win for either would see them take over at the top of the table were Chi to slip up. Sevenoaks Town have had a fabulous start to the season, and our fourth place side travel to face a Hythe Town side who haven’t won a league match since August 20th- but who today signed a striker as new manager Steve Watt continues to rebuild.

Cray Valley slipped to fifth after that Chichester defeat- which perhaps illustrates how tight things are at the top. They travel to Whitstable Town, the Oysterboys in thirteenth looking for their first win since August Bank Holiday Monday.

VCD Athletic, in sixth place, travel to Faversham Town. VCD are undefeated in four matches where they have taken ten points, whilst Faversham have won two of their last three, both by the only goal of the match.

Ashford United still have a one hundred percent record, but have played two matches less than their top of the table rivals. Tonight they host Sittingbourne at Homelands, the Brickies looking for their first win since August Bank Holiday Monday.

Guernsey, our top scorers, head to face a Haywards Heath Town side who have gone off the boil a little of late. The Green Lions have won their last two, whilst Heath have only two points from their last nine.

Bottom side Ramsgate really haven’t started the season as well as expected, taking only one point so far. They face local rivals Herne Bay at Southwood, and perhaps this might be the Rams chance, as their opponents have lost their last three matches whilst conceding eleven goals.

Finally, Phoenix Sports got their first win at the weekend, and they’ll be searching for a second as they host an East Grinstead Town side who are still looking to get a positive digit in the ‘W’ column.

Where next?

Wands are magic again, Jammers are anything but jammy- and the lead changes South East and South Central We had a Tuesday evening full of excitement and incident. Here’s our comprehensive round up of the action.

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