Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

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Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by Roy D Hacksaw on Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:17 pm

Now that there’s less than a month left to go this season, I thought it was about time for the annual first look at which new sides might be coming to our league next season. Of course, it’s still not entirely clear what league that may be, so let’s just assume that we’re avoiding relegation and staying right where we are for now (fingers crossed).

As far as the National League Premier goes, Kidderminster look dead and buried, but they’ll go North. Welling are also looking like they’ll struggle to make up the deficit over the last few games, so it looks like we’ll be getting another visit to Kent. But the other slots are still wide open.

Kevin Nicholson’s Torquay have been having a good run of late, but are still just occupying one of the relegation berths, while the only other Southern side who look like they may get drawn into difficulties are Boreham Wood. So we’re definitely getting one team back from above, but it could also be as many as three.

The Isthmian League, however, is still wide open, with four clubs still in a shout of the automatic place, and as many as nine still harbouring realistic hopes of a play off spot.

Our old friends Hampton & Richmond have had a late season rush, and top the table by four points, but recent Cup and Trophy foes East Thurrock and Bognor are creeping up on them at the top, with Tonbridge Angels still in with a shout of the title.

Of the play-off sides still in contention, only Leiston would go North, while the other possibles offer yet more uninspiring M4 and M25 journeys next term: those being Dulwich Hamlet, Enfield Town, Kingstonian and Billericay. At least Dulwich would be a lark.

The Southern League looks like a much more complicated affair regarding the North/South divide. Midlanders Redditch have hit a late run of form to knock Poole off the top, while Hitchin, Leamington and Kettering are all in with good shout of at least the play offs.

This leaves the only other Southern Southern sides who might be challenging for the step up as Hungerford, our good chums in Chippenham and that Weymouth if they have a decent last few games.

There is however the very strong possibility that both Southern League promotees go North, and only one Premier League side comes South - which will make Studwick’s crew have to resort to a second fag packet to work out who moves into the Vanarama South - a problem that could get even tougher if Leiston are successful in their play-off charge.

With five slots needing to be filled, there’s a not insignificant chance that we may get as many as three clubs from the Northern division coming back down South. Gloucester and Worcester are the easiest picks there, but who would be next if circumstances demanded a third?  That could put Brackley Town back into contention if they avoid the drop, or even Redditch, and stranger still, Lowestoft if this unlikely chain of events plays out.

Of course, all this could be a moot point if we don’t manage to avoid relegation, and we could be facing up to the likes of Biggleswade, St Neots, Merthyr and Cinderford if we’re not careful. But that doesn't bear thinking about. Still, it would make a change from those dreaded M25 awaydays.



So there’s still plenty of options before we find out our new opponents for next term - but which of those would you prefer to be playing?

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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by Jon_BOA on Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:17 pm

Bit early to be working out who will be in the Conference South as there is no guarantee we will be yet. Who is going to be in the Southern League is as relevant currently.

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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by Marc Monitor on Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:13 pm

As long as we are in it, I want Maidenhead and Wealdstone to stay for the trips. Hampton & Richmond, Dulwich Hamlet and Kingstonian would be good and, perhaps, Gloucester but, to be honest, that looks like one of those trips that I would say I would do but probably wouldn't do. Never ever ever want to be in the same league as Merthyr.
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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by Roy D Hacksaw on Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:15 pm

Well, I was trying to be positive, but after today's performance that's a bit tricky!

So in the interests of balance...

In the Southern League South & West, table toppers Banbury are duking it out with Cinderford and Taunton for the title, with Winchester, Supermarine and Evesham the only possible candidates to fill out the other play-off slots.

Meanwhile, in the Southern League Central, Kings Langley lead by a single point, with Royston, St Ives, Egham and Rushden & Diamonds all still within reach of the title. Chalfont St Peter, Aylesbury and Northwood are all still in with a shot of a play-off place, but it might just be a bridge too far for Beaconsfield SYCOB.

Makes terrifying reading, doesn't it!

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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by Marc Monitor on Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:18 pm

Don't fancy any of those so I think we should stay up!
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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by Roy D Hacksaw on Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:26 pm

Marc Monitor wrote:Don't fancy any of those so I think we should stay up!

That's that decided then!

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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by Luton Roman on Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:11 am

Great Southern League stat. Histon fourth from bottom - were today relegated. The three teams below them in the table still aren't!

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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by Bluebird on Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:11 pm

Well it won't be us, I'm afraid we've stuttered of late. Never mind, there's always next season. In the meantime, if you'd care to join us in the Southern League, along with your Somerset cousins Frome, you'd be more than welcome. That really shouldn't happen.............

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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by comrade powell on Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:39 pm

No it shouldn't after our great start to the season, but frankly much of what we have produced since is of Southern League standard. Sorry to see that your season has fizzled out and one consolation of relegation would be for us to renew our great rivalry of several years ago.
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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by Elmore James on Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:24 pm

the other question is who'll be with us next season.
I'd keep the following Batten, Ball, Bowman and Artus. The rest haven't produced the goods...

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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by comrade powell on Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:28 pm

I agree with the 3 Bs...
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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by Roy D Hacksaw on Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:26 pm

Right, tempting fate after our rousing win yesterday, here's a brief update of who we might be facing that's new should the next few games run well for us.

Coming down from the Prem, the bottom flour are presently Kidderminster (doomed), Welling (nearly doomed), Altrincham and Boreham Wood. But Guiseley and Halifax are only two points clear of the dropzone, with Torquay a point ahead of them. Even Chester could be just about drawn into it, but as it stands, Welling and Boring Wood look the faves to rejoin us next term, with Torquay the only other possibility, as all the others are proper Northerners.

Below us, the Southern League just got a bit more interesting, as Redditch have been docked three points for fielding two ineligible players, leaving Poole Town the clear-but-not-safe leaders. Interestingly, the play-off places are all now filled by sides who would in all eventuality go North: Redditch, Leamington, Hitchin and Kettering - with Hungerford, Weymouth and Chippenham (all South) the only sides that can catch them.

Over East to the Isthmian, and free-scoring Hampton & Richmond Borough have hit form at exactly the right time to go four points clear, giving us a good chance of a return to the ricketty old Beveree next term. But East Thurrock are still leading the charge behind them, and Bognor Regis have been on a hell of a run and have games in hand. Below them, Tonbridge Angels look certs for the play-offs, leaving Enfield Town, Dulwich Hamlet and Kingstonian to battle it our for the final berth.

And of course, there's always the caveat that if too many Northern teams are in the shake up, we may have to have another reshuffle - in which case Gloucester seem the most likely traveller South.

And for those of you with a more dystopian view, in the Southern League Central Division, Egham Town moved ahead of long-time leaders Kings Langley on goals yesterday, with Royston Town, St Ives, Rushden & Diamonds, Chalfont St Peter and Aylesbury (not United) all contending for the play-offs.

Meanwhile, in the South & West Division, Banbury United are still two points clear of Cinderford at the top, while Taunton, Supermarine, Winchester and Evesham are hoping to make the last three from four.

But it won't come to having to worry about that eventuality. Probably…


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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by the demon headmaster on Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:40 pm

Surely Hitching would come South?

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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by miker on Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:47 pm

Roy and Demon, how do you know all this stuff ? .....Great respect.

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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by Luton Roman on Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:21 pm

Yes Hitchin wd be nice one for us Keith. Some gd results there and Scotty Ps last game I think.

Thought of going to Kings Langley, near Watford, a county league team in recent times doesnt bear thinking about.

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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by Roy D Hacksaw on Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:45 am

miker wrote:Roy and Demon, how do you know all this stuff ? .....Great respect.

Non-League nerds, innit.

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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by Roy D Hacksaw on Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:51 am

the demon headmaster wrote:Surely Hitching would come South?

They're in the buffer zone, so could go either way, depending on the North/South make up of the new sides in the leagues. But I'm pretty sure they're further North than Gloucs, and only a few miles South of Northern Division Brackley. But who knows. The buffer does kick up a bit in the East, after all.

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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by the demon headmaster on Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:30 pm

Honoured to be called a nerd.

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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by SteveBradley on Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:14 pm

Roy D Hacksaw wrote:
Over East to the Isthmian, and free-scoring Hampton & Richmond Borough have hit form at exactly the right time to go four points clear, giving us a good chance of a return to the ricketty old Beveree next term. But East Thurrock are still leading the charge behind them, and Bognor Regis have been on a hell of a run and have games in hand. Below them, Tonbridge Angels look certs for the play-offs, leaving Enfield Town, Dulwich Hamlet and Kingstonian to battle it our for the final berth.


Bognor have bene on a terrible run of late - losing their last 3 games, and with the worst form in the top half of the league. They have games in hand on those around them though and the season is nearly over so they should still be ok, but if they don't start to win again they'll put play-off qualification in jeopardy.

Would personally love to see Dulwich come up. A nice club with a good support base.

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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by Roy D Hacksaw on Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:05 am

I'm sorry - are we talking about the same Bognor here? The Bognor I'm on about won their last three games 6-0, 5-0 and 4-0.

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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by stillmanjunior on Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:42 am

Dipping form there after the 6-0...
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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by BenE on Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:38 am

SteveBradley wrote:Bognor have bene on a terrible run of late

I know I've been feeling awful
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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by Timbo_b-o-a on Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:19 am

Good summarising Roy D. If we stay up I basically just want as many 'north' teams to go up from the three feeder leagues as possible and likewise the northernmost down from the Conf National. The more north based sides in the Step 2 pot the more likely we'll have some more interesting Midlands sides shunted down to the Conf South to dilute the M25 cling-ons.

That said there are a couple of southern exceptions that would make for decent days out - Poole, Dulwich, would've loved Chipnum too.
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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by SteveBradley on Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:19 pm

Roy D Hacksaw wrote:I'm sorry - are we talking about the same Bognor here? The Bognor I'm on about won their last three games 6-0, 5-0 and 4-0.

Oooh - now I'm confused.

Bognor Regis Town ? Lost 2:0 to Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday 2nd April ?

Have I got the wrong end of the wrong stick (wouldn't be the first time!) ? Very Happy

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Re: Who might be joining the Vanarama South next season?

Post by Micawber on Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:59 pm

SteveBradley wrote:
Roy D Hacksaw wrote:I'm sorry - are we talking about the same Bognor here? The Bognor I'm on about won their last three games 6-0, 5-0 and 4-0.

Oooh - now I'm confused.

Bognor Regis Town ? Lost 2:0 to Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday 2nd April ?

Have I got the wrong end of the wrong stick (wouldn't be the first time!) ? Very Happy

Bognor did lose 3 1n a row but have since won their next 3. They have just played 9 games in 18 days because of their run to the semi -finals of the Trophy. They deserve to get promoted  as they are by far the best footballing team in their league.

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