Category: Non-League

Clapton: The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Sometimes irony can strike in the cruellest of ways. Clapton FC is one of the oldest surviving names on the London non-league circuit, but after years of slow decline the club’s recent improvement on the pitch in the Essex Senior League is being rapidly unwound by the inexplicable behaviour of its owner, and matters reached a point last week at which push came to shove over whether the Tons would even be able to start the new season, even though the club finished the season as the league’s runners-up last time around. To scratch at the surface of Clapton’s...

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Leyton Orient: The Sun Rises In The East 

Three summers ago, Leyton Orient supporters were rueing what might have been. Beaten only by a penalty shoot-out at Wembley with a place in the Football League Championship at stake, the club was setting course on a new journey following the decision of Barry Hearn to sell it to the Italian businessman Francesco Bechetti. Optimism and nervousness have a tendency to be familiar bedfellows, but how might things turn out for one of English football’s perennial stalwart clubs. We know the answer to this question now, of course. Having been so close to the second tier of English football,...

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Kingstonian & Kingsmeadow: Get Me Out Of Here

Tuesday’s Guardian newspaper contained a terrific double-page article by Nick Ames on Kingstonian’s last-ever game at Kingsmeadow Stadium, where they had played since 19th August 1989. Nick covered almost all the bases; the history, the politics, the possible impact of an immediate-term move out of Kingston borough, the raw emotion, my mate Phil’s bobble hat. And the piece wasn’t harmed by… OK, it massively benefited FROM… the absence of any of my ten-minute chat with him. Because I was, in equal measure, without a bobble-hat… and any emotion worth including in a national newspaper. I recall missing only one...

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The Ryman League Denouement: Close Shaves At Both Ends

Sky Sports would have LOVED it. The title in doubt until minutes from the very end? Play-off and relegation places decided by stoppage-time action? And controversy? Just step this way. Easter Monday simplified the Ryman Premier’s various issues, although it still left only one game, Tonbridge Angels v Worthing, with nothing at all riding on it. Saturday’s extraordinary events reintroduced the chaos theory. To quickly-ish recap, Havant & Waterlooville led the table by two points from Bognor Regis Town, who had a better goal difference. So, if Bognor won at home to relegation-threatened Metropolitan Police, Havant HAD to win at...

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The Ryman League Reaches Its Denouement

Sky Sports’ more perceptive staff might be wondering if this season’s final Premier League (EPL) “Super Sunday” might be a super… damp squib. The Ryman League Premier Division’s insane run-in would currently make better telly. When Saturday Comes magazine’s late, lamented (by me, anyway) diary section used to call the Football League Championship “the mad division,” because…it was. As unpredictable as Donald Trump in a dizzy spell and as competitive as Trump’s senior Whitehouse staff on a tetchy day, while the Premier League/Premiership was a dismal Arsenal/Manchester United duopoly, when Man Yoo weren’t strolling it. The business ends of...

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