Tag: Gateshead

The Promotion Jitters

Burton Albion lost 2-1 at Ebbsfleet United in the Blue Square Premier on Wednesday night. There was, in itself, nothing extraordinary about this, but this defeat marks the third successive match that the once runaway leaders of the league have failed to win and, whilst they are still comfortably clear at the top of the table, their lead, which had been in double figures with several games in hand, is down to just eight points with two games in hand. Bookmakers have already paid out on them winning promotion into the Football League, and this is starting to look like a shakier decision that it did a couple of weeks ago. They’re not the only team at the top of a table to be feeling the heat. We’ve covered AFC Wimbledon on here before – three successive draws has seen their lead at the top of the Blue Square South whittled away – but their football nemesis, the Milton Keynes Franchise, have also slumped in recent weeks, drawing four successive matches at the top of League One to drop out of the automatic promotion places, although they have games in hand on the teams above them too. In the Blue Square North, Tamworth scrambled a 2-1 win against Vauxhall Motors on Saturday, but this was their first win in three matches, and they have been overhauled at the top...

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The Ex Files

Well done Accrington Stanley, for dumping Nottingham Forest out of the League Cup last night. A little bit of digging and delving has established that the first round of this year’s competition is one-legged, so a place in the second round and a possible tie against Tottenham’s reserves (an eminently winnable tie, given Spurs’ recent cup form) could well await. The recent kerfuffle about Stanley’s return to the league has, over the last few weeks, set me thinking about those teams that we have loved and lost. The introduction of promotion and relegation between the Conference and the League was, of course, utterly justified. Too many lower division clubs had been treading water for too long, and non-league football had, of it’s own accord, got it’s house in order and created a national league. There are now twenty fully professional non-league teams, which makes a mockery of the big clubs’ belief that the world is only interested in them, and this has come about because mobility is not merely limited, as it was as recently as 1986, to the top of the “fifth division”. Prior to this, though, it was somewhat more difficult to get into the League. For years, the Football League had effectively run itself as a cartel, and the cartel was called “Re-Election”. It was something of a sop to the upward ambitions of non-league clubs....

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