FA Trophy Draw
Something's gone wrong - we don't have an away draw at the furthest flung Isthmian Prem side!
Kings Langley, I go past their ground every day on the train. Their rise to the Southern League Premier Division level has been meteoric - from the Spartan South Midlands League Division 1 (division below Edgware) to their current level with three straight promotions - and not on the back of a rich man's money.
The joint managers that oversaw this rise left earlier this year to go to Hayes & Yeading - Hayes went down whilst Kings Langley managed to survive - a pretty herculean effort.
Their manager is Paul Hobbs who is, I think, the same Paul Hobbs that skippered the Greens to survival under Neil Price in the 1995/6 season.
Do end the season at far-flung Leiston, who are throwing money around.
News travels slowly in those parts & Billericay is a hike from Leiston.
Can't gripe. Fair day out to begin and a seaside trip to start the bank holiday weekend.
No midweek fixtures in the second week, which is odd.
Billericay host Craig Edwards & Kingstonian on opening day.
Sat 12 Tonbridge (a)
Tue 15 Enfield (h)
Sat 19 Harlow (h)
Sat 26 Brightlingsea (a)
Mon 28 Harrow (h)
The blank midweek in the 2nd week will most likely be for the League Cup - think that's been the case for the past couple of seasons.
Progress in FA Cup a priority, with Q1, Q2 & Q3 scheduled. Only Q1 has been accommodated in the league fixture list. As with the last couple of years, the draw for Q1 was not made in the close season, so we await Monday 21st August to find out the opponents for a game 12 days later. Q3 hopefully postpones Kevin Maclaren's return. And Frankie Wilson's.
Not an appetising league fixture list, but Dulwich under lights might be an occasion and Folkestone is almost a good seaside day out.
Sat 2 FAC 1Q
Sat 9 Met Police (a)
Tue 12 Dulwich (a)
Sat 16 Needham (h) or FAC 2Q
Sat 23 Folkestone (a)
Tue 26 Staines (h)
Sat 30 Tooting (h) or FAC 3Q
Likely to be fitting-in some minor cup action with just 4 league games scheduled and the start of the FA Trophy. Might just be slightly overdue a run in that.
Could still be reasonable weather for a jolly boys' outing to Worthing. First weekend of October looks an ideal time for weddings, bar mitzvahs, weekend breaks, DIY or a spot of autumn pruning in the garden.
Tue 3 Enfield (a)
Sat 7 Billericay (a)
Sat 14 Tonbridge (h) or FAC 4Q
Sat 21 Worthing (a)
Sat 28 King's Langley (h) FA Trophy
A new ground to visit in Dorking. They're not sure which new ground it'll be yet, but such is life for the "ambitious" nonleague club. Dorking is a good awayday venue.
May need extra real ale in the clubhouse in the first week of the month. And maybe pre-match folk group for those two games. And a beard-trimming service.
Sat 4 Kingstonian (h)
Tue 7 Dulwich (h)
Sat 11 Dorking (a) or FAT 2Q
Tue 14 Staines (a)
Sat 18 Burgess Hill (h)
Sat 25 Lowestoft (a) or FAT 3Q
Edited by Morgs at 15:10:02 on 13th July 2017
Arguably the best seaside trip two weeks before Christmas, which is par for the course. Harrow away on Boxing Day.
This looks a comfortable set of fixtures, providing Margate's current money tree is bare by early winter: a fairly safe bet.
Sat 2 Thurrock (h)
Sat 9 Margate (a)
Sat 16 Leatherhead (h)
Sat 23 Brightlingsea (h)
Tue 26 Harrow (a)
Sat 30 Harlow (a)
Edited by Morgs at 15:16:51 on 13th July 2017
Wingate to welcome 2018 and a couple of trips to sparsely-populated, isolated and inconvenient locations to test the die-hard loyalists.
Mon 1 Wingate (h)
Sat 6 Merstham (a)
Sat 13 Leiston (h)
Sat 20 Needham (a)
Sat 27 Folkestone (h)
Again, the road trips are not likely to see demand for a supporters' coach in bleak midwinter. Get Lewes back in this division now.
Sat 3 Burgess Hill (a)
Sat 10 Dorking (h)
Sat 17 Thurrock (a)
Sat 24 Lowestoft (h)
The bell and hopefully still in with a chance at the right end. Could be a last chance to see Leatherhead at Fetcham Grove, though I'll believe that when I see a refurbished sradium elsewhere.
Luckily press box facilities were not covered in the latest ground-grading update. SJP's could be found wanting on the penultimate Saturday, if Sky don't move the game.
Sat 3 Leatherhead (a)
Sat 10 Margate (h)
Sat 17 Tooting (a)
Sat 24 Billericay (h)
Sat 31 Met Police (h)
The run-in and it could be easier. Don't want to go to Leiston needing a result, unless their money has run out.
Possibly a last chance to visit Fetcham Grove, though I'll believe its days are numbered when I see a refurbished stadium. Someone's bound to collect a Howard-Fitzgerald medal by going to Kingsmeadow.
Mon 2 Wingate (a)
Sat 7 Worthing (h)
Sat 14 Kingstonian (a)
Sat 21 Merstham (h)
Sat 28 Leiston (a)
Betway prices up.
I would've stuck my neck on the block and fronted it out by going up with a principal market "Without Billericay", were I a compiler. I would've let Mr.Tamplin know. Plenty of publicity for the firm, almost certainly accusations of cowardice from Mr.Tamplin & a rebut of stating that the firm wanted genuine fans at this level to have their annual £10 or £20 on their teams and have a chance of winning... whilst avoiding having to deal with any heavy hitters wanting to wade into Billericay and avoiding laying clubs at big prices and facing a hit if Mr.Tamplin spits the dummy and moves to another halting site.
Anyway, Betway go...
16 Thurrock (!?)
33 Burgess Hill
100 Met Police
Like Mr.Bean avoiding the watchful eye of invigilator Rudolph Walker in the trigonometry/calculus exam sketch, Bet365 have had a successful sneaky peek over Betway's shoulder.
Betway themselves have clearly not experienced a pikey reaction - which is quite a thing - to their initial 4/5, as they have tentatively lengthened Billericay to 5/6. Leatherhead are the only nibble so far, edging in to 20/1. Both Brightlingsea and Dorking have drifted out to 20/1.
Bet365 see a more closely grouped field behind the boys in blue - which might be periwinkle blue if a local sponsorship plan comes off.
4/5 Billericay (a price arrived at independently of Betway's odds)
50 Burgess Hill
66 Met Police
Brightlingsea are tagged on to the end of the list after Harrow, so maybe the Bet365 "compiler" didn't get as good a look over the Betway man's shoulder as he'd have liked and initially left them off.
Clearly nobody piling in on Leatherhead with Bet365 though.
Edited by Morgs at 00:04:11 on 18th July 2017
Disclosure purposes, I only watched Saturday. I thought it felt different to past comparable recent time-frames. I would imagine this morning the Gaffer has a much clearer picture of where we are. The foundation is in place. I think we have for some time real genuine momentum.
I liked the West Ham lad, he's a genuine prospect. Plenty of thought-provoking stuff. Liked the No 3, if not just for comparisons with Murph. Sam does a solid job, but a genuine left-back instinctively knows how to move forward. It's more balanced. Murph is mechanical and 'gambles' to some degree. Talking of the wide positions, I presume, (maybe incorrectly on this one), that the Potters Bar lad is a swap for Marcel, he has similar build. If I'm wrong on that assumption that brings in other questions, and maybe Murph may end up reverting forward. this will effect Nico's landscape. 20 goals from Nico is a pre-requisite.
The quality of distribution from the keeper is key, including Tom. Poor decision making will quickly transfer the emphasis.
I think we have unresolved issues but are ahead of the curve. Just a case of now getting us functional.
Personally, I'm not due to see the lads until the 5th due to travelling logistics, but would actually like to do so. I believe things are quickly coming together. Perhaps in-knowingly the past two seasons have been a transitional phase to form a base for a solid season.
Right now, I can't recall being this up-beat for some considerable time.
It's time to unlock our potential.
Edited by rwakeley at 08:41:58 on 17th July 2017
Re: Encouraging Signs
With pre-season having gone eyecatchingly well, a bet could be enticing.
Evasive action has been taken by bookies. Ricay are in to a general 2/5, though Bet365 go 1/2 and call 20/1 bar. They've pushed Hendon out to 100/1, though the each-way terms are for one-third of the odds but for only two places, which is something of a swizz and a very poor piece of bookmaking.
Betway have a separate "Without Billericay" market, headed by Dulwich at 9/2 and Margate at 11/2. It's 12/1 bar two. They have Hendon at 33/1. It's a quarter the odds for three places.
Skybet go 80/1 Hendon but there are no each-way details on their site.
Just to compare other divisions:
Skybet are best price about Hereford and their 2,000+ fans celebrating the Southern League title next April. They'll give you 4/1. Hitchin, Merthyr & Farnborough are 10/1.
"Well, Saint, in Cold & Chilly Jockoland, Bet365 have Celtic at 1/20. Do they have a Scottish goalkeeper?"