Some more thoughts
Having re-gained our play-off status, I decided, having sobered up sometime on Sunday, to look at play-off history.
Home advantage, not surprisingly, is a big advantage. One thing did stand out.
On only 3 occasions out of 13 seasons has a side clinched promotion away from home in the final.
Even more remarkable over such a time-frame, no team has been promoted having finished 5th!
With this years feeder leagues now seeing promotion play-offs down to 7th - one does have to question the credibility of such a venture. No doubt different opinions prevail. Personally, I believe that is stretching it somewhat. Not at least in the credibility stakes.
I also looked into the Ryman North and South back to 2006/07 post re-structuring and only once, Canvey Island 2007-08, has a team been promoted having finished 5th! That's 35 separate divisions of football, over the period, with only one team gaining promotion having finished 5th.
Why it has proved so difficult - again opinions - Should we finish 5th, I would not unduly perceive it as such a huge obstacle - history suggests otherwise.
OK then lads - just finnish fourth - or do it the hard way - either way.
Good luck lads versus Barnet - I want a May final - the play-offs can wait.
Edited by rwakeley at 18:21:19 on 19th February 2018
Re: Some more thoughts
Having 6 teams playing off for promotion is such a silly notion it's unreal. Although I know the odds are stacked against the sides finishing 6th & 7th, were one of those clubs to gain promotion then a season's worth of mediocrity has been rewarded inside the space of 10 days.
Those stats you quote above, Rob, are interesting. Only one fifth placed finisher has managed to gain promotion in the Isthmian League over the past decade and a bit. Personally speaking, were we to finish in the next four behind the champs, I'd fancy us to beat anyone ('ricay included) at home - away from home, less so. That said, in the past couple of months it's our away form that has impressed and our home form that has dipped.
Conclusion? None to be drawn.
Still plenty of work to be done between now and then, however.
Re: Some more thoughts
While the chance of a play off place may well keep the season alive for clubs in or about the top half of the table, I still maintain, dear old fashioned chap that I am, that the team finishing 2nd having proved itself over 46 games should go up with the champions. As we know to our cost, a team finishing perhaps 10 or more points below can be promoted on the basis of just 2 play off games.