Play-offs Down Below.
Two thumping away wins this evening in the Battle of the Bland 'Burbs daahn saaf.
Still homeless Cray Wanderers attracted 446 to Hayes Lane - probably still not enough easily-bribed voters for Sadiq Khan to insert his oar into their stadium soap opera - for their semi against community sports hub residents Walton Casuals.
Very early Casuals goal. Wands red card on the half hour, but an adrenaline rush saw them leading 2-1 at half-time. The ten men were horsed for four goals in the second half. 5-2 Walton Casuals.
Corinthian-Casuals, playing in white & black - they must have a few 17/18 away kits still on special offer in the club shop - won 3-0 at Greenwich Borough. 375 in attendance, so splitting the play-offs over three days does appear to attract a large number of groundhoppers.
Final in the shadow of Mr. Marsh's carbuncular 1960s edifice on the A3 - which isn't a patch on Centre Point or Space/CAA House - on Saturday afternoon.
"Clash of the Casuals."
Let's hope no Russians spot the fixture, lose something in translation and turn-up to terrorise the thermos flask & Tesco bag brigade for a pre-World Cup warm-up
Give Kirbs a Cheer!
The Saaf Essix divisional play-offs took place this evening.
Bowers & Pitsea were victims of a typically savage pillaging spree on the mainland by Canvey Island, who triumphed 2-0 in... errrr... well, wherever Pitsea is. Somewhere south of Brentwood and north of Abandon-le-Hope, I think. Several of The Usual Suspects lined-up for Canvey. Sam Higgins scored. Martin Tuohy came on as a late sub. 567 pitched up.
The Saaf Essix Minority Community will venture dangerously close to civilization for the final, as Mark Kirby's Haringey Borough beat Heybridge Swifts 2-0 in the other semi. 442 in attendance. Haringey Borough play for the cup in Tottingham on Sunday afternoon. Worth giving him a cheer at Coles Park, White Hart Lane, N17 7JP if you're at a loose end on Sunday afternoon.
Urbi et Orbi.
Outside the familiar confines of the Isthmian League, the opening rounds of the asinine six-team play-offs in Vanarama National League South have seen Truro City and Hemel Hempstead Town fall at the quarter-final stage, so they'll be amongst next season's opponents for Monday's triumphant team.
It's Walton Casuals.
"Wot you fahkin' lookin' at, Jimbob!?"
"Nuffink! Unless you wanna fahkin' start, John Boy!"
Predictable 0-0 draw... a.e.t... and Walton, whose spanking new ground is precisely 42mins walk from all three train stations on the manor according to GoogleMaps (I blame those aliens who do the crop circles, or maybe Derren Brown), won on pens.
Tickets for the Boxing Day derby against Met. Police are already changing hands for obscene sums on StubHub and E-Bay.
Well done, Kirbs!
A Elgarian, "We hate Haringey Borough..." would almost certainly be frowned upon in these orthodox times. However, the Tottenham residents beat Canvey Island 3-1 this afternoon to reach the Isthmian Premier. 809 turned up.
The utter idiocy of the play-offs has been amply illustrated many times before, but the National League registered a hat-trick today. In the South semis, four fairly recent Isthmian Champeens were in action. Top-seeded duo Dartford and Chelmsford were both defeated at home. The final will feature Hampton & Richmond and Braintree. StubHub tickets are again selling well.
Boreham Wood won at Sutton and face Tranmere Rovers for a place in Division Four. The Football Intelligence Unit might be busy next term.
Due to the type of planning for which The FA has a reputation, a number of clubs were in line for promotion spots as "lucky losers" in the play-offs.
I suppose there is some merit in a system whereby clubs know at 3pm on the last day that a certain final position in the table gets them into the play-offs. The alternative would've been a system where clubs knew what they had to do to finish 6th/7th but then had to wait for news from two different leagues, at the other end of the country, to find out which 3rd-placed clubs had gone up automatically on a "highest points total across the six Step Four divisions" basis... and which 7th-placed clubs sneaked a play-off place as knock-on beneficiaries.
This led to the odd situation of Hartley Wintney - the #1 club on the lucky losers list - hosting Cambridge City in the Southern League One East play-off final but knowing they'd go up regardless of the result. Cambridge City needed to win. Hartley duly triumphed, which means Corinthian-Casuals inherit Hartley's lucky loser berth and are promoted.
Promoted to where?
The Isthmian / Southern boundary could well be almost passing through Tolworth. Kingstonian will be groundsharing at Cor-Cas next term, so another possible problem for the FA's Leagues Committee allocation boys to look at.