The normal Ryman Football League season ends with today’s matches and brings to a close one of the strangest seasons I can recall. Both ends of the table see teams bunched together on similar numbers of points, especially at the bottom. I don’t think we’ve ever gone into the last match with only 2 relegation spots confirmed out of the 4. And things are so tight amongst the lower teams that it has become a perm any 2 from 6 situation!
I recall chatting with the Metropolitan Police’s kit man Chris only 6 weeks ago and the prognosis then was that 52 points were needed to stay up. Recent results have left 3 teams in the relegation battle with 53 points including the Met! It seems that the safety line was 54 points this season which is unprecedentedly high. Chris is a friend so I wish the Met luck today.
Sitting in the prime relegation spots to join already relegated Grays Athletic and AFC Sudbury, are Canvey Island and Burgess Hill Town. Both have games that on a good day they’d expect to win but it’s out of their hands because if they do win they’re still reliant on the results of the matches involving the teams immediately above them. It feels a little strange to see Grays and Canvey in this position as both are battling sides that normally can be found in the upper mid-table. Putting the final nail in Grays coffin fell to us on the 1st April but, in truth, they were already gone. It was a sad day but despite their woes they brought along a good loyal following of fans – Respect!
The top end of the table see’s the automatic promotion spot still undecided with Havant & Waterlooville currently in the box seat having knocked Bognor Regis Town off the spot in a derby between the two sides last Saturday. The roles could still be reversed again depending upon results for the sides today and it will be interesting to see who takes the league title and who gets the poisoned chalice of the top playoff spot.
The remaining play-off slots are occupied by Dulwich Hamlet, Enfield Town and ourselves, Wingate & Finchley. Dulwich are safe with 77 points. The two spots below the playoffs are occupied by Leiston and Needham Market – both of whom have been in the top 5 at times with Needham occupying a playoff position for much of the season.
At this end of the table the permutations are simple – if we get a point or win against Dulwich who we play today then we are in the playoffs. If we lose then it depends on Leiston’s result – they need a win to have a chance to overtake us. Needham are unlikely to challenge for a playoff spot now – they would need to win and overturn a goal difference of 8 which is a ‘mathematical possibility’ that will get you very long odds at the bookies! So we know what we have to do – let’s get out there and do the business…
Democracy is about people having a say – being represented – being able to voice their opinions freely. Democracy cannot be destroyed by the acts of homicidal individuals intent on destruction and murder for ends that may or may not be religious. All attacks on Democracy only result in members of Democratic society drawing closer together – standing up for their right to free speech and some form of control over their governance. Democratic people will never bow down before the Tyranny of Terrorism no matter what its source. It’s time for those driving terrorism to learn the simple lesson – the way to resolve issues is through debate not bullets. You will never achieve your aims without talking and compromise – ask those who went down this road before and learn from their experience!
Each New Year brings thoughts of change, desires to change, changes beyond our control. For those we do attempt to control there are resolutions. I resolved last year that I will retire this year and the only thing undecided about that is the actual date but it will be July 31st at the latest. If 2016 did anything at all it was to highlight my mortality as I witnessed the passing of musicians that have been a major part of my life since I was a teen. What really caught my attention was their ages – some only a few years older than me and some younger! So it’s time to hang up my metaphorical soldering iron and make the most of whatever time is available to enjoy my hobbies and perhaps spend a little more time with my family (ed – are you sure about that?).
One of my favourite hobbies is photography and I want to pursue that further. One of the steps down that road is the change in my blogs appearance. I have been framing my b&w images purely for publication here – Something that was necessary to ensure that the lighter parts of the image were not lost in the whiteness of the page. A black background will allow the colours and the whites to sing. No solution is ever perfect – but blacks blending into the page is probably less of an issue for images.
Another reason for choosing a black background and this theme is the clear white text – I liked my previous theme for its ease of reading and I hope this one similarly makes reading easy because I do like to write – something else I resolve to do more of. I do have some other resolutions for this year – less drinking is a good example of one that may prove more difficult to achieve. More Truckin’ – actually, that might not be easy either as I do a lot! Let me leave you with a thought…
The new morning’s promise
Highlighted in dawn’s rosy glow
Dangers that await
and joys that may be found
as we embrace the day
‘Carpe Diem’ for
Tomorrow may never come