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Mini League 2018/19 (Read 1,454 times)
Ronsdog
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Exiled Trawlerboy

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Mini League 2018/19
13th Jan, 2019 at 10:40pm
 
There are a number of certainties in life....the sun will rise and fall on a daily basis, as will tides: technology will continue to dominate our existence and latterly we Trawlerboys can expect a second half of the season to result in a relegation battle.

The reasons are varied and many but they generally revolve around financial wherewithal, or rather, in our case, the lack of it.     Money.
When the £££s walked along with the then Chairman it threw the club into a real crisis which we are still recovering from.

Fanciful talk about us regaining our Conference status was soon forgotten as we struggled to pay the bills and AG, a novice manager way out of his depth, gave way to DB, a real professional.

Brooksy, took on the responsibility and fashioned a squad that somehow, shorn of key players, retained our Step 3 status; aided thankfully by an FA reorganisation that saw only one team relegated.
In normal years our finishing position would have seen us relegated.
However Brooksy felt that the budget he was presented with for the 2018/19 season was not sufficient for us to be competitive and subsequently resigned.
Somehow, and all credit to those responsible, Jamie Godbold was persuaded to return to the club and continue the on field stabilisation that had begun under DB.

As I pointed out before a ball was kicked, a new start under fresh management together with a further depleted starting squad, meant that our inaugural Southern League Premier Central season was always going to be a struggle.

http://www.lowestofttownfcfansforum.co.uk/cgi-bin/Forum/YaBB.pl?num=1532094132
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So no surprises then that we find ourselves once more firmly entrenched in the bottom six.
A miserly return of 20pts for the first half  represents less than a point a game, by far and away our worst first half for over a decade.

Whilst JG and AR have introduced a style of football of football that is more pleasing on the eye, injuries to key senior players  has meant that youngsters, with little experience at this level have had to take on the challenge. Unsurprisingly they have fallen short of what is required on occasion. No blame can be attached to them or the management duo for our current predicament though.
Most fans are realistic enough to realise that it will take some time yet for all of the pieces to fall into place and secure our Step 3 status. So we are where we are as we strive for points in the second half of the season.

The key to survival will be the return of those senior players that currently occupy the treatment table. Jarvis, Cole, Fisk and Zielonka all currently out should soon be back. The late January/February programme could yet see a points bonus with their return.

Our next seven games  .......
Home.....  Redditch
                Stourbridge
                Banbury
                Kettering
Away.....    Royston
                Barwell
                Biggleswade
Could we see a return of 12pts from the possible 21 on offer?

As it stands at the moment.......
                           Played/points
Rushall                 26/29
Tamworth.            26/28
Barwell.                25/28
St Neots.              25/23   
Lowestoft.            25/21
Hitchin.                23/20
Halesowen.           24/19
Bedworth.             26/12

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At best a pessimist is invariably proved correct, at worst he is pleasantly surprised...........😉
 
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Exiled Trawlerboy

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Re: Mini League 2018/19
Reply #1 - 25th Feb, 2019 at 11:05pm
 


Since we last visited the Mini League our season appears to have taken a turn........

Home.....  Redditch..........Draw
                Stourbridge.......Win !!!!
                Banbury.............Win
                Kettering...........  ?
Away.....    Royston.............. Draw
                  Barwell............... Draw
                  Biggleswade...... Lost

Could we yet see a return of 12pts from the possible 21 on offer? Nine points from a possible 18 is as good as it's been all season; with the Kettering game still to come.

It's apparent though that those clubs around us have also experienced an upturn in fortunes, with the exception of Bedworth who look doomed. The addition of new blood seems to done the trick at Hitchin with 15 pts from their last six games ; and both Halesowen and St Neots have picked up unexpected points lately.

The upcoming Halesowen and St Neots games could prove to be pivotal as we seek to retain our Step 3 status. 42 points should see us safe that's 12 from 11 games⏳

As it stood......................................................and as it currently stands
                           Played/points
Rushall                 26/29.                                    Rushall.             31/36
Tamworth.            26/28.                                   Hitchin.             30/35
Barwell.                25/28.                                    Barwell.             32/34
St Neots.              25/23                                    Redditch.           31/34
Lowestoft.            25/21.                                    Lowestoft.         31/30
Hitchin.                 23/20.                                    St Neots.          31/29
Halesowen.           24/19.                                    Halesowen.      30/25
Bedworth.             26/12.                                    Bedworth.        32/14

Our next five games.......

Kettering (H)
Alvechurch (A)
St Neots.   (A)
Halesowen (H)
Rushall.     (H)

Seven points from these five would be a good return👌
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At best a pessimist is invariably proved correct, at worst he is pleasantly surprised...........😉
 
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Exiled Trawlerboy

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Re: Mini League 2018/19
Reply #2 - 13th Mar, 2019 at 12:30am
 


Unsurprisingly our last two games v Kettering and Alvechurch, have seen us return pointless and currently we occupy a trapdoor spot just a point behind St Neots and four points above Halesowen.

As it stands, bottom seven.......

Hitchin.         33/39
Redditch.     34/39
Barwell.        34/38
St Neots.      33/31
Lowestoft.    33/30
Halesowen.  33/26
Bedworth.    34/15

But as is often the case, with the vagaries of the fixture list, we have been offered the opportunity to play our way out of the danger zone.
In the space of four days our next two games, could well determine the seasons fortunes; or at least go some way toward securing a successful conclusion to it.

Starting on Saturday when we visit St Neots......the following Tuesday evening Halesowen provide the opposition at the Amber Dew Meadow.

The results against these two fellow relegation candidates will not see us either avoid or succumb to demotion but they will certainly indicate the direction in which we are headed.

Once these two games are out of the way we will have seven games left to reach a total of 42 pts to be reasonably sure of survival at this level.......

Rushall (H)
Tamworth (A)
Coalville (H)
Hitchin (A)
Stratford (H)
Leiston (A)
Bedworth (H)

Our away form cannot be relied upon in our quest for points. Our solitary away win this season was way back in August at Stratford!

I certainly don't relish the possibility of going into the last game of the season, at home to Bedworth, requiring a win to stay up. Especially as St Neots host Halesowen on the same day.

The clubs only relegation in history was as a result of our failure to secure enough points from those clubs that were around us during the business end of the season.
Brackley and Hednesford  come to mind ...... and memories of the nightmare afternoon against Gloucester seem to keep flooding back.😱....http://www.lowestofttownfcfansforum.co.uk/cgi-bin/Forum/YaBB.pl?num=1461955827/0

I would certainly be happy to collect 4 pts in our next two games as anything less could well see us revisiting those dark days of 2016.

⏳9/12
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At best a pessimist is invariably proved correct, at worst he is pleasantly surprised...........😉
 
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Re: Mini League 2018/19
Reply #3 - 20th Mar, 2019 at 10:53am
 
Good forward play (and a fluke) has seen us gain 6 points from 2 games and has given Jake Reed back-to-back hat-tricks Smiley

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Exiled Trawlerboy

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Re: Mini League 2018/19
Reply #4 - 24th Mar, 2019 at 10:08pm
 
The drama of the past eight days has raised spirits all around the club and reinforced many fans belief in the management team of Jamie Godbold and Andy Reynolds. The extended contract they received before survival was secured however, was viewed by many as a little premature at the very least.

That decision, in light of the past weeks events has now been vindicated.

The master stroke they engineered, in bringing back an unhappy Jake Reed from Leiston, is to be applauded. It has certainly paid dividends, but again, not without critisism.
Even some of those that contributed to the 'Reed fund' have expressed displeasure that as part of the deal Ben Fowkes, a real prospect, was sacrificed.
In fact one of those contributors confided to me that if he had known that Fowkes was to be moved on to facilitate the deal, he would not have dipped into his wallet.

So it was a very brave move by the management duo and a gamble that has, to date, worked, thankfully.

The two wins have seen us put the pressure back on those clubs directly below us in the league and the outlook is far less foreboding than it was only seven days ago. But, the task of remaining in this league, which was the objective back in August, has not yet been completed.

The loss to Rushall was not unexpected and we now have six games remaining to collect the six points that should see us safe, starting with a tricky away match at Tamworth. Even a point at the Lamb would be seen as a triumph so we must look to our remaining home games to get us over the line. 

Of course, the other clubs in the trapdoor zone have difficult matches to negotiate.
Remaining games for those in the relegation zone....

BARWELL......
Alvechurch.                  (A)
Biggleswade.               (A)
Leiston.                         (H)
Needham.                    (H)
Kettering.                     (A)
Tamworth.                    (H)
Royston.                       (A)

ST NEOTS.........                                                                                                
Coalville.   (H)
Banbury..  (H)
Hitchin.      (A)
Rushall.      (A)
Kings Lynn (H)
St Ives.        (A)
Halesowen (H

HALESOWEN......
Kings Lynn.    (A)
Bedworth.      (H)
Kettering.       (H)
Biggleswade. (A)
Redditch.       (H)
St Neots.        (A)

LOWESTOFT........
Tamworth (A)
Coalville (H)
Hitchin (A)
Stratford (H)
Leiston (A)
Bedworth (H)

6/6 ⌛️
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At best a pessimist is invariably proved correct, at worst he is pleasantly surprised...........😉
 
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Exiled Trawlerboy

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Re: Mini League 2018/19
Reply #5 - 26th Mar, 2019 at 6:39pm
 


Two games tonight in the SL Premier Central that see St Neots and Barwell play their remaining games in hand on the fellow strugglers.

St Neots following their weekend 2-0 defeat at Kettering entertain Coalville, who have yet to visit the Meadow, and Barwell are away at Alvechurch.

The results of these games are clearly of interest to us and could have an effect on the remaining six games that all the relegation candidates have yet to play.
And with play off spots still to be decided both Coalville and Alvechurch could do their fortunes and ours some good by winning!

As it stands at the bottom......

Barwell.          35/39
Lowestoft.       36/36   
St Neots.         35/31
Halesowen.      36/28
Bedworth     Relegated

6/6 ⌛️
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At best a pessimist is invariably proved correct, at worst he is pleasantly surprised...........😉
 
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Exiled Trawlerboy

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Re: Mini League 2018/19
Reply #6 - 26th Mar, 2019 at 8:55pm
 

Our five point cushion is still intact after tonight's games.

St Neots 1-4 Coalville
Alvechurch 1-5 Barwell

Barwell, having put five past 10 man Alvechurch, seem secure having reached 42 pts.

Both Redditch and Banbury remain on 40 pts and are catchable. Realistically however, it seems that one can perm any two from Lowestoft, St Neots and Halesowen as to who joins Bedworth through the trapdoor.

6/6 ⌛️
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At best a pessimist is invariably proved correct, at worst he is pleasantly surprised...........😉
 
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Exiled Trawlerboy

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Re: Mini League 2018/19
Reply #7 - 1st Apr, 2019 at 12:09am
 

After this weekends games both matters at the top and bottom of the league are becoming more clearly defined.

As has generally been reported its now only a matter of time before Kettering are crowned as champions. They can clinch the title next week with a victory at home v Alvechurch.

Of more interest to us is the battle at the bottom, which we seem to be winning.

Our well earned victory at Tamworth, a surprise to many, and St Neots and Halesowens failure to secure any points v Banbury and Kings Lynn saw us increase our safety cushion to 8 points. Which effectively is 9 points thanks to our better goal difference.

Halesowen are all but relegated and if they fail to beat Bedworth next weekend it almost confirms it. St Neots have a tricky away game at Hitchin. St Neots need to win four of their last five to have any chance of survival and their final day game v Halesowen could well be a meaningless dead rubber by that stage.

Thanks to securing 9 points from our past four games I think we can confidently predict that there will be no repeat of the 2016 last day events with Brackley winning and consigning us to relegation on goal difference.
One more victory should secure our position in this league and I would expect it to arrive before our last game v Bedworth.👍🍻

3/5 ⌛️
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At best a pessimist is invariably proved correct, at worst he is pleasantly surprised...........😉
 
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Exiled Trawlerboy

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Re: Mini League 2018/19
Reply #8 - 14th Apr, 2019 at 5:32pm
 
As expected Kettering were victorious at Halesowen yesterday and wrapped up the League Title. In doing so they consigned the Yeltz to relegation.

Our own battle to avoid the drop has almost been won thanks to another away win, the third on the spin, at Hitchin.
St Neots failure to grab at least a point at Rushall having led twice sees them as favourites to complete the trio slipping through the trapdoor.

They are now 8 points behind us with only three to play. That includes a tricky fixture against the Linnets.

We entertain Stratford next and could double our double tally for the season. Then on to Leiston and a final game v Bedworth.

Would seven points be beyond us.?

Reminiscent of last years great escape at Met Police😄
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At best a pessimist is invariably proved correct, at worst he is pleasantly surprised...........😉
 
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