With plenty still to play for this season in all our five divisions, here's a little run-down on the runners and riders for each Division...
We should open a book...
What a season! With several teams tipped for the title, including a rejuvenated Iver and a hot-shot Langley side, it’s now down to just three teams, one being a superb surprise!
Chalvey Sports sit top with just 1 game to play. With 43 points and 13 wins, their last game against Iver Heath Rovers, could prove pivotal in the final shakedown. Having lost at home 2-3 to this season’s cup kings, Chalvey will be looking for revenge, but will face a buoyed Iver side with cup trophies on their mind.
Having drawn with the LynchPin, the holders, twice this season in the league, it couldn’t be closer. The Champions are 4 points behind, with a better goal difference, and have to play 3 games. The Mob will face Stoke Green Rovers and Langley, both at home, over the next two Saturday’s, before a final fixture on Saturday 9th May against those tricky Heath Rovers.
But could those pesky Magpies nick in and steal the silver? In a wonderful season in the top flight, Smith & Moriarty’s stripes sit 4th in the table, but with an outside chance of upsetting the heavyweights. Having jumped up from D2 last term, Maidenhead Magpies have won plaudits this term and still have 3 games to play; already relegated Slough Heating, Windsor Reserves who are battling the drop and, yup, you guessed it…Iver Heath Rovers, who could ultimately decide the title despite not being in it themselves (only down to a self-acknowledged admin error early in the season).
Magpies need both LynchMob and the Chalvey MeltTrain to derail and lose all their games, but with Magpies beating Pin last night, all is possible. Will Robinson marshall his boys to glory? Will Wenman fire the Mob to another title? Could Ettiene & Eales pull off the shock of all shocks?
It’s the most fascinating run-in for years!
We already have our winner. The Barley Mow have steam-rolled the Division and after a controversial start, an abandoned game against Richings Park, the Maidenhead side have bagged 11 wins from 11 games, securing the title with a 4-0 win last night over pre-season fancied Burnham Beeches. A superb season for the Mow, we hope they look to the EBFL Premier next term.
The race for promotion is almost run. Old Windsor sit in the driving seat and need two heavy defeats, along with a Pin win, to lose their spot. While Windsor face Slough Central and Burnham, The Pin face the champs, so while possible, the Pin need a win and an 12 goal-swing to nick the final spot.
Given the withdrawal of several teams, we’re looking at perhaps just 1 side for the drop and a hard term for Iver Heath Rovers Reserves – with players leaving for pastures new – means they sit bottom and need a drastic turn of fortunes to overcome both Burnham, who have games in hand, and Richings Park, whose season is now complete.
Possibly the most open of all the Divisions so far, there are still 5 teams with realistic designs on the title.
The LynchPin Reserves lead the way with 30 points from 16 games. The newly formed side, with a brilliant mix of Premier Champions, young talent and seasoned vets (aka Dads Army) have 2 to play, with contenders Britwell & Maidenhead Town the sides to beat for a chance to complete a club double.
Maidenhead Town sit second after last night’s win and with a 4 point gap, have 4 games in hand, with games against all the other contenders, including the leaders. Good cup runs have given Town the chance to know what they must do, and while sits in their hands, they have to play all the rivals; Britwell, Slough Heating, The Mob and Frontline. Beck’s Boys may look good but can they cope with the pressure of the tag.
Bhatti’s Frontline are the division’s top scorers and need to win both to crash the party. With ties against MTFC and Britwell, the Slough side need goals to help a goal difference as well but are strong at Lascelles so hope Dyer’s goals can fire them over the line in what would be a surprise.
Britwell also sit with plenty of games in hand given cup runs. With still 7 games to play, Baker’s Bunch will hope midweek games are friendly and the strong squad can keep them in line for what would be an amazing run to win. With all the rivals to play, Britwell score goals, but can they keep others out?
Last with a shout here were early pace-setters Slough Heating Reserves. A blistering start with goal-machine Fuller sitting top of the Golden Boot chart, Heating have gone a little cold in recent weeks and have 5 games to put it right. It’s not in their hands as LynchPin winning twice would seal their fate, but a late push for promotion is very real.
Moulder’s Men. Beck’s Ballers. Bhatti’s Hotshots. Baker’s Battlers. Fuller’s Warriors. It’s a superb race and whoever wins it, fully deserves it in a wonderful Division.
Sadly, we have already lost AFC Ascot from the Division. With their season complete, just 3 wins – including a superb display at hopefuls MTFC – condemns the Locks Ride side to Division Three next term.
It looks as if Hurley & Langley Reserves will battle it out to avoid the other spot, their game this coming Saturday could prove vital. Both have three to play and with every game a big, yet winnable game, it will go to the wire.
Again, we already have our Champions. Chalvey Sports Reserves wrapped up the title two weeks ago, going 17 unbeaten to secure the trophy. Since then, defeats to FCB & Britwell Reserves have dashed an ‘invincibles’ season, but even with Quelchy in goal, these boys are still a force.
The battle for promotion is another fascinating contest. Currently sitting in the spot are Fulmer, who raced into a early season lead, only to fall away during the colder months. With B Hestor & R Williams both firing well, can Fulmer pick up the form from pre-Xmas?
The form side are Newell Green. With goals galore – the Bracknell side have 3 of the top 5 scorers in the Division and have fired 87 goals in just 19 games, the highest in the league – Green are battling a crazy 6 point deduction (Berks & Bucks enforced) to return to D2. They play FCB, fresh from a new side after their cup runs, Magpies & Falcons and would be looking for at least 2 wins, which should secure that spot.
Tight in behind are Braybrooke, whose consistency has given the chance of a promotion for the first time in nearly a decade. Also with a game in hand over Fulmer in 2nd, a big win would move them up, but perhaps have the harder games, as they face Fulmer & FCB in their run in…their jewel Ben Harris is 2nd in the scorers charts with 27, angling for that boot.
FCB still have 8 league games to play, and with plenty of fresh players, could spring a huge run-in to pinch that spot. Nothing other than wins and goals will do, but the STCC cup winners have flair and pace…perhaps it’s only them than can beat themselves…they need the right attitudes as they have the ability. Could mid-week travel prove too much? It’ll be fun finding out.
Any from 4 could still be resigned to the drop. In such a tight division, newcomers West Drayton currently prop up the bunch, but a couple of wins could move them above Magpies Reserves, Old Windsor Reserves and Falcons, all of whom play themselves in a battle to fight the trap-door. Hopefully midweek won’t condemn the wrong side…
We have a heavy favourite. Much like Floyd Mayweather, the world and his dog expect Richings Park Reserves to clinch this title. After an absolutely brilliant season, building superbly after last year, RPR have just beaten key rivals Windsor Saints Reserves to hold a 12-point lead at the top. Striker B Jones has been in sparkling form, sitting 2nd in the Golden Boot chart and with 2 games left, Rich Park need just a win over KS Gryf Reserves to nail down the title.
Next up are Windsor Saints Reserves who have come into the EBFL and surprised many with their set-up. The top scorers in the Division – 77 from their 18 games – the Saints, whose Twitter activity is exceptional – need to win all 4 left and hope Richings Park lose both. Their promotion hopes lay with the game against Windsor Great Park on April 22nd which could decide the 2nd spot in the league…all eyes on that!
Windsor GP really now rest on April 22nd as their squad depth, including several higher level players cleverly recruited, should see mainly winning ways in their remaining 8 games. With L Sykes firing hatrick after hatrick, this is a 2-way battle for promotion, both sides safe in the knowledge they would fare well in Division Three next term.
So there we have it. Place your bets now! Plenty of excitement left in the EBFL…on those sunny Wednesday nights, why not head to a local game and watch the best of the EBFL battle it out for grassroots glory.