The Bostik League Show Episode 45: Leatherhead v Leiston

For the penultimate weekend of 2017/18 Bostik league football, we had our cameras at several crucial encounters.

Friday night football saw the Urchins host the Millers under the floodlights of Hornchurch Stadium, and with automatic promotion confirmed, Jim McFarlane’s side were finally crowned league champions, with a 2-1 win over Aveley.

On Saturday – it was all to play for at both ends of the Premier League, and this episode includes the following highlights: Leatherhead v Leiston, Margate v Billericay Town, Hendon v Merstham, Burgess Hill Town v Staines Town, and Tooting & Mitcham United v Harlow Town.

5 of the aforementioned teams, are battling for the final two playoff positions, and two are fighting to remain in the division. Billericay Town and Dulwich Hamlet both remain in contention for automatic promotion, and the league title.



The Bostik League Show Ep 44: Staines Town v Margate

First and foremost, our congratulations to AFC Hornchurch, Lewes and Carshalton Athletic, who have all secured promotion to the Bostik Premier Division from their respective leagues. A 4-2 win over Horsham on Wednesday night, saw the Rooks promoted with 95 points, and yesterday Hornchurch secured their promotion with a 6-1 win over Witham Town. The Robins left it late at War Memorial Sports Ground, however overcame a 3 goal deficit against Whyteleafe, to confirm their promotion to Step 3. Tommy Bradford’s winner came in the 90th minute.

The push for promotion across all 3 Bostik leagues, and avoiding the drop zone in the Premier and North divisions is looking likely to be hotly contested until the final game of the season.

Two teams wanting to put their forward their names forward for that ultimate play-off position in the Premier Division, are Staines Town and Margate – and the two went head-to-head on Saturday 14th April. Prior to the encounter, Staines were in 8th position, and their visitors were in 5th – however, despite their high rankings, both teams have only won once in their last 5.

A midweek fixture under the floodlights at Wheatsheaf Park witnessed 8 goals, however a Ter Horst 90th minute equaliser, saw points shared between the Swans, and Folkestone Invicta, and the ultimate turnaround slipped their fingers.

Margate also dropped points in their previous encounter, succumbing a surprising 2-0 defeat to Kingstonian, at Hartdown Park!

The following Bostik League Show also includes highlights from: Billericay Town v Wingate & Finchley, Dulwich Hamlet v Thurrock, Tonbridge Angels v Enfield Town, and Romford v Norwich United.



The Bostik League Show Ep 43: Maldon & Tiptree v Bowers & Pitsea

On Saturday 7th April, our main game cameras were focused on the North division for top-of-the-table clashes between AFC Hornchurch and Heybridge Swifts, and Maldon & Tiptree and Bowers & Pitsea.

AFC Hornchurch have one foot in the Premier Division, as they sit in poll-position, 10 points clear of Potters Bar Town, with 6 games remaining.

It’s a battle for the ultimate play-off position between Maldon & Tiptree and Heybridge Swifts, who go into this weekend occupying 6th and 7th position. Swifts currently have a 3 point advantage, are in better form, and have 2 games in hand over the Jammers.

As for Bowers & Pitsea, their sights are set on automatic promotion, as it is just 3 points which separates them from their North London rivals,  Potters Bar Town. Town are currently the most in-form team of the division, with 8 wins in 10, however Pitsea have a two-game advantage.

Full highlights:



The Bostik League Show Ep 42: Walton Casuals v Corinthian-Casuals

Over the Easter weekend, our camera’s were at several games.

First up it’s the battle of the Casuals in the Bostik South Division One as 6th place Walton take on 5th place Corinthian. With 5 points between these two sides, the visitors still have ambitions of a top two finish. However, with Hythe Town in-form, and in their shadows, the hosts we’ll be looking for all 3 points to create more distance.

Our second game sees 3rd play 4th as Cray Wanderers host Greenwich Borough. Cray currently are a point behind their rivals, but they’ve scored more goals than Manchester City this season, and are just 4 away from 100 this campaign. The Cannons were title-favourites in August, after losing out in the playoffs last season.

The following highlights also includes the action from: AFC Hornchurch v Potters Bar Town, Leatherhead v Billericay Town, Dorking Wanderers v Burgess Hill Town, Worthing v Merstham, and Tooting & Mitcham United v Leatherhead.



The Bostik League Show Ep 41: Staines Town v Leiston

On Saturday 24th March we returned to Wheatsheaf Park, for Bostik Premier action between  Staines Town and Leiston. Prior to this encounter, these two sides were separated by just 1 point, and two positions – and it was the Swans who occupied that final playoff spot.  With few league games remaining, the battle for promotion to The National League South is guaranteed to be hotly contested, as there are several teams in the running to for a top-five finish.

Staines Town are undefeated in 5, and have collected 11 out of a possible 15 points in their recent fixtures. The Swans have maintained their goal-threatening reputation throughout the season, having netted 71 times this campaign – Elliot Buchanan and Mohamed Bettamer take credit for 49 of these, and are both in contention for this years Golden Boot.

As for Leiston, following 3 consecutive defeats, they have gone on an unbeaten run of 6, collecting 16 out of a possible 18 points. 16 goals in 6 games, has seen them secure massive victories over Billericay Town, Wingate & Finchley and Tonbridge Angels.

The following highlights also includes the action from Hendon v Billericay Town, Needham Market v Dulwich Hamlet, and Dorking Wanderers v Merstham.



The Bostik League Show Ep 40: Leiston v Wingate & Finchley

On Saturday 17th March, the winterly conditions of the Beast From The East 2 was not enough to cancel match action in Suffolk, and an all-important 3 points remained up for grabs between two playoff-chasing sides.

A win for Leiston would see them extend their unbeaten run to over a month, as their last defeat came on the 13th February at Hendon, which sees them 3rd in the league form table.

As for Wingate & Finchley, they have suffered a dip in form, and are without a win since 3rd February (v Leatherhead). However, their impressive league form before the turn of the year keeps their playoff hopes alive, as they are only 6 points short of 5th place.

The following highlights also includes the action from Fetcham Grove – Leatherhead v Dorking Wanderers.



The Bostik League Show Ep 39: Brightlingsea Regent v Dulwich Hamlet

After a week without football due to the snow of Storm Emma, we were back in Premier League action on Saturday 10th March. Our team travelled to East Essex to the Taydal Stadium to see Brightlingsea Regent host current league leaders, Dulwich Hamlet.

The hosts currently position foot of the form table, having recently succumbed 5 defeats in row. Regent have not won a game since visiting Fetcham Grove in January. They have however recently welcomed back Jake Clowsley (resigned from AFC Sudbury); extended the loan of defender George Keys (from Colchester United); and have a selection of youth players, who are continuing to impress Tom Rothery.

As for Dulwich Hamlet, earlier in the week, they bagged a huge victory the AGP Arena, to leap-frog fellow title-contenders Billericay Town. Despite conceding inside the first 10 minutes of the game, they scored 3 goals in the second half secure the all-important 3 points, to position top of the Bostik Premier.

The following Bostik Premier league games also feature in this highlights video: Tooting & Mitcham United v Dorking Wanderers, and Tonbridge Angels v Worthing.



1-on-1 with Whyteleafe Ladies winger Rachel Innes

Rachel Innes is a right winger and right full back for Whyteleafe Ladies FC, who currently sit top of the Greater London Women’s Football league premier division, after thus far going unbeaten this campaign. Rachel has been with Whyteleafe Ladies for two seasons, having joined the club from Fulham Ladies. Rachel is our first female footballer on our 1-on-1 series, and she gave us some great answers


What are your earliest memories of playing football, what got you into playing the game?


I was about Six years old, and I played football with some of my friend’s brothers in the park. This lead to me going to the local boy’s league, and I just remember being the only girl there for years!


Who have been the toughest opposition you have faced this season?


This season it would probably be the Isthmian Cup semi-final against West Ham United. We were most definitely seen as the underdogs in that game. Mentally, we had no choice but to block out a lot of talk from outside commentators, as we were expected to lose to a score well into double figures, but we knew for sure that was not going to be the case. Physically, we are a strong team and in my opinion each player really did show their strength and grit in that game. We had to be physical as we knew we were not going to be as fit as them, as we only train as a team once a week, which in my opinion made the difference as we were running on fumes by the end. They are an organised team with a strong central midfield, and it was great to play against a team of their ability.


Who is the best player you have played with… and who is the best player you have played against?


Ahh, I cant choose just one as there are so many great players! I grew up playing football in and around Aberdeen, so I played with and against Rachel Corsie and Kim Little a lot. Kim is a fantastic player and so clinical in front of goal!

Katie Kingshott who joined leafe this year is extremely quick and just does not stop, she would be up there as one of the best I’ve played with for sure. Physically and mentally, Giorgia Dunne and Steph Mann who play for Whyteleafe, are the strongest players I’ve ever played with or against. There really is no getting past them!


What is the best piece of advice you have been given in football?


The best advice that has really worked for me is simply ‘play with grit’. Negative self-belief has been a huge reason for what I have felt have been my poor performances. I now make sure before every kick-off, I remind myself to play with grit and to win my individual battles.


What is your favourite dish/cuisine?


Italian… shock! Who’s isn’t?!


If you could change one rule in football, what would it be?


Good question. That our season be throughout summer? I really can not cope in the bitterly cold winter weather!


Who is your favourite footballer, past or present?


My favourite ever player has got to be Ronaldinho. He was sensational!


What has been the best game you have been involved in?


A game that stands out was probably recently against West Ham. We really showcased for ourselves more than anyone how much we play for each other as a team. It was great to see every player leave everything they had on the pitch, and walk off knowing they had given what they could for the cause.


And finally, what do you aim to achieve in your time with Whyteleafe Ladies?


I want us to win the league and gain promotion this year! Looking further ahead, I would love for Charlie, Harry and the girls to play as high up in the women’s game as possible, and keep working for promotions.



Tomorrow night’s radio programme will be focusing on the women’s game. We will have guests from Lewes Ladies, Margate Ladies, Worthing FC Ladies and Whyteleafe Ladies. We’re hoping it will be a great insight for out listeners on the women’s game, so be sure to tune in at 7pm tomorrow via

To keep up to date with all the latest goings on at back of the net, for information on our whereabouts, radio show and special features, follow us across social media at @OfficialBOTN. Rachel Innes can also be found on twitter at @RachelMFI, as can I @adam__willmott.



BOTN talks SPORT… Why do we love non-league?

Our co-founder and executive producer, Luke Prior, joined Will Gavin on talkSPORT’s Extra Time Show on Monday, following Manchester City’s exit from the FA Cup to League 1’s Wigan Athletic, to discuss his love for non-league football.

WG: What would you say to someone who has never been to a non-league game – about getting out there and giving it a go?

LP: I think you can expect the same drama, excitement, passion and action as any other football game. At the end of the day, football is the same game no matter what level you play at. So if you’re going to go and watch a non-league football match, you can expect the same debates with your mates about decisions, tactics, and who’s the best player; it’s the same game – and really, the players are just as talented in non-league, as they are at any other level of the game. 

WG: There was a price of football survey released, which showed the best and worst teams to follow from your wallet… National League clubs are incredibly cheap – you’ve got teams like Sutton United, who with an early renewal, you can pay just £85 to go and see them for the season.

LP: It’s amazing isn’t it! It’s a no-brainer really. There’s so many local clubs on your doorstep, that I’m sure many people just don’t know about. For such a cheap price, you feel wanted by the club. Some times when you go to a Premier League game, with the TV deals they have nowadays, sometimes it feels like it is just better that you’re not there – they’re moving fixtures to Monday night, Friday night, and it’s just inconvenient for you, whereas, if you go down on a Saturday to a non-league game, pay £10 on the door, and you feel wanted. 

WG: How important is Non-League Day?

LP: It’s great for highlighting it. I think non-league football is so important to the modern game. People are now really starting to realise the importance of it – the Jamie Vardy Effect – and everyone points it out, but how players and fans are starting to look down to the non-leagues. Young players need to get their chance, to play the game, and the argument is, is it better to be playing in a top academy or to actually be playing games every week and moving to a non-league club. 

WG: In the general game you go and see, what is the general quality of football like? Not just necessarily the drama, but the quality of the product on the pitch?

LP: I think it varies, really. The area we cover – we’ve got the Step 3 – the Bostik Premier, and Step 4 as well – I would consider comparing that to the Premier League and the Championship. You’ve got players who are in the Bostik Premier who are being scouted by clubs like QPR, like Niko Muir who plays for Hendon and has scored 26 goals so far this season. There are players making that jump from Step 4 as well. There are also players who are making their way down at the end of their career, Billericay Town for example, have the likes of Konchesky – good players, who have played in the Champions League. Then there’s the young players coming up as well, and trying to make a name for themselves, and push their way into league football. 

In cup competitions, the media are very quick to label non-league players by their day job, by their profession, whereas I think if these players were training everyday, just like the professional players, with the high quality standard of coaching, and learning tactics, there’s no reason why they couldn’t be just as good. 

WG: You’re an Arsenal fan by tradition, but how does an Arsenal fan go from being an Arsenal fan to going to watch non-league football week out, and covering it? How did that happen?

LP: When you go to non-league grounds, most non-league fans do have a Premier League or Championship club that they also associate with. For me it’s a case of almost being priced out. You see lots of interviews, and talk to people, and they will tell you that they can’t afford to do it every week anymore. You go to a non-league game once, and you just see the quality that is there. 

If you can add value to a club, and feel valued at the same time then you’re more willing to want to go there and be part of it. 

WG: How much do you think there is that element of 200 million pound players, 250 thousand pound a week contracts in the Premier League – are people just getting a little bit sick of where the top levels of football are going? – and maybe wanting to connect with something a bit more real, more authentic?

LP: Exactly. When you see the new TV deals that have just been signed, and the 4 billions – you can just go to your non league ground; and you can stand at the sides, you can talk to players/ managers in the bar area after the games. 

You can listen to the full interview here:



The Bostik League Show Ep 38: Billericay Town v Wealdstone (FA Trophy QF)

On Saturday 24th February, we returned to the AGP Arena for cup action between Billericay Town and Wealdstone, and with the Wembley arches within reachable distance for all 8 teams who remain in the competition, it was all to play for.

Wealdstone currently position mid-table in the National South, but go into this clash having lost their last 2 league matches. However, The Stones so far have overcome tough opposition in the FA Trophy, defeating top of the league Hereford, and a strong Warrington Town side.

With the same league form, Billericay suffered their first back-to-back defeats of the season this week; losing 2-1 to both Leiston and Folkestone Invicta. They have however bolstered their squad with the addition of loan-signee Tom Conlon from Stevenage, whilst remaining top of the Bostik Premier division, and in 3 competitions.

The following Bostik Premier league games also feature in this highlights video: Tooting & Mitcham United v Leiston, and Tonbridge Angels v Met Police.