Crystal Palace Ladies 2017/18 Season Preview

Following a successful season in the Women’s Premier League South, finishing fifth in the league, Palace Ladies aim to embark on a cup run and further improve their league position. Manager, Dean Davenport commented, “our aims do not change. Every team, regardless of what league they’re in, aim to progress from the previous season”, stating: “the progression has already started”.

Davenport highlighted some key attributes of the side, praising their “work rate and desire to succeed”.  After securing a state of the art 3G pitch at Bromley Football Club, Palace can build these qualities even further. A major sponsorship, as well as a new physio, Jacqueline Bornman, will support the club during their 2017/18 campaign. Working alongside Paudie Horgan (strength and conditioning specialist), there will be a lower risk of injury for next season.  

The manager has acquired several new players to strengthen his side, although he stated that “we didn’t think we had to change much.” He commented, “I’m really pleased with the players that have come in; they have hit the ground running and have integrated into the squad fantastically.”

 Crystal Palace host QPR in their opening league game of the season, on Sunday 20th August.



The Jacob Sylvester Trophy scheduled to make its debut at The Beveree in a high-profile head-to-head

Hampton & Richmond Borough and Salford City are going head-to-head in their annual pre-season friendly for the third year running on Saturday 29th July.

It is the second time the Beavers are hosting at The Beveree, and to add to the Sky Sports rivalry between Martin Tyler (also a first team coach at HRBFC) and Gary Neville (one of the owners of SCFC), the two will be playing for The Jacob Sylvester Trophy, in which all proceeds will be donated to Bliss.

The day will also include fun for all the family, including a raffle, bake sale, bouncy castle and much more.

Both teams have already made plenty of announcements and changes over the summer, which have sparked excitement for next season.

Following promotion in 2015/16, Hampton & Richmond reached the National League South playoffs in April, awarding manager Alan Dowson a full-time contract. With new directors in place, the club are looking to build on the success of last year, and start their season with some silverware.

As for Salford City, having already made 11 signings this summer, they too will be looking to begin their campaign showcasing new talent. The newly promoted Ammies reached the playoffs of the National League North, however narrowly missed out on a place in the Conference, after their penalty shootout defeat to Halifax Town.

What is the Jacob Sylvester Trophy?

Founder of Back Of The Net, Remy Sylvester, sadly lost her brother Jacob in 2002. After a really successful charity game last season, which raised £2,970.98 BOTN and our Non-League family have joined forces to debut a competition in his memory.

Jacob was born at 27 weeks by emergency C-section, because of a placenta praevia. Despite being severely premature, and only weighing 2.7 lbs, he pulled through, thanks to the staff at East Surrey Hospital.

At just 10 months old, a tragic incident saw Jacob fight for his life for a second time, but sadly after 7 days, his battle was lost.

If it wasn’t for the doctors, nurses and heath care Jake received as he entered the world, we might not have even been lucky enough to spend the 10 months that we did with him.

Bliss are a charity organisation who work together with healthcare professionals and families to ensure care for premature and sick babies is of the highest possible standard.

To read more or to make a donation, please click here.



Woking v Merstham

Woking joined the Specsavers Surrey Senior Cup, in round two, in November 2016. The Cards got off to a great start, with a 4-0 home win over Walton Casuals. Fabio Saraiva (Former Merstham player, who played for the Moatsiders in the SSC final last year) found the net 3 times, and Delano Sam-Yorke scored too, to make it four.

A 2-0 win over Leatherhead in January, saw The Cards progress to the next round. In the quarter-final, goals from Connor Hall and Charlie Carter, gave Woking a comfortable 3-1 win over local-rivals Knaphill, who play in the Combined Counties Premier Division.

In their first away game of the competition, Woking went behind on twenty-three at Spectrum Football Ground. Charlie Carter, however once more found the back of the net for his team, to score his fifth of the competition. It was a devastating blow for the Combined County underdogs, who hadn’t beaten Woking since 1965 (6-0 in the FA Cup), when Sam-Yorke netted a ninetieth minute winner, to secure The Cards a place in the 2017 Surrey County Cup final.

As for Merstham, their second round 1-0 victory over Godalming Town also got them off to a good start. In round three, they upped their game, scoring five passed Walton & Hersham. Four different Merstham players signed their names of the score-sheet; Bennett, McDonald (Two converted penalties), Henriques and Hall. Two goals for Walton, one in their own net and one in the oppositions, saw the game finish 5-1.

Goals from McDonald and Kavanagh ensured Merstham’s 2-1 win over Whyteleafe in the quarter-final, on Valentine’s Day.

It was an entertaining and exciting game at Westhumble in the semi-final. Ryman South promotion-chasing Dorking Wanderers (now promoted), were on good form, having only lost 1 in 10 across all competitions prior to this encounter. Within the opening five minute, it was a goal-a-piece, as Dan Bennett and Giuseppe Sole both found the net. Merstham however, proved to be the better team on the day, and their 3-2 victory secured their place in the final.

This year is Merstham’s third consecutive final, in the Specsavers Surrey Senior Cup. Last year the Moatsider’s lifted the trophy, after a 4-1 win over Godalming Town. In the year previous, they were runners up to Metropolitan Police after a 2-0 defeat. In 2007/08, Merstham lifted the trophy for the first time, following their 3-2 win against Whyteleafe.

As for Woking, the National League side are 12 times winners and 16 times runners up of the Surrey Cup, and last won the competition in 2013/14 after beating Metropolitan Police, 6-0. In 2011/12, The Cards also lifted the trophy, after beating Sutton United 3-1.

Despite being separated by 50 league positions, and having an inferior cup record, Merstham will fancy their chances, because in the 2015/16 semi-final, they defeated Woking at the Laithwaite Community Stadium to progress to the final.

Woking | Brandon Hall, Jake Caprice, Fabio Saraiva, Terell Thomas, Joey Jones, Nathan Ralph, Kieron Murtagh [C], Kane Ferdinand, Chigozie Ugwu, Delano Sam-Yorke, Max Kretzschmar. Michael Poke, Charlie Carter, Connor Hall, Luke Kandi, Declan Appau.

Merstham | Josh Smith, Simon Cooper, Anton Douglas, Kershaney Samuels, Marc Okoye, Tutu Henriques, Alex Addai, Tom Kavanagh [C], Dean McDonald, Dan Bennett, Reece Hall. Omar Folkes, Kristian Campbell, Zavier Vidal, Michael Abnett, Yannick Makiese.




Bognor Regis Town v Dulwich Hamlet

In the season encounters, it was a win 3-1 for Bognor at Champion Hill (8th October), and a point-a-piece after a 1-1 draw at Nyewood Lane (11th February). As for the season, Bognor Regis finished the in-form side, winning seven of their final 10 games, in which they scored 25 and only conceded 6. Dulwich finished the season with the 6th best form in the league, after winning 6 of their final ten fixtures. However, losses against Billericay Town (3-0), Havant & Waterlooville (2-1) and Grays Athletic (1-0), saw them collect 19 out of a possible 30 points, and finish 12 points below Bognor Regis.

For both Bognor and Dulwich, it is their third playoff campaign in the past four seasons. Last year these two sides met at the semi-final stage of the playoffs, after Bognor finished in second place and Dulwich in fifth, and it was Dulwich who won the game 1-0. They went on to lose to East Thurrock United in the final. Dulwich also lost in the playoffs during the 2014/15 campaign, when they lost at the semi-final stage to Margate. Bognor also lost in the playoffs at the semi-final stage during the 2013/14 season when they were beaten 2-1 by Lowestoft Town. This will be Dulwich’s fourth play-off visit to Nyewood Lane since 2011.

With both sides hoping for a ‘third time (year) lucky’, who will come out on top?

Bognor Regis Town | Dan Lincoln, Harvey Whyte, Dylan Barnett, Doug Tuck, Sami El-Abd, Gary Charman, James Fraser, Dan Beck [C], Jimmy Muitt, Ollie Pearce, James Crane. Darren Budd, Alex Parsons, Jimmy Wild, Ed Sanders, Calvin Davies.

Dulwich Hamlet | Preston Edwards, Mark Weatherstone, Nathan Green Ibrahim Kargbo, Matt Drage, Michael Chambers, Nyren Clunis, Kenny Beaney [C], Gavin Tomlin, Ashley Carew, Ibra Sekajja. Panutche Camara, Dibo Akinuemi, Sanchez Ming, Dunebi Dumaka, Jacob Erskine. 


Video Highlights include post-match interviews with Jamie Howell, Sami El-Abd and Gavin Rose.



Dorking Wanderers v Corinthian-Casuals

After both teams came out on top in Tuesdays play-off semi-finals, Westhumble opened its doors one final time, to see Dorking Wanderers host Corinthian-Casuals for a place in the Ryman Premier Division.

Dorking Wanderers finished the 2016/17 Ryman South campaign with 105 points, level with crowned champions, Tooting & Mitcham United. However, their disadvantageous goal difference was what let automatic promotion slip from their grasp.

As for the Casuals, they finished the campaign in 4th position, with 93 points; two points short of 3rd place Greenwich Borough, and 11 points clear of 5th placed Hastings United. 10-man Corinthian’s resiliently fought for their place in the final at Badgers Sports Ground, and despite being 1-nil down in the fourth minute, and one man down in the twentieth minute (Coskun Ekim), were 4-3 winners by FT (v Greenwich Borough).

Dorking Wanderers achieved the same score line, however their encounter with Hastings went to penalties, after neither side could find a goal in extra time (AET: 1-1). Click here to see those match highlights.

Despite being unable to find the back of the net more than once during ninety minutes on Tuesday, Wanderers have plenty of goal-threat. James McShane (24), Tom Tolfrey (16) and Matt Briggs (15), all occupy a position in the Top 20 Ryman South Goalscorers Table. However, at the top of the table, Shaun Okojie has scored thirty goals for Corinthian-Casuals.

In the season encounters, it was a win-a-piece, as Dorking won 1-0 at Westhumble (12th November) and Corinthian won 2-0 at King George’s Field (4th March). After winning in front of their home crowds, does this tip Dorking as favourites?

Dorking Wanderers | Slavomir Huk, Robb Sheridian, Chris Boulter [C], Dean Hamlin, Ben Dyett, Jake Beecroft, Jerome Beckles, Matt Briggs, Thomas Summerfield, Tom Tolfrey, James McShane. Dan Pearse, Alex Wells, Dean Gunner, Sam Beard, Gareth Chendlik.

Corinthian-Casuals | Danny Bracken [C], Juevan Spencer, Dave Hodges, Danny Dudley, Jack Strange, Josh Gallagher, Reyon Dillon, Mahrez Bettache, Shaun Okojjie, Mu Maan, Jordan Clarke. Ben Cheklit, Jamie Byatt, Josh Uzun. Max Oldham, Warren Morgan.




Dulwich Hamlet v Enfield Town

Dulwich Hamlet finished the Ryman Premier 2016/17 campaign in 3rd place, with 80 points. Four points fewer, their opponents Enfield Town finished one place below, which ensued a home tie for The Hamlet, for the play-off occasion.

Enfield Town’s form of the final ten fixtures, saw them have the best record in the league. Having not lost a game since March 4th (4-1 v Havant & Waterlooville), Town collected 23 out of a possible 30 points, which is 4 points more than Dulwich accumulated in the same time frame. Dulwich however, trumped Town in terms of goals, netting a total of 89; which is the second highest total of the season (Leiston scored the most; 98).

Collectively, both sides had three players position in the Top 20 Ryman Premier Goalscorers Table; Billy Crook (16 for Enfield Town), Harry Ottaway (14 for Enfield Town) and Ibra Sekajja (14 for Dulwich Hamlet).

Both league encounters were early on in the campaign; Hamlet won 2-1 at Champion Hill in August, and in early October the sides drew 2-2 at Queen Elizabeth II Stadium. Having not played each other in almost 7 months, paired with the magnitude of the occasion, this was a tie which could go either way.

Dulwich Hamlet | Preston Edwards, Marc Weatherstone, Nathan Green, Ibrahim Kargbo, Matt Drage, Michael Chambers, Nyren Clunis, Kenny Beaney [C], Gavin Tomlin, Ashley Carew, Ibra Sejjaka. Panutche Camara, Dipo Akinyemi, Sanchez Ming, Dumebi Dumaka, Jacob Erskine.

Enfield Town | Nathan McDonald [C], Jon Muleba, Ricky Gabriel, Harold Joseph, Mark Kirby, Scott Shulton, Mickey Parcell, Billy Crook, Percy Kiangebeni, Harry Ottaway, Karl Oliyide. Nigel Neita, Samir Bihmoutine, Nathan Livings, Tyler Campbell, Dernell Wynter.






Dorking Wanderers v Hastings United

Dorking Wanderers finished the 2016/17 Ryman South campaign with 105 points, level with crowned champions, Tooting & Mitcham United. However, with a disadvantageous goal difference, the Wanderers are to battle for promotion, versing Hastings United.

Hastings finished 5th in the league, claiming the last spot of the play-offs. Accumulating a total of 82 points, the side finished 4 points ahead of Carshalton Athletic. The Arrows began strongly in the league, remaining in the top 5 within the first five weeks. However, their form began to deteriorate halfway through the season, and they fluctuated between 9th and 11th. Wins against Tooting & Mitcham, Molesey and South Park, as well as draws against Walton Casuals and Chipstead (all in March/April), secured the side 5th place, and a chance for promotion.

In both league encounters, Marc White’s side had victories at Westhumble (2-1) and The Pilot Field (4-2). However, despite netting 6 goals and bagging 6 points, Hasting’s proved their strength of character throughout the season, and went on to be top scorers. Hastings United finished this year’s campaign having found the back of the net 128 times, an impressive 25 more than Dorking Wanderers.

Nonetheless, Dorking have three scorers occupying in the Top 20 Ryman South Goalscorers Table; James McShane (23), Tom Tolfrey (16) and Matt Briggs (15). U’s strikers Frannie Collin (24) and Harry Stannard (17), also rank amongst the seasons best.

Dorking Wanderers | Slavomir Huk, Robb Sheridan, Chris Boulter [C], Dean Hamlin, Ben Dyett, Jake Beecroft, Jerome Beckles, Matt Briggs, Sam Beard, Tom Tolfrey, James McShane. Thomas Summerfield, Dan Pearse, Dean Gunner, Gareth Chendlik, Giuseppe Sole.

Hastings United | Lenny Pidgeley, Callum Emptage, Sam Cruttwell, Danny Leonard, Jerome Sobers, Ollie Rowe, Matt Bodkin, Simon Johnson [C], Kiernan Hughes-Mason, Frannie Collin, Harry Stannard, Bradley Stephenson, Bradley Pritchard, Shomari Barnwell, Ollie Black, Ryan Nicholls.




Kingstonian v Havant & Waterlooville

Before this encounter, Havant & Waterlooville were favourite to win the Ryman Premier Division, after their 1-0 defeat over 2nd place Bognor Regis Town, giving them a 2-point advantage, with only this game to play. However, the title-race is not over, as Bognor have the better goal difference, and the better form,  and during, hosted out-of-form Metropolitan Police, who have only won one of their last five league games.

Earlier this season at Westleigh Park (31st December 2016), both sides took home a point after a 1-1 draw. If today’s game were to follow suit, and also result in a draw, the title could be decided on goal-difference, dependent on surrounding results.

Kingstonian | Rob Tolfrey, Sean Bonnet-Johnson, George Wells, Leo O’Leary (C), Sam Page, Charlie Wassmer, Aaron Lamont, Shaun McAuley, Ryan Moss, Tom Derry, Joe Turner. Aaron Goode, Lewis Taylor, Charles Banya, Keir Dickson, Nash Doukoure.

Havant & Waterlooville | Ryan Young, Dan Strugnell, Rory Williams, Brian Stock, Lee Molyneaux, Ed Harris, Wes Fogden, Ryan Woodford, Jason Prior, Theo Lewis, Alfie Rutherford. Jordan Rose, James Hayter, Michael Carter, Bradley Tarbuck, George Barker.




7 studio guests, 13 interviews and 3 hours of non-league football chat (18-04-2017)

Tuesday’s show was absolutely jam-packed. To coincide with our brand-new show time (19:00-22:00 instead of 21:00-00:00), we set ourselves the challenge of having pairs of co-hosts for every hour.

Hour one welcomes Alan Dowson (manager), Leon Solomon (Captain) and Lauren Gowans (Sports Journalist student on placement) of Hampton & Richmond Borough of the National League South. HBRFC are just short of the play-offs with 63 points, which is a remarkable achievement, seeing as The Beavers only gained promotion 12 short months ago. On air we discussed their season, the Ryman Premier Title Race, play-off and relegation scenarios, and the Gaffer and Captain go head-to-head in Higher Or Lower.

Hour one also includes interviews with Wes Fogden and Lee Bradbury (Havant & Waterlooville), Jamie Howell (Bognor Regis Town), Bradley Quinton (Enfield Town), Ian Chapman (Burgess Hill Town) and Gavin Rose (Dulwich Hamlet).

Hour two welcomes Chris Boulter (Captain) and James McShane (Striker) of Dorking Wanderers of the Ryman South Division One. With one game to go, Wanderers are 2nd in the league with 102 points, and are likely to host Hastings United in a play-off at Westhumble (TBC). The pair discuss their season, the Ryman South Title Race and play-offs, go head-to-head in the Non-League Football Quiz, and dish the dirt on their team mates.

Hour two also includes interviews with Frank Wilson (Tooting & Mitcham United), Marc White (Dorking Wanderers), Gary Alexander (Greenwich Borough) and James Bracken (Corinthian-Casuals). As well as, One-On-One with Sittingbourne.

Hour three welcomes Malcolm Porter (manager) and JJ O’Sullivan (RB) of South Park of the Ryman South Division One. After excelling their finishing position of last season, and having emphatic cup runs, the pair agree that this season was fantastic for The Sparks, (and we do too!). On air we discussed their season, achievements and targets. The show was rounded-up with a light-hearted game of ABCDE-FC, which included everyone in the studio. Who knew, that Graham Norton has footballing expertise?

In the final hour, Dara Wilson reviews the action in the Combined Counties Premier and Division One. This hour also includes interviews with Darren Hare (Hastings United), Mike Gillham (Carshalton Athletic), Craig Edwards (Kingstonian) and Gavin Gordon (Redhill).





Havant & Waterlooville v Bognor Regis Town

Bank Holiday Monday saw Westleigh Park open its gates for a 3pm kick-off, to host an unforgettable South coast derby. Following the weekends results, The Hawks and The Rocks were just separated by one point at the top of the Ryman Premier; Bognor Regis Town occupying top spot with 91 points, and Havant & Waterlooville second, with 90 points.

Both sides have won seven of their last ten fixtures, and collectively have three scorers occupying the Top 15 Ryman Premier Goalscorers Table; James Fraser (22 goals for Bognor Regis), Jason Prior (17 goals for Havant & Waterlooville) and Theo Lewis (14 goals for Havant & Waterlooville).

At West Leigh Park, Havant have also won seven of their last ten fixtures, only dropping points to Billericay Town (L2-1), Needham Market (L3-1) and Wingate & Finchley (D1-1). As for the visitors, Bognor Regis have only lost one of their last ten fixtures away from home, collecting 19 out of a possible 30 points.

Havant & Waterlooville | Ryan Young, Dan Strugnell, Rory Williams, Brian Stock [C], Lee Molyneaux, Ed Harris, Wes Fogden, Ryan Woodford, Jason Prior, Theo Lewis, Alfie Rutherford

Bognor Regis Town | Dan Lincoln, Calvin Davies, Dylan Barnett, Doug Tuck, Sam El-Abd, Chad Field, James Fraser, Dan Beck [C], Jimmy Wild, Jimmy Muitt, Harvey Whyte