Redbridge FC fan Adam Dennehey makes his predictions for the coming season in Division One North of the Isthmian League.
What with the new Ryman League Division One North season being only days away, I thought I would stick my neck on the line and give my predictions for the new season. As a result I will probably no doubt annoy some fans, players and managers but it’s not as if the bookies haven’t given their predictions yet is it?
Here’s what I think the table will look like come the end of April.
- Needham Market (Champions)
- Grays Athletic
- Maldon & Tiptree (Playoff Winners)
- AFC Sudbury
- Brentwood Town
- Harlow Town
- Heybridge Swifts
- Thamesmead Town
- Potters Bar
- Waltham Abbey
- Chatham Town
- Redbridge FC
- Waltham Forest
- Witham Town
- Soham Town Rangers (Relegated)
So what d’ya make of that then?
Needham are amongst most people’s tips for the division. Even if the prolific Sam Newson does leave the club during the season, I just cannot look past them as my favourites. They will score a lot of goals and won’t slip up against the bottom-placed teams which can be the undoing for some promotion-chasing sides.
This will be Grays Athletics’ third season in the division since dropping down from the Blue Square Conference and they will be tough to beat. Their fans and board will be probably demanding promotion this season and there’s a good chance they’ll get it either by winning the league or by going up through the dreaded play-offs.
Last season Terry Spillane and Jody Brown were frustrated at missing out on the play-offs with Redbridge. With many of last season’s Oakside squad now at Maldon&Tiptree now fully accustomed to the league, I think they will be one of the hardest teams to beat. There are some fresh faces at Maldon and I’ve got a feeling they might win the play-offs beating either Grays or Brentwood in the final.
With one side definitely going down with the Ryman League expanding to 72 teams this season, it means there will be one ‘helluva dog-fight down at the bottom to stay up. Sadly I think Soham Town will get relegated.
For Redbridge it’s going to be a difficult season. However, joint-managers Steve Portway and Del Robinson will not be bothered by the memories of last season’s team. With a young squad, some players may take a month or so to adjust to the division, but I can see the team doing enough to finish a good 13-15 points away from relegation and think that because the pressure will be off the young lads, they may pick up the odd surprise win over some of the big teams which will no doubt boost their confidence and make them believe in themselves a bit more.
Some other stats worth predicting:
Team with most goals: Needham Market (102)
Team with most conceded: Soham Town Rangers (95)
Team with least goals: Ilford (40)
Team with most goals from throw-ins: Maldon & Tiptree (8)
Leading Goalscorer: Sam Newson (1st), James Baker (2nd), Danny Bloomfield (3rd)
Team To Go Furthest In FA Cup: Grays Athletic (4th Qualifying Round)
Team To Go Furthest In FA Trophy: AFC Sudbury (1st round)
So there we go. That’s all of my predictions for the season. Have I ranked your team lower than you think they’ll get on? If so feel free to rant at me in the comments box below. Whatever you think, I wish everyone in the division best of luck for the coming season, just as long as you don’t beat us twice!
Thanks to Adam for these predictions. Please get involved with the debate by commenting on this piece, especially if you feel Adam has been harsh on your club! You can also follow Adam on Twitter: @TheMotormen