Category Archives: Predictions and Previews

The Magic of the FA Cup 10 games to look out for.

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The Magic of the FA Cup returns this week and this is when it gets really serious. (Well for the national media does anyway.) League One and Two teams come into the draw now and it has produced some fantastic ties here are out top 10 games coming up in the FA Cup.

How TV bosses over looked Daventry visit to Chesterfield as a possible cup upset I will never know. One of the lowest ranked teams playing at the Procat stadium, Chesterfield.

It is just full of cup upsets however I am sure the Northamptonshire club fans will enjoy their trip to Derbyshire in what will be a little cracker and who knows an upset could be on the cards there.

One game that could be an upset and is on TV is Bishop Storford welcoming Northampton Town to ProKit UK stadium. The Skrill South side that are famous for being placed in the Conference North a few seasons ago will enjoy hosting Northampton live on TV.

The Cobbles sit at the foot of the Football League and with the Storts 3rd in the Skrill South there is every chance of a famous upset coming from Hertfordshire.

Another game that can see a possible upset is Hednesford v Crawley Town , which is one of the games that has extended highlights on ITV. The Pitmen sit top of the Skrill North despite only being promoted last season and look a good bet to keep on their good form and win the promotion.

In Crawley Town they welcome a team no stranger to an FA Cup run themselves having made the 5th round to visit Manchester United but lost 1-0. Crawley Town, formerly of the Southern League and rivals of The Pitmen, sit 13th in League One and could this time they be on a cup upset.

You can see my FA Cup preview on Hednesford below.

Preston North End v Barnet is an interesting tie for me personally. The Bees managed by Edger Davids one of the most well known managers in the world of Non-league.

Ok he may not be at Deepdale as he doesn’t travel far north (which for me is a bit arrogant but that is beside the point.) Preston are in the top four and under Simon Grayson look set to make a return to the Championship next May and I am sure he will be looking forward to welcoming Davids to the Deepdale dugout.

Halifax Town travel to MK Dons in another FA Cup tie. The Skrill Premier side have made a fantastic start to life there and an FA Cup upset will be great for them having dispatched Nuneaton in the last round They Shaymen will be hoping to have another cup upset and get themselves on TV.

While MK Dons, the club forced AFC Wimbledon to be form, sit 8th in League One and while they expect for it to be a formality for them to progress into Sunday’s draw.

Monday’s FA Cup tie see Shortwood United welcome League One to Port Vale.

The Wood knocked out former Football League club Aldershot out in the last round and now will be looking to do the same vs Port Vale.

There is the added bonus that Shortwood joint manager Alex Sykes grew up in the area and will be looking to get one over his local club.

The Valiant have been in this place before when they faced Forest Green Rovers at this stage last season so know what to expect from Shortwood.

It is not just league v Non-league Saturday as Stourbridge v Biggleswade face each other on Saturday. The Glassboys will be a little disappointed not to be welcoming a Football League side to the War Memorial Stadium but in welcoming Biggleswade they must be happy in having a chance to progress into Round Two.

While Biggleswade will face their league rivals. The Town sits in mid table ahead of their trip to promotion chasing Stourbridge in a game, which could go either way.

Homeless Gloucester City welcomes Fleetwood Town in the FA Cup. Gloucester homeless since 2007 and the flooding and are soon hoping to return to Meadow Park their home.

Fleetwood Town are look to be getting another promotion as they sit high in League Two. Having won the two legged race with Wrexham in the Conference Premier couple of season ago they haven’t found Football League plain sailing but will hope to going up this time round.

Macclesfield Town vs Swindon is the penultimate fixture we preview. Macc haven’t had a great time this season and after a 7-0 win over Vauxhall Motors in the last round they will be hoping the FA Cup can give them some relief from the league struggle.

Swindon Town offer the Macc a stern test as they sit just outside of the play offs but will Mark Cooper, who last season at time was managing Telford United in the Conference Premier will want a distraction from the League Challenge.

The final game is another all non-league clash as Alfreton Town visit Wrexham as we are set to have at least one Skrill Premier side into the 2nd round and it is a tough one to call who makes it into through.

Wrexham have struggled this season and sit 17th in the league only having won just 5 of their games this season, which has been very disappointing for a team who won the FA Trophy and made the Play Off final last season.

While after a good start to the season Alfreton sit 9th in the league, wins over the likes of Kidderminster, Forest Green and Woking they should be favorites but this is the FA Cup and anything could happen.

That is just 10 games there are many more which you can see here. We will be you a round up of the FA Cup fixture over the weekend.

Barnet bees looking to sting the Kidderminster Harrier in the Skrill Premier

Kidderminster manager Steve Burr hoping for another three points at Barnet.

Kidderminster manager Steve Burr hoping for another three points at Barnet.

In a new way of the previewing the fixtures we are going to take one big game and look at that hopefully then we can focus a little bit on each team more through out the season and then also after the game we will have a write up about the game and analysis what has happened.

We are now 16 games into the Skrill Premier season and after a break for the FA Cup last weekend we now concentrate on the league once again as the table is starting to take shape.

Our feature game this week comes from The Hive as Barnet welcome Kidderminster Harriers to capital in what is a promotion six-point despite the hosts sitting in 8th position.

Both sides enjoyed cup wins and look forward to the first round of the FA Cup. Kidderminster needed an extra replay to beat Bradford PA at Aggborough on Tuesday night and now welcome Sutton United to Aggborough. While Barnet ran out 3-0 winners at Concord Rangers and now have a trip to Lancashire to face Preston North End in the next round.

The Bees had such a great start in their return to the Skrill Premier but have dropped off in recent weeks including draws against Wrexham (live on BT sport) and loses at Halifax and Alfreton mean that Edger Davids men has slipped down the league table.

While for Steve Burr’s Kidderminster Harriers they have flown up the table and have the momentum behind them as they look to go 7 games unbeaten in the Skrill Premier they slipped up against Aldershot and Chester with two 0-0 draws.

But the Harriers will find themselves in a familiar position as they ended last season 2nd after going so close to winning the league now. However we cannot talk about that much really as we are now well into the new season and have a new set of fixtures and set of results to look at it.

Personally for me I think this game will be a tough game for both sides I think both teams have enough quality to cancel each other out and we might well see a draw here at The Hive.

Also it is quite hard to chose a winner because Barnet are the home side and are doing well despite losing to Macclesfield at home in the league. This was the Bees first home lose of the season going down by 2 goals to 1.

While for the Harriers they are one of the inform teams at the minute having not lost since 21st September away 3-0 at Dartford since then the Harriers have found some consistency winning games and have scored some thunderbolts so far.

Like this one from Joe Lolley vs Halifax Town as the harriers ran out 2-0 winners.

It is important for the Harriers that they keep winning games as league leaders Cambridge United remain unbeaten but all the Worcestershire club can do is keep winning their games and hope that Cambridge slip up at some point and that they can be ready to take full advantage of it happening.

If I was to predict the outcome of this game I will go for a 1-1 draw between Barnet and Kidderminster Harriers.

Other fixtures taking place this weekend in the Skrill Premier are as follows: Alfreton Town v FC Halifax, Chester FC v Aldershot, Forest Green Rovers v Dartford, Gateshead v Luton Town, Hyde FC v Nuneaton Town, Macclesfield v Wrexham, Southport v Cambridge United, Tamworth v Braintree Town, Welling United v Lincoln City and Woking v Grimsby Town

Match Day 8 Skrill Premier Preview

league trophy preview

We are now on match day eight in the Skrill Premier and the table is starting to take shape and we even have three games being played Friday night.

We have an early six pointer at the top of the table on Friday as Wrexham welcome Luton Town to the Racecourse ground a game, which will be broadcasted, live on BT Sport. Wrexham have struggled this season so far and still haven’t picked up a win since the win over Welling at home and they sit 16th in the table. I am sure that Andy Morrell’s men will be turn their fortune around soon as they look to make a charge up the Skrill Premier table and many people are forgetting that we are only mid-September. While for Luton they are in a bit of inconsistency at the moment they followed up a fine 2-0 win at Kidderminster a fortnight ago with a 0-0 draw against Grimsby.

The second team playing on Friday is Hereford v Aldershot. Martin Foyle’s team are hoping to put the misery of last season off the field problems behind them and currently sit 10th in TSP. Last week the Bulls suffered a 2-1 loss away to Gateshead, Michael West scoring the goal for Hereford. But Aldershot can move off the bottom of the Skrill Premier if they pick up a win at Edger Street. The Shot’s future was in doubt in July and were slapped with a 10 point deduction before the first game of the season which they have clawed back and a 1-0 win at home to Macclesfield put them on 0 points.

Woking v Tamworth is the other game to be played on Friday night as the Lambs make the long trip down to south London. The Cards sit 20th in the league with just one win so far which came away to Chester. So a win for Gary Hill men will be vital as the welcome Dale Belford’s men from Staffordshire. The Lambs are in confident mood after they hammered Southport 4-1 at home on Saturday to see the Lambs sit 16th in the table. Tamworth will be happy with their start to the season as they hope to get enough points early on so they don’t have a relegation battle like they did last season.

Cambridge United returned to the top of the Skrill Premier after last Saturday’s results as they beat Hyde 1-0 and Barnet slipped up away at Halifax. Richard Money’s men have made a great start to the season as they sit top of the table with 17 points with five wins and two draws so far. The defense at the Abbey Stadium has been tight as well as they have only let in 3 goals so far this season- Halifax and Welling (2) have beaten Chris Maxwell in the united goal. Meanwhile Gateshead faces their first away trip under new manager Garry Mills. The former Tamworth and York City manager guided the Minstermen to the Football League through the Play Offs in 2012 and Gateshead fans will be hoping for him to do the same for them. Mills first game was at home to Hereford United last week, which ended in a 2-1 win for the Northeast side.

Nuneaton are so far defying the odds as they sit 2nd in the league as they visit Dartford. The Darts haven’t lived up their performances of their debut season. The Tunnelers sit 18th in the table with two wins, a draw and four losses so far. In contrast the Boro are unbeaten with 5 wins and 2 draw and are only sitting 2nd in the league due to their goal difference of 7, just three behind Cambridge and with United facing the tough test at home to Gateshead and Nuneaton having to a place where they should be picking up all three points we may well have a new leader come 5pm.

It’s the battle of 3rd vs 4th on Saturday as Barnet welcome Lincoln City to the Hive. Edger David’s Bees lost their first game since dropping out of the Football League last May last week as they got stung by Halifax 2-1 at the Shay so the Bees will be hoping to get back to winning ways this Saturday. Lincoln, like Nuneaton, is another team who was last season facing the battle of relegation and thus far has made a great start to the season with only losing two games. A win for them on Saturday can put them third as they trail the Londoners by just one point.

Following a run of five games with a win Chester can climb out of the bottom four with a win away at Salisbury. It looked doom and gloom at the Deva Stadium as they went the first four games without finding the back of the net. But a trip to bitter rivals Wrexham saw them win 2-0 and they followed it up a 0-0 draw at home to Dartford on Saturday. Meanwhile hosts Salisbury were also promoted last season like Chester but unlike the Blues, the Whites had to battle it out in the Play-offs having finished runners up to Welling United. Mikey Harris and his team have so far had a good start to life in the Conference Premier with Three wins and One draws and sit 14th in the table on 10 points. One of these wins came last Saturday as they beat top 4 sides Lincoln 1-0 away from home.

Also at the wrong end of the table is Macclesfield who host Derbyshire based Alfreton Town, looking to win their first game of the season. The Silkmen have had to cut their budge massively from last season and have only picked up three draws and four losses so far. Their last game came away to Aldershot who beat the Cheshire side 1-0. While Alfreton are sitting comfortably in 7th place just outside the play off spot. The Reds have picked up four wins this season including a 3-1 win at home to Woking last Saturday. Nicky Law’s men finished 13th last season so if they can make a push for promotion this season then surely at the Impact Arena will be rather happy.

Halifax Town faces another tough test as the make the trip to Forest Green Rovers on Saturday. Rovers reportedly have access to a one million pound budget, which included them sign Matthew Barnes- Homer in pre-season has already netted twice in three games for his new club. But with other players like Mango Vieira and Andy Mangan, whom both won promotion with Fleetwood to the football league, FGR has the belief they can make the step up. While Halifax Town have had a great start to the season. A 2-1 win over Barnet last Saturday has surely got to be the best performance thus far. However Neil Aspin’s side need to work on their discipline as they have already had 4 men sent off- 2 against Cambridge on Day one and 2 away at Salisbury.

Another team from the Midlands area gunning for promotion is Kidderminster Harriers. The Harriers suffered two loses on the bounce away to Nuneaton and at home to Luton before a 2-1 away at Welling United last Saturday to leave the Harriers in 8th place ahead of this Weekend. While they haven’t set the league alight so far the Harriers can boost a better record then last season as they were still waiting to pick up their first of the season this time last year. Hyde are the visitors to Aggborough this Saturday still looking for their first win of the season. In fact for Scott McNiven’s side a loss could see them slip to the bottom of the Conference Premier. Having finished the season comfortably away from the bottom of the relegation spots the Tigers were expected to do the same again this season tough I am sure everyone at Ewen Field’s will say its early days yet.

Grimsby Town will be looking to go one better then last season and get promoted back into the Football League and this Saturday they welcome Braintree up from Essex, who are now under the sole control of Paul Hurst after his joint manager Rob Scott will be looking to get a win after the 0-0 draw with Luton Town last Saturday in the late kick-off. The Mariner themselves have also appeared on BT Sport as their Bank holiday win over Hyde was the live game. Meanwhile Braintree Town make the long trip up north sitting 12th in the table with three wins and two draws, one of them draws came last Saturday at home to Forest Green Rovers as they held Rovers to a 1-1 draw with Kenny Davis scoring from the spot on 45 minutes.

The last game sees Southport entertain Welling United at Haig Avenue. The Sandgrounders have made a great start to the season under former Aston Villa defender Alan Wright as they sit 9th in the table despite losing 4-1 away at Tamworth last Saturday. In fact after two games Southport sat top after beating Luton 1-0 and Hyde 2-1. With a lot tipping the Port to go down a mid table will defiantly please the club. While last season Blue Square South champions make the trip having lost to Kidderminster 2-1 but will also be pleased with their start sitting 15th in table.

We will have a full round up of the weekends fixtures after the they have been played.

Matchday 6 Skrill Premier Preview

League title.
Another set of fixtures for the teams of the Skrill Premier as we enter the end of the first month of the season and there is only one place to start in this week’s preview.

This Saturday sees the return of the cross boarder derby as winless Chester make the trip to the Racecourse to face fierce rivals Wrexham. The game has been made a bubble game and a 1pm kick off with the expectation of trouble is rather high. But on the pitch we will have a great game as Chester look to pick up their first points of the season. The Blues have added Danny Higginbotham to their ranks arriving from Sheffield United. While Wrexham have not had a great start to the season picking up 5 points from 5 games a win, 2 draws and a 2 losses leaving last season’s play-off finalist Wrexham sitting 16th. The one win coming on the opening day as they beat Welling 2-1 at home.

In fact Chester could be sitting bottom of the league come 5pm on Saturday. If they lose then Aldershot could in fact over take them should they win at Southport fc. Aldershot have clawed back their 10 points deduction landed them on at the start of the season and if they were handed their points deduction they would be sitting 14th in table. Weekends results saw a 1-0 loss to Salisbury and a 2-1 win over Woking. Meanwhile the Sandgrounders have had an enjoyable start under Alan Wright sitting 9th in the table after sitting top after 2 games with wins by the odd goal against Luton and Hyde. Their Bank Holiday weekend was a mixed one with a 2-1 win over Gateshead at home before a 1-0 defeat to Halifax on the Monday. But so far are proving doubters as many tipped them to finish at the wrong end of the table.

Following Monday’s round of fixtures we have a new league leader as Barnet now sit at the top of the Skrill Premier only by a goal difference of +1. A 3-0 win for the Bees away at Braintree Town put the Bees flying high. They welcome Hyde FC to the Hive this Saturday. The Tigers will be hoping they will not be stung by the Bees as they look for their first win of the new season. The Tameside club have so far picked up two points with a draws against Wrexham and Hereford both 2-2. They currently sit 21st in TSP.

The team Barnet knocked off the top of the table was Cambridge United. The Us were held to a 0-0 draw away at Luton Town following a 1-0 win over Lincoln City on the Saturday with Luke Berry scoring the only goal of the game. The visitors to Abbey Stadium is Staffordshire side Tamworth. Dale Belford’s side 17th in the Skrill Premier with 5 points to their name which has record similar to Wrexham. The one win came against Sailsbury away with Wayne Thomas scoring the only goal of the game to give the Lambs the three points.

Another clash of the titans comes at Aggborough as Luton Town are the visitors. Both teams have had an indifferent start to the season. Steve Burr’s Kidderminster have had three wins and 2 losses in the first five games. The three wins came against Gateshead (3-1), Braintree (1-0) and Chester (3-1). While the two losses came against Nuneaton on Monday (2-1) and Alferton (3-1) on day two of the season. Despite not picking up any points in the latter two games I am sure Harriers fans will be happy with their side’s start compared to the last one. While John Still’s Luton will be looking to break the sequence of 2 0-0 draws with came against Forest Green and Cambridge United. The Hatters faithful will be hoping that a win against Kidderminster will kick start their season and normal service will be resumed in making it to the Play-offs.

It is the battle of the last season step 2 play-off winners as Halifax make the long trip to play Salisbury fc at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium. Halifax have made a really great start to the season and sit 6th in the league table. Over the bank holiday weekend the Shay men picked up points with a 2-2 draw away at Macclesfield Town. Before a 1-0 win over Southport on the Monday with Kevin Holsgrove scoring the winner for the Yorkshire side four minutes from time. While for Salisbury they sit 19th in the league with 4 points. One of those points came Monday with a 0-0 draw with Welling United. The other three came on the Saturday against Aldershot who they beat 1-0. The Whites fans will be hoping that Mikey Harris and the team and continue this good form.

Fourth welcome third in Skrill Premier at Blundell Park as Nuneaton make the trip to Grimsby. Nuneaton are one of the surprised teams who have made a great start to the season. The Boro took four points at the weekend with a 1-1 draw at Barnet fc before beating local rivals Kidderminster 2-1 at home. A trip to Grimsby will be tough for the Warickshire side as Rob Scott’s side will be looking to make up for the disappointment of missing out on the play-off final last season. Grimsby took six points over Bank Holiday with a 3-1 win over Alferton on the Saturday. Before beating Hyde 1-0 in the late kick off which was broadcasted on BT Sport. Nuneaton sit just one point ahead of Grimsby having drawn one more game then their Saturday hosts.

Another team expected to be challenging at the top of the table come April is Forest Green Rovers. FGR have started brightly to the season with two wins and two draws as well as finding the back of the net 12 times in five games giving them a goals to game ratio of 2.4 goals per game. The Bank Holiday fixtures saw them draw 0-0 with fellow big spenders Luton Town. Before a win away to winless Chester at the Deva stadium. Danny Wright and Matthew Barnes-Homer the scorers for the Rovers. Alferton have made a decent start to the season with 3 wins already including beating favorites Kidderminster on day 2 of the season. However the Bank Holiday saw them lose their second game of the season 3-1 away to Grimsby. But made up for it with a 2-1 win at home to former Football League side Hereford United. Nicky Law’s Reds will be hoping to keep up their start to the season as we look to enter September.

It may still be August but Lincoln City fans will no doubt be happy with their start to the season following last season battle to survive. The Imps make the long trip down south to face Dartford, who impressed many in their first season as a conference side. The Darts have had a sluggish start to the season winning 2 games and losing 3. Meaning manager Tony Burman has come under a tad bit of criticism and will find it tough against Lincoln who expect to have 500 or so fans make the long trip to Kent for tomorrow’s game. Both teams picked up 3 points over the Bank Holiday. Dartford lost 2-0 at home to Braintree before beating Tamworth 2-0 in Staffordshire. While Lincoln lost 1-0 to league Leaders at the time Cambridge before beating Wrexham 2-0.

Macclesfield Town have had a poor start to the season sitting 20th ahead of the visit of Braintree Town to Moss Road. The Macc have only secured 3 points this season with 3 draws and are still waiting for their first win of the campaign. A 2-2 draw with Halifax on Saturday before a draw at Gateshead by the same score line has left the Cheshire based club just dangerously at the wrong end of the table. While Braintree sit in mid-table (13th) with 7 points- two wins and a draw. The Weekend double header got off to a good start with a 2-0 win over Dartford at Princes Park before losing 3-0 at home to Barnet which sent the visitors to the summit of the Skrill Premier table. Alan Devonshire’s side will be hoping to improve on last season’s 9th place finish.
Hereford United welcome Welling United to Edger Street in the battle of the United’s on Saturday. Following money problems last season the Bulls will be hoping to put them behind them and have a successful season in their bid to return to the Football League. Hereford sit 12th in the table level on points with visitors Welling on 8 points. The Wings were promoted as champions from the Blue Square South last season and have adapted well to life in the Skrill Premier. With 2 wins and 2 draws. Last Saturday saw them beat fellow Woking 4-2 away from home before being held to a 0-0 draw with fellow promoted BSS side Salisbury 0-0. While for the Bulls they enjoyed a 1-0 win over Tamworth before losing 2-1 at Alferton on the Monday.

The final game in the Skrill Premier sees Woking take on Gateshead. Woking sit in the wrong half of the table in 18th place with one win and a draw. While the Northern club sit 22nd with just one point to their name. After Ant Smith resigned as boss last week Gateshead picked up their first point of the season a 2-2 draw with Macclesfield on Monday under caretaker manager David Rush following a 2-1 loss at Southport on the Saturday. While for Woking they were to lose both games over the weekend first a 4-2 loss at home to Welling before being beaten 2-1 at Aldershot Town.

We will have a full round up to Saturday’s fixtures on the website over the course after Saturday’s fixtures are played.

Skrill Premier match day 4 previews

League title.The first bank holiday weekend of the season is upon us and it is once again the busiest time of the season. It is quite tasty at the top of table and the top 4 all meet each other this Saturday and come 5pm it could all change.

Cambridge United have made a great start to the Skrill Premier season and sit ahead of the league table. Richard Money’s side sits there alongside Barnet and Nuneaton on seven points. As well as Lincoln City, who visit the U this Saturday. Both teams are unbeaten with two wins and a draw. So something may give on Saturday afternoon.

Second place Barnet welcome third place Nuneaton to the Hive, who have made a fantastic start to their second season in the Skrill Premier. The visitors had just avoided the drop last season and now sit level on points with Barnet and Cambridge in the table and only third due to a goal difference of 2 goals. While Edger Davids Barnet have quietly gone about their business. They sit unbeaten like the others which I am sure what everyone at The Hive wanted following relegation from the Football League.

While at the other end sees basement club Aldershot, now on -6 points visit Salisbury. Promoted from the Blue Square South last season are yet to win this season and sit 22nd in the league with 3 games played and no points won as well as having only find 2 goals so far. Aldershot will no doubt be disappointed with the points deduction had they not had the points deduction, the Shots would be sitting 12 in the division going into to Saturday’s fixture had they not have the points deductions. But in manager Andy Scott. They have a manager who will be able to them away from the relegation places when they get to zero points.

Sitting one from bottom is Chester who have made the return to the Skrill Premier. Formerly Chester City. The Blues haven’t had had an easy return to the pinnacle of non-league. Three games in a 3 losses. However they have faced Barnet and Hereford in that time. On Saturday they make the trip to Worcestershire to play last season’s runners up and many people’s favorites to take the title in Kidderminster. The Harriers sit sixth in the table with 2 wins and a loss and I am sure Steve Burr will be a lot happier with the start to the season then last season. Where they sat bottom of the table.
The harriers were beaten in the play-off semifinal by north Wales side Wrexham, who will be looking to make it third time lucky. On Saturday they welcome Hyde to the Racecourse ground on Saturday.

The Dragons have started sluggish with a win a loss and a draw sitting 14th in table. The loss came away to Halifax who got their first win of the season that night with a 3-2 win. While Hyde were last season’s major success story- no one expected them to stay up but they did quite convincingly which included a win at home over Wrexham. This season they have started slowly as well with a 2 loses and a draw. The Tigers were hammered 8-0 at Forest Green on day one before a 2-1 lose at home to Southport. Before drawing 2-2 with Hereford last Saturday.

Another team who were close to going down last season was Southport, who have had a great start with a 1-0 win at home to Luton. New manager Alan Wright has so far proved the critics wrong as many tipped them to go down. They host Gateshead to Haig Avenue looking to get back to winning ways after a 3-1 loss at Nuneaton. Gateshead will be hoping that this season they can be back challenging for honours near the top after last season which saw them having to play at Middlesborough, York and Boston for their home games. Also they will be looking for a new manager as Ant Smith resigned as manager during the week.

Another team who were forced to move a couple of ‘home games’ to a different team were Halifax, who are another side to have returned to the Skrill Premier from the lower leagues. Unlike Chester the Shaymen have had a decent start to their return despite a 5-1 loss to Cambridge on the opening day and had 2 men sent off. They got their first win of the season at home to Wrexham 3-2 which impressed many punters. They visit Macclesfeild, who have had a summer of torment which includes the club now being owned by the local council. On the pitch it hasn’t started well with 2 losses and a draw.

Macclesfield fell into the football league with Hereford who welcome Tamworth to Edger Street. The Bulls are another team who had a troubled season so hopefully will be pushing for a better season and already sit 9th in the table one point ahead of Tamworth. Dale Belford’s Tamworth have made a good start and are unbeaten with 1 win and 2 draws. Belford has now been installed as permanent manager following taking over in caretaker role from Marcus Law at the turn of the year.

The biggest team to drop into the Conference was Luton who fell out of the Football League in 2008 and have remained ever since. Last season was their poorest since that time with a 7th place finish however they did make the 5th round of the FA Cup and did beat Norwich City in the process. This season John Still will wanting to take them back into the play offs and this Saturday they face a team in challenging them in Forest Green in the battle of the millions. Both teams are reported to have budgets of a million pounds each. Still’s counterpart in Dave Hockaday will be hoping they can break into the top 5 this season coming.

Alferton are the only team so far we haven’t talk about in the top 10 of the table as they make the trip to Grimsby. The Rams have quietly gone about their business with 2 wins and a loss sitting one points off fourth place Lincoln. The Rams also upset the odds on Match day 2 with a 3-1 over Kidderminster at the Impact arena. Grimsby haven’t made the best of starts as Rob Scott’s side were held by brother Andy’s Aldershot on day one and are currently sitting 16th in the table. But will no doubt be swimming up the table soon.

Kent are now represented in the Conference Premier by just one team in Dartford who surprised many by a top half finish last season. The Darts have only had one winner this season so far which was at home to Alferton 1-0 before losses to Aldershot 3-0 and 2-0 to Halifax Town respectively. While Braintree sit 12th in the table following one win, one draw and one loss. The one loss came last Saturday with a 89 minute winner from Kyle Storer to see Braintree fall to a 1-0 loss they win be hoping for another decent season.

Woking welcome Welling in the battle of the W’s. Woking are another team to have one win one draw and one loss sitting 17th in the table sitting behind Welling in 15th with identical records the only difference is Welling have scored 2 more goals then Woking but have conceded 2 more goals then the Cards.

Full fixture list: Barnet v Nuneaton, Cambridge v Lincoln, Dartford v Braintree, Forest Green v Luton, Grimsby v Alfreton, Hereford v Tamworth, Kidderminster v Chester, Macclesfield v Halifax, Sailsbury v Aldershot, Southport v Gateshead, Woking v Welling and Wrexham v Hyde.

Prediction from the Skrill Conference Premier title

League title.The race for the Skrill Conference Premier title will be stronger then ever this season not least with the introduction of a Dutch legend to the league. Here we predict the runners and the riders will be ahead of the new season.

A lot of people are talking up BARNET as potential champions this season mainly because of Edger David as manager of the Bees but for me they will sadly not be champions this season. I think no matter who is in charge it will be tough to change a losing mentality into a winning one in a short space of time. They come up against a CHESTER side who will be on a winning mentality after promotion from the Blue Square North last season.

But the Blues are not a contender for me this season. Despite gaining three successive promotions from the Northern Premier League First Division to the Conference Premier, I think that Neil Young’s side will struggle to achieve that fourth successive promotion as champions. However I do think that they will finish comfortably in the top half of the table in their return to the Conference.

Chester’s biggest rivals, one of last season challengers and play off runners up WREXHAM will be up there again this season. Will it be third time lucky for the Red Dragons? Personally I would like to see them achieve promotion. But, I think Andy Morrell needs to look at his strikers, yes having himself and Brett Ormarod formerly of Southampton and Preston North End, may bring experience to the team but age isn’t on their side and I think that Wrexham maybe well suited if they were to bring in a younger striker with the legs to chase down any long ball and to run at the defenders.

Wrexham in fact beat my title favorites in the play-offs last season in KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS. The Harriers story is well known, having appeared on the Daily Mail website last season and only finished two points off champions Mansfield.

Kiddy boss Steve Burr has managed to keep hold of star striker Michael Gash, whose goals no doubt lead them to their second place finish. While the pain of going so close last season will spur the Harriers.

LUTON TOWN will be looking forward to a better season then last season as they finished 7th in the table. Under John Still I believe they have a manager who can lead them back into the Football League and I believe that this will be this season.

If they could transfer their success in last season’s FA Cup run, where they went to round five which included beating Norwich City 1-0 at Carrow Road, then Still’s men could put them into the Football League as last season they seemed to sacrifice a play-off spot for the FA Cup run just as Wigan Athletic did as they lost their Premier League status.

One of the team Wigan beat in their cup run was MACCLESFEILD TOWN. The Silkmen have a had a strange summer with the club becoming owned by Cheshire East Council, which means the community own the Cheshire based club.
Also once again the Silkmen are under new management as John Askey will take over from Steve King, who was given the boot toward the end of the previous season. However for me I don’t think it will be promotion for Macc. But, I do think they will make the play offs.

CAMBRIDGE UNITED could well be the surprise package for this season as they have looked to have spent big. Boss Richard Money has brought in Adam Cunnington, who finished second top scorer last season in the Blue Square Premier. While they have also brought in on loan goalkeeper Chris Maxwell from former Conference Premier Champions Fleetwood Town, whom he joined last season from Wrexham and went back on loan last season to the Racecourse ground and was in goal for the FA Trophy final and the Blue Square Premier Play-Off Final.

However for the Us they will make the play-offs but I don’t think they have enough to win the conference premier play offs for me. Despite the singings I think it could take them a while to gel and it could be a while to this happen and they won’t be able to do what Kidderminster did last season and lose a number of games at the start of the season and be able to make it to the play offs.

DARTFORD will be hoping for another great season in the Skrill Conference Premier next season. Their debut season was a success and they finished just outside of the play offs and were in the mix for the majority of the season.
Maybe with minor tweaks here and there and winning games where they drew or lost them then they could push into the play offs.

GRIMSBY TOWNare the final team for me to look and think they will be promotion contenders. Since there fall out of the Football League they always seem to be there or there about. But this season I think that they will be play-off contenders and will miss out again this season.

Top 5 for me
1 Kidderminster Harriers
2 Luton Town
3 Grimsby
4 Cambridge United
5 Dartford