Tag Archives: Chester FC

Skrill Premier Review 14th September

league trophy review

We are now eight games into the season and every team is now on plus points and the weekend saw a major change at the bottom of the Skrill Premier.

Aldershot moved off the bottom of the Skrill Premier on Friday night with a 2-0 win away to Hereford United in what their first away win in over nine months. A brace from Brett Williams on 14 and 66 minutes gave the Shots all three points and mean that they went into Saturday’s fixtures knowing they would be off the bottom of the league.

It was also a 2-0 at the Racecourse ground as Wrexham got their second win of the season at home to Luton, who have had their worst start to a season in the Conference. Former Bury striker Andy Bishop opened the scoring on 21 minutes for the Dragons before Johnny Hunt made it 2-0 to the hosts on 58 minutes. Luton’s defeat got even worse when substitute Alex Wall got himself sent off in the second half.

The final Friday fixture came at Woking where they were held to a 2-2 draw by Tamworth. Richie Baker opened the scoring for the visitors on 24 minutes. Before a second half double from debut loanee Scott Rendell (70 minutes) and a Gavin Williams penatly on 78 minutes put the hosts 2-1 ahead. But youngster Richard Peniket drew the Lambs level with an equalizer on 84 minutes.

With Aldershot winning it meant Hyde slipped to 24th in the table and they stayed their with a 2-1 lose at Kidderminster Harriers who took an early lead from Anthony Malbon on 3 minutes. But the 23 Hyde fans who travelled didn’t have to wait long for an equalizer as Tom Collins made it 1-1 on 15 minutes. But not long after that the Harriers went back in front with a goal from Michael Gash just after the half hour mark. The result sees the Tigers rooted to the bottom of the Skrill Premier still without a win this season.

Cambridge United remain top of the table with a 1-0 win over Gateshead United at the Abbey Stadium. Adam Cunnington’s goal on 16 minutes was the difference to keep United unbeaten.

The only other unbeaten side in the Skrill Premier is Nuneaton as they won 2-1 away at Dartford. An eight minute brace from Louis Moult on 4 and 8 minutes gave the visitors a 2-0 lead before Dartford pulled one back through Elliot Bradbrook on 28 minutes but it wasn’t enough as the Boro made the trip back to Warwickshire still unbeaten.

Barnet slipped to 4th and Lincoln 8th despite drawing 1-1 at the Hive. The Bees went ahead on 56 minutes through Keanu Marsh-Brown but the midfielder’s goal wasn’t enough as Jon Nolan equalized on 90 minutes.

Forest Green Rovers moved into third with as they left it late to win 2-1 win against Halifax at the New Lawn. The Shaymen had gone ahead on 34 minutes when Dan Gardener put the visitors ahead from the spot. But, injury time goals from Anthony Barry and Mango Vieira gave FGR the win.

Grimsby are now 7th with a 1-0 win over Braintree at Blundell Park. The Mariners went ahead through Lenell John-Lewis on 13 minutes as he scored the only goal of the game to give the hosts all three points.

Chester’s mini unbeaten run came to an end away at Salisbury as the Whites won 3-1. Despite the Blues going ahead on 14 minutes thanks to Joe Heath. But goals from Dan Fitchett (29), Elliot Frear (67) and Clovis Kandjo (85) gave the hosts all three points, which was briefly stopped when a Parachutist was blown of course and landed on the pitch and both teams were reduced to 10 men- Angus MacDonald on his Salisbury debut and Shaqullie McDonald, who was also making his debut (for Chester) got dismissed.

Southport and Welling United played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Haig Avenue. Lee Clarke put the visitors ahead on just after half time before Chris Almond leveled it up on 51 minutes before Danny Hattersley put the Sandgrounders ahead with 28 minutes to play. But with just 14 minutes to go Ross Lafayette drew Welling level.

Macclesfield slipped to 23rd in the table as they lost 1-0 at home to Alfreton Town at Moss Road. The reds goal came on 27 minutes thanks to Daniel Meadows. The result leaves Macc still searching for their first win of the season and first under new boss John Askey.

The next round of fixtures is this Tuesday (17th September): Aldershot v Barnet, Alfreton v Cambridge United, Chester v Macclesfield, Halifax v Grimsby, Gateshead v Wrexham, Hyde v Woking, Lincoln v Southport, Luton v Dartford, Nuneaton v Hereford, Salisbury v Braintree, Tamworth v Kidderminster and Welling United v Forest Green.

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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

The opening day to the Conference

League title.

The fixtures for the Conference are out and the key fixture on day one sees newcomers from the Conference North Chester vist Edger Davids Barnet at The Hive .

Chester was promoted to the Blue Square Premier last season after taking the Blue Square North by Storm. While Barnet led by Edger Davids were relegated out of the football league and making a return to the Football Conference.

Other opening day fixtures see a repeat of the final day fixture as Luton visit Southport, under the new manager of Alan Wright while Aldershot face a tough start away at Grimsby.

The full fixture list in the Conference reads opening day fixtures Barnet v Chester, Cambridge United v Halifax Town, Dartford v Alfreton, Forest Green Rovers v Hyde, Grimsby v Aldershot, Hereford v Braintree, Kidderminster Harriers v Gateshead, Macclesfield v Nuneaton, Salisbury v Tamworth, Southport v Luton, Woking v Lincoln City and Wrexham v Welling.

While in the Conference North the opening day fixtures which starts on the 17th August sees AFC Telford v Workington, Barrow v Brackley, Guiseley v Soilhull, Histon v Colwyn Bay, Leamington v Bradford PA, North Ferriby v Gloucester, Oxford v Harrogate, Stalybridge v Hednesford Town, Stockport County v Boston, Vauxhall v Gainsborough and Worcester City v Altrincham.

The Conference South open up as the following: Bishop Stortsfield v Bath, Concord Rangers v Basingstoke, Eastleigh v Sutton, Ebbsfleet v Havent and Waterlooville, Farnborough v Cheltenham, Gosport v Dover, Hayes and Yeading v Bromley, Staines v Dorchester, Tonbridge Angles v Boreham Wood, Weston Super Mere v Eastbourne and Whitehawk v Maidenhead.

For full list of fixtures please see the Conference website.

Five teams to watch in the Conference Premier this season

With Pre season just about to start and the football season soon back underway once football beings. Here at the Non-league scene we have picked out 5 conference teams to watch this season for various reasons.

Barnet player/manager: Edgar Davids

Barnet player/manager: Edgar Davids


Barnet
Barnet FC returns to life in the conference at the start of life at a new home. The Bees have said goodbye to Underhill, which has been their home for a number of years and are now moving to a new stadium close to their training ground called the Hive.

Also it will be interesting to see how Edger David gets on as player/manager in the Conference- can the club make it back into the football league at the first attempt? All shall reveal shortly.

Chester FC celebrate winning the Conference North (c) Kevin Purcell

Chester FC celebrate winning the Conference North (c) Kevin Purcell


Chester
Just over three years ago Chester City FC was kicked out of the Conference and left to die. But the fans were not standing for this and quickly formed a new club called Chester FC, who started life in Step 4. After three successive title wins. As well as cursing to the Conference north title last season. The are back where they belong.

Will the club be able to make it four successive promotions? I highly doubt they will this season but you never know as has been proven the promoted teams do well as they come up on a high. Also the Cross-boarded derby (Chester v Wrexham) is back on this season and will be very interesting to see what happens in those games.

Forest Green Rovers playing Darlington

Forest Green Rovers playing Darlington


Forest Green Rovers
Could this be Forest Green Rovers year to get promoted out of the Conference Premier? The club, who are based in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire have quite a fairly large budget if you believe what the experts say about the club yet somehow they never seem to use this to their advantage.

Andy Mangan and Mango Vieira are no strangers to the title challenge having won it with Fleetwood in 2012 and will be looking to lead FGR into the glory of the Football League.

Luton Town fans hoping that will have something to celebrate.

Luton Town fans hoping that will have something to celebrate.


Luton
Last season for Luton in the league could be seen as a bit of an embarrassment for the Hatters of Luton Town FC. As they slumped to a 7th placed finish. Only the FA Cup run to the 5th round and a 1-0 win over Premier League boys Norwich at Carrow Road will have surely lifted the spirits of the fans at Kenilworth Road.

Despite a new season boss John Still does have massive pressure on his shoulders as he tries and to become the man to life Luton back into the football league where quite a lot of people believe that is where they rightly belong and may have still be there had the FA not docked 30 points off them at the start of the 2008-2009 season.

Can Michael Gash fly the Harriers into the Football League this time around?

Can Michael Gash fly the Harriers into the Football League this time around?


Kidderminster Harriers
So close yet so far away for Kidderminster Harriers last season it will be interesting to see if Steve Burr and the lads can go one step better and win the Conference Premier title this season.

A lot has been said about the way the club went from the bottom to the top of the table and just missed out on the title before being hammered 5-2 by Wrexham on aggregate in the play off semi finals. However Burr has already been able to keep hold of Gash, Malbon, Lewis, Gowling and a host of other key players from last season while adding other key names such as Jamie Dance and Lee Fowler.

These are just 5 teams we have picked out there are another 21 teams we could have chosen from like Hyde, how will term two be in the Conference for them or Aldershot can they overturn the -10 deduction place on them at the start of the season? All will be reveled during the course of the season.