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Salford (Disgustingly Rich) Lads' Club - Conference National 2018/19

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    I remember promotion to the Conference in 1997 and on the opening day we lost 3-0 away at Dover Athletic. I turned to my uncle and asked if he thought we'd have a good season. He said probably, but I had to remember that the Conference was our Premier League and wherever we finish will be deemed as a good season.

    He passed away in 2015 (fuck cancer) and we were relegated 3 months later. Really made me appreciate what we had witnessed the club achieve in the previous 17/18 years.

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      Lovely post. Maidenhead feels a bit like that; this is definitely nosebleed territory.

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        Maidenhead impressed me when they beat us last month; they weren't very pretty but they did a proper stifling job on us, and look well placed for fifth-tier respectability for a while.

        Meanwhile, big win for Salford at Harrogate last night: they're coming again and I wouldn't rule them out as champions at all.

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          Won't miss them if so.

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            Bromley, fucking Bromley. The borough whose votes swung it for Boris Johnson in 2008 and 2012, and whose horrible shithouse football team deal a big blow to our promotion hopes with an ugly 2-1 win, featuring a (probably fair) match-turning sending-off and penalty, an insufficiently punished attempt by gobby ex-0 George Porter to end the season of our forward Josh Koroma, brawls, sprawls and abysmal grandstanding officiating. We got sucked into their game and paid the price for it. Horrible. The financial dopers of Salford will fancy their chances now.

            In a bit of a bad mood this morning, frankly.

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              Yeah, that was grim. Porter and his team mates were well wound up for a scrap, and after looking comfortable in the first half O’s were on the ropes & mugged by those dirty bastards in the second half. Please don’t do a Devon Loch on us, Orient...

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                Salford's easy run-in could be decisive here. They're back on top, after we could only draw with Halifax, and needed last-gasp goals in each half to get even that. We deserved a draw mind, and Halifax's impressively well organised defenced deserved some reward too. But it's running away from us now, and too tight to even remotely enjoy. The next few weeks are going to be horrible

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                  Orient did their usual best to completely stress out a few thousand O’s fans v Eastleigh, before coming from behind to win 3-2 and go back top. In the first half, the curse of the returning striker looked like it might do for us, as we allowed dangerous crosses in for Paul McCallum to dominate our defenders & nod home. But we upped our tempo 2nd half and deserved to take the 3 points in the end. What a great, noisy night that was over Brisbane Rd.

                  Sutton away next. The sort of grafting cloggers we often struggle against. Think we’ll need to take something from this game, as Salford’s run in looks the easier on paper, and I’d back them to take 10 points at least from the last 12 available (and Solihull, who we’ve still to play away, aren’t out of it yet either).

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                    Yeah, the more you look at our run-in the harder it gets. We absolutely had to win last night, and we can only hope that the tenacious manner of it will help us out when we play the sort of physical rough'uns that normally turn us over, like Sutton and Solihull. Nervous times indeed but last night was enthralling.

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                      Why only one team to get direct promotion? Seems a bit mean.

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                        It’s like that from step 5 down, and this season at step 7 and 8 even the team which wins its League playoff isn’t assured of promotion after extra divisions were added at those levels. I’ve always thought it should be at least 3 up & down between Div 4 and the Conference, especially with step 5 being mostly full-time outfits now, because it causes a sort of glass ceiling. But I doubt the Football League clubs will be doing the turkeys approving of Xmas thing & voting for that any time soon.

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                          The top club in the Spanish second division B (four broadly regionalised leagues below the real second division) have to enter the play-offs, though they get two bites at the apple if they fail in their first match.

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                            While visiting my Mum who now lives in Kent, I took in some National League action last night watching Maidstone beat Barnet in a meaningless end of season game.

                            The Gallagher Stadium is rather soulless but I have to say it's the cleanest ground I've ever been to. They even employ a rubbish collector to pick up litter during the game. They also have a decent bar called the Spitfire Lounge, where I'm ashamed to say I missed Maidstone's early second half equaliser. Along with many others I had been seduced by the big screen Champions League coverage.

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                              I rather like how Maidstone have gone about things since returning to the town. The 3G pitch has given their turnover a boost through hires and associated bar takings, and they’ve been prudent on stadium upgrades and wages. Think they’ve made a profit every year since being at The Gallagher, which isn’t exactly usual at this (or many) levels. I doubt the drop to step 2 will hurt them too much financially, and expect they’ll be back up soon enough.

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                                The bottom 4 was confirmed yesterday. So it’s Maidstone, Braintree, Aldershot & Havant taking the drop. They’ll need to be some shifts from South to North division at step 2 next season, then.

                                My mood swings yesterday as the promotion race developed were off the scale. From resignation as Salford romped home in the early game, to despair as Orient bumbled about at Gander Green Lane, to alarm as Solihull claimed a late winner, and finally to jumping about like an eejit as the Sutton sub keeper gifted us a last gasp pen which we converted to win. Football, eh? fucking hell!
                                Last edited by slackster; 14-04-2019, 09:23. Reason: Added some words about the relegation quartet

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                                  Originally posted by slackster View Post
                                  The bottom 4 was confirmed yesterday. So it’s Maidstone, Braintree, Aldershot & Havant taking the drop. They’ll need to be some shifts from South to North division at step 2 next season, then.
                                  If my mental geography is correct, Oxford City and Brackley may find themselves in The North next season. It's official: southern teams are more shite than northern teams.

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                                    Brackley are already in the North, Gloucester would likely join Oxford in the north, assuming they avoid relegation, otherwise it would possibly be St Albans or Braintree.
                                    Last edited by Sean of the Shed; 14-04-2019, 10:06.

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                                      Is this the first time since the the two divisions at the sixth tier were created that the majority of teams have dropped into the South? My recollection is it's swung to relegation into the North for quite a while. Here's the last three seasons, after which Wikipedia makes it more difficult and I gave up.

                                      2017-18 - 2 each
                                      2016-17 - 3 North, 1 South
                                      2015-16 - 3 North, 1 South

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                                        Yeah, it's not the South being shite, it goes back a a fair few seasons when the FA and leagues committee allowed teams in the Northern League to refuse relegation up the pyramid and at the same time having three county leagues in the South-east feeding directly into level eight. Inevitably this skews the whole pyramid above and ends up with a Southern, and more pertinently a South-eastern, bias. The National League System are now beginning to deal with this by adding divisions at all levels to make a more pure 1-2-4-8-16 pyramid from level five (National League) down to level nine (Combined Counties, North-west Counties etc).

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                                          Nerves are taking an absolute battering here. Thank fuck Macauley Bonne's are in better shape than mine, if that nerveless penalty at Sutton is anything to go by. Fucking hell indeed

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                                            Is there any footage of the Orient player getting a red card as he's carried off injured for throwing his boot to the ground?

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                                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNFn...p2MMrYpA5yS7bc

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                                                Oooh, that's harsh, especially as the player that injured him isn't punished at all and later the Sutton keeper is lucky to stay on the pitch.

                                                I suppose the boot does go in the general direction of the ref but it's so hard to judge the bounce on these artificial pitches.

                                                Any mutterings of an appeal, though I presume the player's absence from injury may last longer than his suspension?
                                                Last edited by Ray de Galles; 16-04-2019, 13:15.

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                                                  Not that I've heard, yet. I agree that while there might be a case for sending off Dayton, there's none whatsoever for the foul that poleaxed him (and ended a good player's season) not even being punished with a free-kick. At the risk of sounding like a tedious phone-in caller, and of exuding 'big club' arrogance, the standard of officiating in the National League is fucking lamentable.

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                                                    Sutton's keeper fucking about like that reminds me of Paul Farman for Lincoln against Altrincham. Twat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP2E2HHihYA

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