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Non-League play-offs start this coming week

For most Non-League clubs below Step 2 the regular season finished yesterday & before you can blink the play-offs are upon us. The semi-finals will be played this week with the finals next Monday (May1st). There’s lots of local interest too. Here’s a selection + a few remaining league games if you need to get out & get some fresh air:

Wednesday 26th April (7.45):


Bracknell Town v Chesham Utd

(playing at Sandhurst Town FC)


Didcot Town v Walthamstow


Marlow v Hanworth Villa

(** All the above are one-off games - the team finishing higher in the league getting home advantage)

There are also league games in the Combined Counties League on Tuesday (Virginia Water v Windsor), Holyport v Edgware & Kingsbury and Winslow United v Burton Park Wanderers in the Spartan League.


  • Looking forward to seeing Chesham

  • Bad news for both Bucks clubs involved in the play-offs last night. Marlow were beaten 2-1 at home by Hanworth Villa to a last minute winner in the Isthmian League South Central play-off semi-final.

    Meanwhile, at Sandhurst Town FC, Bracknell Town scraped through 1-0 against Chesham United through a deflected extra-time winner. A match poor in quality was justifiably 0-0 after 90 minutes. Chesham, in particular, struggled to put three passes together but were much better when late subs came on. In front of a crowd of around 1,200 with 4-500 visiting supporters it was Bracknell who edged it to set up a home final v Poole Town on Monday.

    Bracknell currently play at Sandhurst Town, having sold their Larges Lane ground for housing. Sandhurst play in the Combined Counties League but how it will pass for National League South is beyond me.

  • Ground Regs at lower league clubs are absolutely ridiculous in my view. I get there should be minimum standards for dressing rooms and pitch standards but otherwise what is the purpose as it only really affects home club supporters. my local clb at significant expense had to install turnstiles having never previously had a problem with the man in a shed by a gate entry provisions and take out seating in a covered "stand" in order to meet minimum covered capacity rules (standing counts as higher capacity than sitting for the same floor area). Both cost significant money and its hard to think of any supporter who has gained as a result. Indeed given the elderly nature f the average supporter, the removal of seating is a very real detriment. Bloody stupid.

  • edited April 2023

    Bottom Meadow at Sandhurst has had lots of money spent on it in the last 2 years. Anything between £0.5 -£2M if reports are to be believed.

    I went to see us play Bracknell earlier this season and was impressed with the facilities and ground.

    If Bracknell go up in to the National League South they will get similar average gates to Hungerford and Oxford City of around 400, Slough average 650. They would get a few more for big games and a few less for mid week winter fixtures.

    The ground holds 1950 (350 seats) and was at full capacity for the Ipswich FA Cup game back in November.

    It gets my vote for a decent away day, facilities and ease of parking.

  • Still gutted that they moved from Larges Lane as it was just a short stroll from home. On a WWFC (too far) away day and Bracknell were at home, with decent beer and burgers it was perfect. Sandhurst is walkable (just), but 5.5 miles back after 3 or 4 beers is a struggle tbh.

  • edited May 2023

    Made the long trip East to Bridge Avenue, home to Hornchurch FC, for their Isthmian League Premier Division play-off final clash with Aveley. There are still grounds to be ticked off and I’m not getting any younger.

    Bridge Avenue is nothing to write home about. It’s an athletic stadium but still better than Aveley’s new ground, complete with 3G monstrosity.

    Sell out crowd watched a feisty first half with the visitors leading 1-0 at the interval. They’ve been the better side, playing with more skill and intensity for the most part. It’s not a particularly high bar mind.

    Hornchurch aren’t helped by playing with an immobile no.9 in Sam Higgins. He hasn’t been able to hold the ball up, bring his team-mates into the game and get them playing in the attacking third.

    Playing for the Urchins are former Chairboys Jamie Mascoll and Lewwis Spence. Both have made little impact on the game so far, the latter having bulked quite considerably since leaving Adams Park. But then ain’t we all. Ahem.

  • Well, he has certainly made an impact now. Spence shown a straight red card for a two-footed challenge.

    As a consequence Mascoll has been subbed off.

    All to do for the Urchins now.

  • I won't tick off 3g or 4g pitches unless Wycombe play a friendly/cup tie there.

    Can't stand watching the diluted version of the beautiful games on those surfaces.

  • edited May 2023

    Aye, there are no beautiful games played on plastic.

    Aveley saw the game out comfortably to win 1-0. Crowd of 2,040. They’re promoted to the National League South for the first time in their history. Great scenes at the final whistle, pitch invasion and blue smoke bombs lighting up the grey sky.

    Hornchurch were pretty disappointing. On my way back West now. It was all a bit too Essex for me.

  • Remember Aveley giving us a scare at their old ground in the Amateur Cup 1st round in 1972, the year we lost in the semi-final against Hendon. They were 2-0 up after about 20 minutes, we got it back to 2-2 in the second half, and then we won 5-1 in the replay at Loakes Park the following Saturday, in front of around 5,000 fans. The Amateur Cup was huge for us in those days.

    Have to admit, I hadn't realised that Aveley were in a position to be promoted to the National League South. Good for them.

  • 20 coach loads of Wanderers made there way to Averley and vastly out numbering the home fans, according to the BFP.

  • Remember going mental on the muddy grass bank behind the goal when we equalised.

    Well over 1,000 Chairboys/girls there.

  • Aveley away was my first ever Cup away day on the coach...

    The previous year we had home draws all the way to the quarter final defeat by Skelmersdale. Gates steadily increased round by round and we got about 10,000 for the quarter final.

  • Another instalment of gullible’s travels. Made the short hop to St James Park for the National League ‘North’ play-off eliminator between Brackley Town v Gloucester City.

    It’s my second visit having first ticked it off with @floyd 16 years ago (I think Methuselah was there too). Ground has been given the usual modern day upgrade. Reckon it could all be dismantled in a matter of hours.

    Less said about the first half the better. Worst game I’ve seen all season. Totally gasharama. Neither side can make a simple pass to a team-mate never mind have a shot on target. This is ending goal-less and going to penalties.

    Fair play to the Gloucester City fans who’ve made the trip, must be 500+. Bet they’re glad they didn’t get Scarborough Athletic or Spennymoor United.

    Only Wycombe connection is Matthew Barnes-Homer, who is warming the bench for the Tigers.

  • Gloucester City take the lead six minutes into the second half.


  • Gloucester City level in the tenth of nine added on minutes to make it 2-2.

    We’re into extra time and I can’t feel my fingers.

  • The Saints win 5-4 on pens. 1,624 crowd with 512 from Gloucestershire.

    They head to the Deva to play Chester in the semi.

    Kings Lynn Town v Kidderminster Harriers in the other.

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