HERTS ADVERTISER SUNDAY LEAGUE: Half-term report

Herts Advertiser Sunday League expert Brian Hubball gives his half-term report

PREMIER DIVISION

AFC RANGERS

In a division that has been the most open for many a season, Rangers’ title hopes have slipped mainly because they have drawn too many games.

Not a prolific goalscoring side, if James Hill doesn’t score, Rangers struggle. Let me down last season. Fourth place finish will be one below last season.


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BLACKBERRY JACK

Excellent cup side but have yet to produce their cup form in the league where they are yet to win a game. They are the lowest goalscorers in the division with only five goals.

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A good defence with ‘keeper Lawrence Garland again outstanding. Desperately need another marksman. Will fill one of the relegation slots in ninth position.

HARPENDEN COLTS OB

After winning the Knockout Cup last season against the Premier Division champions, and newly promoted as Division One champions, a lot was expected of Colts.

Not consistent enough, although when ace 18-goal marksman James Warner plays they are a threat to any team. A sixth place finish will be disappointing for Stephen Oakley’s boys.

HOGS BLACKSMITHS

Hogs are definitely missing last season’s hero, goalkeeper Steve Kirikal, as their goals against column shows.

Another side lacking a goalscoring frontman, it’s backs to the wall for manager Dave Craggs’ side. Would be an excellent achievement to avoid one of the relegation slots but I’m afraid it is 10th and bottom position for them.

LONDON ROAD

Following last season’s disappointment Road have turned things around to become one of the main title challengers.

Veteran Eamon Rogers shows he still has an eye for goal.

Good solid defence, but the signing of Matt Newman could prove vital as they have lacked a prolific marksman. Much better than last term.

Should hold down the runners-up position.

NICHOLAS BREAKSPEAR OB

Breakspear are the in-form team at the moment.

Solid defence and consistent goalscorers, especially David Parkinson, one of the top marksmen in the premier division with 18 goals. Still in all three cups. This could be a season to remember with the title in their sights.

PHOENIX

Newly promoted side, finding the going tougher than last season when promoted as Division One runners-up.

Will always score plenty of goals with Liam Addlesee in good goalscoring form. Concede too many goals to threaten the top sides.

Eighth position will keep them out of one of the relegation slots.

QUEENS HEAD SANDRIDGE

What has gone wrong at Queens? The present champions, who have won the title on six occasions, have already lost four games compared to just one throughout last season.

They have suffered with no regular goalkeeper and lack of an in-form marksman.

I can only see the Queens finishing in a shock seventh slot.

SKEW BRIDGE

Runners-up last season but have already lost to the two main title chasing sides.

Tight defence but not the prolific scoring team of last term.

Capable of upsetting any of the title hopefuls as they finish in a disappointing fifth place.

VISION

Struggled last season but have proved a different class this term. Top goalscorers in the division, mainly through in-form front men Joel Norris, Adam Wallace, pictured, and Ethan Hughes.

Tightened up in defence with new signingsTim Fretter and Ricky Farmer always prominent. Capable of beating any team in the division. A third place finish well within their grasp.

DIVISION ONE

BEAVER TRAVEL

Division Two runners-up last season, back in the division after a year’s absence.

Good footballing side, but age once again catching up with them. Have to work hard for the points. Hold opponents for much of the game then slip away. It’s eighth position for Tony Doyle’s boys.

BROOKMANS PARK

A good mid-table team last season, but suffering one of their worst seasons this term.

Yet to win a Division One game. Low scoring side but a good, if overworked, defence. Bottom of the league at the moment, I can’t see them finishing higher than ninth.

BRADMORE ROVERS

New team in the League. More than holding their own and very much in contention for honours, but their defence will let them down.

Glenn Mair and Paul Ricketts regularly among the goals. Third place finish will be good for their first season.

FC POTTERS BAR

Third place finish last season but a good County Cup run sees them behind with their fixtures.

Capable of holding most of the top teams. A sixth place finish could see me wrong.

HARE & HOUNDS

Promoted last term as Division Two champions. Expected to be a force to be reckoned with but not consistent enough. Capable of scoring many goals, unfortunately defence leaks too many goals.

Chris Cutmore needs help up front with defender Aaron Spink their second highest scorer. Fourth position will be hard earned.

LIFTED MUSIC

Promoted as Division Three champions last season.

More than holding their own, and will give title chasing sides a good run for their money.

Not scoring as regularly as last season although they are showing signs of putting this right. A mid-table fifth position is well within their ability.

OAKS

Another team promoted from Division Three (runners-up) and having an excellent season, holding down top slot at the moment with good all round team performances.

Stephen Dorer has proved an excellent in-form marksman in their seven wins from 11 games.

Runners-up slot will be hard-earned but the slightest slip will see them miss out on one of the medal positions.

SIX BELLS

Alan Charran’s lads are still rebuilding, but showing promising signs with veterans Paul Seymour and Neil Farmer holding the younger players together.

A seventh place finish will be hard work but should see them through.

VERULAM ARMS

Having a superb season and still in all three cup competitions. Have already taken two Premier Division scalps in their Knockout Cup campaign while Matt Kenneford tops the goalscoring charts with 19.

Struggled last season finishing just out of the relegation zone. What a difference a season makes. Dead certs for the title.

DIVISION TWO

CHURCH END

Relegated last season and again struggling at the wrong end of the table although they have taken a point from the title favourites.

A backs-to-the-wall season, only Nicky Hanly scoring goals on a regular basis. Defence still very tight. Will have to battle to keep away from the relegation slots as they finish in eighth position.

COLNEY HEATH RANGERS

Made a slow start to the season before picking up their first points.

Another club desperately in need of a marksman. A just below mid-table finish in sixth position will be well earned.

FOOTY PANTS

Having an excellent season, and yet to taste league defeat having only dropped two points.

Excellent goalscorers in Dominic Cader, Calvin Cader and Michael Langton along with a fine goalkeeper in Steve Cunningham. My tip to become worth Champions!

HARPENDEN ARMS ATHLETIC

Having an excellent first season in the league.

Top goalscorers in the division with 38 goals, mainly through the in-form James Ewington, Robert Walker and Tom Collins.

Good all round team, very solid defence along with a fine forward line. Will finish in runners-up position.

ICARUS

Lack of consistency sees Icarus stuck in the relegation zone.

Failure to put any sort of wining run together means a ninth place finish and relegation.

OAKLANDS

Capable of producing the odd shock result, but no threat to most of the higher placed teams.

Lack a regular marksman and definitely leak too many goals.

A fifth place finish will shock many of the mid-table teams.

OLD ALBANIANS

Made a disastrous start, losing their opening five games.

Ship has been steadied now, picking up 13 points from the last five games.

Rob Carragher definitely needs more help up front. Hope that the return of former ace marksman David Hagen can find his former goalscoring form. Fourth place will be an excellent finish.

PHOENIX RESERVES

One of the many teams battling it out for a mid-table finish.

Picked up fifth position last season. Defence lets in too many goals for them to hold on to that position. Will drop two places as they finish in seventh place.

THREE HAMMERS

Expected to be one of the front runners. Only one defeat so far but they have drawn two games which keeps them off top spot.

Any team thinking of title honours will see Three Hammers as the team to beat.

Craig Taylor again their top marksman for a forward line not scoring as often as usual.

John Baines is in consistent good form. Sound defence adds up to a third place finish.

WHITE HORSE

A change of name hasn’t brought much luck as the Horse side linger on the bottom rung of the division ladder withonly one win this season.

Have scored more goals recently but defence needs tightening.

I’m afraid it’s bottom of the ladder in 10th position.

DIVISION THREE

AFC CROWN

Only dropped one point this season, in top form, high scoring team, with any one of three players: James Watts, Michael Cattermole and Russell Gallagher likely match-winners.

Promoted as Division Five winners last season. Will make it two championships in consecutive season when becoming champions.

BROOKMANS PARK RES

Like their first team, having a tough season in a battle for points. They have recorded just two wins from their 13 games so far.

Have conceded more goals than any other team in the division, although they have played 12 games.

Did upset the form book when holding league leaders to a 1-1 draw.

Relegation slot last season, will be the same again, in 11th position.

GOLDEN LION

Will improve on last season’s efforts, by one place when finishing in fourth position.

Two good marksmen in Christy Torrens who tops the divisions list with 25 goals and Haydn Connell on 11 goals. Capable of upsetting some of the fancied sides with their scoring power.

INSURANCE STORE

Promoted last season. Just come out of a losing run to get back on course. Another team to hold their own against higher sides.

When goalscorers Tawid Juneja, Cesar Da Silva and Darren Pomroy on form other teams better watch out! Good bet for a sixth place finish.

MARQUIS GRANBY

Moved up from Division Five, taken time to settle, recent form suggest they are comfortable against any side.

Rely too much on Peter Shepperson and Callum Fowler for goals. Their defence is overworked at times.

Should avoid relegation, finishing in ninth place.

NICHOLAS BREAKSPEAR OB RES

When at full strength a tough nut to crack.

Fighting it out among the front runners but not quite up to it.

Good defence with Kurtis Patterson and Devon Smiths keep them in the hunt.

Should hold down third place.

O’NEILLS CELTIC

Having a reasonable season, hard to beat when at full strength, but not consistent enough for top honours.

Stuart Pearson again their reliable marksman.

Celtic should be good for a sixth placed finish, the same as last term.

OLD ALBANIANS RES

Lost their four opening games, have now re-organised and in good form with a good win against league leaders Skew Bridge Res.

Darren Kempster a very reliable marksman. Should improve to finish in eighth position.

SKEW BRIDGE RES

Top of the table at present with only two defeats from 11 games.

They are the top goalscorers in the division and have scored in every game.

Four reliable marksmen in their squad: Adam Facer, Stephen Harris, Phil Lythgoe and Simon Beazley.

Hard side to beat, will win far more games than they lose when hanging on to the runners-up place.

ST ALBANS IFC

Another one of the very good mid-table teams battling it out just out reach of the honours. Only the second team to defeat the present leaders.

Will always cause problems to opposing defenders when goalscorers Spencer Clarke-Mardell, Mitchell Newson and Jason Nicolaou are on song. A seventh placed finish will be a good achievement.

VISION RES

Struggling at the wrong end of the table. Still searching for a goalkeeper, with secretary Carlos Cummins the regular stand-in.

Poor forward line and leaky defence will see Vision finish in tenth position.

WHEATHAMPSTEAD ‘89

Very much in form at the moment. Could well upset some of the fancied sides with their good all round play.

Lee Bennett has proved a reliable marksman with 15 goals, along with Duncan Gray and Craig Linney.

They will take some beating and will be unhappy with my prediction of fifth position.

DIVISION FOUR

BAR 62

Relegated last season. Another backs-to-the-wall season. Lost their last six games. Sam Fisher, a surprise front man, is scoring regularly, but they are missing the guile of Chris Hall who has had to stand in between the ‘sticks’, and doing a good job.

Should avoid one of the ‘drop’ positions when finishing in tenth slot.

BROOKMANS PARK A

Good team spirit within the team, will battle away for a mid-table position. Paul Goldie will be over-worked in the Park goal, but a seventh place finish will be well earned.

Like their other two teams, they need a regular marksman although 50-year-old Alan Young is doing well.

COLNEY HEATH RANGERS RES

First season in the league, holding up well, winning half of their games.

Two good marksmen in Daniel James and Jack Stevens. Sound defence which sees them giving higher placed teams a good game. Fifth place finish will be well earned.

HARE & HOUNDS RES

First season in the league. The Hounds can boast two of the most prolific marksmen of yesteryear in the line-up in Martin Gentleman and Russell Twigg, among the front-runners.

Any team with title ambitions, this is the team to beat.

Best defence in the division, mainly due to the fine goalkeeping of Tony Kerby. Will be just edged out of the medals when finishing in third slot.

HARPENDEN COLTS OB RES

Capable of the odd shock result but not consistent enough for top honours.

One of the many fine mid-table teams, no threat of relegation, will finish in ninth.

HERTS MAURITIAN

A late entry into the league. Have proved a tough nut to crack as they battle for the top honour. Top goalscorers in the division and a mean defence.

Darren Cavaree constantly in good goalscoring form. The title race could go to the wire. My tip to finish as runners-up.

MARSHALSWICK ROVERS

Caused a shock when defeating Herts Mauritians and Hare & Hounds Res and are hoping to repeat that performance when losing seven games.

Desperately need a regular marksman.

Hard season ahead for Falek Miah’s boys when just falling into one of the relegation slots in 11th position.

QUEENS HEAD SANDRIDGE RES

A team full of ‘star players’ of yesteryear that have won many Sunday League honours. Play with class and score goals with fine moves.

Four top goal finishers in their team: Greg White (who tops the division’s marksmen), David Yeo, Adam Fowler and Ross Elliott are all match-winners in their own right.

My tip to become champions, but only just.

RADLETT VILLAGE

Mid-table team capable of battling it out with higher placed teams but not consistent enough to climb higher than sixth place.

In-form marksmen in Alex English and Thomas Blake.

SANDRIDGE HARVESTERS SPORTS

One of the teams I always expect to do better. Lost their four opening games before tasting victory. If Chris Wickens, pictured, doesn’t score they are in trouble. Defence always under pressure. To finish in eighth position will be a good achievement.

ST ALBANS ROYALS

One of the many teams battling it out lower down the division.

Have drawn five of their games, so they are hard to beat.

Matt Brand their only player to push his goals tally into double figures. Finishing in fourth position will be beyond their expectations.

WHITE HORSE RES

A change of name hasn’t brought them any more luck as they languish on at the bottom.

Fine spirit within the team, but only one win so far this season.

Unfortunately it is 12th (and bottom) position for them.

DIVISION FIVE

AFC MYMMS

Made a good start to the season but then fell away in this their first season.

Games have always been very close with Adam Davies and Daniel Boucher regularly among the goals. A ninth place finish will be disappointing for them.

ATHLETICO QUAT

Made a seven-game unbeaten start to the season, but since then have only picked up one point.

Not a prolific goalscoring side but a good spirit in the team making opponents go all the way for the points. Seventh position will be a good achievement.

BRICKET WOOD

First season in the league and finding it tough going. Have just won their first game after ten attempts.

Never give up the chase although at times on the wrong end of a high-scoring result. I can’t see them moving off the bottom.

COTTONMILL

Made a good start and I expected them to be one of the front runners. But a lack of consistency has seen them drop out of the top positions.

Lee Sturgess and Andy Cattermole are always amongst the goals. Fourth will be a good result.

DUKES

Surprise team of the season with only a couple of changes from last term. They have topped the division from the start of the season and have yet to lose a league game in 11 outings.

Nathan Connolly has proved a reliable marksmen, topping the clubs and leagues list. My tip is that Richard Potter’s lads will lift the title, but only just.

GREENWOOD PARK

One of the outsiders I though would be among the front runners. Good goalscoring side with Michael Knock, Matt Thorn and David Bayliss regular marksman.

Experience throughout the team should see them hold down a disappointing fifth position.

OAKS RES

Having a good run at the moment, no threat to title chasing sides.

Long serving Julian Phillips has just scored his 100th goal for the club. Good all round team, should finish in eighth position.

PHOENIX ‘A’

Having an excellent season in one of the medal positions.

If they stay calm and keep the team together they should grab the runners-up slot, but only just. Sam Bozier is the goal getter.

RAIDERS UTD

Two early victories followed by a six-game losing run sees Raiders tumble down the table.

Letting in too many goals will see them finish in 11th place.

SANDRIDGE

Good battling team fighting for the top honours. In-form marksman in Robbie Pullman plus one of the best defences in the division should see them hold out for third place.

THE CAMP ALBANIANS

Another season in the lower regions, battling for every point.

If only they could capture the form of their previous two wins they would be out of relegation trouble. Should just miss out, finishing in tenth position.

WHEATHAMPSTEAD ‘89 RES

What a difference a couple of new faces have made to the village side.

Without a win for their opening eight games, they then went on a five-game winning run.

Have upset all my calculations, and finishing in sixth place was unheard of at the start of the season which makes it a proud manager in Terry Harris.

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