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Now starts the Final Chapter.


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As BU correctly pointed out earlier in the week that, following the Merstham game, we will still need to win all our final 5 games to be in a position to have a chance of a home tie in the first play-off rounds. 

But we can still make sure of a playoff place by winning 3 from our 5 remaining league games. Even if Lewis and Folkestone win all of their last five. So that must be our first goal. 

But strangely there another way, if my understanding of the fixture position is correct. It involves Cheshunt, who hold the key to the final line up, since they have home games against  Bishop Stortford, Hornchurch, Lewis. A Cheshunt win in any of these games could alter the final position at the top of the table.

There is also another additional  fixture between Bishop S v Folkestone to be considered in the mix.

Finally, now is the time to forget our differences expressed on this forum over the past months and united to help the team succeed in winning our final games. Disregarding how well we play or do not play so long we get the points to stay in the race. A Win is a Win!!!!! Although any points will be welcome!!!! 

 

( Note.   My observations above have not mentioned Worthing as I have assumed they will get the 6 points, from their last five games, needed for them to win the League Title and Promotion. )

 

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Whilst we're not there yet and the play-off wheels could yet come off, I'm already starting to think 'who do we want?' and 'where do we want to play them?'. Whilst our home record in the league is very good, we have not really been at our best at home against the Top 6 sides. Meanwhile, we secured a good point away at Folkestone, recently beat Hornchurch on their patch, very narrowly lost away against Bishops Stortford. So part of me thinks that home 'advantage' might be something of a poison chalice in the play-offs. But then again, a home crowd well in excess of 1,000 might just spur the Town on, so I'm torn. I guess the answer is to try to finish as high as we can and see what happens. The key with play-offs seems to be to take momentum into the games.

It does at least feel to me as if we have a better chance (were we to make the play-offs) than we did last time we made it this far. Dulwich Hamlet completely steamrolled us in that play-off game. Whilst we may not have proved it regularly, I feel that on our day - and with a bit of luck - we can actually beat any of the top sides. That being said, it looks like being a complete and utter lottery. I can easily see any of ETFC, BSFC, Hornchurch, Lewes, Folkestone or Cheshunt going up with Worthing. The standard in the Isthmian Prem has been very high this year.

Averaging 2 points a game, with 5 games to go, you have to say that ETFC have had a very good season. Lets see whether Andy and the lads can make it an excellent season!

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...and there's an interesting curve ball raised on the Bishops Stortford forum. Given the teams likely to be relegated from the National League, it is not inconceivable that any promotion for them might see them placed in the National League North with fixtures against the likes of Southport, Darlington, Bradford, Chester, Gloucester...etc!

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Out of interest, would the club be better off financially finishing 2nd in the league and then losing in a home play-off final rather than winning the play-offs and playing in the National League South with the extra travel/playing budget etc involved? Just wondering whether a couple of home gates in excess of 2,000 would actually serve us better financially in the longer term?

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I am also starting to think - who do I want in the semi ?

I went to the Cheshunt - Hornchurch game last night - Hornchurch deserved it overall ..

Both sides were quite direct .. after going behind Cheshunt scored a great goal from outside the box, and then gave  away a soft own goal when the defender knocked it past the keeper!

Before then I thought a draw could be on the cards ..

Cheshunt had a mini rally at the end, including the keeper up for a last minute corner .. but the Urchins hung on ... 

.. Mickey P has also gone for an agrressively short hair cut!

Hornchurch front 3 are very strong, but overall on our day we should be confident against either team 

I am looking at Stortford, Hornchurhc & Cheshunt as similar to us in playing styles - battling, aggressive and hard to beat .. I think we would fair better against these teams than Folkestone or Lewes who play the ball around a bit more ..

I agree we want home advantage for the semi - and if we are away to stortford in the final we would still take a good following ...

If Stortford fail to win all 4 we could sneak 2nd

If we drop pts, we could end up in 4th .. away to Hornchurch..

A 2nd or 3rd place would be BEST EVER .. and I believe we should not be scared of the other teams in the play offs ..

CC - money aside, to me after 10 years in the Isthmian prem (was that Grays semi really 10 years ago!!!) we are ready to take the step up 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Raingod said:

I am also starting to think - who do I want in the semi ?

I went to the Cheshunt - Hornchurch game last night - Hornchurch deserved it overall ..

Both sides were quite direct .. after going behind Cheshunt scored a great goal from outside the box, and then gave  away a soft own goal when the defender knocked it past the keeper!

Before then I thought a draw could be on the cards ..

Cheshunt had a mini rally at the end, including the keeper up for a last minute corner .. but the Urchins hung on ... 

.. Mickey P has also gone for an agrressively short hair cut!

Hornchurch front 3 are very strong, but overall on our day we should be confident against either team 

I am looking at Stortford, Hornchurhc & Cheshunt as similar to us in playing styles - battling, aggressive and hard to beat .. I think we would fair better against these teams than Folkestone or Lewes who play the ball around a bit more ..

I agree we want home advantage for the semi - and if we are away to stortford in the final we would still take a good following ...

If Stortford fail to win all 4 we could sneak 2nd

If we drop pts, we could end up in 4th .. away to Hornchurch..

A 2nd or 3rd place would be BEST EVER .. and I believe we should not be scared of the other teams in the play offs ..

CC - money aside, to me after 10 years in the Isthmian prem (was that Grays semi really 10 years ago!!!) we are ready to take the step up 

 

 

Agree totally, I’d just change being confident in beating Cheshunt, Hornchurch and Stortford to capable of beating them on our day.

Strong physical play, long balls and battling are the hallmarks of majority of teams at our level and those who succeed, just shows Andy’s got it right and has weighed up the strength of his squad very well to the tasks before them.

We’ve 4 winnable games remaining, win those and I’m convinced we finish 2nd and home games it is.

Then we need the barmy army doing their bit with positive and partisan support from the terraces

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