DOWN IN THE SHITE (23/24) – Part Two

Reet, time for a look at what happened to the teams that are down in the shite – and preview their week ahead as we draw closer and closer to the end of the season.

Matt Tootle of course saved the day for Peterborough Sports, as he came on late in the game against Blyth to rescue a point in the 99th minute. Harry Gardiner returned to the starting XI on the wing, and nabbed 2 goals in the process. No highlights are out yet, but it sounded like Spartans played rather well and likely deserved the win. That being said, if you’d offered me 7 points from our last 3 games – I’d have taken them all day long.

Rushall Olympic snapped Darlington‘s winning streak, as Liam McDonald’s team came from behind to win and keep them alive in the fight to beat the drop – in what was a proper 6 pointer. Cedric Main continued his good form with a pair of goals, but according to the Darlo Uncovered forum, a mixture of Tommy Taylor’s goalkeeping and all round ‘off day’ cost them.

Bishop Stortford lost 2-0 at home to Scarborough, obviously. As they’re already relegated – I don’t think anyone really cares. Hopefully they go down without picking up another point.

As for Gloucester City, their relegation is almost confirmed. They travelled up to Spennymoor and got slapped 3-0. A look at twitter suggested the Gloucester lads didn’t exactly put a shift in. Sadly for them it seems like another rebuild in the summer will be needed, after a truly disastrous season.

Banbury United were thrashed 4-1 away at Curzon Ashton. They are in total freefall now, with a few supporters calling for the managers head. They do have a fair few games in hand but they’re surely fucked now. It’s far to late to make another change that’s going to save their season. They won’t really won’t be missed.

Arriving late to the game and sinking to a 4-0 deficit before half time, Farsley Celtic had a total shitter on Saturday – as they fell to a 4-1 defeat away at Hereford. They’ve now failed to win in 7, and manager Clayton Donaldson seems to be under some real pressure. Director of Football Pav Singh is now a part of coaching team, working ‘under’ Donaldson. Clearly, the writing is on the wall for him.

Southport rescued a point in the 90th minute on Saturday at home to Buxton, with the big stiff idiot that is Richie Bennett getting a goal the very end to make it 2-2 after Danny Lloyd scored early on. Though given how shite Buxton have been of late you’d have to expect Port are disappointed with that result.

Tamworth’s title party was spoiled by Kings Lynn live on TNT Sports on Saturday when a deflected shot levelled the game at 1-1 in the 89th minute. The run they’ve been on of late is insane, and they’ll surely now not be worrying about drop – especially when they reach the 55 point mark.

The Week Ahead

Tonight see’s Banbury United host South Shields, with the later looking to tie up a play off place. Shields will probably look at this one see it as easy chance to pick up points and leapfrog Curzon Ashton and Chester City. Peterborough Sports take on Warrington Town who have just lost their last 2, and probably won’t fancy a trip down there on a Tuesday night. As for Southport they host Bishop Stortford, so that’s an easy 3 points for Southport.

On Good Friday, Gloucester City host 3rd place Brackley Town – so they’re fucked I’m afraid. Rushall Olympic visit Brexitball FC (Alfreton Town) who are hanging onto a play off spot, so the hosts be just as desperate for points as Rushall. Blyth of course host Curzon Ashton, who’ve never won a game at Croft Park but they did dominate Spartans in the away fixture back in November – and they’ll likely go into Saturday with a lot of confidence having just battered Gloucester. Peterborough Sports travel to Boston United, and they’ll really struggle to take points from them. Banbury United host Hereford and they’ll probably get dick all from that one.

King’s Lynn travel to Scunthrope, who still have some VERY faint title hopes. Given the strength of Scunny’s team, I can see their unbeaten run coming to an end here. Southport will visit fellow strugglers Farsley Celtic in yet another 6 pointer, which will probably be the most important game of the day. Darlington face play off hunting Chorley, and they’ll be desperate to create some breathing room between them and Rushall again. Lastly, Bishop Stortford visit Tamworth – so that’ll be an easy win for Tamworth.

Easter Monday see’s Blyth visit Chorley, Banbury United finally getting a chance to collect some points as they face Bishop Stortford, King’s Lynn host Scarborough, Rushall facing Boston United at home, Farsley Celtic travelling to Spennymoor, Darlington facing a trip to Warrington and Peterborough Sports hosting Gloucester City.

It’s worth noting that the registration deadline for players is this Thursday, usually at around 5pm. I would expect a few teams have their eye a last minute loan signing, or possibly even a free agent.

Naturally you would expect teams with the greater resources to make those kind of impactful last minute deals, so I’d probably expect both Southport and Darlington to make some moves come Thursday. As for a prediction as to how the next week will unfold, I can see the table looking something like this come next Monday evening.