A busy Easter period has seen some big results for our local teams and left all of them with plenty still to play for as the season reaches its climax.
After a disappointing holiday period, time is fast running out for Hayes & Yeading United as they continue their fight to avoid relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier.
A return of just one point from their two weekend fixtures against Cambridge United and Luton Town has left them four points adrift with just three games to go.
On Saturday things are unlikely to get any easier when promotion chasing Mansfield Town travel to Kingfield.
They have won five of their last six league games to top the division’s form table along with champions Fleetwood Town so a special effort looks necessary for Nas Bashir’s team.
There has been a lot of positivity around Hampton & Richmond Borough recently with the last week again being a good one. On Saturday they picked up a tidy 2-0 win at Farnborough before beating Wealdstone by the same scoreline on Monday night to win the Middlesex Senior Cup.
However, despite these fine results, a midweek win for Havant & Waterlooville over Salisbury dropped them back into the Blue Square Bet South bottom three.
Nevertheless, Mark Harper’s team do appear to still hold all the cards. They have two games in hand on their nearest rivals, who they trail by a point, and next face a trip to Eastbourne Borough who have lost their last four.
The Stones meanwhile have endured a punishing week – they have played three times since Saturday.
A fine 4-1 win over Kingstonian at the weekend got them off to a great start and lifted them to within two points of the Ryman League Premier Division play-off places.
Since then it has been a different story. On Monday they made the short journey to Uxbridge to take on Hampton in the aforementioned cup final but came unstuck and on Wednesday they could only draw 0-0 with struggling Harrow Borough in the derby.
They now find themselves four points away from the much coveted fifth place with a game in hand and must raise themselves for the visit of title chasing AFC Hornchurch on Saturday.
The Urchins have won four of their last five and drew with leaders Billericay in their last match so will provide formidable opposition.
As for boss Dave Anderson (pictured above) and his Harrow side, they will feel it has been a generally positive week.
Aside from the battling point against Wealdstone in front of a bumper crowd of over 600, they picked up a surprise 2-1 win at high-flying Cray Wanderers on Saturday.
The two results have left them three points and two places above the relegation zone with three matches to go.
Consequently, Saturday’s game at Hastings United couldn’t be much bigger for them. The Sussex club are one of the two teams immediately below Harrow and are five games without a win.
With three of the four relegation places having already been assigned, another loss for the U’s could be terminal.
At the other end of the table, Hendon are still battling for a place in the play-offs.
Their Easter fixtures against midtable sides Margate and Wingate & Finchley would have had most Greens supporters thinking that six points were achievable.
As it turned out they only picked up three after a shock 3-0 home defeat to the Kent club and then a stunning 5-0 away win against their north London rivals.
These results have left them one point off fifth among a group of five or six teams of which there is little to choose between.
As end of season run-ins go, theirs is one of the kindest. The toughest match of their final three should be against Kingstonian on Saturday.
The K’s are still in with an outside chance of a play-off place themselves but they will arrive at Vale Farm having played three times in a week (Saturday, Monday and Thursday) so fatigue could be an issue.
If Hendon do slip up they could end the day four points adrift with just two games to go, so a win looks essential.
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