Match Day 16 Round Up

By Paul Gladstone

April is going to be a busy old month in the WLVFL

Chelsea gain the advantage
Of the four divisions, the Prem is arguably the most straightforward one to call. At the bottom Nottsborough are marooned in 10th place with just the three points. In theory, they still have the chance to save themselves, but are they *really* going to play 9 games over the next four weeks or so? You’d think not. Given that they are odds on to go down.

It will in all likelihood be Poly that are joining them. That became every more likely on Saturday 6 April when they lost 5-1 to the side immediately above them, Kew Park Rangers (KPR). That win gives KPR a six point lead over Poly, and that with a game in hand. It’ll be a Lazarus like revival if Poly manage to overhaul that one.

At the top, well, Chelsea are now looking set fair to retain their title. That became more so thanks to Ascot United holding Chelsea’s nearest rivals, the West London Rams, to a 2-2 draw last weekend.

Chelsea do nonetheless have some tricky fixtures on the radar. They travel to an improving Croxley (they beat Bank of England 3-0 last week) on Saturday and they also still have to visit the decidedly unpredictable KPR. Then it’s two games against Nottsborough for the title.

Hersham home and hosed
In Division One, meanwhile, Hersham Southside have now claimed one of the promotion spots. They are an impressive 16 points ahead of Army Crusaders and Gene Shafique’s team are subsequently guaranteed to be playing top flight football next year.

Southside secured their promotion with a 2-1 with against a struggling Laleham & Kempton. Laleham are far from relegated yet, and the battle at the bottom is clearly going to be a tight one. Acton Ealing Whistlers are in the middle of it, and whilst the point they won at the weekend against Old Actonians is helpful, that does feel like an opportunity to push up the table missed.

There are, however, some eye-catching fixtures on the agenda here. Acton host bottom of the table Civil Service on Saturday. Civils are still very much alive and in the survival hunt, and a win there will potentially see them leap out of the bottom two. At some point in April Laleham & Kempton will also travel to Old Actonians. It’s definitely still all to play for down there.

Double promotions for Latimer Road and Ascot United IIs
Division 2 is much further along in terms of fixtures completed than either the Prem or Div 1. That means that Latimer Road and Ascot United’s second string are both already promoted whilst the Bank of England IIs are all set to end the season at the bottom of the pile.

There are nonetheless a couple of issues that need settling. At the top Latimer Road still have one game left to play (against Old Meadonians). They need to win that to secure the title. Anything other than three points and the trophy goes to the Racecourse Ground. That game is scheduled for 20 April.

At the bottom, Putney Vale Rangers still have the chance to save their respective skin. They have two games left and if they win them both then they’ll end up out of the bottom two. They host Meadonians and travel to the side immediately above them, Old Tiffs. Could well be an interesting watch.

Ruislip Rangers are Div 3 champions
There’s also still a bit of football left to play in Division 3.

Top of the table Ruislip Rangers have two games left, but they can already get out the Cuban cigars. They are champions. The title was secured when both AFC Hampton and Clapham Old Xaverians fired blanks in a goalless draw last Saturday.

The battle for second spot nonetheless continues. MMB finished their campaign at the weekend with a 3-0 win at Croxley. That sees them second with 24 points. However, if Clapham can win their final game at Ruislip – a big ‘if’ given how well Ruislip have done this season – then that’ll be enough for the Norbury-based side to jump above MMB.

At the bottom, it’s Molesey Lighthouse who end up with the metaphorical wooden spoon. They have finished their season, as have AFC Hampton. Hampton end a point above Lighthouse. Croxley are currently fifth, but if they win both of their final games then fourth is still on the radar. The problem for them is that both their remaining games look very tough; away at Clapham and away at Ruislip.

Looking ahead, do mark 11 May in your respective diaries. It’s finals’ day. The Vase final between Old Lyonians and Ruislip Rangers will be the hors d'oeuvre, before Chelsea Vets play the West London Rams in the main course. Should be a decent day.

Where next?

Week 17 Chelsea nearly there
Match Day 12 Round Up Weather disrupts league action.

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