As many readers may know, the way teams achieve promotion from Step 6 has changed for the 2018/19 season.
Rather than leave it to the discretion of the various leagues around the country as has happened in previous seasons, the FA has taken control and, in an effort to make promotion and relegation between Step 5 and 6 uniform in the English Football Pyramid, is dictating how teams move between the levels.
In the article below, Football in Bracknell’s Rob Davies take a look into what will be happening at the end of the season and what it means for local promotion hopefuls such as AFC Aldermaston and Wokingham & Emmbrook.
How it works
Across the country there are 14 Step 5 leagues. At the end of the season the bottom two teams from each league will be relegated meaning there are 28 spaces up for grabs for teams coming up from Step 6.
Here the difficulty arises, as there are 19 leagues across the country in Step 6, so the top side from each of those leagues will go up as will the 9 best second place teams. The 9 teams going up in second place will be determined by the side’s points per game.
Current standing in local leagues
A quick look at the current state of play at the top of the local leagues shows us how the teams are doing in their promotion bids.
Combined Counties League Division One
|1. Bedfont & Feltham
|2. Frimley Green||27||60||2.22|
|4. Epsom & Ewell||26
Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One East
|2. AFC Aldermaston||19||38||2.00|
|3. Thame Rangers||16||32||2.00|
|4. Wokingham & Emmbrook||21||31||1.48|
Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West
|1. Cheltenham Saracens||14||36||2.57|
|2. Easington Sports||15||36||2.40|
|3. Clanfield (85)||19||36||1.89|
|4. Thornbury Town||14||33||2.36|
In the Hellenic Division One East Burnham are strong favourites to be promoted automatically and AFC Aldermaston are currently in second place.
Thame Rangers are behind the Atomics in third but have games in hand. Wokingham & Emmbrook are further back but will struggle to finish
second as they only have 3 games left.
In the Hellenic Division One West the top 4 are separated by 3 points and in the Combined Counties Division One the top 3 teams are just a point apart, so the top 2 positions in those divisions are still very much up for grabs.
Best Second Place Teams
How do the local divisions compare to the rest of the country? The table below ranks the 19 teams currently in second place in all the Step 6 leagues with the top 9 separated to show who is in line to go up.
|Racing Club Warwick||Midland Football League Division One||2.44|
|Alfold||Southern Combination Football League Division One||2.44|
|EasingtonSports||Hellenic League Division One West||2.40|
|Lutterworth Town||United Counties League Division One||2.39|
|Newark Flowserve||East Midlands Counties Football League Division One||2.38|
|Broadfields United||Spartan South Midlands Football League Division One||2.38|
|Haughmond||West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division||2.37|
|Avro||North West Counties Football League Division One North||2.36|
|Billingham Town||Northern Football League Division Two||2.32|
|Keynsham Town||Western Football League First Division||2.32|
|Hythe & Dibden||Wessex Football League Division One||2.31|
|Plymouth Argyle Reserves||South West Peninsula League Premier Division||2.24|
|FrimleyGreen||Combined Counties Division One||2.22|
|Campion||Northern Counties East Football League Division One||2.14|
|White Ensign||Eastern Counties Football League Division One South||2.14|
|Mulbarton Wanderers||Eastern Counties Football League Division One North||2.07|
|AFCAldermaston||Hellenic League Division One East||2.00|
|Kennington||Southern Counties East Football League Division One||2.00|
|Stone Old Alleynians||North West Counties Football League Division One South||1.94|
As it stands Easington Sports are well placed to go up should they finish second where as Frimley Green and Aldermaston will need to improve their points per game and hope that other sides drop theirs. Otherwise they will need to top their respective divisions in order to get promoted.
The caveat to all of this is, as we saw at step 5 last season, clubs withdrawing from higher division could impact the number of teams that go up.
All tables are correct as of 6th March 2019.
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