Close Season, Etc

The season came to an end on Saturday 13 May when AC London won the RPM records Division One Cup, beating Redhill by 3 goals to 2. AC were two up but Redhill came back to equalise in the space of a few minutes in the second period. It was two apiece after 90 minutes and anyone's match, but AC had the last word in extra time, winning 3-2, to take the cup in their first season in the League.

The match was exciting at times and was not without its controversies, with a disallowed goal and two sending offs near the end.

We now know that Hartley Wintney will play in the Central Division of the Evostick League South next season, the Division being quite far stretched from Cambridge City and AFC Rushden & Diamonds at the Northern end and Moneyfields, based in Portsmouth, newly promoted from the Wessex League, at the other end.

We still await the Step 5 and below allocations, which may not be issued we understand until week commencing 20 May. Only then can the League determine the structure of both the Premier Division and Division One, to be ratified at the AGM, taking place on Saturday 24 June at Abbey Rangers FC.

League fixtures next season will start on Saturday 12 August for both divisions but those clubs accepted into the FA Cup can expect to be playing in the Extra-Preliminary Round on Saturday 5 August. It hasn?t been sprung on clubs and leagues in the way it was last season but it remains hardly satisfactory to start the season with an FA Cup match but we have to get on with it.

At the end of season 17-18, there will be wholesale changes to the Non-League System, with a new division at both Step 3 and Step 4, both to be Midlands, or at least, centrally based. The new Step 3 Division will be administered by the Southern League whilst the new Step 4 Division will be run by the Isthmian League. To help fill the new divisions, only one club from the existing Step 3 and 4 divisions will be relegated at the end of next season, whilst there will be a number of additional promotion places available at Step 5. It has not yet been made clear how those additional promotion spots will be filled.