Its…. Relegation Rumble Time

Six bid for BSP salvation with Stockport County, Southport, Gateshead, Barrow, Nuneaton and the Imps scrambling for four lifeboats, leaving to to charter the choppy pond of the Blue Square North next season. That the Hatters and Imps,  are in such a mess after leaving the league, is as scandalous as it is tragic. But who will man up and have the strength of character in the face of what could be oblivion?

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs 

logo Lincoln City F.C. badge.png SouthportFC.png Gateshead FC LogoBarrow AFC Logo No Background.pngBadge of Nuneaton Town

With the Easter double-headers upon us, most are treading on eggshells or touching cloth without the addition of a festive Bogieman to set the festive feathers flying.  So the price of petrol and ale apart, these are the questions on everyone’s lips. Will the Bogieman cometh and pull off a Hatters trick, will saviour Simmo and disciple Grant Brown walk barefoot across the Sincil Drain, or will Southport, Gateshead, Barrow and Nuneaton fight the good fight with all their might, leaving two with crosses to bare.  Despite the cold its hot, its cross and most certainly sticky buns time as STMI takes a look at the uphill road ahead to the summit or ‘summat’ as said in these parts.

The Life Boat Race Contenders

Gateshead FC Logo

Those games in hand have yielded two draws and a defeat, as The Heed have headed far and wide to complete home games. Last nights 0-0 against Newport, plus the 1-1 at Grimsby are credible results, but, in reality they have  won one game in six, drawing 0-0 against hapless Telford in the process.  The neutral home game against Southport is a massive six-pointer before Monday’s trip to the rampant Stags. With 5 home(ish) games left and games against Southport, Nuneaton, Stockport and Ebbsfleet the Heed’s BSP place is their’s to lose you feel. They will certainly decide a lot of fates but have enough to clear the 50 points needed.

STMI thinks 3 points from the next 2 games and finish safe on 55 points. 

Gateshead FC Logo

The STMI Form Guide

The STMI last 5′s summary
Played Won Drawn Lost Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Relative Rank in BSP
Overall 5 1 2 2 6 9 -3 5 17
Home 5 3 2 0 9 3 0 11 3
 Away  5 1 1 3 6 7 -1 4 16

The Road Ahead

March
Sat 30th Gateshead v Southport 15:00
April
Mon 01st Mansfield v Gateshead 15:00
Sat 06th Gateshead v Luton 15:00
Tue 09th Gateshead v Nuneaton 19:45
Sat 13th Hereford v Gateshead 15:00
Tue 16th Gateshead v Stockport County 19:45
Sat 20th Gateshead v Ebbsfleet United 17:15

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

Let us hope Alfreton are tired after losing to Braintree (1-2) the side we beat with 10 men 3-0, just 48 hours before.  They mounted a spirited late comeback so the spirit is there, but stretched every sinew and came up short. We do not want to be counting any Easter Chickens as the Reds had been unbeaten in their previous five, yet a defeat could drag them back into a belated basement battle if they are not careful.  Then it is Cambridge, a side who have lost to Hyde (1-2) and drawn with Ebbsfleet 1-1 since edging (1-0) the fishy-foe who are in free-fall.

STMI thinks the Imps will get 4 points this weekend and finish safe on 53 points. 

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png The STMI Form Guide

The STMI last 5′s summary
Played Won Drawn Lost Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Relative rank in BSP
Overall 5 3 0 2 8 5 3 9 5
Home 5 2 1 2 5 5 0 7 14
 Away  5 1 1 3 7 7 0 4 16

The Road Ahead

March 
Sat 30th Alfreton Town v Lincoln City 15:00
April 
Mon 1st Lincoln City v Cambridge Utd 15:00
Sat 6th Kidderminster v Lincoln City 15:00
Tue 9th Luton v Lincoln City 19:45
Sat 13th Lincoln City v Tamworth 15:00
Sat 20th Hyde v Lincoln City 17:15

SouthportFC.png 

Southport beat Cambridge, came to the Imps, lost, then went into free-fall  They have lost 6 on the trot and find themselves 19th, just 2 points and 2 places above the drop zone. Keeper & ex-Imp Ben Smith is out too as they go to Gateshead desperate to reverse the slide. Their record is poor against the scrappers, Ebbsfleet beat them 4-1 and the Imps won 1-0. One drops like a stone every year and the Port are in a tough storm.  They badly need results against Gateshead and Alfreton, as we can see slim pickings away at Braintree, Grimsby and FGR. At least the final game of the season will be at home, but Luton wont be easy either.

STMI thinks Port will get 1 point this weekend but finish on 47 and go down. 

SouthportFC.png The STMI Form Guide

The STMI last 5′s summary
Played Won Drawn Lost Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Relative Rank in BSP
Overall 5 0 0 5 4 13 -9 0 24
Home 5 1 1 3 6 10 -4 4 21
 Away  5 1 1 3 5 9 -4 4 16

The Road Ahead

March
Sat 30th Gateshead v Southport 15:00
April
Mon 01st Southport v Alfreton Town 15:00
Wed 03rd Braintree Town v Southport 19:45
Sat 06th Grimsby v Southport 15:00
Sat 13th Forest Green v Southport 15:00
Sat 20th Southport v Luton 17:15

logo

STMI’s Cheshire sources tell me Simmo was in the running for the job until the mysterious Kalezic got, what many are starting to feel is a Cheshire poison challis.  Not Ian Bogie, a solid no nonsense non-League manager who will pull of a reprieve and lead them to much better things next year. He worked wonders at Gateshead and will ensure a play-off place on the budget the Hatters will give him next year. The 1-0 win over Newport has given the new boss some breathing space. The Hatters home form had been shocking (ranked 23rd) but in breaking the streak he will fancy Grimsby and Dartford to come. This weekend sees the Cheshire Derby at Macc, where the incredible support this club enjoys, will travel in big numbers to keep the momentum going.  Stockport have traditionally taken over 2,000 to Moss Rose and been in fine voice despite another season that has not done them justice.  A win will continue the momentum into the home game, on Monday  against the faltering fishy folk, but a defeat could see more than pride in tatters.

STMI thinks  The Hatters have had a tough run of games and have a decent run to look forward to. They should take 4 over the Easter period  and 11 before the end of the season to finish safe on 56

logo The STMI Form Guide

The STMI last 5′s summary
Played Won Drawn Lost Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Relative Rank in BSP
Overall 5 2 0 3 5 8 -3 6 14
Home 5 1 0 4 4 8 -4 3 23
Away  5 1 2 2 4 6 -2 5 12

The Road Ahead

March
Sat 30th Macclesfield v Stockport County 15:00
April
Mon 01st Stockport County v Grimsby 15:00
Sat 06th Alfreton Town v Stockport 15:00
Sat 13th Stockport v Dartford 15:00
Tue 16th Gateshead v Stockport County 19:45
Sat 20th Kidderminster v Stockport County 17:15

Badge of Nuneaton Town

Nuneaton appear on the verge of undoing the good work, but Telford look just the job tomorrow. They will relegate the all but mathematically down side who are 26 without a win. Newport wont be easy, although opinions vary as they limp into the play-offs.  The Boro then play Ebbsfleet,Gateshead and Hyde suggesting the gods are clearly on their side in the run in.  Perhaps deserved as, a 0-1 reverse at the Stags apart,  they have been unbeatable, with 2 wins and 4 draws. With their mean defence the Boro should have the points in the bag before a tough trip to Dartford on the final day, but lack of goals and draws, leave a nagging doubt.

STMI thinks  Nuneaton should take 4 points over the Easter period  and 11 before the end of the season to finish safe on 55

Badge of Nuneaton Town The STMI Form Guide

The STMI last 5′s summary
Played Won Drawn Lost Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Relative Rank in BSP
Overall 5 2 2 1 4 3 1 8 6
Home 5 2 2 1 2 1 1 8 10
Away  5 1 2 2 6 7 -1 5 12

The Road Ahead

March
Sat 30th AFC Telford v Nuneaton 15:00
April
Mon 01st Nuneaton v Newport County 15:00
Sat 06th Ebbsfleet United v Nuneaton 15:00
Tue 09th Gateshead v Nuneaton 19:45
Sat 13th Nuneaton v Hyde 15:00
Sat 20th Dartford v Nuneaton 17:15

Barrow AFC Logo No Background.png 

The 1-0 wins over Dartford on Saturday and Macc on Tuesday, are a big worry. Should Grimsby continue their poor form, Barrow could take 6 points over Easter. They have Hyde at home on Monday followed by two further come games,  Ebbsfleet (beatable on Wednesday) and then Mansfield on Saturday.  If Barrow get those 9 easily achievable points, then trips to Alfreton and Cambridge could really pile the pressure on everyone at the bottom.  Braintree at home final day could give then a total, along with Nuneaton, that would see Southport and someone else looking to get well over fifty points to stay up. Perhaps even 53-54.  That Alfreton game could be a key one, because either Barrow or Alfreton, another late surprise, could well fill the final place.

STMI thinks  Barrow should take 6 points over the Easter period  and 10 before the end of the season to finish safe on 53.

Barrow AFC Logo No Background.png The STMI Form Guide

The STMI last 5′s summary
Played Won Drawn Lost Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Relative Rank in BSP
Overall 5 2 1 2 4 5 -1 7 10
Home 5 3 0 2 5 3 2 9 6
Away  5 1 2 2 5 8 -3 5 12

The Road Ahead

March
Sat 30th Grimsby v Barrow 15:00
April
Mon 01st Barrow v Hyde 15:00
Wed 03rd Barrow v Ebbsfleet United 19:45
Sat 06th Barrow v Mansfield 15:00
Tue 09th Alfreton Town v Barrow 19:45
Sat 13th Cambridge Utd v Barrow 15:00
Sat 20th Barrow v Braintree Town 17:15

Conclusions?

The outcome of the Crystal ball-gazing, as Ralph at the Holker Street Newsletter puts it,  sees the Imps and Barrow making up  the final place, should Southport continue their run to 22nd. Correctly deduced, however this is a scenario, that aims to add to the speculation ahead of a vital weekend for ‘the 6’s’ futures. Any side getting 51 points should be safe (46 was enough to save Telford in 20th), but the way things are going many at the bottom are starting to show play-off form. That said it is a marathon and it is what happens over 46 games that counts.

BSP Standings 28/3/13

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 up 12 Kidderminster Harriers 41 23 9 9 69 37 32 78
14 down 14 Hyde FC 40 14 6 20 56 64 -8 48
15 up 1 Tamworth 39 13 9 17 47 55 -8 48
16 down 16 Alfreton Town 39 12 12 15 56 66 -10 48
17 up 3 Gateshead 39 11 13 15 47 50 -3 46
18 down 18 Lincoln City 40 12 10 18 57 65 -8 46
19 down 19 Southport 40 12 10 18 63 76 -13 46
20 down 20 Stockport County 40 12 9 19 51 65 -14 45
21 down 21 Nuneaton 40 10 14 16 44 59 -15 44
22 down 7 Barrow 39 11 10 18 42 70 -28 43
23 down 1 Ebbsfleet United 37 8 12 17 50 73 -23 36
24 down 24 AFC Telford United 41 5 16 20 49 69 -20 31
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Posted on March 29, 2013, in Blue Square zone, Relegation Reprieve 2012/13 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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