Category Archives: Skrill Premier Zone

Top 20 Skrill hot-shots – Can Super Imp Net 20?

With Lee Gregory of Halifax Town and Andre Gray of Luton Town well clear of Brett Williams of Aldershot Town and fellow Hatter Paul Benson in the goal charts;  Ben Tomlinson of Lincoln City still has a rather elusive milestones to reach. STMI also wish Luton congratulations – we said Still was the man to take you back to the promised land – the Conference will be much the poorer without you and your hordes at the turnstiles.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Hopefully the fitness doubts that robbed the Hatters of Gray’s prowess against Braintree will enable him to make up the one goal deficit to crown a superb season for the goal machine and the Hatters.  Gregory got back to scoring ways, after two without a goal, to edge ahead with a goal in the 4-0 romp at Barnet.

No one should bet against either to break thirty goals to take the honours, but Gregory has to be the favourite. Prior to the short barren spell he had plundered seven in four games, including a brace against Alfreton and a treble at the well tanned Hyde.  Gray has just one in his last six games, although he bagged 5 in 3 including a treble at the Bulls in a seven nil rampage. Williams of Aldershot (21)  and fellow Hatter Benson(17) look too off the pace to trouble the top two crackshots.

Tomlinson, in 5th meanwhile, has just three games to bag the two goals he needs to break the twenty goal barrier and emulate Simon Yeo (21 almost a decade ago).  Currently on 18 goals in all competitions STMIs tip for 20 this season has been sidelined by a three match suspension thanks to 15 yellow cards, but who would bet against a passionate talismanic figure hitting an elusive target during another frustrating season for a club of the Mighty Imps stature? Imps can click here for the hoped-for goal machines of 2013/14.

Top 20 Skrill Premier Goal Machines

Player Team Goals
1 Lee Gregory Halifax 28
2 Andre Gray Luton Town 27
3 Brett Williams Aldershot Town 21
4 Paul Benson Luton Town 17
5 Ben Tomlinson Lincoln City 16
Scott Boden Macclesfield Town 16
James Norwood Forest Green Rovers 16
John Akinde Alfreton Town 16
9 Scott Rendell Woking 15
Connor Jennings Grimsby Town 15
11 Louis Moult Nuneaton Town 14
12 Luke Guttridge Luton Town 13
Dan Fitchett Salisbury City 13
Ross Lafayette Welling 13
Dan Holman Braintree Town 13
16 Yan Klukowski Forest Green Rovers 12
Luke Berry Cambridge United 12
Jack Marriott Woking 12
19 Michael Gash Kidderminster Harriers 11
Jake Hyde Barnet 11

 

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Budget: Is It Time For Trust To Be Critical Friend?

Alfreton Town, Welling United, Tamworth, Woking, Southport FC, Nuneaton Town, Tamworth, Braintree, Dartford FC and Hyde FC are all considered part time.  Yet with three training sessions a week they could be labelled as what Lincoln manager Gary Simpson has recently described as part-time in disguise.

Perhaps this is why Lincoln struggles to beat sides who have superior budgets and look to raise their game in order to gain the scalp of a big team. The real issue and reality check for Lincoln fans, is that the club is anything but a big team when it comes to the playing budget. The forecast budget is still less than that enjoyed by David Holdsworth last season, this, despite better than expected season ticket sales, higher admission prices due to the closing of the home end and better average crowds than last season. 

After an interminable half decade of misery and decline, the team finds itself mid-table yet we are failing to play the dream football that fans wish to see.  At £18 for an adult they do have a point, but the economic reality and real issue is the competition from the 23 other Conference clubs that the Imps are struggling to match. They show ambition, they inspire, while a club with the potential of Lincoln, does anything but shrouded behind  non disclosure agreements that frustrate fans and keep them in the dark.  Who would like answers on the Stadium, the recent supporter director elections etc etc etc? What about a fans forum and not one that shortens a Trust or club AGM?

But back to money, the route of all evil it would appear. Lincoln and Macclesfield have the lowest full-time budgets in the Skrill Premier League, dwarfed by Luton, Forest Green, Grimsby, Wrexham, Cambridge, Kidderminster and Gateshead.  But these disguised part-time sides are also outspending the club thanks to rich benefactors and commercial deals that allow them to punch above their financial weight.  While geographically challenged Lincoln cannot afford more than 5 overnight stays, Salisbury identified and funded the 15 they face before a ball was kicked in earnest.

When we look at the performance on the pitch of Alfreton, Salisbury and Welling, they are doing so because they have the ability to fund better loans and can pay wages in excess of ours.  Lincoln have an average of £350 per week, but many of our part-time competitors can easily offer far more – sometimes double – our highest earners. Surely everyone realises consistency costs and that you get what you can ultimately pay for on the creative and goals front, which is the lifeblood of the sport.

Alfreton, Welling, Woking and Tamworth all have bigger playing budgets than Lincoln despite our gates.  Southport and even Nuneaton are certainly on a par with the Imps, but able to pay money and get loans that are out of our reach. Only Hyde, Braintree, Dartford and Macclesfield have an inferior budget to Lincoln, but their geography is less challenging when it comes to attracting talent.

We cannot really do anything about it any more either, the dye is cast.  The Trust historically appear in fans eyes to be anything but a critical friend, despite the two long-term gold member and supporter director reigns on the board of the club. The 1 million shares have gone to the Holding Company and even the current supporter Director is now a business partner of one of the board members on the Holding company, suggesting a cosy closed shot relationship remains. All we can do is keep faith it appears and be thankful the club is still in business even if it had to give away the fans crown jewels to sustain itself without any long-term guarantees.  Not that we had a vote on it of course  – this at of all clubs, the one Supporters direct once saw as the model community club.

Please note we have omitted the actual figures for each club for legal reasons, alas, as our regular readers are aware, STMI does not have the legal backing to publish the full truth as bigger publications would.

Skrill Premier Away Support (Aug-Oct)

Luton Town, Chester FC, Cambridge Utd, Lincoln & Grimsby Town still top the Away stats, with Wrexham FC,  Barnet FC, Aldershot Town, FC Halifax and Kidderminster Harriers all still above the 200 mark.

Thanks for reading the prof

The Hatters hordes continue to raise the bar with an unbelievable take to Tamworth – 1199 (and that is/was some round trip). Aldershot also took a credible 193 to Impdom, with Grimsby taking 285 & 272 all the way to Salisbury & Aldershot respectively, to move within 10 of the Imps average away support. The Lincoln legions topped the Fishy foe however with 483 to Nuneaton.

Cambridge are travelling well too with 331 at Chester who continue to confound their League position with 220 at Alfreton.  The League leaders also took 239 to the Fishy foe on a Tuesday night.

The second highest for the month was the Hatters once again with 840 trooping down to Aldershot.  Barnet mustered 358 for Welling, with 260 Shaymen at Luton and The Harriers also took 259 to Chester.

Outstanding support as ever with every regular traveller deserving a medal for what they shell out financially and emotionally for the cause.  Here is the table in full, please feel free to put a link on your forums to ensure STMI get the reads. Our prof is a sad so and so but he his harmless really.

Total turnstile clicks Away-days Average
1 Luton 5856 8 732
2 Chester 3248 8 406
3 Cambridge 3064 8 383
4 Lincoln 2552 8 319
5 Grimsby 2472 8 309
6 Wrexham 1864 8 233
7 Barnet 1498 7 214
8 Aldershot 1908 9 212
9 Halifax 1477 7 211
10 Kidderminster 1616 8 202
11 Hereford 1104 8 138
12 Woking 959 7 137
13 Nuneaton 910 7 130
14 Southport 882 9 98
15 Dartford 712 8 89
16 Macclesfield 704 8 88
17 Salisbury 616 8 77
18 Forest Green 603 9 67
19 Welling 456 8 57
20 Alfreton 424 8 53
21 Tamworth 392 8 49
22 Gateshead 352 8 44
23 Hyde 328 8 41
24 Braintree 256 8 32

Skrill Premier Home Crowd Stats

Luton Town, Wrexham FC, Grimsby Town and Cambridge United all top 3,000 with Lincoln, Chester FC, Aldershot and Kidderminster Harriers all  averaging over 2,000 home gates in the Skrill Premier League so far this season.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

The Luton Town effect has seen them not only pitch in with a seventh of the total turnstile clicks for the SPL (just under 352,000 with an 1826 average), but also feature in seven of their counterparts seasonal highs (we will cover the away crowds separately later today).  Lincoln City have featured in four, which is incredible given our mid-table position.

Home stats (to Oct 31 3013)

Team Turnstile Clicks Average Highest
1 Luton Town 51,620 6,452 7517
2 Wrexham 28,258 3,532 6037
3 Grimsby Town 27,150 3,393 4386
4 Cambridge United 24,586 3,073 3740
5 Lincoln City 19,473 2,434 2748
6 Chester City 18,714 2,339 2900
7 Aldershot Town 19,248 2,138 3138
8 Kidderminster Harriers 16,965 2,120 2866
9 Hereford United 14,274 1,784 2386
10 Barnet 12,453 1,779 2543
11 Halifax 13,515 1,501 1805
12 Woking 11,961 1,495 1955
13 Macclesfield Town 11,055 1,381 1720
14 Nuneaton Town 11,017 1,224 1634
15 Forest Green Rovers 8,397 1,199 1858
16 Tamworth 8,846 1,105 2066
17 Dartford 8,806 1,100 1386
18 Southport 7,579 1,082 2210
19 Braintree Town 8,395 1,049 1480
20 Salisbury City 7,409 926 1313
21 Welling 6,562 820 1017
22 Gateshead 5,632 704 944
23 Alfreton Town 5,392 674 783
24 Hyde 4,455 556 786

Welling Injuries & Halifax Mauling Could See Imps Upturn Continue

The Imps travel to Welling Utd, who lost 3-0 at FC Halifax prior to their 1-0 FA Cup win at Brislington on Saturday.  United have been a surprise package so far this season although, like ourselves, injuries to a small squad are starting to tell. Inspirational striker Ross Lafayette – one of the Skrill Premier players of the season so far –  is currently sidelined while Tomlinson is back with a vengeance for the Imps.

Rose Tinted always looks on the bright side of life.

WellingUnitedBadge.png V Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

Manager Jamie Day had to play in the disappointing defeat at Halifax, thanks to a first-half Lee Gregory hat-trick, replacing injured Alex Dyer.  In defence they also have issues although Blaine Hudson returned for Jack Obersteller,who reported sick on the day, with Baily Cargill switching to left back. The Imps also experienced a three goal reverse at Kidderminster thanks to two wonder-goals and an own goal from Boyce.

But at least our leading marksman is back on the goal trail with a brace against Worcester. As to how long is anyone’s guess as he appeared to hint at a move in his post-match interview. United’s leading scorer Ross Lafayette (6 goals and 3 assists in 13) thankfully looks set to miss the game after he was forced off just six minutes into the 1-1 draw with Barnet, but they would go on to beat Braintree 3-2 and Tamworth 2-0 in their next two Skrill Premier games.

Welling have slipped to nineth place after a brilliant start to the season where most pre-season previews had put the play-off dark horses down as relegation fodder like our good selves.  Live-wire Loick Pires had to play up with Guthrie against the Shaymen, with Day in for inspirational central midfielder Dyer. Both sides desperately need to get back to winning ways, but with so many injuries the Imps could not have a better opportunity to get back to winning ways in the League in the first of three away fixtures in the SPL. The home FA Cup game against Plymouth is of course on Saturday 9th November.

BT Vision Blanks Lincoln V Grimsby Clash

Barnet FC, Luton Town, Grimsby Town, Kidderminster Harriers, Cambridge United, Braintree, Hereford Utd and managerless Forest Green Rovers are featured in the next round of BT Skrill Premier live matches but there is still no Christmas cheer for Lincoln City.

Vic Erzantartz smells something Fishy

 Grimb Badge.png V Lincoln City F.C. badge.png  

BT have announced the latest round of matches to cover the festive period but there is still no room at the Inn for the Imps, despite two instalments of the Lincolnshire Derby. The Cambridge V Braintree Boxing Day classic is preferred, with Luton and Barnet getting the New Year nod as opposed to a fixture that attracted one of the highest gates in the division last season.  The Sincil Bank fixture attracted 5,702 with the corresponding Jan 1st rubber seeing 7,405 willing to witness the Imps against the Fishy foe. The Imps have not been at their best in the last three weeks but this is beginning to look like a club snub. 

19-Dec Grimsby v Kidderminster
26-Dec Cambridge v Braintree
28-Dec Hereford v Forest Green
01-Jan Luton v Barnet

Sheffield Wednesday, Millwall & Peterborough trailing Striker

Scouts from Sheffield WednesdayMillwall FC and Peterborough United were at the Kidderminster Harriers V Lincoln City match on Saturday keen to keep tabs on Joe Lolley. They must have been licking their lips as the 3 goals in 11 striker was only denied his fourth of the campaign due to his 55th minute effort being put down as an own goal for Andrew Boyce.

Kidderminsterbadge.pngBadge of Sheffield WednesdayBlue rampant lion above the word Millwall in blue letters.Peterborough United.svg

The Owls, The Posh and The Lions will need to get in quick ahead of the winter window with Steve Burr’s find of the season having another life and soul performance on the right against Newton, the finest left back in the Skrill Premier Division.  The 21 year-old winger cum centre-forward was playing for Littleton in the Midlands Combination up until last season banging in an incredible 88 goals in 83 games.

Burr signed him for an undisclosed fee on July 31st, he has bridged the gap with aplomb and, although Harriers could well be playing League football next season, Joe could well beat them to it by six months.  Burr would probably prefer to keep hold of the lad but with several other clubs interested a big fee will surely test the harriers resolve sooner rather than later.  Take a look at this entry on his growing CV.

Hatters, Harriers & Mariners Menacing Money’s Men

Luton Town and Kidderminster trail Cambridge United while Salisbury City ended Grimsby Town’s  Hurst inspired renaissance with a 1-0 win as they continue to astound.  STMI takes a look at our pre-season tips to return to the football League. For Lincoln ‘mind the gap please’ comes to mind.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

logoLuton Town F.C. badgeKidderminsterbadge.pngGrimb Badge.pngSalisbury City FC.pngLincoln City F.C. badge.png

At the beginning of the season the STMI Big Fat Conference preview saw the title as a four horse race with the remaining play-off spot going anywhere in a Division where anyone could beat anyone.  With fifteen match-days completed how are Cambridge, Luton , Grimsby and Kidderminster doing and currently Salisbury look like nicking the Imps wild card?

Last 5’s PLD W D L F A GD Pts Ranked
Cambridge Utd 5 3 2 0 6 1 5 11 2
Luton Town 5 3 2 0 15 7 8 11 2
Kidderminster 5 3 2 0 8 2 8 11 3
Salisbury 5 3 1 1 7 5 2 11 5
Grimsby Town 5 3 0 2 11 5 6 9 9

So, the Hatters double six clicks, indeed, it appears to be going the one step beyond the non-league’s super-club needs. Luton, under John Still – going for a seventh promotion have won five and drawn two in an unbeaten seven match spree.  The Hatters have only lost twice all season beating The Harriers 2-0 at Aggborough as well as holding Cambridge and Grimsby 0-0 at home.  In those last seven The Hatters have scored 4 goals and three goals on three occasions. With Andre Gray back with a hat-trick last week you feel the Hatters are coming to the boil.  With Tamworth, Gateshead, Southport, Braintree and Chester to come the Hatters could be celebrating Christmas a month early.

Saturday’s opponents, Kidderminster Harriers, look set to continue with a young strike force against the Imps, but in truth they have goal creators and takers all over the park.  The Harriers are unbeaten in five, with just the one defeat in nine, suggesting last seasons fantastic run, that saw them just fail go win the title, has started ominously early.  If the Imps get a point on Saturday we should get the flags out, against a side that has an embarrassment of riches in every department even if Dance will miss this week and next in the cup. With Lincoln, Barnet, Woking, Macc and Wrexham to come, they only need a United wobble to pounce.

Cambridge have the most balanced and in-depth squad in the division, with old sage Money able to rest or rotate to beat the big or the passing sides in the division.  His resting of Cunnington and Sam-Yorke in the 0-0 at Chester, still sees the Black and Amber gamblers remain unbeaten and six points clear with 4 strikers more than able to come in,  Despite the embarrassment of riches up front, the U’s are not big scorers, perhaps due to the policy, with just the one sufficient on most occasions, but they are a hard working side with great experience running through the side. Whether that will be sufficient to avoid the inevitable wobble is anyone’s guess.  Little Salisbury will test that tomorrow, with Southport, Macc, Aldershot and Barnet to follow.

Paul Hurst’s Grimsby do look better without ‘Mr pointy and shouty’  even if successive 0-1 defeats against Cambridge United and Salisbury brought a free-scoring three match run to an end.  The Mariners certainly have quality and strength in depth too; the strike force boasts Hannah, hit-man-Hearn, Cooke and John Lewis, with a terrific midfield that will outplay most teams, but those defeats to top clubs and a 0-0 with Luton suggests the 4-4-1-1 may not accommodate all their strengths sufficiently to be anything but play-off contenders again.  The Mariners will beat Forest Green but Woking and Welling are useful, before Tamworth and Barnet come to Town.

P W D L F A +/- Pts
1 Cambridge United 15 10 5 0 23 6 +17 35
2 Kidderminster Harriers 15 9 2 4 24 16 +8 29
3 Luton Town 15 7 6 2 26 13 +13 27
4 Salisbury City 15 8 3 4 20 15 +5 27
5 Nuneaton Town 15 7 5 3 22 19 +3 26
6 Welling United 15 7 4 4 26 19 +7 25
7 Braintree Town 15 7 4 4 21 15 +6 25
8 Grimsby Town 15 7 3 5 20 15 +5 24
9 Barnet 15 5 7 3 24 18 +6 22
10 Lincoln City 15 6 4 5 16 12 +4 22
11 Gateshead 15 7 1 7 21 20 +1 22
12 FC Halifax Town 15 6 4 5 25 25 0 22
13 Alfreton Town 15 7 1 7 23 25 -2 22
14 Macclesfield Town 16 5 4 7 19 21 -2 19
15 Forest Green Rovers 15 5 3 7 28 26 +2 18
16 Southport 16 5 3 8 16 22 -6 18
17 Hereford United 15 4 5 6 15 17 -2 17
18 Wrexham 15 4 4 7 19 23 -4 16
19 Tamworth 15 4 4 7 13 21 -8 16
20 Dartford 15 4 3 8 14 24 -10 15
21 Woking 15 3 5 7 16 23 -7 14
22 Chester 15 3 4 8 11 21 -10 13
23 Aldershot Town (-10) 15 6 4 5 18 15 +3 12
24 Hyde 15 0 2 13 9 38 -29 2

Skrill Premier Goal Machines

The Aldershot Town, Barnet FC, Luton Town (x2) Macclesfield Town and Welling FC hotshots are being trumped by Nuneaton Town striker Louis Moult (9 goals) and at the moment in the race for the STMI Skrill Premier muddy boot prize. Aldershot’s Brett Williams is second along with Barnet’s Keanu Marsh-Brown on 7 strikes after his penalty decider against the Imps

thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

 

Luton have two players in joint fourth with Luke Guttridge and Andre Gray on 6 goals apiece along with Cambridge Utd’s Adam Cunnington Macclesfield’s Connor Jennings and Welling’s Ross Lafayette. Ross’s team-mate Lee Clarke is just a goal behind on five along with Ben Tomlinson sitting joint 9th.

Top 20 SPL Goal Machines

1 Louis Moult Nuneaton Town 9
2 Brett Williams Aldershot Town 7
  Keanu Marsh-Brown Barnet 7
4 Luke Guttridge Luton Town 6
  Ross Lafayette Welling 6
  Adam Cunnington Cambridge United 6
  Andre Gray Luton Town 6
  Connor Jennings Macclesfield Town 6
9 Ben Tomlinson Lincoln City 5
  John Akinde Alfreton Town 5
  Matthew Barnes-Homer Forest Green Rovers 5
  Jake Hyde Barnet 5
  Andy Brown Nuneaton Town 5
  Dan Fitchett Salisbury City 5
  Luke Berry Cambridge United 5
  Lee Gregory Halifax 5
  Danny Gardner Halifax 5
  Lee Clarke Welling 5
19 Colin Larkin Gateshead 4
  Mark Cullen Luton 4
12 others on 4 goals 4

Skrill Premier Discipline & Hardmen

Chester City, FGR, Tamworth FC and FC Halifax top the card collecting charts (Aldershot Town and Cambridge United are the Angels)  with  a Lamb head and shoulders above any other when it comes to getting into the referees notebook.

thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

 

Pos Contender Yellows Red Points
1 Chester City 29 4 37
2 Forest Green 25 4 33
3 Tamworth 26 3 32
Halifax 22 5 32
5 Macclesfield Town 28 1 30
Braintree Town 26 2 30
Wrexham 26 2 30
Hyde 24 3 30
9 Welling 27 0 27
Hyde 25 1 27
Barnet 25 1 27
12 Lincoln City 24 1 26
Grimsby 22 1 26
14 Woking 11 0 25
Alfreton 11 0 25
16 Dartford 23 0 23
Hereford 20 1 22
18 Salisbury 18 2 22
Gateshead 21 0 21
20 Luton 16 1 18
Southport 18 0 18
Nuneaton 18 0 18
23 Aldershot 15 0 15
24 Cambridge 6 0 6

Now for the men of steel.

Pos Villain Team Yellows Red Points
1 Ben Richards-Everton Tamworth 6 1 8
2 Josh Payne Woking 5 1 7
Jay Harris Wrexham 5 1 7
Michael Kay Chester 5 1 7
5 Jack Parkinson Woking 4 1 6
Jake Gallagher Welling 6 0 6
Liam Tomsett Hyde 4 1 6
James Norwood FGR 4 1 6
John McGrath Alfreton 4 1 6
10 Ben Tomlinson Lincoln 5 0 5
10 players joint 10th   4