Brantham have outside promotion chance

BRANTHAM Athletic still have an outside chance of playing in the Ridgeons League next season.If Brantham finish in the Senior Division top four, Ridgeons secretary Nigel Spurling has confirmed that a request will be made to the Metaltec SIL management committee to allow them to be considered for promotion.

By Elvin King

BRANTHAM Athletic still have an outside chance of playing in the Ridgeons League next season.

If Brantham finish in the Senior Division top four, Ridgeons secretary Nigel Spurling has confirmed that a request will be made to the Metaltec SIL management committee to allow them to be considered for promotion.

In theory, Brantham have to finish in the top three, but Spurling said today: “We will wait to see where Brantham finish before deciding what happens next.


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“If they finish fourth, I may ask the SIL to allow them to move up.”

There is a shortage of teams around the country at Step 6 (Ridgeons Division One) level because clubs have been supplied to move up and not been replaced.

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Clubs like Grundisburgh and Haughley in the SIL and Gas Recreation in the Border League are happy to stay - as is their prerogative - where they are.

The Ridgeons League wants to expand their First Division from 19 to 22 clubs, and there is an application from Braintree Wanderers, who will play at Braintree Town's ground, to join next season.

Wanderers are effectively a new club, and the FA have been approached for guidance.

Whether ambitious Brantham move up remains to be seen, but unless they beat Ransomes tomorrow - and Crane Sports lose at home to East Bergholt - they will have to wait at least 12 months.

Andy Clarke is to resign from Felixstowe United after tomorrow's match against Westerfield, along with his assistant Robert Charles.

It is believed that Clarke is heading to Brantham to work with current manager Tony Hall and strengthen Brantham's battle for Ridgeons football.

Felixstowe United chairman Kevin Welton said today: “Andy has done very well for us and we are sorry to see him go.

“He has let us know in time to have a new man in charge by the start of next season and we are inviting applications.”

Felixstowe United were involved in a big game on Tuesday when Grundisburgh's 1-0 victory virtually guaranteed the SIL title for the village side.

And Clarke goes out with another crucial match tomorrow.

Westerfield need to win to secure their senior status - any slip-up will open the door for Achilles to escape the drop if they gain something against a Grundisburgh side that needs one point to be absolutely certain of beating Haughley for the Championship.

Felixstowe United switched Tuesday's game to Dellwood Avenue, but they will play at their normal Kirton recreation ground tomorrow.

“It was a mistake to switch the game,” said Welton. “The pitch was bumpy and we will feel much more at home tomorrow.”

United are going to play home matches at Trimley Sports and Social Club next season, sharing with BT Trimley, who still have a chance to gain promotion from the First Division.

If Achilles and Westerfield both win, Stowupland Falcons could still be relegated at the first attempt if they fail to gain something against Coplestonians.

Applications for the first team manager's vacancy at Felixstowe United should be sent to Kevin Welton, Felixstowe United FC, Candy Cottage, 109 High Road, Trimley St Mary, IP11 0TR by May 19. Welton can be contacted on 07768 810673 for further information.

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