Aveley spared relegation after all

Millers reprieved in reshuffle

Aveley were told last night they have been spared relegation from the Ryman Premier Division.

Millers finished in the bottom four last season, but a closing-day win at Hastings eventually proved vital for their survival.

Carl Griffths’ side thought they had escaped the drop late last week when Rushden & Diamonds were thrown out of the Conference Premier, which saw Thurrock moved back up to Conference South.

Rushden, having expressed an interest in joining the Southern League, faced a winding-up petition on Monday, which was adjourned for three weeks.

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Aveley feared that would leave them to compete in Ryman Division One North next season, but the goalposts moved again late last night.

The FA’s leagues & clubs manager Mike Appleby contacted Millers club secretary Craig Johnson to give him the good news and explained: “The leagues committee were of the opinion it would be totally wrong at this late stage to wait for up to three weeks for the winding-up petition to be heard.

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“Clubs need to plan for the new season. Therefore the committee agreed the changes to accommodate the vacancy in the Isthmian League Premier Division following the reprieval of Thurrock FC.

“The changes also included Shepshed Dynamo reprieved from Step 5 and Bedworth United and Soham Town Rangers being moved sideways.

“The entire episode meant change for seven clubs. Should the Rushden saga mean the club continues in its current format, provision has been made for them to be included at Step 3, with one competition operating with 23 clubs for next season.”

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