Hornchurch have trip to Blofield to face Norwich United next season in Ryman North
PUBLISHED: 15:00 16 May 2016
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The Club Allocations for 2016-17 were announced last week and the Ryman North have lost five and gained five teams.
We have lost AFC Sudbury and Harlow Town both promoted into the Premier Division. We also lose two local clubs in Barkingside and Redbridge, both of whom will now play in the Essex Senior League next season.
The fifth to depart is Cray Wanderers, who are transferred into the Ryman South, and coming into the Ryman North are Brentwood Town, relegated after just one season from the Premier Division, and VCD Athletic, also relegated.
Coming up from the Essex Senior League is Bowers & Pitsea, who had a very successful season, taking the championship by two points from Basildon Utd, and also reaching the semi-final of the FA Vase.
And for Hornchurch, Norwich United, who come up from the Eastern Counties League, will be a new venue, as we have never played there before. Despite the name, they do not play in Norwich, as their ground is eight miles east of Norwich, at Blofield, which is just off the main road to Great Yarmouth.
One other club, Ware, have been transferred sideways from the Central Division of the Southern League.
Ware last played at Bridge Avenue in December 2006, when Hornchurch won 2-1 with goals from Simon Parker shortly after half time and Jimmy McFarlane on 64 minutes took Urchins to a 2-1 win.
And although Wroxham were relegated at the end of the season, they have been given a reprieve and will remain in the Ryman North.
The Ryman North has a distinctly Essex - East Anglia look about it. Thirteen of the teams are Essex based with Brightlingsea Regent the furthest afield.
Haringey Borough, although in Middlesex, qualify as an ‘honorary-Essex’ club, as they came up from the Essex Senior League.
Bury, Dereham Town, Norwich Utd, Soham Town Rangers and Wroxham are all in East Anglia, so we should have a few pleasant away days to come, providing we do not have to go to any of them in midweek, as we did at Leiston a couple of seasons ago.
Phoenix Sports, Thamesmead Town and VCD Athletic are all ‘just over the bridge’ (the QE11 bridge, not the real Bridge), so we can again count the number of roundabouts from the Dartford side of the bridge to Thamesmead - at the last count it was fourteen, but a new one always seems to be springing up along the route.
And there are two in Hertfordshire, Ware and Cheshunt so the league is a mixture of local matches and trips up the M11 towards Norwich.
Two ex-Urchins are on the move - Danny Cowley and his brother Nicky have both joined Lincoln, following their remarkable achievement of taking Braintree into the play-offs for the Football League.
For anyone wanting to take in a match this week, the Essex Olympian League cup final will be played at Bridge Avenue on Tuesday between champions Kelvedon Hatch and runners up Manford Way. Kick off is at 7.30pm.