Bowman on the Road: Season has started with gusto

Crawley Town players celebrate Joe McNerney's equaliser during their 1-1 draw with Barnet. Picture by Phil Westlake SUS-160820-235453002
Crawley Town players celebrate Joe McNerney's equaliser during their 1-1 draw with Barnet. Picture by Phil Westlake SUS-160820-235453002

The 2016/17 season has started with gusto here in Sussex and all our featured teams have gotten off to useful starts in their respective leagues.

Brighton and Hove Albion currently second in the Championship thanks to two wonderful home wins which no doubt many of you witnessed first hand at the Amex. Things haven’t been going so well on the road but a couple of draws can not be sneezed at.

Sight seeing at Sizewell Nuclear Plant SUS-160113-154657001

Sight seeing at Sizewell Nuclear Plant SUS-160113-154657001

Newly promoted Haywards Heath Town, to the Southern Combination Premier County league, have been scoring goals for fun in their 1st two games and lie in top spot. Things are surely going to get tougher for Shaun Saunders and his Hanbury Park team as stiffer challenges lie in wait. Indeed the club will have to throw off the disappointment of being dumped out the FA Cup on Saturday against Peacehaven.

However, I know that they are looking for Ryman League progression as soon as possible so Blues fans could be in for a very exciting season indeed.

Ian Chapman at Burgess Hill was a little disappointed with his teams 1st two results but pleased with their efforts. At 4.50pm last Saturday afternoon his and the clubs season exploded into life when Dan Thompson smashed home a 90th minute winner - 1-0 - at the Green Elephants Stadium. The Ryman Premier League is a very tough environment to ply your trade and any win is to be celebrated.

By all accounts the game against Enfield Fc was a very tight affair played in difficult windy conditions. Huge congrats to everyone concerned but it’s guaranteed that Ian won’t see it that way if they have lost to Hendon Fc away on Tuesday! Grinding season to come at the Elephants but hopefully 52 points can be racked up as soon as possible.

We end this piece with Crawley Town of the Sky Bet Football League Two.

After 5 stunning years on the rise the club had hit the buffers in the past two seasons losing the last 8 games of 2015/16. The close season saw a new chairman in Ziya Eren and a new manager in the shape of Dermott Drummy.

However that couldn’t stave off critics many of whom had the club as relegation candidates. Those doubters might be reconsidering after 4 league games as CTFC sit proudly in 2nd place. My daughter Rebecca and Nephew George recently took the opportunity of breaking a North Devon family holiday to take in Exeter Fc v the Reds last Tuesday. It was a bit of a drive from Appledore to St James Park but obviously fair play to the 60 or 70 Reds fans who had travelled from Sussex. We took our places on the dodgy open terrace behind the goal. The match itself was pretty captivating, more mid field endeavour than clear cut chances. If I am honest the hosts should have won but Town defended resolutely through out.

Then then with time running out Josh Yorwerth waltzed through a tiring defence to slot the perfect shot into the far corner. In that one moment 70 Crawley fans erupted, old school terrace celebrations. It felt an honour to share that that with them and the reason for going to football all made sense. Lets hope that Crawley can sustain a promotion tilt but you get the feeling that Dermot is going to need a lot of luck to take his side back to League One.

More from me in early September.

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