Category Archives: Stevenage

AFC Wimbledon Five Years Ago Today

In the run up to the Papa Johns Troiphy match tonight for AFC Wimbledon against Arsenal, its interesting to look back five years in time to see what was happening then

Not quite to the exact day, but certainly, there are only four days difference, when a then League Two AFC Wimbledon, were beaten 2-1 at home by Stevenage.

Nothing quite so strange about that on face value… But when you look at the league position for the club after that match, then there are similarities

Indeed, if you compare then and now, AFC Wimbledon were sitting 13th as opposed to their current position of 14th in the table.

Points wise, meanwhile, The Dons had 28, from 21 matches and the exact same goal difference to that of today, which stands at -1.

The match after that defeat was a 2-2 draw in Wales against Newport County. So while a draw this evening against Arsenal’s U21s is hopefully to be avoided, so that the club can take strides towards the last 16 of a cup competition and emulate the recent experience of the clubs Under 18s. When they travelled to Yorkshire to Play Rotherham in the final of the alliance league, winning the game in the last minute, with the last kick of the match… From the goalkeeper of all people

So while the present day stats, based on the defeat on Sunday, make grim reading, the history records showed that not much has changed and in fact overall that season five years ago, the club went on a run which ended with play off victory against Plymouth at Wembley to secure their place in League One.

A similar run this season would be welcomed by all

Is history about to repeat itself? Here is hoping so……

EFL League One & Two clubs vote to end seasons early

Football League One and Two seasons have both been ended early after a vote by all clubs on Tuesday.

Both tables will be settled on points per game, while promotion, relegation and the play-offs all remain.

Coventry and Rotherham have been promoted from League one, While Wycombe leapfrog Peterborough into the play-off places.

Swindon have been crowned League Two champions, but ongoing disciplinary matters mean it is not yet certain who will get relegated into the National League.

Currently, Stevenage are rooted at the bottom of the table, but they could be reprieved after Macclesfield Town were handed a fresh EFL misconduct charge at the beginning of the month.

Macclesfield, who sit three points above Stevenage, have already had 11 points deducted for previous rule breaches this season and have a further suspended two-point penalty hanging over them if they transgress again.

Both votes were passed with an overwhelming majority, according to the EFL. No dates have yet been confirmed for the League One play-offs, but the schedule for the Division Two play-offs has been decided with Colchester entertaining Exeter on Thursday 18th June and Northampton facing Cheltenham on the same day in the first legs. The second legs for all four sides will be on Monday 22nd June, with the Final played at Wembley on Monday 29th June.

Clubs in League One had previously been divided over whether to finish the season or not. Initial talks were put on hold when at least six sides said they wanted to continue the campaign.

However, the new regulations proposed by the EFL board and approved by the 71 clubs on Tuesday, meant just over half of the teams in any division needed to agree on ending the season early.

With the decision of points per game decided by the board, it has thrown up one major change to the League One table, with Wycombe who originally were in eighth placed replacing sixth placed Peterborough United in the play-offs.

After the conclusion of the season, the next few months are going to be a very anxious time for clubs in League One and Two. Many of whom are going to find themselves financially very insecure.

 

Is The League One & Two season coming to an end?

Friday saw a very important meeting take place, with all the owners off the respective League One and League Two clubs, as they come to an agreement with what to do with the rest of the 19/20 campaign.

LEAGUE TWO

After a lengthy meeting on Friday, owners off all of the league Two teams decided that the best option for everyone involved was to finish the league two season, and decide the final table on Points Per Game (PPG).

This would mean that Swindon, Crewe And Plymouth Argyle would all be promoted to League One. Unfortunately, this would mean that Stevenage would be relegated to the National League for the first time in a decade. This means, the Play-Offs would be played  just like any other season ( Two Semi-Finals and a Final) to determine who the final promotion spot goes too.

A statement on The League Two Season was released by the EFL on Friday.  Here is what was said:

“Having considered the protocols and costs that would be required to be met to conclude the current season, League Two clubs have unanimously indicated a preferred direction of travel to curtail the campaign in line with the framework outlined by the EFL Board.

In addition, clubs asked for consideration to be given to suspending relegation to the National League for 2019/20 as a result of circumstances created where fixtures cannot be completed. No commitments were made in this respect and the Board will now consider the implications of the division’s preferred approach at their next meeting.”

So, therefore, the vote is subject to approval from the EFL and the FA.

League One

In the same way as League Two, The Owners from all of the respective League One clubs held a meeting to determine what would be the best way to finish the League One Season.   However, they couldn’t come to an agreement on what was best, but IF League One was to be determined using PPG, Coventry & Rotherham would be promoted to the Championship.  Subsequently, Tranmere Rovers, Southend United & Bolton Wanderers would be relegated to League Two.  Just like League Two, however, The Play-Offs would stay the same, (Two Semi-Finals & A Final) to determine the final promotion place.

Here is what the EFL had to say on the League One Season:

“There were varied views shared in League One and it was determined that there would be a further period of reflection and consultation to understand what creative solutions could be implemented. It was acknowledged that the need to find innovative and creative solutions was of paramount importance as was the need for decisions to be taken quickly.” 

There is expected to be an announcement on the League One Season in the next couple of days.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN LEAGUES ONE AND TWO?

With UEFA announcing today that they require leagues to make decisions about the remainder of the season, 24/7 football decided to look more closely at the effects of Covid-19 on lower tier football in England.

It has been rumoured that in EFL Leagues One and Two promotion may be decided through an eight team mini tournament. In turn this would mean no relegations for the 2019/2020 season, instead additional relegation places would be introduced for next season.

With a clear conflict of prioritising the opportunity to go up and trying to negate the effects of relegation, it goes without saying the league organisers have a real struggle on their hands. From the perspective of teams struggling at the bottom of their respective leagues, such as Bolton, Southend, Stevenage and Morecombe, this could be a blessing. A null and void season with no relegation could be seen as a ray of hope to recruit and rebuild for the upcoming season.

On the other hand it could simply just postpone their misery. Relegation was instated for a reason, in that the clubs which find themselves at the foot of the table simply could not cut it in their league. However, like with most football matches, no one result can be predicted. Condemning a team to relegation would be a subjective decision that those at the bottom would not have been able to change their fortunes in the regular season, an issue which would undoubtedly have been highly disputed by fans and clubs alike. Additional relegation spots next season could ensure increased competitiveness, delivering great football but with the cost of more heartache for those extra teams who face relegation.

Now turning interests to the top of the table, and the idea of a potential eight team play-off tournament. This in fact seems like a good prospect, in terms of competition and could produce some wonderful football games.  Not only that but it will also includes some new and unprecedented traits. This idea would see eighth placed teams granted with an opportunity of promotion, great for them, but the higher placed teams will have greater competition.

Arguably the higher teams should experience a little more ease in promotion, in reflection of securing results through the duration of the season. In fact this method does recognise that this season is far from regular and holds the potential to be an exciting prospect of a new promotion scheme. Even if these games are held behind closed doors.

Which brings me to my next point. The play-offs. Wembley. Your team in the play-offs at Wembley. Would not dream of missing that would you? In what can sometimes be a once in a life time experience, the play-offs are the pinnacle of English League football. We cannot imagine the play offs being the same this season, with the sheer lack of competitiveness, nerves and atmosphere. It would cause a huge anomaly for this season, let alone the absent fan experience.

In this particular situation we are inclined to side with idea of the two top sides securing promotion as normal, with the teams in the play-off places staying put. With future plans in mind and with recognition of the play-off placed teams during this season, it would be interesting to see the 2020/2021 start with positive points on the board for play-off placed teams, to increase the likelihood of their promotion next season.

This season and the next as like any other, will see clubs struggling with the financial loss in relegation and the struggle with keeping up with monetary issues in the higher league after promotion. The EFL are tasked with finding an answer that will be best for these clubs, a conclusion which is continuing to become more and more complex.

Carabao Cup: Round One Draw Announced

The Carabao Cup Round One draw was made on Thursday evening from Morrisons, Colindale, North West London.

There were two stand out ties from the draw with AFC Wimbledon playing MK Dons, while newly-promoted Salford City will face Leeds United.

The draw was conducted by two former England internationals in John Barnes and Ray Parlour and was split into two regions – North and South.

Huddersfield Town, the hightest-ranked team in the Northern Section, will face Lincoln City while the highest ranked Southern side, West Bromwich Albion, will face Millwall.

Every club from Sky Bet League One and League Two enter the Carabao Cup in Round One, along with 22 Championship clubs.

Only Cardiff City and Fulham – who finished 18th and 19th respectively in the Premier League last season, will enter in Round Two, alongside the clubs from the Premier League, not in European competitions.

The first round matches are scheduled to take place week commencing Monday 12thAugust, with the final due to take place on March 1, 2020.

Full Round One Draw can be seen below:

North Draw

Tranmere Rovers v Hull City

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers

Wigan Athletic v Stoke City

Port Vale v Burton Albion

Nottingham Forest v Fleetwood Town

Bradford City v Preston North End

Blackpool v Macclesfield Town

Blackburn Rovers v Oldham Athletic

Mansfield Town v Morecambe

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland

Scunthorpe United v Derby County

Rochdale v Bolton Wanderers

Huddersfield Town v Lincoln City

Middlesbrough v Crewe Alexandra

Shrewsbury Town v Rotherham United

Sheffield Wednesday v Bury

Salford City v Leeds United

Barnsley v Carlisle United

South Draw

Colchester United v Swindon Town

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons

Oxford United v Peterborough United

Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City

Plymouth Argyle v Leyton Orient

Wycombe Wanderers v Reading

Charlton Athletic v Forest Green Rovers

Gillingham v Newport County

Stevenage v Southend United

Luton Town v Ipswich Town

Walsall v Crawley Town

Bristol Rovers v Cheltenham Town

Brentford v Cambridge United

Coventry City v Exeter City

Swansea City v Northampton Town