In-form league leaders Brightlingsea Regent are on the brink of creating history
Brightlingsea Regent could wrap up an historic promotion to the Ryman Premier this afternoon, depending on their result and the outcome of Maldon & Tiptree’s home clash against Dereham.
The R’s have been in fantastic form all season, particularly since the turn of the year, and they could clinch the title against visiting Romford today.
James Webster’s men, who have only lost once in 2017, will be assured of top spot if they beat mid-table Romford at North Road, and the second-placed Jammers fail to beat Dereham.
Similarly, if the Jammers lose to Dereham, and the R’s pick up at least a point, then the race for the Ryman North crown will be done-and-dusted, with three rounds of matches still to play.
Certainly a bumper crowd should be at North Road today.
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The R’s have won a remarkable 16 of their last 19 games, with two draws and just one loss.
And even if they fail to win the title this weekend, then they will have another chance on Good Friday when they travel to Witham Town. They play the day before Maldon are at Romford.
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“It’s potentially a big weekend for us, and we’re looking to tick off another game with another win,” explained manager Webster.
“It’s very much in our own hands, and we’d love to finish the job in front of our own fans, although we know that results elsewhere will be a factor.
“When I first took over, at the start of this journey, we were getting crowds of 120, but last weekend we had a crowd of 330 (2-1 win over Hornchurch), and before that we were hitting 220.”
Maldon are nine points adrift of the R’s, with four matches left. They stayed in the title race with a 3-0 home win over Wroxham last weekend, and are guaranteed a play-off place at the very least.
Elsewhere, Bury Town, fresh from their 2-0 home win over Thamesmead Town last weekend, courtesy of first-half goals by Leon Ottley-Gooch and Ollie Hughes, enjoy home advantage again. Play-off hopefuls Cheshunt are the visitors to Ram Meadow.
Heybridge Swifts, who are still not mathematically safe from relegation, are away at Aveley.
The Swifts are five points clear of the drop zone, and so need to win at least one of their remaining four fixtures to safeguard their Ryman North status.