SHOCKED chairman Gamdoor Dhaliwal reacted with mixed feelings after Hillingdon Borough were shunted sideways from the Southern to the Ryman League for next season.
'Dhali' admitted he was surprised that Boro were moved into Ryman One North to join Northwood, who were tipped by some to be heading in the opposite direction, but the move could work out to their benefit.
Boro lose four local derbies and gain only one with the Woods, but they could save around £3,000 on travel costs. The new leagues will be rubber-stamped once appeals have been heard.
"It was quite a big surprise," said the Boro chairman. "We always knew that anything could happen but I didn't thing it would happen that early.
"Financially we've lost four local derbies in AFC Hayes, Uxbridge, Slough and Beaconsfield so we'll lose out on the gate takings but we'll gain on the budget by not doing some of the mileage, so it's swings and roundabouts."
The other immediate effect is that Boro will not be able to defend the Errea Cup.
The provisional leagues involving Hillingdon clubs are printed below (where new clubs were playing last year in brackets).
Conference South: AFC Wimbledon (Ryman Premier), Basingstoke, Bath City, Bishop's Stortford, Bognor Regis, Braintree, Bromley, Cambridge City, Hayes & Yeading United, Maidenhead, Newport County, Redditch (Conference North), St Albans City, Team Bath (Southern Premier), Thurrock, Welling and Worcester City (Conference North). Ryman One North: Aveley, Brentwood, Chatham (Ryman One South), Cheshunt (Southern Premier), Concord Rangers (Essex Senior), East Thurrock (Ryman Premier), Ilford, Enfield Town, Great Wakering, Hillingdon Boro (Southern One South West), Leyton (Ryman Premier), Maldon Town, North-wood, Potters Bar, Redbridge, Thamesmead Town (Kent), Tilbury, Waltham Abbey, Waltham Forest, Ware, Wingate & Finchley and Witham Town. Southern League Division One South and West: Abingdon, AFC Hayes, AFC Totton (Wessex), Andover, Beaconsfield SYCOB (Spartan), Bishops Cleeve (Southern One Midlands), Bracknell, Bridgwater, Burnham, Cinderford (Southern One Midlands), Cirencester (Southern Premier), Didcot, Gosport Borough, North Leigh (Hellenic), Paulton Rovers, Slough, Taunton , Thatcham, Truro City (Western), Uxbridge, Winchester City and Windsor & Eton.