Harefield United have called for the Spartan South Midlands League to introduce play-offs to reward high-achieving teams who fall short of winning the title.
In the Premier Division, like other step five leagues, only the champions go up, meaning most of the others have little to play for if one team runs away with it. Harefield, like others around them, have had an impressive campaign but have little but pride to play for as Kings Langley prepare to lift the title.
Hares boss Phil Granville said: “Kings deserve to win the league, I can’t see anybody catching them, but I believe there should be play-offs as it keeps everybody interested, and teams who finished second to fifth deserve another shot at going up. It’s a hard league to get out of as it is, but even more so with just one going up.
“We’ve had a good season but it’s tailed off a little bit as we haven’t done so well against the teams around us. We’ve definitely made good strides towards where we want to be though. We want to be challenging, and we have done that for the majority of the season. We should still finish in top five or six.
“Most of the lads are keen to continue next year, and if we add a couple more we will definitely will be challenging next season.”
Harefield moved back up to fifth on Saturday with a 4-0 derby win over neighbours Hillingdon Borough thanks to two goals from Tom Hunt and one each from Ryan Kinnane and Harry Newman. The result also left rock-bottom Hillingdon on the brink of the drop, and they took the drop when the went down 4-2 at Oxhey Jets on Tuesday night..
Meanwhile, over in Southern One Central, Matty Woods hit a hat-trick, including an injury time winner, as Uxbridge won 3-2 at Bedworth on Saturday, while Northwood lost 2-1 at Rugby Town and AFC Hayes were beaten 3-0 at Marlow.
Bank Holiday Monday saw Hayes effectively relegated despite winning 4-1 against Egham Town, as Beaconsfield’s win over Marlow means only a mathematical miracle can save them on goal difference now. Northwood lost 1-0 to North Greenford and Uxbridge beat Godalming 1-0.