By John Mead


Few would have tipped runaway League leaders Braintree Town as this Season’s title contenders.     A well established Blue Square Bet South side for sure, that was, until the appointment of Rod Stringer as Manager in the close Season.

Stringer’s pedigree at the time was relatively untested.    He is well known to us here at Wood for guiding Aveley to last Season’s Ryman Football League Play-offs, a challenge that we ended with our Semi-Final 0 – 1 victory en route to the Final and of course promotion!

Whilst  Aveley are now Stringer-less and contesting a similar Season to ourselves, two points off the foot of the table in a pack of five sides fighting it out for survival, his current charges and today’s visitors have seemingly left all challengers in their wake.

Currently nine points clear at the top of the table with just fourteen games to go, the prospect of the likes of Darlington, Mansfield Town, Wrexham and dare I mention Barnet visiting Cressing Road in six months time are very much a possibility.

Led by Stringer, The Iron is living the dream.    However today’s contest should be a tough challenge for them, given that both sides have lost just one League match in their last seven!

Hopefully that statistic will give Mr. Stringer nightmares, that is until you look a little deeper.    True, both sides lost on November 13th, when we were narrowly defeated by Dover Athletic here at Meadow Park in a five goal thriller, whilst Town lost at home to Bromley by two goals to nil.

There ends the coincidences as we have lost six League matches since then, to Braintree’s one!

However with the strongest Squad we have probably ever had at our disposal, led by Ian Allinson, there is no reason why we cannot put one over the high flying Mr. Stringer this coming Saturday in our quest for survival.

Get down to Meadow Park for another must win “Cup Final” contest.

Saturday 26th February, Kick Off 3pm.

Finally our thoughts are with Jamie Guy after his horrific leg break a week ago.


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