After a small hiatus away, we’re back within another Ex-Gulls report. With the season entering the final straight, in this edition we’ll be looking at players who could be promoted, relegated or in the run for the play-offs.
Ashley Barnes – Burnley F.C.
Our solo Ex-Gull in the Premier League could be seeing himself playing Championship football next season with Burnley F.C. sitting bottom of the Premier League form table and in the relegation zone despite having games in hand against relegation rivals Watford and Leeds United.
Ashley Barnes has only started 4 league games this season and hasn’t scored in his 16 appearances for Sean Dyche’s side who must face Everton, Norwich and Watford in their final 10 games of the season.
Kieffer Moore and Adam Smith – A.F.C. Bournemouth
At the top of the Championship table, it’s feels all but confirmed that Fulham F.C. and A.F.C. Bournemouth will be returning to the Premier League. A.F.C. Bournemouth have two Ex-Gulls in Wales international Kieffer Moore and defender Adam Smith.
Moore’s career at Bournemouth has been far from ideal after he broke his foot on debut in a 3-1 win against Birmingham City after his winter move from Cardiff City, whilst Adam Smith has only recently returned from injury as he looks to help Bournemouth not only secure promotion but keep the best defensive record in the league.
Bournemouth currently sit second behind Fulham but have games in hand against teams below them whilst being 6 points clear from 3rd with 9 games to go.
Dan Butler – Peterborough United
It looks like Peterborough’s stay in the Championship will be a short one as they sit bottom of the table, 8 points from safety. Dan Butler has made 22 appearances but is currently side-lined going into the final 7 games of the season.
EFL League 1
Angus MacDonald – Rotherham United
After winning a dramatic Papa John’s Trophy Final, Rotherham are hoping to complete the double by winning the League 1 title, but they only sit top of the table by goal difference over Wigan Athletic.
After a long time out injured, MacDonald is fit again for the final few games but will miss the next league game after his red card in a 3-0 defeat against Shrewsbury Town.
Ryan Law and Adam Randell – Plymouth Argyle
Down the road at Home Park, automatic promotion is still a dream for Plymouth Argyle as they only sit 3 points behind Wigan Athletic in 2nd but the Latics do have games in hand over the Pilgrims. Law and Randell haven’t started many games this season, but both have made 20+ appearances and have been key components to Plymouth’s success this season.
Billy Bodin – Oxford United and Adebayo Akinfenwa – Wycombe Wanderers
Just outside the play-offs, the race to finish in the top 6 is one to watch with 3 teams battling for that final play-off spot. Bodin’s Oxford United only sit above Wycombe by goal difference with both sides playing 40 games, both of whom are only a point behind Sunderland A.F.C. This season is the “Last Dance” for striker Adebayo Akinfenwa who will be aiming for Wycombe to return to the Championship, through the play-offs, at the first time of asking.
Mustapha Carayol – Gillingham F.C. and Anthony O’Connor – Morecambe F.C.
At the bottom of League 1, Morecambe will hope to continue the run of never being relegated but they sit 2 points of Gillingham who sit 20th in the table.
Anthony O’Connor, who captains the side surpassed his goal tally from the previous season in a 3-2 win against Wycombe in January, which was the Shrimps’ last win before the weekend just gone.
Meanwhile, Kent’s sole Football League representatives, who’ve played a game more than Morecambe have picked up wins since Neil Harris replaced Steve Evans. Unfortunately, for our Ex-Gull, Mustapha Carayol, the arrival of Harris has limited his game time, only playing twice and in his last appearance, he was subbed off at half-time in a 3-0 defeat against Bolton Wanderers.
EFL League Two
Baily Cargill – Forest Green Rovers, Jack Sparkes – Exeter City and Lucas Covolan & Nathan Smith – Port Vale
2 of the top 3 in League 2 are West Country sides with Forest Green sitting 4 points clear of Exeter City. Despite a recent wobble, back-to-back wins have kept Baily Cargill’s side at the top of the table, but Exeter City are hot on their tails as one of the inform sides in the league.
Port Vale currently sit in the final automatic spot by goal difference with Northampton Town and Bristol Rovers also on 66 points. Fortunately for Nathan Smith, Port Vale have a game in hand, the question is though, can they make use of their extra 90 minutes of football? Unfortunately, for our play-off final scoring goalkeeper Lucas Covolan, after his second red card of the season in a 3-1 defeat against Swindon Town he has been replaced by back-up keeper Aidan Stone and loan signing Tomas Holy
Alex Fisher and Rob Street – Newport County
Just outside the play-offs are Newport County who are only a point off Tranmere Rovers. Their play-off push has had a large help thanks to the loan signing of Rob Street from Crystal Palace. After scoring 6 goals in 14 games in Premier League 2, he’s found the back of the net twice in a 1-1 draw against Forest Green Rovers and in their 3-2 defeat against Hartlepool United.
Jamie Reid – Stevenage F.C.
At the other end of the table, Stevenage look close to being relegated to the National League. Steve Evans has replaced former Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale, but it doesn’t look promising for them after only picking up 2 points in their last 10 games. Jamie Reid has scored 3 goals this season, his worst season in front of goal in 6 seasons. With 7 games to go, they only sit 3 points off Oldham Athletic with a game in hand.
There are too many Ex-Gulls involved in the promotion hunt to go through them individually, with only Solihull Moors and Bromley F.C. not having an Ex-Gull in their squad.
Stockport County currently lead the way at the top, 10 points clear at the top but since returning from injury Ben Whitfield has struggled to break into Dave Challinor’s side whose last league defeat was at Plainmoor.
F.C. Halifax Town and Wrexham A.F.C. (Luke Young) occupy the play-off semi-final spots, the former with much help from Billy Waters who for the first time in his career has scored 20+ goals in a season. Chesterfield F.C. (Fraser Kerr, Jak McCourt and Joe Quigley), Notts County (Kyle Cameron, Aaron Nemane and Frankie Vincent) and Grimsby Town (Michee Efete) currently occupy the rest of the play-offs with Ex-Gulls in their sides.
Sitting outside the play-off are Boreham Wood, with the attacking trio of Scott Boden, Tyrone Marsh and Josh Rees alongside Dagenham & Redbridge (Paul McCallum). Both sets of fans would have different views on their play-off chances. Boreham Wood only sit 4 points behind Grimsby Town with 3 games in hand alongside the best defensive record in the National League on their side. Whilst Dagenham & Redbridge sit 7 points off with 9 to play but their recent form has seen them drift away from the post-season drama.
At the bottom of the table, the bottom 3 seem set with Dover Athletic, Weymouth F.C. and King’s Lynn Town sitting adrift, but the poor form of Aldershot Town could see them getting caught into the relegation quagmire. The only Ex-Gull involved at the bottom of the table is Weymouth skipper Josh McQuoid whose side sit 7 points from safety with 9 to play.
National League North
Mike Williamson – Gateshead F.C. and Shepherd Murombedzi – Brackley Town
The title race at the top of the National League North is hotting up with 7 games to go. Mike Williamson is currently the player/ manager at Gateshead who currently lead the table on goal difference against Brackley Town. Brackley who currently sit in second have a game in hand over the Tyne and Wear side and boast the best defensive record, conceding 19 goals in 35 games.
Ashley Hemmings – Kidderminster Harriers
After their exploits in the F.A. Cup, Kidderminster’s main aim for the season is the play-offs with automatic promotion looking out of sight. Ashley Hemmings has been a standout performer scoring 11 goals from midfield.
Daniel Leadbitter, Ben Gerring, Matt Green, Lee Mansell, Tommy O’Sullivan and Lucas Tomlinson – Gloucester City
When Lee Mansell joined Gloucester City in his first senior management role, they were struggling at the bottom of the table, but the former midfielder has guided the Tigers to 9 points from the drop heading into their final 7 games of the season.
National League South
At the top of the National League, we won’t be having an Ex-Gull winning the title, but we could have a few in the play-offs. Despite a strong start to the season, Dartford F.C. (Adebayo Azeez, Kalvin Kalala and Jake Robinson) couldn’t keep the pace going but currently sit in the semi-final spots.
Ebbsfleet United (Shaquile Coulthirst and Elliot Romain) alongside Oxford City (Elliot Benyon) look to secure their tickets for the play-offs in the coming weeks.
The race for 6th is close, currently occupied by Hungerford Town (Duane Ofori-Acheampong and Max Sheaf (On loan from Gloucester City) who have a game in hand with a point more over Dulwich Hamlet (Danny Mills). Havant & Waterlooville (Manny Duku, Joe Oastler, Scott Rendell and Pail Rooney) sit 3 points adrift in 11th with 7 to play. Duku has recently signed a new deal to stay with Havant for the new season after a few years in Scotland.
Welling United (Aaron Barnes and Jamie Sendles-White) are currently on their 4th manager of the season and sit bottom of the table on goal difference, despite winning more games than Billericay Town. Bath City (Ryan Clarke and Alex Fletcher) who’ve played a game more than Welling currently sit 4 points clear off the bottom of the table but their recent form is better than both Welling and Billericay.
Northern Premier League – Premier Division
All 3 of our Ex-Gulls in the Northern Premier League – Premier Division are in the hunt for promotion. The well-invested Buxton F.C. (Jamie Ward) currently lead the way by 2 points on South Shields, with veteran forward Jamie Ward scoring 16 goals in the league this season.
Scarborough Athletic (Simon Heslop) currently sit in the play-offs, 4 points clear off local rivals Whitby Town with goalkeeper Dan Lavercombe’s F.C. United of Manchester hoping to keep up with the pack as they sit 3 points of Warrington Town in the final play-off spot.
Southern League Central Division
Coalville Town (Billy Kee and Chris Robertson) will have to do with play-offs this season as Banbury United won the league at the weekend. There is no fear off them dropping out of the play-off spots as they confirmed their place in the post-season party already.
At the bottom of the table, Lowestoft Town (Ryan Jarvis) are currently at the bottom, 7 points off safety. They have 5 games left of the season, but the form guide suggests they will go down, only picking up 6 points in their last 11 games.
Southern League South Division
The top of the table is one to watch in the Southern League South Division, Taunton Town (Jared Lewington and Lloyd James (on loan from Bath City)) currently sit at the top of the table a point clear of Metropolitan Police (David Fitzpatrick) with a game in hand. Only 3 points behind are Hayes & Yeading United (Kadell Daniel) alongside Farnborough F.C. (Rarmani Medford-Smith).
Weston-super-Mare A.F.C. (Scott Laird) currently sit in the final play-off spot, a point ahead of Chesham United (Chinua Cole) but the Generals have a game in hand on the Seagulls.
Isthmian League Premier Division
Worthing F.C. (Aarran Racine) could secure promotion this weekend if Bishop’s Stortford Town (Jason Banton) fail to beat Banton’s parent club, Kingstonian F.C. and Worthing beat Bowers & Pitsea. Whilst in the play-off race, Hornchurch F.C. (Mickey Parsell) are currently 5 points clear of 6th with 5 games to go.
South League Division One Central
Bedford Town are looking good at the top of the table. They do have Berkhamsted F.C. chasing them but the Eagles have a game in hand as well as the top scoring Ex-Gull of the season, Rene Howe with 30 goals.
Finally, in France, Rhys Healey is firing Toulouse F.C. back to the top tier. They were beaten in the play-off final last season but currently sit 10 points clear at the top after beating 2nd place Paris F.C. at the weekend, Healey scoring the winner. Toulouse only need 10 more points to secure promotion, 11 to win the league!