FOOTBALL: Those of you with a decent memory will probably remember my prediction a few weeks ago that Torquay United would win the National League and Stockport County would prevail in the play-offs, writes Mark Hearle.
Well, following last weekend’s round of games, part one of that accumulator (I didn’t place a bet) was blown out of the water with Sutton United claiming victory over Hartlepool United to secure League football for the first time in their history.
It is a well deserved success for the South London side, who play their games at the quaintly named Gander Green Lane ground. I remember our visit there earlier in the season when, on a wet afternoon, we were on the end of a 5-0 defeat.
The return game a few weeks ago was a much closer affair, with the visitors running out victors by a single goal.
I remember speaking with the Sutton directors and got the sense of mixed feelings about their club being promoted to the Football League.
The main work that will have to be done is the replacement of their 3G artificial pitch with grass.
These kind of pitches generate so much income for clubs it is a vital part of how they function.
About 40 teams use their pitch for training and recreation football, so you can only imagine the income generated.
Ultimately though, it’s not always about money and the prestige of entering the League will be the thing that the club will be interested in.
It is a great story and I am pleased for them and will be interested to see how they fare.
I will still not change my mind for the play offs, though. They begin next week and I will stick with my original prediction of Stockport to join Sutton in gaining promotion.
I think everyone who came along to the game on Tuesday evening will have left well satisfied with what they witnessed following the 1-1 draw with Solihull Moors.
It was superb to have supporters back in the ground and the noise generated by the 600-or-so in attendance was certainly felt by the team who produced another fighting performance. The entertainment served up was of a good standard, which was a little surprising considering we are at the very back end of what has been a demanding one for players.
From the club’s point of view, the evening went mostly well. We did have a few issues regarding spectator distancing on the North Terrace, however. I ask that if you are attending tomorrow’s final fixture of the season that you please follow the advice given by our Covid and security officers.
It is for your benefit and the club has to follow out the instructions that have been issued to us by the authorities.
If we don’t, then there is a chance we could face problems in the future. Please do the right thing to benefit both yourselves and the club.
Apart from a small electrical fault in the catering outlet at the Tennyson Road End, everything else went very well.
Tomorrow sees the visit of Aldershot Town for an unusual kick-off time of 12.30pm. At the time of writing, tickets were still available to buy but please do remember this all has to be done online, by visiting www.kltown.co.uk and following the links.
The weather forecast is good at last, so it offers a comfortable afternoon of watching some live football for the final time for a few weeks.
It would be great to see as many faces as possible to wave away this difficult season in style.
• Michael Gash and Ryan Jarvis will be leaving the Linnets after Saturday’s game A statement was expected to be released yesterday (Thursday) afternoon.