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IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: Steps 1 -7 Relegation & Promotion as it stands

With just seven or so weeks of the season (barring play-offs) here are the Steps 1 to 7 relegation and promotion placings as things stand. (Main photograph by Rob Barraclough)

Step 1 (National League)

Promotion is pretty straight forward, top spot is promoted to League Two which currently stands at Leyton Orient.

A second side is promoted via the play-off’s, which involves teams placed 2nd to 7th, with two Quarter-Final, two Semi-Final’s and a Final. Current teams are: Wrexham, Solihull Moors, Salford City, AFC Fylde, Harrogate Town and.Gateshead.

The bottom four teams are relegated from the National League and placed into the appropriate National League North/South, then a slight reshuffle may occur due to the split of N/S to ensure an even distribution between the leagues.

Current sides in the relegation zone: Havant & Waterlooville, Aldershot Town, Maidstone United and Braintree Town.

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Step 2 (National League North/South)

A very similar scenario to Step 1 occurs, with the same promotion, play-off terms, but only three relegation spots.

Chorley are currently leading the National League North, whilst Torquay United are 5 points clear at the top of the National League South.

Play-off’s for National League North contains: Stockport County, Spennymoor Town, Brackley Town, Bradford Park Avenue, Altrincham and AFC Telford United. Whilst National League South contains: Woking, Welling United, Chelmsford City, Dartford, Bath City and Billericay Town.

Currently in the relegation zone in National League North are FC United of Manchester, Ashton United and Nuneaton Borough. Whilst from National League South their is East Thurrock United, Hungerford Town and Weston-Super-Mare.

Step 3

Six teams overall will be promoted to Step 2 from Step 3. These will comprise the leading club in each Step 3 division, together with two of the four divisional play-off winners, following inter-divisional play-offs.

Currently the top leaders in the four Step 3 divisions are Dorking Wanderers, Farsley Celtic, Weymouth and Kettering Town.

The 16 sides inside the play-offs are: (Bostik Isthmian Football League Premier Division) Haringey Borough, Merstham, Tonbridge Angels and Enfield Town, (EvoStik Northern Premier Division) Warrington Town, South Shields Nantwich Town and Gainsborough Trinity, (EvoStik Southern League Premier Division South) Taunton Town, Met Police, Salisbury and Poole Town (EvoStik Southern League Premier League Central) Stourbridge, King’s Lynn Town, Stratford Town and Alvechurch.

At Step 3, the bottom three sides will be relegated to Step 4. If any spaces are available at Step 3 due to clubs dropping out then the “unlucky playoff winner” at Step 4 with the best PPG will be promoted. If there are more than two vacancies then relegated clubs will be reprieved on a PPG basis. The bottom club of each division will not be eligible for a reprieve.

The 12 sides currently in the relegation places are: (Bostik Isthmian Football League Premier Division) Harlow Town, Wingate & Finchley and Burgess Hill Town (EvoStik Northern Premier Division) Mickleover Sports, Workington and North Ferriby United, (EvoStik Southern League Premier Division South) Dorchester Town, Frome Town and Staines Town, (EvoStik Southern League Premier League Central) Lowestoft Town, Halesowen Town and Bedworth United.

Step 4

At Step 4, the side finishing 1st will be automatically promoted to Step 3. Sides finishing 2nd to 5th will go into playoffs. This will result in 7 sides winning their divisional playoffs. However, of these sides, only the 5 sides with the highest PPG will be promoted to Step 3, therefore 2 sides will win their respective play-offs and will NOT be promoted.

The current leaders of each Step 4 Division are: Atherton Collieries, Morpeth Town, Peterborough Sports, Blackfield & Langley, Hayes & Yeading, Bowers & Pitsea and Cray Wanderers.

The following is a list of teams currently in the play-offs of their respective leagues, with their points-per-game displayed. The bottom three sides however, if they currently won their play-offs would not be promoted due to their inferior points-per-game total.

Bromsgrove SpS1C2.267
Maldon & TiptreeI1N2.167
Yate TownS1S2.100
Corby TownS1C2.067
Heybridge SwiftsI1N2.033
Coggeshall TownI1N2.000
Runcorn LinnetsN1W1.967
Pontefract CollierN1E1.931
Bracknell TownI1SC1.931
Ashford UnitedI1SE1.929
Brighouse TownN1E1.897
Cirencester TownS1S1.867
Ramsbottom UtdN1W1.862
Haywards HeathI1SE1.857
Hastings UnitedI1SE1.828
Tadcaster AlbionN1E1.767
Didcot TownS1C1.767
Winchester CityS1S1.759
Bedford TownS1C1.621

At Step 4, the bottom two sides will be relegated to Step 5. If any reprieves are available then the side with the best PPG will be reprieved. The bottom club of each division will not be eligible for a reprieve.

Currently in the relegation zones throughout Step 4 are Kendal Town, Skelmersdale United, Gresley, Stocksbridge Park Steels, North Leigh, Aylesbury, Fleet Town, Barnstaple Town, Molesey, Egham Town, Mildenhall Town, Romford, and Greenwich Borough.

Note: Thamesmead Town resigned from the Isthmian 1 South East. They will take up the “20th position” in that division, therefore effectively will be relegated.

Aylesbury have indicated that they will be demoted from the Southern 1 Central due to ground grading issues. 19th in the division will be reprieved, if Aylesbury finish 18th or higher.

Step 5

Only the side finishing 1st in each Step 5 division will be promoted to Step 4, with NO play-offs.

The 14 sides currently occupying top spot in their respective leagues are Sutton Common Rovers, Histon, Stansted, Brimscombe & T, Ilkeston Town, City of Liverpool, Worksop Town, Dunston UTS, Chichester City, Corinthian, Tring Athletic, Daventry Town, Sholing and Willand Rovers.

At Step 5, the bottom two sides will be relegated to Step 6. If any spaces are available at Step 5, then the remaining Step 6 runner ups will be promoted. After they have been exhausted, reprieves will be available to the side with the best PPG. The bottom club of each division will not be eligible for a reprieve.

The 28 sides currently in the bottom two are: CB Hounslow Utd, Walton & Hersham, Great Yarmouth Town, Framington Town, Leyton Athletic, Barkingside, Abingdon United, Longlevens, Dunkirk, Wolves S C, West Didsbury & C, Abbey Hey, Harrogate RA, Goole AFC, Whickham, Penrith, Arundel, Eastbourne Utd, Croydon, Hollands & Blair, Cockfosters, Stotfold, Kirby Muxloe, Wellingborough W, Bemerton H H, Andover New Street, Hengrove Athletic, Shortwood Utd.

Step 6 (Following information as correct as of Tuesday 5th March)

28 promotion spots available for Step 6 to Step 5. This will mean the Champion club from each division, plus the 9 runners up with the best PPG across the 19 divisions. Should there be any vacancies at Step 5, then the amount of runners-up being promoted will be increased.

At Step 6, promotion is compulsary. However, clubs in the SWP are allowed to turn down promotion due to location/costs. This could open up an additional promotion spot.

Due to Thamesmead Town folding at Step 4, there will be a vacancy at Step 5, thus a 10th runner up will be promoted.

The 19 sides with the best PPG (not top of their leagues as some clubs have played more games than others in their respective leagues so to even it out we have selected it this way): Frimley Green, Selston, Harleston Town, Hashtag Utd, Burnham, Easington Sports, Heather St Johns, Longridge Town, Rylands, Hallam, Billingham Town, Exmouth Town, Alford, Erith & Belvedere, Harefield Town, Anstey Nomads, Amesbury Town, Haughmond, Cheddar.

The top 10 sides from the 2nd Best PPG table would also be promoted, with the next 9 sides not qualifying.

Current PosClubLeaguePPG
R C WarwickMidland12.444
1Exmouth TownSWP2.414
2Easington SpH1W2.400
2Lutterworth TUCL12.393
2Newark FlowsEastMids2.379
2Broadfields USpartan12.379
2Keynsham TWestern2.321
2Hythe & DibdenWessex2.310
2Frimley GreenCCL12.222
1Welling TownSCE12.185
3Halstead TownECS2.179
4Swaffham TEC1N2.115
2AFC AldermastH1E2.000
3Wythenshawe ANWC1S1.966

At Step 6, the suggestion is that the bottom two sides will be relegated to Step 7. If any reprieves are available then the side with the best PPG will be reprieved. The bottom club of each division will not be eligible for a reprieve.

The 38 sides currently in the relegation zones are Fleet Spurs, Cove, Borrowash Victoria, Arnold Town, Felixstowe & W R, Wisbech St Mary, Fire United, Brightlingsea Res, Abingdon Town, Chinnor, Tyherington Rock, New College Swindon, Nuneaton Griff, Littleton, Daisy Hill, Atherton LR, Ellesmere Rangers, Stone Dominoes, Harworth Colliery, FC Bolsover, Brandon United, Durham City, Launceston, Sticker, Midhurst & Easebourne, Worthing United, Rochester United, Meridian VP, Codicote, Hatfield Town, Raunds Town, Thrapston Town, Totton & Eling, Andover Town, Pershore Town, Pegasus Juniors, Portishead Town and Bristol Telephones.

Step 7

There are 45 divisions at Step 7 and just 38 sides promoted to Step 6. These sides will be ranked on a PPG basis with the top 38 being promoted and each division will only be able to promote one side. Here are PPG taken the top PPG from each division (not necessarily top spot due to games in hand etc).

Current PosTeamLeaguePPG
1Letchworth GCHerts2.889
1St PanteleimonMddx2.875
1Buckhurst HillEssOly2.824
1Newcastle UniNorthAll2.750
1Golcar UnitedW Riding2.722
2Hucknall TownCMS2.688
2Worcester RWMRL12.609
1Lebeq UnitedGlos2.480
2Saffron DynamLeics2.455
2Sunderland WWearside2.391
1Shefford T & CBeds2.364
4GNP SportsMidland22.304
1Staplehurst MKent2.208
3Marlow UnitedThames2.200
3Brigg T CICLincs2.125
4Hunslet ClubW Yorks1.957
7Whittlesey AthPboro1.955
6Stafford TownStaffs1.739

Information extracted from Peter Miller’s excellent spreadsheet.

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