Poppies and Diamonds to collide in the league next season

Respective captains Liam Dolman and Brett Solkhon will be going head-to-head next season after AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Kettering Town were both placed in the Southern League Central for the 2018-19 campaign. Picture by Peter Short
Respective captains Liam Dolman and Brett Solkhon will be going head-to-head next season after AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Kettering Town were both placed in the Southern League Central for the 2018-19 campaign. Picture by Peter Short

Kettering Town and AFC Rushden & Diamonds will collide in league fixtures for the first time next season.

The Poppies and Diamonds have both been placed in the new Southern League Central for the 2018-19 campaign following the meeting of the Football Association’s Leagues Committee yesterday (Thursday), which produced the the provisional club allocations for Steps One to Four.

Diamonds have moved up to that level having secured their third promotion in six seasons as they finished as runners-up in the Evo-Stik South League East in the campaign that has just finished.

And Kettering will remain at Step Three after they missed out in the South League Premier play-offs following their fourth-placed finish.

The two clubs will be joined by the likes of King’s Lynn Town, who were runners-up in the South League Premier, and Tamworth who were relegated from the Vanarama National League North.

Corby Town, meanwhile, have been placed in the Southern League East for next season.

They have been moved from the Evo-Stik League South and will go up against a number of the teams Diamonds faced last season including Cambridge City and Bedford Town.

All allocations are subject to FA appeal over the next week while allocations for Steps Five to Seven, which includes the United Counties League, will be released in the coming weeks.

Allocations for 2018-19

Southern League Central (Step Three): AFC Rushden & Diamonds, Alvechurch, Barwell, Bedworth United, Biggleswade Town, Coalville Town, Halesowen Town, Hednesford Town, Hitchin Town, Kettering Town, King’s Lynn Town, Leiston, Lowestoft Town, Needham Market, Redditch United, Royston Town, Rushall Olympic, St Ives Town, St Neots Town, Stourbridge, Stratford Town, Tamworth.

Southern League East (Step Four): AFC Dunstable, Aylesbury, Aylesbury United, Barton Rovers, Bedford Town, Berkhamsted, Bromsgrove Sporting, Cambridge City, Chasetown, Cinderford Town, Coleshill Town, Corby Town, Dunstable Town, Evesham United, Kempston Rovers, Kidlington, North Leigh, Sutton Coldfield Town, Thame United, Welwyn Garden City.