Melton St Audrys, Stanton and Old Newton fighting to avoid relegation from Touchline SIL Premier Division

Colin Macrow

Colin Macrow

Archant

While Achilles and Grundisburgh battle it out for the SIL Premier Division title, spare a thought for the trio of teams fighting to avoid the drop into Division One.

Westerfield United’s 2-0 home win against East Bergholt in midweek all but ensured their position in the league next season, thanks to their superior goal difference, meaning one of Melton St Audrys, Stanton and Old Newton United will be relegated tomorrow.

All three teams are away from home this weekend, with Melton travelling to Crane Sports, Stanton going Leiston St Margarets and Old Newton visiting Westerfield United.

Currently occupying the final relegation spot are Old Newton and manager Colin Macrow admitted Westerfield’s midweek win means his side’s fate is no longer in their hands.

“I was hoping we would be able to go to Westerfield and it would be a winner-takes-all scenario,” said the long-serving boss.

“Westerfield were around the bottom two or three until Tuesday night, when they finally made themselves safe, whereas we were about fifth or sixth bottom and dropped into trouble at the wrong time.

“I think we are a better team than the league table suggests but we have only got ourselves to blame. We are in a situation where we could win and go down and draw and stay up.

“We’ve dropped points in games where we should have done better, yet we inflicted Ipswich Valley Rangers’ first home defeat and we were winning 2-1 at Felixstowe Harpers recently until we gave away a late penalty.”

Relegation for Old Newton would represent a blow, especially as the club were crowned Senior Division winners as recently as four years ago.

Macrow knows an immediate return to the top-flight would not be easy.

“I have been at the club eight or nine years as manager and it took us three years to get up into the Senior Division. It’s tough to win promotion,” added Macrow.

“The next season we went on and won the Senior Division title, but unfortunately that side broke up almost immediately with players going to the likes of Stowmarket and Debenham.”

At the top, leaders Achilles require a point from their home game against Felixstowe Harpers to clinch their first Senior Division title for 26 years, while second-placed Grundisburgh must win at home to Ipswich Valley Rangers to give themselves any chance of pipping Lee Osborn’s team to the post.

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