08:00PM, Wednesday 10 March 2021
Although the league season has been curtailed, Marcus Richardson is keeping his fingers crossed that Flackwell Heath could still be promoted from the Hellenic Premier Division this season.
It seems unlikely though and, until a decision is made on whether to void the season or maintain promotion and relegation using a points-per -game (PPG) system, the boss says his focus is firmly on the Heathens progressing in the FA Vase.
The Heathens haven’t played competitively since December when they knocked Chatham Town out of the Vase courtesy of Khalid Simmo’s solitary goal. The 1-0 victory saw Flackwell progress to the fourth round of the competition for an away tie against Lancing FC. The match was due to be played in early January but was postponed, along with all league fixtures, due to the national lockdown. Should the Heathens get back to action once the national restrictions are lifted, boss Richardson fancies his side’s chances at going all the way in the tournament.
“Before everything happened, I felt we had a very good chance of pushing on with this competition,” he said.
“I was pleased with how we were playing, and we looked a real threat. We are in the last 32 so you’ve got to start believing you can do very well.
“I think the competition will start again around April. I am just hoping we can play a couple of games before. Even if it’s just a friendly, I would like my team to play a couple of games first to get back up to scratch. We haven’t played any games since December which is a very long time ago now. I trust 90% of my squad have gone away and kept themselves fit. Most of them have been doing runs and things like that, but you can only do runs for so long, I believe, without having a match or a competition to work towards.”
On his hopes for the league season, Richardson added: “We’re hopeful we can have some clarification on that pretty soon because we are in a really healthy position to get promoted.
“We are top because they never null and voided this season.
“I think the FA are just making sure there are no repercussions or backlash if they are to go about things that way and allow promotion to happen.”
This weekend’s smart motorway closures on the M4 will be shorter than usual due to separate bridge works taking place in West Berkshire (Junctions 13-14)