Passing of lifelong Terrors fan Joe James
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of lifelong Terrors fan Joe James (pictured right) this week. Joe was a regular at home games at the bog end cheering on the players and being a friendly face around the place. Our thoughts are with Joe's friends and family during this difficult time.
Mortigo sign up as sponsor for new season
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We are very pleased to welcome Mortigo as a sponsor for the new season. Mortigo are a whole of market mortgage broker based in Croydon signing up for their first season with us. A big thank you to Mortigo for their support, we look forward to working with them this season!
For more information please go to https://mortigo.co.uk/mortigo-sponsor-tooting-and-mitcham-united-football-club/
Season preview by Ed Parlett
Despite another truncated season of league football, the Terrors managed to lift silverware and end the campaign on a high. On a blisteringly hot afternoon at Hendon, the London Senior Cup was won after a hard-fought 2-1 victory over a young (but very talented) AFC Wimbledon side in the latest Wandle Derby.
We look to build on that impressive end of season form as we embark on a new campaign of competitive fixtures - hopefully one that will be played through to its full conclusion for a change.
As with last term, we begin proceedings with a home tie in the FA Cup. Unfortunately, we were one of the teams from our level to be selected for an extra preliminary round in the competition, curtailing an already planned friendly at Hastings on 7th August, and denying many of our regulars a much anticipated jaunt down to the south coast to soak up some sun before the harsh south London winter envelops us.
Erith & Belvedere will be our visitors in the season opener. The Deres are hardly regular opponents for us. We have never shared a division, so the history of this fixture is restricted to knockout football. We were despatched from the FA Trophy in the 93/94 season when our opponents belied poor form in the Southern League South to register a shock 2-1 win at our former Sandy Lane home. We returned the favour, with a reverse scoreline, twelve years later, at Erith’s adopted home at Welling - where they continue to groundshare to this day. Apart from a handful of matches in London regional cup competitions, these remain our only competitive meetings. Despite their status in the Southern Counties East League Premier Division (one step below us), we must not enter this one with any sense of complacency - memories are still fresh of Fisher eliminating us a year ago, and they are from the same division as this season’s adversaries.
Still, should we be successful in the tie (replays will return for the qualifying rounds this season, it should be noted), we will face the winners of the AFC Croydon Athletic and Crowborough match - giving us the potential of a rarely-played fixture with one of our nearest neighbours, who we haven’t rubbed shoulders with since their reformation in 2013. Potentially, one to look forward to there.
Our quest for league points begins one week later, with a trip down to Woking to face Westfield. The Field, like ourselves, have been at the forefront of the promotion chase for the past few years, and will be difficult opponents on their own turf. If we can return with a positive result from this game, it will set us up nicely for a run in what looks a more competitive division than in recent seasons.
There are some ambitious sides in this league, who believe they should be plying their trade at a higher level. Those who have been jostling for the leading positions in the last two shortened campaigns - Bracknell, Hanwell, Marlow and the aforementioned Westfield - should be in contention for the top spots again. Gone are the Tottenham Hale five (Hertford, Waltham Abbey, Harlow, FC Romania and Ware) along with Barking; their replacements are Basingstoke, Binfield, Guernsey, Sutton Common Rovers and Thatcham - giving the division a more realistic geographical look, given its title.
Whyteleafe were also scheduled to join the fray before the unfortunate situation with their new landlords (well documented elsewhere) left them unable to take their place, and resignation became an unfortunate inevitability. When the fixtures were announced, we were due to visit them on the final day of the season which means we will now be inactive and may be sweating on results elsewhere ahead of the final placings, given our minimum aim of a place in the play-offs.
Of the newcomers, Binfield are an ambitious outfit who have shown consistent form in recent seasons. They will fancy their chances of contesting a play-off place. Basingstoke have been as high as the National League south as recently as 2016, but have struggled somewhat since relegation was quickly followed by another demotion three seasons later. They may be looking for consolidation at this level before mounting a challenge for their former heights in forthcoming years.
Sutton Common Rovers will be a welcome addition, being based just down the road at Gander Green Lane with Football League newcomers United. The Commoners have come a long way in a short space of time, but their elevation to this level gives us a chance to establish another local rivalry in a division disappointingly short of them, joining Chipstead as the only realistic derby opponents.
Guernsey joined the English non-league pyramid a decade ago, with big ambitions. These have been thwarted recently by the pandemic, and by their own considerable financial outgoings which enable them to compete at this level. With travel to and from the Island currently subject to some restrictions, and constant change, it remains to be seen if they will be able to compete in their scheduled fixtures. From our point of view, a potentially interesting away trip has been scheduled for mid-September, but also on a weekend when we may be required to play an FA Cup match (depending on our progress in the competition) so it is touch and go whether we will be able to reacquaint ourselves with the Channel Islanders any time soon.
Completing the newcomers are Thatcham Town, another team who have made great strides in the last few years. The Berkshire side won the Hellenic League and FA Vase double in 2018, and will be eager to test themselves in the South Central following their switch from the Southern League where they finished eleventh in the last completed season in 2019.
Personnel-wise, we are fortunate to have retained the services of most of the players who have served us so well recently; once again Daryl Coleman will captain the side, and provide experience and leadership to the younger heads around him. Dean Hamlin and Tom Jelley will also shoulder the responsibility of guidance and will be joined by the welcome return of former favourite Peter Wedgeworth, who spent last season at East Grinstead Town.
Gary Ross will carry on between the posts, buoyed by his formidable spell of form during the last campaign; in seven matches from the end of September until our visit to Bognor Regis a month later, only one goal went past him - and that was from the penalty spot.
Credit must also be given to the defenders in front of him during this period, particularly Ahkeem Belford and Nathan Daly who have formed a solid partnership in the centre of defence which is set to continue in the season ahead. Kyrique Garvey-Williams returns from injury and showed flashes of his old form in the pre-season friendlies.
Mark Waters and Jake Rose, who developed such a good understanding in the middle of the park, will both be returning to the delight of the Bog End faithful, and Jamarie Brissett will once again be terrorising opposition defenders down the flanks as he looks to build on some impressive outings over the two unfinished seasons.
New signing Andrew Sesay, who joins us from Whyteleafe, has looked impressive in pre-season. He brings strength and power to the front-line, and will vie with Dontai Stewart and Daniel Williams for the attacking spots. Former Charlton Athletic youngster Andre Fearon has also shown good form in the friendlies, and it is to be hoped that he will continue his progress with the Terrors in the season ahead.
As usual, there will be plenty of young players from the Academy looking to make their mark in the first team - amongst them Levi Bassett (brother of former favourite Danny), Anuar Ceesay and the pacey Kevin Turbi, all of whom featured in the pre-season games and showed excellent promise.
With such strength in depth, allied to increasing support off the pitch, an exciting season lies ahead. Under the watchful eye of management duo Ashley Bosah and Cornelius Nwadialor we hope to continue to entertain those who come to watch and cheer us on, whilst maintaining a challenge that will hopefully see us achieve our aims of bringing higher-level football to the banks of the Wandle.
Enjoy the ride, stay safe and thank you for your continued support.