Date: Wed 11 May 2022

By Steve Whitney

How They Fared in 2021/22 - Division One South

A look at how the season went for individual clubs in the Pitching In Southern Football League in 2021/22.

AFC Totton

How frustrating for Stags supporters, players and officials to finish agonisingly one point off a top-five spot after being in contention for the majority of the season.

Dan Sackman took the Stags` reins following the departure of Glenn Howes and James Wood to Southern Premier Division South side Dorchester Town and went on to oversee 29 games. However, he was replaced by Jimmy Ball in March, but he couldn’t help them over the line.

The third top scorers in the league and fourth-best defensive record suggest there is not too much wrong at the Snows Stadium, so few would bet against them challenging again in 2022/23.

Finishing Position: 3rd

FA Cup: Preliminary Round

FA Trophy: Third Round

Top Scorer: Hisham Kasimu

Watch Out For: Ethan Taylor

Barnstaple Town

The Devon club made a valiant effort to rescue what always looked like an unlikely task in avoiding relegation when they employed the experienced Craig Laird as manager in January.

But, despite a raft of new signings and some decent wins, Barum always had too much to do and will now have to re-group and go again.

Finishing Position: 19th

FA Cup: First Qualifying Round

FA Trophy: Second Qualifying Round

Top Scorer: Phil Ormrod

Bideford AFC

For a large part of 2021/22, Bideford looked like joining Devon rivals Barnstaple in being relegated.

But a better second half of the season saw Sean Joyce’s side pull well clear of any danger and won three of their last four matches.

Finishing Position: 12th

FA Cup: Preliminary Round

FA Trophy: Second Qualifying Round

Top Scorer: Louis Jagger-Cane/Matt Buchan

Watch Out For: Matt Buchan

Bristol Manor Farm

Lee Lashenko’s men pipped AFC Totton for fifth spot and then lost to Winchester City in the play-off final.

A run of nine unbeaten league games at the end of the season took them into the play-offs and surprised many by beating runners-up Frome in the semi-finals.

Despite the efforts of Owen Howe, Manor Farm were the lowest scorers in the top six, so Lashenko will no doubt have that area of the pitch high on his shopping list in the summer.

Finishing Position: 5th

FA Cup: Preliminary Round

FA Trophy: Second Qualifying Round

Owen Howe

Owen Howe

Top Scorer: Owen Howe

Watch Out For: Jayden Nielson

Cinderford Town

A killer for Alex Sykes` side to suffer a 5-1 hammering by North West Counties Leaguers Skelmersdale United in the Inter-Step play-off and it now seems likely that the Foresters will be playing in the Hellenic League in 2022/23.

Finishing Position: 17th

FA Cup: Preliminary Round

FA Trophy: First Round

Top Scorer: Zach Drew

Cirencester Town

A terrific season for the Centurians ended in play-off semi-final defeat to Winchester City.

But John Brough’s side can be proud of the way they maintained their challenge throughout the campaign and finished just 4 points behind champions Plymouth Parkway.

Finishing Position: 3rd

FA Cup: Third Qualifying Round

FA Trophy: Third Qualifying Round

Top Scorer: Josh Parsons

Watch Out For: Levi Irving

Evesham United

Flattered to deceive for the majority of the 2021/22 campaign. Threatened to get sucked into the relegation scrap at one time but finished comfortably clear in the end.

Neil Hunt will need to strengthen to get the Robins challenging at the other end of the table next term.

Finishing Position: 13th

FA Cup: Preliminary Round

FA Trophy: Second Qualifying Round

Top Scorer: Kyle Belmonte

Watch Out For: 22-year-old striker Kyle Belmonte

Frome Town

Looked like being champions until Plymouth Parkway enjoyed their marvellous end-of-season run.

Even 12 games unbeaten from February 12th until the end of the campaign couldn’t overhaul the Devonians, so it was a surprise when they lost to Bristol Manor Farm in the play-off semi-finals.

Danny Greaves` side are very well supported and will no doubt be challenging again in 2022/23.

Finishing Position: 2nd

FA Cup: Third Qualifying Round

FA Trophy: First Round

Top Scorer: Kane Simpson

Watch Out For: Rex Mannings

Highworth Town

Ross Adams` side enjoyed a solid campaign, enjoying some excellent results.

Only a poor finish when only two draws were obtained in their last seven games, prevented the Worthians from finishing higher. But ending up in the top ten is a decent return.

With only Bideford scoring fewer goals though, it’s pretty clear where Adams will need to focus his summer squad strengthening!

Finishing Position: 10th

FA Cup: First Qualifying Round

FA Trophy: Second Qualifying Round

Felipe Barcelos

Felipe Barcelos

Top Scorer: Felipe Barcelos

Watch Out For: Oliver Case

Larkhall Athletic

A tremendous run in the FA Trophy was the highlight of the Larks` 2021/22 campaign.

They were inconsistent in the league though and really finished badly, going 13 games from March 5th until the season`s end without a win.

Results like a 4-2 win at play-off winners Winchester City and a 9-1 hammering of Barnstaple show how good Ollie Price’s men could be as was their Trophy run which was only ended by National League leaders Stockport County.

Finishing Position: 11th

FA Cup: Extra Preliminary Round

FA Trophy: Fourth Round

Top Scorer: Sam Crumb

Watch Out For: Sam Crumb

Lymington Town

The fact that the New Forest outfit avoided going straight back down to Step 5 suggests a decent season.

They picked up successive wins at Willand Rovers and, most crucially, at home to fellow strugglers Cinderford, which made them safe before they finished with two heavy defeats at Winchestere and at home to Frome.

Finishing Position: 16th

FA Cup: Second Qualifying Round

FA Trophy: Second Qualifying Round

Top Scorer: Freddie Bullard

Watch Out For: 20-year-old Freddie Bullard

Mangotsfield United

A return to Step 5 beckons for the Mangos after winning promotion in 1999/00.

In truth, it looked likely from quite early on when they took some real batterings, such as a 6-0 home hammering by Plymouth Parkway and a 5-0 Cossham Street loss to AFC Totton.

It will be interesting to see how Mangotsfield fare back at the lower level.

Finishing Position: 18th

FA Cup: First Qualifying Round

FA Trophy: Second Qualifying Round

Top Scorer: Wayne Nderemani

Melksham Town

One of the best-supported teams in the division, but in truth, Richard Fey’s side never really threatened to join the promotion party.

Three defeats in their opening four league games didn’t help but they also enjoyed some good results, such as beating Bristol Manor Farm at The Creek and hammering Slimbridge 5-0 on their own patch.

Their support though will be demanding better in 2022/23.

Finishing Position: 8th

FA Cup: Preliminary Round

FA Trophy: Third Qualifying Round

Top Scorer: Luke Ballinger

Watch Out For: 20-year-old Jay Malshanskyj

Paulton Rovers

A decent campaign for John Rendell’s side and they came through a spell of 10 away games in 12 matches in league and cup during October and November quite well and threatened to be a top-five challenger.

But it never really happened, and Rendell will look to strengthen a defence that let in more than any other team in the top 12.

Finishing Position: 9th

FA Cup: Preliminary Round

FA Trophy: Third Qualifying Round

Leighton Thomas

Leighton Thomas

Top Scorer: Leighton Thomas

Watch Out For: Will Harvey

Plymouth Parkway

What can you say about Lee Hobbs` side that hasn’t already been said many times now!

A truly phenomenal first season at Step 4 level and the momentum Parkway have could see them threaten the top teams in the Premier Division South in 2022/23.

Only Winchester exceeded their 92 goals scored in the league and their fanatical support is almost worth a goal start in games at Bolitho Park!

They also enjoyed a tremendous run in the Trophy which only came to an end up in the north east at National League North outfit Spennymoor Town.

Finishing Position: 1st

FA Cup: First Qualifying Round

FA Trophy: Fourth Round

Top Scorer: Jack Crago

Watch Out For: Billy Palfrey

Sholing

An ultimately disappointing season for the Boatmen, who were expected to challenge strongly for at least a play-off spot.

They did so for large parts of the season but fell 6 points adrift of the top five in the end, despite a good finish.

Defensively decent, they will look to strengthen at the other end of the pitch in the summer, but few would bet against them challenging in 2022/23.

Finishing Position: 7th

FA Cup: Third Qualifying Round

FA Trophy: Second Qualifying Round

Top Scorer: Dan Mason

Watch Out For: 20-year-old Brad Targett

Slimbridge

The Swans suffered some poor results and at one stage looked like being sucked into the relegation dog fight.

Only the bottom two and Lymington conceded more goals than Slimbridge, so it’s pretty clear where summer recruiting will be centered on.

Finishing Position: 14th

FA Cup: Preliminary Round

FA Trophy: Second Qualifying Round

Top Scorer: Will Hawes

Watch Out For: Edj Mbunga

Willand Rovers

A disappointing end to the season saw Rovers finish in a much lower position than looked likely at one stage.

One win in their final twelve matches condemned them to 15th.

They were defensively reasonable and had some good results, such as a 5-1 win against Premier Division South neighbours Tiverton Town in the League Cup.

Finishing Position: 15th

FA Cup: First Qualifying Round

FA Trophy: First Round

Top Scorer: Ben Griffith

Watch Out For: 20-year-old Ben Griffith

Winchester City

A fantastic finish to a great season for the Citizens saw them win the play-off final and earn promotion for the first time.

They were the top scorers in the division, finishing with 93 – one more than champions Parkway.

Manager Craig Davis knows he will need to bolster his squad next season to compete at Step 3 level though.

Finishing Position: 4th

FA Cup: Preliminary Round

FA Trophy: First Qualifying Round

Top Scorer: Ollie Balmer

Watch Out For: Josh McCormick