Bridon Ropes manager Mark Murison calls for play-offs between Step Five and Step Six
BRIDON ROPES manager Mark Murison says it’s about time that play-offs are introduced between Step 5 and Step 6 of English non-league football.
The Charlton-based club stunned Southern Counties East Football League strugglers Holmesdale in The FA Vase, winning an exciting replay 3-1 at Oakley Road on 9 September, after playing out a uninspiring 1-1 draw after 120 minutes of football at home.
It was the second time that a Kent Invicta League club stunned Southern Counties East Football League opposition in a national cup competition after Seven Acre & Sidcup knocked out Sevenoaks Town in The FA Cup in a home replay.
Murison said: “It shows the bridge is closing. I’ve always said to the boys, when I got here, I played Southern Counties level and the talent you can see in training and some of the times in pre-season and in games, they’re more than capable.
“If we got shunted up or promoted up to the Southern Counties I’ve got no doubt we wouldn’t shame ourselves. We wouldn’t finish in a relegation spot – we’re better than that!
“The gap between the Southern Counties and the Kent Invicta League is closing and I think it’s about time the Kent Invicta has a play-off because I think it needs to be brought in.
“One-up-one down is not good enough! I think we need to have one-up and one-down and play-offs.
“Even if they do it like the Scottish leagues where you have the play-off winners of the Kent Invicta play second bottom of the Southern Counties for that position, I think it needs to happen.
“I think there’s clubs up there that aren’t good enough and should come down because they’re not as good as clubs in the Kent Invicta. I think they need to look into that.”
Next season the Southern Counties East Football League and Kent Invicta League will join forces with two divisions, with the clubs that do not meet ground grading criteria (floodlights) facing a drop down into the Kent County League.
“I’ve heard that, they’re amalgamating it,” said Murison.
“I hope it’s going to happen and either this year or next year they decide to do the play-offs because it needs it!
“Every division’s got it from every step above it has it and it’s about time that Step 6 and Step 5 have that in their leagues.”