A little bit of fixture overhang...

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Re: A little bit of fixture overhang...

Postby pgbee » 08 Jan 2019, 21:52

Have we asked Dorchester if they'd agree we can play to a conclusion on Saturday. That would save the need for a replay. They may not agree of course.
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Re: A little bit of fixture overhang...

Postby ninestein » 08 Jan 2019, 21:57

Judging by the announcement on the official site, there would be a replay in the event of a draw against Dorchester.

However, it does feel like sides in our division do get punished in terms of fixture congestion simply by having a trophy run. We're in a very unique situation whereby we have yet to exit any competition come mid January, and who knows when we will. There is a chance we'll have Sat Tues Sat Tues in the coming months, but at worst I'd maybe expect only one week of Sat Tues Thurs. At least we have enough players to rotate a bit.
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Re: A little bit of fixture overhang...

Postby barnetjohn » 08 Jan 2019, 22:25

Both teams can agree to play to a conclusion. But either side has right to veto. My guess is they liked the idea of a replay as it'd be a nice money spinner for them.
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Re: A little bit of fixture overhang...

Postby Norfolk & Chance » 09 Jan 2019, 07:58

If it's tied after 90 minutes we should offer most of the gate receipts if they agree to finishing the tie on the day.
We can afford it after Sunday and the benefits of not having to squeeze in another game far outweigh a few thousand extra £ going to Dorchester.
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Re: A little bit of fixture overhang...

Postby becbee » 09 Jan 2019, 09:18

IMO it's farcical that there isn't a set rule which covers all matches. It shouldn't be possible that some clubs agree to settle on the day but others have one agreeing but the other vetoing. It certainly shouldn't be the smaller club wanting a replay but the bigger, richer club attempting to buy them off.

The FAT should simply be a midweek tournament, no replays, no double semi finals.
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Re: A little bit of fixture overhang...

Postby ninestein » 09 Jan 2019, 09:40

Another way... maybe they should keep Saturdays free for rounds 1, 2 and 3 with the expectation that most of our division will still be involved.
If that means shifting a couple of league fixtures into a dedicated Tuesday night programme prior to Christmas, or nearer the season end, so be it.
Any club which progresses to round 4 onwards has done extremely well, and only then should a league game be sacrificed, and if they go all the way, only a minimal number of league fixtures get affected.

The benefit of keeping the round 2 and 3 slots free in Feb/March is that any teams already eliminated have the freedom to re-arrange any floating fixtures which need fulfilling. Should we go out this weekend, we would have the round 3 slot available to re-arrange one of our games lost to the FA Cup run and help avoid a Sat-Tues-Thurs scenario further down the line.

Whichever way it's done, it won't please everyone, but the competition needs to be given a little tinkering. Get rid of the 2 legged semi final. Draw it as home or away. Luck of the draw. And all ties to be settled on the day. No extra time... straight to penalties.
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Re: A little bit of fixture overhang...

Postby jerroll » 09 Jan 2019, 09:50

becbee wrote:IMO it's farcical that there isn't a set rule which covers all matches. It shouldn't be possible that some clubs agree to settle on the day but others have one agreeing but the other vetoing. It certainly shouldn't be the smaller club wanting a replay but the bigger, richer club attempting to buy them off.

The FAT should simply be a midweek tournament, no replays, no double semi finals.

Then you will see clubs withdraw like Needham Market did - the EFL Trophy can be played midweek as its all full time professional clubs, there are numerous part time clubs who play in the trophy. The problem was casued by extending the conference from 22 to 24 teams between our 2nd & 3rd spells in it. Take out 4 league fixtures and there wouldn't be any issue like this!
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Re: A little bit of fixture overhang...

Postby becbee » 09 Jan 2019, 14:16

Fair comment Jerroll, however greater regionisation would help also.
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Re: A little bit of fixture overhang...

Postby barnetjohn » 10 Jan 2019, 00:10

Agreed. Adding in four extra games means there isn't really space for two competitons played on Saturday's. Getting rid of replays and switching to one leeged semi finals is also a must.

Tournament needs to adapt. The combination of automatic promotion, then conference playoffs, then six team playoffs has steadily reduced the number of clubs who will prioritise the trophy. It needs to adapt accordingly.
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Re: A little bit of fixture overhang...

Postby barnetpete » 10 Jan 2019, 08:40

The more football the better, so what if there are a few extra midweek games. Keep replays, and if this increases the amount of Tuesday games, all good in my opinion. We don't even yet have a problem, there are enough midweeks still to fit in the games.
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Re: A little bit of fixture overhang...

Postby letchbee94 » 10 Jan 2019, 20:43

barnetpete wrote:The more football the better, so what if there are a few extra midweek games. Keep replays, and if this increases the amount of Tuesday games, all good in my opinion. We don't even yet have a problem, there are enough midweeks still to fit in the games.


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Re: A little bit of fixture overhang...

Postby ninestein » 10 Jan 2019, 23:34

There is no reason why a professional full time club can't cope with a freak fixture backlog if it comes to it. The matches will get played. We have enough players on the books to field a side for each of them. The problem is that we see it as a reason to de-rail a potential playoff push through fatigue.

But right now, we must surely take stock and recognise the positive effects our cup runs are bringing to the club. We could potentially have our 4th round tie screened on national TV. If we get past Dorchester we are a step closer to Wembley via the FA Trophy.

In any given season, if you'd offered a top 10 finish, an FA Trophy final apearance at Wembley, and reaching round 4 of the FA Cup as a non league club, I'd take it on condition that it builds confidence and feel-good factor amongst supporters ready for next season.

Of course, we may not get to Wembley, but no-one can take away our FA Cup exploits to date. We could exit the trophy on Saturday and still have a shot at the playoffs. All I'm trying to say is that fixture congestion or not, this club can be ready for the challenge. Just enjoy the ride people! Keep your hands inside the carriage and feel free to scream...
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Re: A little bit of fixture overhang...

Postby barnetjohn » 11 Jan 2019, 07:14

Some good points here Ninestein. I think the key things are 1) the potential tradeoffs between a run to the playoffs and FA trophy success or a further cup run. 2) The balance of cost and reward.

In the FA Cup every game from here on in will be an amazing experience. For the price of one rescheduled league game, we get a day with great atmosphere that boosts the players and energises the fans.

For the FA trophy, going to Wembley is great but before then there isn't much reward for getting through each round. We could win on Sat, win next round but then go out in the quarters or semis and likely those games would be fairly nondescript. It's a bit all or nothing. If we get to Wembley great, but if not it's better to go out now than in the semis. Those, extra games (probably with low attendances) don't give much reward if you don't reach the final.

League success is a somewhere in the middle. Getting to playoffs is a prize, but even a strong run and just missing out would have a bit of a reward, it would energise fans, give confidence to players and help us attract players next season as we look like a club on the up.

So the basic dilemma is do you go for the trophy and risk a fixture pile up that could finish any playoff hopes? . Or prioritise the league even though it's a tough ask to claw our way back into playoff contention?

Or do you go full on both fronts and hope you can somehow manage the fixture pile up?

And if course the choice is further complicated because you don't know the other unexpected events that could crop up. For example : key players could get injured which costs us ground in the league but then they recover a few weeks later (if you knew that we'd go harder on the trophy and forget the league). Or perhaps we'll have a bad draw, bad luck or a bad ref in the trophy quarters (if you knew that in advance you'd sack off the trophy). Or there's a cold snap creating postponements and worsening fixture pile up (in which case the trade off between league & trophy is more acute and pushing for both is a bit harder).

Though we might not have realised it at the time, the decision to postpone the Sutton and Halifax games may end up have quite a strong effect on our season because of the fixture congestion it might end up causing later on. Back in 2014, if a couple of results at the end of the season had been different (winning at Southport and beating Halifax at home) we'd have made the playoffs. Running into congestion at the end this time might cost us a similar number of points.

There isn't an obvious "right" answer here, it's more just a statement of the tradeoffs and tricky decisions the club faces.
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Re: A little bit of fixture overhang...

Postby hoofer2 » 11 Jan 2019, 07:51

barnetjohn wrote:Some good points here Ninestein. I think the key things are 1) the potential tradeoffs between a run to the playoffs and FA trophy success or a further cup run. 2) The balance of cost and reward.

In the FA Cup every game from here on in will be an amazing experience. For the price of one rescheduled league game, we get a day with great atmosphere that boosts the players and energises the fans.

For the FA trophy, going to Wembley is great but before then there isn't much reward for getting through each round. We could win on Sat, win next round but then go out in the quarters or semis and likely those games would be fairly nondescript. It's a bit all or nothing. If we get to Wembley great, but if not it's better to go out now than in the semis. Those, extra games (probably with low attendances) don't give much reward if you don't reach the final.

League success is a somewhere in the middle. Getting to playoffs is a prize, but even a strong run and just missing out would have a bit of a reward, it would energise fans, give confidence to players and help us attract players next season as we look like a club on the up.

So the basic dilemma is do you go for the trophy and risk a fixture pile up that could finish any playoff hopes? . Or prioritise the league even though it's a tough ask to claw our way back into playoff contention?

Or do you go full on both fronts and hope you can somehow manage the fixture pile up?

And if course the choice is further complicated because you don't know the other unexpected events that could crop up. For example : key players could get injured which costs us ground in the league but then they recover a few weeks later (if you knew that we'd go harder on the trophy and forget the league). Or perhaps we'll have a bad draw, bad luck or a bad ref in the trophy quarters (if you knew that in advance you'd sack off the trophy). Or there's a cold snap creating postponements and worsening fixture pile up (in which case the trade off between league & trophy is more acute and pushing for both is a bit harder).

Though we might not have realised it at the time, the decision to postpone the Sutton and Halifax games may end up have quite a strong effect on our season because of the fixture congestion it might end up causing later on. Back in 2014, if a couple of results at the end of the season had been different (winning at Southport and beating Halifax at home) we'd have made the playoffs. Running into congestion at the end this time might cost us a similar number of points.

There isn't an obvious "right" answer here, it's more just a statement of the tradeoffs and tricky decisions the club faces.


On the evidence of the season so far, the form has not suggested a playoff challenge will happen and that we will win 5+ games in a row, which is what will be required to grasp 7th place.

The Cup runs have been a welcome distraction from the middling league form and the players are enjoying them too. The confidence of the players must be high after dispatching Sheffield United, and will hopefully influence a decent run in the league as a result. I am pleased we have the backlog, if we had already played the games I am not sure we would have earned that many extra points on the season so far. DC* must be pleased to have extra games in the bag (*subject to TK)

The Barry Fry teams relished playing Sat > Tues and just wanted to be on the pitch. A bouyant squad will be the same. I'm disappointed I cannot make the Dorchester game, as an ovation is well deserved.
Last edited by hoofer2 on 11 Jan 2019, 09:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A little bit of fixture overhang...

Postby becbee » 11 Jan 2019, 08:48

I don't set my bar very high. Too many seasons of the aim being to avoid relegation have seen to that!
The league has always been my priority - nobody remembers good cup runs the next season but they do know which league you're in.

I didn't even bother going to the Bath match. Nor did half our supporters.
However, things have changed since Darren Currie. I will be at the Dorchester match, as I suspect very many other Bath stay-aways will be. I want us to win. Not because I care about the FAT - I don't. But because I want the momentum to continue. I want DC to continue his unbeaten run. I want more of DC's feelgood factor. I want him to make it impossible for TK to look elsewhere for his next manager. I want to kill stone dead the suggestion of MA coming back with all that entails.

What happens as regards the rest of the season, well, we shall have to see how that pans out. As hoofer2 says, better to have the 4 league matches in hand than having already lost them. Shame some of JS's nightmare bores were played when they were.
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