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AFC Telford - Fighting for the future

Thursday 22nd March 2018

Non-league football can be quite exciting even though it is under the radar. One side struggling to survive in non-league football this season is AFC Telford. They currently play in the Vanarama National League North. But what is their story so far?

Formed in 2004 the Bucks were set a new objective after the original club beforehand, Telford United, folded. This said club was actually founded in 1872. The problem they faced was financial and the disbandment basically dissolved the club. This meant a new start and the fans felt they were stripped of any positivities. However, they did receive a new rebranded stadium in 2003 named the New Bucks Head. Holding well over 6,000 capacity it can be considered good enough for Football League fixtures. Traditionally playing in white they still have a reputation around the county of Shropshire. Their biggest rival is Shrewsbury Town who are just eastwards on the M54.

Major achievements for the club include winning the Conference North title during the 2013-14 season. They also won the Conference League Cup back in 2009. Since then it has been an aim to get back into the higher leagues. Obviously, the conference would be the next aim but right now Telford are struggling to stay in their current league. The Conference North.

Former Wales international defender Rob Edwards is currently in charge and trying to help the Wellington-based club stay away from the drop. They are just inside by goal difference but have won two of their last four games. The most recent being a 1-0 away win against Alfreton on Tuesday night thanks to a Marcus Dinanga goal. Even though Telford are not in a safe place they do have two or three spare games over other teams surrounding them which could be a lifeline for them.

Although AFC Telford look to be struggling this season they would definitely want to be the other end of the table but their focus currently is taking it one game at a time. Their next game is Darlington at home this Saturday. The Quakers have won three of their last four matches so it won't be an easy game, to say the least. Telford fans will also be keeping their ears open to the fixture between Curzon Ashton and Tamworth as the result of that game could be crucial. Curzon Ashton are above Telford by goal difference and Tamworth are just two points ahead.

Most of the goals have come from forwards. All but six. Dinanga is leading the line with nine and will be hoping to add to that tally this weekend. The Burton Albion loanee has impressed this season and could be one of Telford's answers to escape the dreaded drop. Last season they escaped relegation by just one point and don't want to go through the same process. The Bucks have 10 games left just like Curzon Ashton above them. But Alfreton who are two places above have eight left to play while Tamworth only has seven.

Rob Edwards will have to make sure he gets at least a few wins from these final fixtures and getting any kind of points in the spare games will be an added bonus. The final fixtures include five teams from the top half of the National League North including Spennymoor twice. The Bottom half fixtures consist of Bradford PA in 12th who haven't won in five games, Leamington in 14th who have won three consecutive games and Boston in 16th who haven't won in five. They also have Gainsborough who are currently three points behind the Bucks in 21st place. That match could be very big as it will be the third to last fixture.

With the current situation, AFC Telford know the drill. The club's future is at stake and this Saturday will be another gut-wrenching time for fans as they hope to see their beloved side try to escape the claws of relegation into the Northern Premier League.

Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.


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