Many people predicted Aveley a season of struggle in the Ryman Premier Division but their start suggested otherwise.
The Millers won three out of their first five games with some excellent performances getting the results they deserved, and they even
managed to put four past promotion hopefuls Carshalton and six past Kingstonian, and things couldn’t have got any better for Rod Stringer’s side.
But despite the highs there are the inevitable lows and although they progressed in the FA Cup with the aid of three replays in their three
games, all the matches finally took its toll and Rod Stringer’s young side looked a tired side compared to the one at the start.
That led to only one win in six in the league as well as exiting the FA Cup with a spirited effort against Blue Square South side Hampton &
Richmond and the FA Trophy with Carshalton exacting revenge for their early season defeat with a 4-0 win.
No-one has ever doubted the attacking force that Stringer has created at Mill Field with the best of last year’s Ryman 1 North attack in
Brentwood’s Sherwin Stanley and East Thurrock’s Martin Tuohy, but the backline as leaked as many goals as they have scored.
The step up was and is tough and the defence has not been up to scratch but last seasons skipper Sean Francis is back on the scene and
once he regains his match fitness I am sure he will step in and shore up the defence.
There is little between much of the division with the exception of Dartford, who look nailed on for promotion. From third down to twenty
first there is only 14 points separating each team and it is crucial for Aveley that they keep picking up the points otherwise they could
be on the slippery slope and have a relegation battle on their hands.