Predictions in good shape for the business end of the season
With the exception of one, all my pre-season MSFL predictions are well-placed to challenge for honours in 2012. I currently have one team in first place, one in second, two in third and one in fourth. Remember, it's a marathon not a sprint.
Hendon United A, my tip for the Premier Division, sit proudly on top of the table. Boosted by summer signings Danny Kon, Ben Lauffer and Motti Colman, they have the look and feel of champions. David Garbacz's troops have won seven out of eight and the treble is still on.
Hotshot Kon has made a huge impact since joining from Los Blancos. He currently tops the Premier goal charts with nine strikes while defender Josh Lipman and playmaker Greg Corin have been in imperious form in a team that has conceded just five times in nine league matches.
Chigwell Athletic have had a decent first half of the season but they cannot afford any more slip-ups in Division One. Glenn Michaels has been in red-hot form with 12 league goals but it's Redbridge B who have been setting the pace in what has turned into a four-horse race.
Stirling Kay's men have been a revelation this season, with Dan Orgel and Mark Zealander scoring for fun, but they face the tougher run-in and there is still a chance that Chigwell's experience will see them through.
The old guard of Daniel Castle, Lee Hyams, Russell Brill and Paul Lenchner have the quality to ensure Richard Slater's troops stay the distance.
Glenthorne United A have been overshadowed by Camden Park in Division Two so far, but I expect them to kick-on in the new year. In Bradley Grant, they have one of the best young keepers in the league while player-manager Dan Lipman continues to pop up with important goals.
Camden have surprised many people this season. Josh Marks' men boast one of only two unbeaten records in the league.
With Glenthorne B, UJIA and Shirley Park raising the bar in Division Three, Neasden C face a real battle if they are to prove me right. I tipped them for glory on the basis that they have a top keeper in Ed Bloom and the versatile Adam Levene will help keep things tight at the back, while player-manager Louis Taylor will contribute a regular supply of goals.
Bloom has since moved on to FC Team but it's the return of Fabio Revieccio to Glenthorne that has really hurt their chances as the Thornes are starting to pull clear. Co-managed by Sam Rosenthal and Craig Sandford, they have won 10 on the spin and there are not many teams in the division who can live with them.
The Division Four title race looks set to go to the wire. SPEC FC have done well to stay in the mix given their injury problems. With keeper Michael Rhodes and Elliot Wallis suffering season-ending injuries, Laurence Conway's team finished 2011 in style with a hat-trick of wins, inspired by the brilliance of captain Ashley Burns, Marc Hecht and midfield maestro Ricky Lawrence. It's turning out to be the most competitive division, with Athletic Bilbaum, Raiders C and Brady B also in contention.