The fact is that all of the top six have still to play plenty of games against fellow top six sides including a couple of sides who have yet to meet at all this season. So, there really could be plenty of twists and turns between now and May.
Prior to the games of Saturday 16th March, this is how the top six looks:
Yarnton (A). They met early on this season with Freeland coming out on top by a score of 3-1. Last season saw Freeland do the double over Yarnton, 4-1 at home and 3-0 away from home. In fact, since their promotion at the end of the 2015-16 season, Yarnton have not managed a point against Freeland, suggesting this one will probably go the way of the away side.
Heyford Athletc (A). Many will see this a crunch game for both sides. Athletic are the reigning champions and, with their games in hand, are the biggest threat to Freeland this season. This sides met in January and shared the spoils with a 1-1 draw. Last season, Freeland took a point off the eventual champions on their own patch but lost 3-0 at home. Athletic are on a good run of form and could well take all three points in this one too.
Mansfield Road (A). Back in October Mansfield Road inflicted one of only two defeats suffered by Freeland so far this season, and what a defeat it was with Road securing a 4-0 victory. Over previous years neither side has really held sway and, with Freeland looking slightly stronger away from home, maybe this has draw written on it?
Middleton Cheney (A). Back in early December Freeland strode to a comfortable 3-0 at home to newly promoted Middleton Cheney, scoring all three goals before half-time. This was the first meeting between the teams since Cheney's 2015-16 relegation season which saw Freeland win 6-1 at home and then be awarded a walkover for the away game. You have to think that Freeland will take all three points in this game too.
Launton Sports (A). It's been an up and down season for mid-table Sports. This will be the first meeting of the teams this season, so it will be something of an unknown match-up. However, looking at the previous six meetings, the odds are stacked against Sports getting a result. In this run they have managed only a single point, losing the other five games with an aggregate of 20-2. This all points to a three-pointer for Freeland.
Cropredy (H). Freeland have already won 3-0 at Williamscott Road back in November and, since Cropredy's promotion, they are yet to beat Freeland, even though both games last season ended in a draw. This is sure to be a tight game as well, but you have to lean towards Freeland on the basis of them winning the reverse fixture this season.
Charlton United (H). Despite being below mid-table, United are the other team to have taken three points off Freeland this season, winning 1-0 in a game that saw the league-leaders reduced to 10 men. At this point in the season, however, you can't see Freeland slipping again, especially at home.
Launton Sports (H). For all of the reason mention above, this have home win written all over it. The previous season had seen both sides record tit for tat home wins and this one has every chance of going the same way with Freeland completing the league double over their rivals.
Kennington Athletic (H). Having already won the reverse fixture 4-1 (see BotP match blog), Freeland must go into this one as favourites. They will still be well in the title race at this point if all results go as predicted, so there is no reason to think of anything but a home win.
Garsington (H). At the time of writing Garsington are second from bottom with just two wins all season. They played Freeland on the opening day of the season, going down 6-0 at home and their last league win came back in November last year. Whether this game is a must win for Freeland, a celebration of a championship already in the bag, or even a dead rubber, it's almost certainly going to end with a home win.
Horspath (H). Saints are very strong at home with just one defeat all season. Horspath are not brilliant on the road with six defeats from ten so far. Everything points to a comfortable home victory.
Heyford Athletic (H). The first of a double-header against the current champions. The last two home games against Athletic have not gone well for Saints, losing 2-1 and 3-0. Heyford are looking to push on and retain their title but may have to make do with a point in this one.
Heyford Athletic (A). If Saints’ home record against Heyford isn’t good, their recent away trips have been a lot worse, losing 4-0 and 7-0. Although Saints are a different proposition this season, Athletic are very strong at home and should have enough to take this one.
Kennington Athletic (H). The game at Playfield Road earlier in the season ended in a 2-2 draw. Taking that and Marston’s home form not account, a draw looks likely in this match too.
Middleton Cheney (A). The reverse fixture this season was awarded to Saints as a home walkover. Whilst the away game probably won’t be a walkover of any kind, it should also provide an opportunity for Marston to tick up another three-pointer.
Garsington (H). A home game against a side very close to the foot of the table, albeit a team that held Saints to a draw at home, should be another chance for Marston to clock up a win. Saints will have the shadow of a forthcoming President’s Cup Final on the horizon, but even that distraction shouldn’t prevent them from winning this game.
Launton Sports (H). Saints end the season with a home game against a Sports side who they beat 6-1 on their own ground earlier in the season. This game really shouldn’t pose any problems for the home side and they should; finish the season with a flourish.
Middleton Cheney (H). The KennyMen have lost just once at home this season, the aforementioned 4-1 defeat to Freeland. They have also already seen off Middleton Cheney 4-2 on their own ground. You can't really imagine that the Premier League new boys will cause an upset in this game.
Garsington (A). This will be the first meeting between the teams this season, with the reverse fixture scheduled to take place three games later. There is no recent history between the teams as promotion and relegation for both teams has meant that they have not been in the same division. Given the league positions of the teams and the gravity of the game, you have to think that The KennyMen will see it through.
Yarnton (H). Kennington had a tremendous 5-3 at Yarnton in the lead up to last Christmas. They also took four points off Yarnton last season. Home advantage, plus historic results points to three points for Athletic.
Masrton Saints (A). Saints earned a 2-2 draw at Playfield Road back in December, a marked improvement on last season in which they lost both games 5-0 and 3-2. Marston are an altogether different team this season and could still be in the reckoning themselves when this game is played. It could well go the same way as the reverse fixture, with a share of the spoils for both teams.
Garsington (H). The second meeting between the sides in a matter of a few weeks. If the first one goes the way of Athletic, as we expect, then maybe Garsington will have some extra bite in terms of gaining revenge? That being said, Athletic don't lose many at home and this one will probably be no different.
Mansfield Road (A). The reverse fixture, in October, ended in a 0-0 stalemate. Last season saw both sides gain home wins in this fixture. This is going to be a tough one to call but a draw would seem to be a likely outcome.
Heyford Athletic (A) Two out of Kennington's last three games are against last season's champions, starting with this one. If results go to plan (which is quite a big assumption in football), Heyford will still be in with a shout of retaining their title at this point. In Athletic's title winning season, last year, both of these fixtures ended as 1-0 home wins. It will be tight again this season but, in this game at least, home advantage should hand the points to Heyford.
Freeland (A). Sandwiched in between the Heyford games is an away tie against this season's title favourites Freeland, making this a really tricky run-in for the KennyMen. Depending on results, not least the previous Athletic game against Heyford, this could even turn out to be the game that Freeland clinch the title. Freeland have already won 4-1 at Kennington and this one could well go the same way.
Heyford Athletic (H). The third of a triumvirate of massive games for Kennington who could, let's not forget, be battling it out for the title themselves at this point. Should the previous two games have gone against the BotP predictor, this could even be a title deciding match and, as stated above, last season both games ended in home wins. Despite this fact, the BotP gut instinct is to give this one to Heyford.
Heyford Athletic (A). Cropredy are another of the top six who have yet to face last season's champions. That changes this weekend as they travel to Athletic in a must win game for The Crop, who have played more games than any of the other contenders. With just seven league games remaining, you feel that they have to win them all to have a chance. Last season both games against Athletic ended in home wins. This one will probably go the same way which would, unfortunately for Cropredy, probably take them out of the title equation.
Chalgrove Cavaliers (H). Crop have already won 4-0 at Chalgrove earlier in the season and, with their opponents seemingly doomed to the drop, this game will most likely go the way of the home side.
Yarnton (A). Having recently put six past Yarnton in the President's Cup Semi-Final and four past the same team in the league in early February, the form book says that this is going to be an away win, especially as The Crop won 3-1 at Yarnton last season and put six past them in the reverse fixture. Crop seem to have some kind of hoo-doo over Yarnton at the moment.
Mansfield Road (H). A tough one to predict. Two well matched sides who will not want to give too much away at this stage of the season. Road won the reverse fixture 2-1 but may just fall short in this one. A narrow home victory for Cropredy.
Bicester (A). Bicester have picked up in recent weeks and, at the time of writing, are actually unbeaten in the league since a 2-1 defeat at Freeland in early January. Of course, by the time this fixture is played, this could have changed. Earlier in the season Cropredy were 4-0 winners in the reverse fixture and should have enough about them to take all three points from a trip to Oxford Road.
Heyford Athletic (H). At this point in the season, if other results go as expected, Cropredy could be out of contention for the league title. That combined with the fact that they will be due to play the President's Cup Final against Marston Saints the following week, may be enough for them to take their eye off the ball for this one. Chances are the Heyford will still be in with a chance of the title and their desire may win through on this one.
Freeland (A). As discussed in the Freeland section, Cropredy have already lost 3-0 at home in the reverse fixture which gives the home side a psychological advantage straight away. Taking into account that this end of season game may well have a lot more riding on it for Freeland than Cropredy and you have to lean towards a home win.
Cropredy (H). As stated above, history and form would seem to have this one down as a home win.
Freeland (H). Also covered above in the Freeland section. A tight one to call but maybe home advantage will swing it towards Heyford.
Marston Saints (A). Saints' previous two games before this one are both at home and both eminently winnable. Therefore, although outsiders, they will still be in the pack at this point and still scrapping. Last season Athletic did the double over Marston but Saints are a different team this term. A draw could be the most likely outcome.
Garsington (H). Heyford won 2-1 at Garsington earlier in the season. Combine that with Garsington's league position and Heyford's home advantage, you can't see anything other than a home win.
Cropredy (A). Again, already discussed in the Cropredy section of this article. Previous results withstanding and with the Cup Final in their sites, Cropredy may have different priorities for this match. Away win for Athletic, keeping the title chase alive.
Chalgrove Cavliers (H). The sides met at Chalgrove just a few weeks ago and the bottom side put up a spirited fight, eventually going down 1-0. Cavaliers may well be playing with the freedom of knowing that their fate is already sealed at this point, but it still looks nailed on as a Golden Bears home win.
Launton Sports (H). Another team that Heyford have already beaten 1-0 on their own turf and, again, you would have to bet on them getting the three points on their own pitch.
Kennington Athletic (H). No doubt a tight game, as mentioned in the Kennington section above, but home advantage should see Heyford through this one
Middleton Cheney (H). Having already disposed of Middleton Cheney by 3-1 on their own ground in early March, you would expect this to be a fairly comfortable home win for Athletic. Having said that, it is quite possible that Cheney might still need a few points to make certain their Premier League position but, even with that in mind, Heyford should prove too strong on their own ground.
Mansfield Road (H). With just a week or two left in the season, probably nothing left to play for league-wise and having just played in a Cup Final, you could forgive Road for not having their focus fully on this game. Add to that the fact that, results permitting, Heyford may still be well in the title race, a home win would seem to be the most likely outcome.
Kennington Athletic (A). Once again this offers the prospect of a very tight encounter between two good sides. The deciding factor could be that only one side has anything left to play for at this point and that could give Heyford the impetus to do the double over their rivals.
Marston Saints (H) - This game currently does not have a scheduled date on the Full-Time site, so it is hard to see what the teams may still have to play for once the fixture does take place. Recent history suggests a Heyford win and, given that their home ground has become something of a fortress this season, there is no reason to believe differently this season
- Mansfield Road
Charlton United (H). The sides have yet to meet this season. However, last season saw Mansfield Road triumph by a score-line of 2-1 in both meetings. Given the respective position of the sides, it is reasonable to assume that home advantage will give Mansfield Road the edge and all three points in this one.
Freeland (H). As mentioned above, Mansfield Road are one of only two sides to inflict defeat on Freeland this season. With that in mind but taking into account that Freeland seem slightly stronger on the road, a draw could well be the outcome of this game.
Cropredy (A). Mansfield Road won 2-1 at home earlier in the season but a trip to Williamscott Road may be different story and Crop might have a bit too much in this one. A slender home victory for The Crop.
Bicester (H). Mansfield Road inflicted a heavy 5-1 defeat on Bicester at Oxford Road earlier in the season. It’s hard to see any other outcome than a comfortable home win in this match.
Horspath (A). The reverse fixture of this game finished as a 3-1 victory for Mansfield Road. At the At the time of writing Horspath have not won a home league game since November, so form would suggest an away victory.
Yarnton (A). Road were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Yarnton earlier in the season and this one could well end in the same sort of scoreline.
Kennington Athletic (H). A goalless draw in the reverse fixture and tit for tat home wins last season. Clearly two well matched sides who could well find themselves sharing the spoils again.
Launton Sports (A). After already defeating Sports 5-3 at the University Club, Road will be looking to complete a league double. Mansfield Road won this fixture 2-0 last season and there is no reason to assume this will be any different.
Charlton United (H). As with the home away game (see above) it is hard to see any further than a Mansfield Road victory in this game especially as this will be a dead rubber for Charlton. The only possible banana skin for Mansfield Road will be the looking cup final coming up shortly after this game. However, even with that in mind, we can expect a home win.
Heyford Athletic (A). Heyford could well be going into this game needing a win to secure back to back titles. Road will almost certainly not have the same urgency in their game with nothing left to play for. With that in mind a home win id on the cards.
So, here's how the final table would look: