Japanese Non-league Football News

Kyushu League
The greatest fears of V Varen Nagasaki came true over the weekend, when the ambitious 2006 Kyushu League champions were knocked off top spot of this year's competition by Honda Lock, the club relegated out of the JFL. V Varen's problem is that they can scarcely afford to maintain their squad at Regional level and are therefore reliant upon gaining promotion in 2007. Lock, on the other hand, have coped well with demotion and without doubt have the potential to be the fly in their rivals' ointment.

In the one fixture on Saturday, V Varen got the better of New Wave Kitakyushu on penalties after a 1-1 draw to pick up two points. But on Sunday, Honda Lock surged to the top of the table with a 6-0 thrashing of Volca Kagoshima, making it seven wins out of seven for the Miyazaki side.

With Nippon Steel Oita having a weekend off, the rest of the Kyushu League action was in the lower half of the table, where Nanakuma Tombies succumbed to a 5-0 defeat by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki to stay rock bottom. One place above them are Kaiho Bank SC, who suffered a distinctly humiliating 7-1 loss at home to the students of Osumi NIFS United. And in the other match, the inconsistent Okinawa Kariyushi remain in mid-table despite a 2-0 win over promoted team Kumamoto Teachers.

20 MAy 07 - Honda Lock fight their way past Volca Kagoshima

Honda Lock fight their way past Volca Kagoshima

Sat 19 May: New Wave Kitakyushu 1-1 V Varen Nagasaki (PK 4-5)

Sun 20 May: Kaiho Bank SC 1-7 Osumi NIFS United
Sun 20 May: Kumamoto Teachers 0-2 Okinawa Kariyushi
Sun 20 May: Nanakuma Tombies 0-5 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki
Sun 20 May: Volca Kagoshima 0-6 Honda Lock

1. Honda Lock 21 (+29)
2. V Varen Nagasaki 20 (+32)
3. Nippon Steel Oita 17 (+10)
4. New Wave Kitakyushu 16 (+12)
5. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki 12 (-5)
6. Okinawa Kariyushi 9 (-1)
7. Osumi NIFS United 7 (-8)
8. Volca Kagoshima 6 (-8)
9. Kumamoto Teachers 6 (-13)
10. Kaiho Bank SC 6 (-22)
11. Nanakuma Tombies 0 (-26)

20 May 07 - Nanakuma Tombies concede again to Mitsubishi Nagasaki

Nanakuma Tombies concede again to Mitsubishi Nagasaki

Kanto League Division 2
2007 is a season on the verge of going badly wrong for Kanto League Division 2 favourites Furukawa Electrics Chiba. Having won their opening three games of the year, things seemed to be going well but they've since picked up only one point from a possible nine and on Sunday were crushed 4-1 at home by MSDF Atsugi Marcus. And while Atsugi are now comfortable front-runners, Furukawa have slumped to fourth place behind both of the newly-promoted teams.

Ryutsu Keizai University reserve side Club Dragons go second as a result of their 4-2 defeat of Ome FC and they're followed up the table by Yonoshukonkai. Having last week put nine past the hapless Ome, the complicatedly-named Saitama outfit defeated Kanagawa Teachers 2-0. In the fourth match of the round, Nirasaki Astros moved off the bottom with a goalless draw at home to Hanno Bruder.

Sun 20 May: Club Dragons 4-2 Ome FC
Sun 20 May: Furukawa Electrics Chiba 1-4 MSDF Atsugi Marcus
Sun 20 May: Nirasaki Astros 0-0 Hanno Bruder
Sun 20 May: Yonoshukonkai 2-0 Kanagawa Teachers

1. MSDF Atsugi Marcus 13 (+9)
2. Club Dragons 10 (+11)
3. Yonoshukonkai 10 (+7)
4. Furukawa Electrics Chiba 10 (-2)
5. Hanno Bruder 7 (-)
6. Kanagawa Teachers 7 (-3)
7. Nirasaki Astros 5 (-13)
8. Ome FC 4 (-9)
Kanto League Division 1
Still bossing Division 1 of the Kanto League at the first attempt are FC Machida Zelvia, who made it six wins in a row from the start of the season on Sunday when they squeezed past Toshiba Fuchu. But they left it late to claim all three points against one of the division's weaker teams, big striker Tsubasa Funayama netting the only goal of the game with only four minutes to go.

Hitachi Tochigi Uva remain hot on Machida's heels thanks to a 3-0 win over Toho Titanium in Saturday's fixture. Behind Hitachi there is now a five-point gap to the mid-table trio of Toho, Saitama SC and Luminozo Sayama, who got their disappointing season back on track by beating Saitama 2-1. It's 2006 champions YSCC who have most cause for upset, however - they are now rock bottom of the table after conceding a single goal late in the first half to lose at Yaita SC.

20 MAy 07 - A genuinely pointless photo of Machida Zelvia warming up

A genuinely pointless photo of Machida Zelvia's pre-match warm-up

Sat 19 May: Toho Titanium 0-3 Hitachi Tochigi Uva

Sun 20 May: FC Machida Zelvia 1-0 Toshiba Fuchu
Sun 20 May: Saitama SC 1-2 Luminozo Sayama
Sun 20 May: Yaita SC 1-0 YSCC

1. FC Machida Zelvia 18 (+12)
2. Hitachi Tochigi Uva 15 (+14)
3. Luminozo Sayama 10 (+1)
4. Saitama SC 9 (-2)
5. Toho Titanium 9 (-3)
6. Yaita SC 4 (-13)
7. Toshiba Fuchu 3 (-3)
8. YSCC 3 (-6)
Hokushinetsu League Division 2
Saurcos Fukui are beginning to emerge as genuine promotion candidates out of the Hokushinetsu League Division 2. The club changed their name from FC Kanazu during the close season - and a 1-0 defeat of Teihens FC on Sunday was their fourth win in a row. They are now three points ahead of FC Antelope Shiojiri, who could surprisingly manage only a draw at home to the previously-pointless Toyama Shinjo Club.

Ohara School JaSRA have got off to a decent start following the move from Prefectural League football and notched up another three points by beating fellow promoted side CUPS Niigata 3-1. In the other match of the round, Granscena Niigata put a stop to a run of three consecutive defeats with a good win at Maruoka Phoenix.

20 May 07 - Maruoka Phoenix host Granscena Niigata under grey Hokushinetsu skies

Maruoka Phoenix host Granscena Niigata under grey Hokushinetsu skies

Sun 20 May: FC Antelope Shiojiri 2-2 Toyama Shinjo Club
Sun 20 May: Maruoka Phoenix 1-3 Granscena Niigata
Sun 20 May: Ohara School JaSRA 3-1 CUPS Niigata
Sun 20 May: Saurcos Fukui 1-0 Teihens FC

1. Saurcos Fukui 15 (+8)
2. FC Antelope Shiojiri 12 (+3)
3. Teihens FC 10 (+6)
4. Ohara School JaSRA 10 (+4)
5. Granscena Niigata 9 (+3)
6. Maruoka Phoenix 6 (-2)
7. CUPS Niigata 6 (-6)
8. Toyama Shinjo Club 1 (-16)
Hokushinetsu League Division 1
It was a day of truly sensational scores in Division 1 of the Hokushinetsu League on Sunday, with the overall outcome being that no fewer than five teams are now in genuine competition to take the 2007 championship. Leaders AC Nagano Parceiro slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Zweigen Kanazawa, for whom Yasuyoshi Nara was twice on target; but Parceiro remain in pole position for the time being because their erstwhile nearest challengers, Matsumoto Yamaga Club, were also beaten 2-1 by Japan Soccer College.

And while all this compressed Parceiro, Zweigen, Matsumoto and JSC into within a point of each other, also thrown into the mix are Fervorosa. The Ishikawa club - and therefore Zweigen's local rivals - have swept aside some of the division's weaker teams in recent weeks and continued the trend with a 7-0 beating of Niigata University of Management to go third.

But the action didn't even finish there, in that the fourth fixture of the day was a match-up between bottom pair Ueda Gentian and Valiente Toyama, the latter of whom had prior to kick-off yet to gain a single point following promotion from Division 2 at the end of 2006. Valiente corrected that in no uncertain terms, however, getting off the mark with a 9-0 thrashing of their relegation rivals to move off the foot of the table.

20 May 07 - Happy days for Zweigen Kanazawa players and fans

Happy days for Zweigen Kanazawa players and fans

Sun 20 May: Fervorosa 7-0 Niigata University of Management
Sun 20 May: Matsumoto Yamaga Club 1-2 Japan Soccer College
Sun 20 May: Valiente Toyama 9-0 Ueda Gentian
Sun 20 May: Zweigen Kanazawa 3-1 AC Nagano Parceiro

1. AC Nagano Parceiro 13 (+11)
2. Japan Soccer College 13 (+9)
3. Fervorosa 12 (+12)
4. Matsumoto Yamaga Club 12 (+11)
5. Zweigen Kanazawa 12 (+5)
6. Niigata University of Management 4 (-21)
7. Valiente Toyama 3 (-5)
8. Ueda Gentian 1 (-22)

20 MAy 07 - Woe is Matsumoto Yamaga Club, against JSC

Woe is Matsumoto Yamaga Club, against JSC
Shikoku League
It isn't often that a team scores nine goals, wins a match and moves further behind its nearest rivals in the league table. But the 2007 Shikoku League season is not turning out to be a normal competition. 2006 champions Kamatamare Sanuki thrashed Ehime Shimanami - who suddenly seem to have slipped from being one of the stronger sides in the league to potential relegation candidates - 9-2, only to learn that surprise title challengers Tokushima Vortis Amateur did even better with a 9-0 drubbing of bottom place Sanwa Club.

Nangoku Kochi must wonder what they have to do to gain a place in the top two. They recorded a 6-1 win over Sanyo Electric Tokushima but remain third, a point behind Kamatamare and with an inferior goal difference into the bargain. And in the relegation six-pointer of the day, Ehime's Ventana AC pulled off a crucial 3-1 win to leapfrog Tokushima Comprille SC and move out of the drop zone.

20 May 07 - Ventana AC get past Tokushima Comprille

Ventana AC get past Tokushima Comprille

Sun 20 May: Kamatamare Sanuki 9-2 Ehime Shimanami
Sun 20 May: Nangoku Kochi 6-1 Sanyo Electric Tokushima
Sun 20 May: Sanwa Club 0-9 Tokushima Vortis Amateur
Sun 20 May: Ventana AC 3-1 Tokushima Comprille SC

1. Tokushima Vortis Amateur 16 (+30)
2. Kamatamare Sanuki 16 (+22)
3. Nangoku Kochi 15 (+18)
4. Sanyo Electric Tokushima 9 (-3)
5. Ehime Shimanami 6 (-11)
6. Ventana AC 6 (-14)
7. Tokushima Comprille SC 3 (-15)
8. Sanwa Club 0 (-27)
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