Torquay United F.C.
Torquay United Football Club is a professional association football club based in Torquay, Devon, England. The club participates in the National League, the tier of English football. They are based at Plainmoor and are managed by player-manager. The original Torquay United was formed in 1899 by a group of school-leavers under the guidance of Sergeant-Major Edward Tomney, relations between the two Torquay clubs were poor, but in 1921 matters finally came to a head. From 1923 onwards the league was split into Eastern and Western halves, in 1925, the club battled through five qualifying rounds to reach the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in the clubs history. Captain Percy Mackrill lead the team through two 1–1 draws before a strong Reading side won the second replay 2–0 at Plainmoor. The club then went on to lose the Southern League Championship final against the Eastern Champions Brighton & Hove Albion Reserves 4–0, finally the town of Torquay had a professional league team and had joined Plymouth and Exeter in the football league at last. The side for that first game was, Millsom, Cook, Smith, Wellock, Wragge, Conner, Mackey, Turner, Jones, McGovern, a crowd of 11,625 watched a 1–1 draw with Torquays goal coming from Bert Turner. Throughout the 1930s Torquay struggled against financial problems, such as having to replace the roof when it was blown off in 1930. They also failed to finish higher than 10th in twelve seasons, in the last few seasons before league football was suspended during the Second World War, Torquay struggled in Division Three South, finishing 20th, 20th and 19th out of 22 teams. In 1939, Torquay qualified for the final of the Third Division South Cup, however, the 1939 final was never played due to the outbreak of the Second World War. When league football was resumed in 1946, United continued to struggle, with the change of colours came a change in fortunes starting with the clubs greatest ever FA Cup moment that very season. After defeating Cambridge United 4–0 at home and Blyth Spartans 1–3 away, Torquay were drawn against Leeds United, away, in the third round of the Cup. The Torquay United versus Huddersfield Town fourth round FA Cup game at Plainmoor will always live on in the memory of those who attended the match on 29 January 1955. Torquay lost 1–0 to the higher-placed Division One club, but the attendance of 21,908 remains a Club record. Following their FA Cup heroics, in the 1956–57 season Torquay just missed out on promotion to Division Two on goal average, the season had begun well – and by April, the possibility of a first promotion to Division Two was the talk of the town. A trip to Crystal Palace for the team and over 1,500 Torquay fans travelling on the last day of the season beckoned. However, after two seasons in the Third Division they were again relegated on the last day of the campaign, with a 4–2 away defeat at Barnsley
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west, the Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east, the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain in its centre and south, and includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight. England became a state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the worlds first industrialised nation, Englands terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north and in the southwest, the capital is London, which is the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the name England is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means land of the Angles. The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages, the Angles came from the Angeln peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea. The earliest recorded use of the term, as Engla londe, is in the ninth century translation into Old English of Bedes Ecclesiastical History of the English People. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars, it has been suggested that it derives from the shape of the Angeln peninsula, an angular shape. An alternative name for England is Albion, the name Albion originally referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus, specifically the 4th century BC De Mundo, in it are two very large islands called Britannia, these are Albion and Ierne. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, the word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins. Albion is now applied to England in a poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England, Lloegr, the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago, Modern humans are known to have inhabited the area during the Upper Paleolithic period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and it is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages, the remaining population consists of Africas largest communities of European, Asian, and multiracial ancestry. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a variety of cultures, languages. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the recognition of 11 official languages. The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup détat, however, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a role in the countrys recent history. The National Party imposed apartheid in 1948, institutionalising previous racial segregation, since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the countrys democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is often referred to as the Rainbow Nation to describe the multicultural diversity. The World Bank classifies South Africa as an economy. Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, and the 34th-largest in the world, in terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa. However, poverty and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed, nevertheless, South Africa has been identified as a middle power in international affairs, and maintains significant regional influence. The name South Africa is derived from the geographic location at the southern tip of Africa. Upon formation the country was named the Union of South Africa in English, since 1961 the long form name in English has been the Republic of South Africa. In Dutch the country was named Republiek van Zuid-Afrika, replaced in 1983 by the Afrikaans Republiek van Suid-Afrika, since 1994 the Republic has had an official name in each of its 11 official languages. Mzansi, derived from the Xhosa noun umzantsi meaning south, is a name for South Africa. South Africa contains some of the oldest archaeological and human fossil sites in the world, extensive fossil remains have been recovered from a series of caves in Gauteng Province. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has termed the Cradle of Humankind
Southern Football League
Together with the Isthmian League and the Northern Premier League it forms levels seven and eight of the English football league system. The structure of the Southern League has changed several times since its formation in 1894, the Premier Division is at step 3 of the National League System, and is a feeder division, mainly to the National League South but also to the National League North. Feeding the Premier Division are two divisions, Division One South & West and Division One Central, which are at step 4 of the NLS. These divisions are in turn fed by various regional leagues, professional football developed more slowly in Southern England than in Northern England. Additionally, a league, the Southern Alliance was founded in 1892, with seven clubs from the region. Nonetheless, another attempt was made to form the Southern League, a competition for both professional and amateur clubs was founded in 1894 under the initiative of Millwall Athletic. Initially only one division was envisaged, but such was the enthusiasm, the sixteen founder members were, 2nd Scots Guards withdrew before the first season started and were replaced by Southampton St Marys. Woolwich Arsenal attempted to add their reserve side to the second division, the Southern League soon became the dominant competition below The Football League in Southern and Central England. By the turn of the century a few of the Southern League sides began to rival the Football League in the FA Cup, Two Southern League clubs, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur reached the final of the FA Cup around the turn of the century. Tottenham Hotspur are the club from below the 2nd level of English football to have won the FA Cup. The champions of the two leagues during this period met in the annual Charity Shield, in 1907, it accepted Bradford Park Avenue, a northern club, as a member, reflecting its senior position at the time. In 1920, virtually the top division of the Southern League was absorbed by the Football League to become that leagues new Third Division. A year later the Third Division was expanded and regionalised, the Third Division clubs from the previous season became the Third Division South, with the addition of the Third Division North. Of the original members, six – Gillingham, Luton Town, Millwall, Reading. For the next six decades, the Football League and Southern League would exchange a number of clubs as a result of the older leagues re-election process. From 1920 onward, the Southern Leagues status as a league was firmly established. In turn, the APL would eventually succeed in becoming a feeder to the Football League, the league lost more of its top clubs in 2004 when the Conference added two regional divisions below the existing National League, the Conference South and Conference North. The first sponsor of the Southern League was Beazer Homes who sponsored the league from 1987–96, the sponsors after Beazer Homes to the present day are, Dr Martens, British Gas, Zamaretto, Evo-Stik, Calor Gas, and Evo-Stik
Western Football League
The Western Football League is a football league in South West England, covering Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, western Dorset, parts of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. The leagues current main sponsor is Toolstation, so it is known as the Toolstation League. The champion club may apply for promotion to a Step 4 league, below the Western League are four local leagues covering smaller areas, the Gloucestershire County League, the Somerset County League, the Dorset Premier League and the Wiltshire League. The South West Peninsula League Premier Division is also a feeder to the Western League but due to having Step 6 status, Premier Division, Division One, The league was formed in 1892 as the Bristol & District League, and became the Western League in 1895. In the years before World War II, many teams played in both the Southern and Western Leagues, the Western League was considered as secondary to the Southern League. On four occasions, member clubs have lifted the FA Vase, Tiverton Town twice, Taunton Town once and most recently Truro City, totton in 2007 at the first final to be held at the new Wembley Stadium before a competition record crowd of 27,754. Truro City were the one of the three to win the FA Vase while in Division One, while none are current members of the Western League. Bedminster | Clevedon | Clifton Association | Eastville Rovers | Mangotsfield | St. George | Trowbridge Town | Warmley | Wells Official Site Western League -Fixtures, Results and Tables
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in mens domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world and it is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent womens tournament is held, the FA Womens Cup. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12, the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper, in the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those minnows who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely giant-killing victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have two designs and five actual cups, the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design. Winners also qualify for European football and a place in the FA Community Shield match, in 1863, the newly founded Football Association published the Laws of the Game of Association Football, unifying the various different rules in use before then. On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, Wanderers retained the trophy the following year. The modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, and did not resume until 1919–20. The 1922–23 competition saw the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, due to the outbreak of World War II, the competition was not played between the 1938–39 and 1945–46 editions. Having previously featured replays, the modern day practice of ensuring the semi-final and final matches finish on the day, was introduced from 2000 onwards. Redevelopment of Wembley saw the final played outside of England for the first time, the final returned to Wembley in 2007, followed by the semi-finals from 2008. The competition is open to any club down to Level 10 of the English football league system which meets the eligibility criteria, all clubs in the top four levels are automatically eligible. Clubs in the six levels are also eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and also 2006–07, all clubs entering the competition must also have a suitable stadium
Kit (association football)
In association football, kit is the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The sports Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, footballers generally wear identifying numbers on the backs of their shirts. Professional clubs also usually display players surnames or nicknames on their shirts, Football kit has evolved significantly since the early days of the sport when players typically wore thick cotton shirts, knickerbockers and heavy rigid leather boots. The Laws of the Game set out the equipment which must be worn by all players in Law 4. Five separate items are specified, shirt, shorts, socks, footwear, goalkeepers are allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms instead of shorts. While most players wear studded football boots, the Laws do not specify that these are required, shirts must have sleeves, and goalkeepers must wear shirts which are easily distinguishable from all other players and the match officials. Thermal undershorts may be worn, but must be the colour as the shorts themselves. Shin pads must be covered entirely by the stockings, be made of rubber, plastic or a similar material, and provide a reasonable degree of protection. The only other restriction on equipment defined in the Laws of the Game is the requirement that a player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player. In the event of a match between teams who would wear identical or similar colours the away team must change to a different colour. The England national team plays in red shirts even when it is not required. Many professional clubs also have a kit, ostensibly to be used if both their first-choice and away colours are deemed too similar to those of an opponent. Most professional clubs have retained the basic colour scheme for several decades. Teams representing countries in international competition generally wear national colours in common with other sporting teams of the same nation, shirts are normally made of a polyester mesh, which does not trap the sweat and body heat in the same way as a shirt made of a natural fibre. Depending on local rules, there may be restrictions on how large these logos may be or on what logos may be displayed, competitions such as the Premier League may also require players to wear patches on their sleeves depicting the logo of the competition. The captain of team is usually required to wear an elasticated armband around the left sleeve to identify him as the captain to the referee. Most current players wear specialist football boots, which can be either of leather or a synthetic material. Modern boots are cut slightly below the ankles, as opposed to the high-ankled boots used in former times, studs may be either moulded directly to the sole or be detachable, normally by means of a screw thread
Plainmoor is an association football stadium located in the Plainmoor suburb of Torquay, Devon. Since 1921, the stadium has been the home of Torquay United Football Club, at the time of Torquay Uniteds formation in 1899, Plainmoor was the home of Torquay Athletic Rugby Football Club. In 1910 United merged with Ellacombe to become Torquay Town, ellacombe’s Plainmoor ground became the home of the new club, and the shared home of local rivals Babbacombe. Torquay Town and Babbacombe finally merged and became Torquay United in 1921, in 1927 United were elected into Division Three South of the Football League. A new wooden grandstand costing £150 was erected for United’s inaugural season in the Football League, it had stood at Buckfastleigh Racecourse. The roof of the stand was blown off during a gale in 1930, very little changed for the next fifty years as the ground saw generations of supporters move through its turnstiles. During the 1954/55 season over 21,000 fans watched Torquay’s 0-1 defeat at the hands of Huddersfield Town, the same season also saw United become one of the first lower division clubs to introduce floodlights to their ground. David Webb came to Plainmoor in 1984 and prompted a few changes to the terracing. Then on 16 May 1985, just six days after the Bradford City stadium fire, nobody was hurt, but as a result, the ground’s capacity fell to below 5,000. In the few years after the fire the ground saw little change, at one point the manager’s office and changing rooms were situated in a couple of portable cabins behind the old Mini Stand. Currently a New stand is being developed in the place of the previous Grandstand, during the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, Plainmoor has finally seen some major changes. The old Mini Stand made way for the all-seating Family Stand, which houses offices, the boardroom and the club shop, as well as the pub and restaurant Boots and Laces. The Cowshed, made out of corrugated iron and wood, was replaced at the Ellacombe end of the ground by the old mini-stand, also, in time for the beginning of the 2000/01 season, the new Sparkworld Stand was opened to accommodate away fans. The main stand that was originally from Buckfastleigh Racecourse was demolished in the autumn of 2011 and accordingly the ground capacity was reduced. A new stand filling the complete length of the pitch, unlike the previous stand, was erected during the 2011-2012 season and opened in August 2012 and it was named Bristows Bench after the late former director, Paul Bristow who so generously supported the club after a lottery win. In December 2012 a big screen was installed between the side and the away end. On 15 September 2014, Torquay United announced a deal with local company Launa Windows to rename Plainmoor to The Launa Windows Stadium. The land is owned by the local council, talks about the club purchasing the ground have taken place on several occasions in the past
Taunton Town F.C.
Taunton Town Football Club are an English football club based in Taunton, Somerset, England. They compete in the Southern Football League Division One South & West, the club is affiliated to the Somerset County FA. After being formed in 1947, they were admitted into the Western League in 1954 and they struggled over the next ten years, and it was not until the 1970s that the club started to prosper. Having won the Western League in 1968–69, the club finished as runners-up in the same league in four successive seasons from 1973. They gained promotion to the Southern League in 1977 and purchasing their ground from the local council, in the early 1980s they dropped back down into the Western League for financial reasons, but did not enjoy further success until 1989–90. The following twelve seasons saw the win the title on four more occasions. In 2001 the club won the FA Vase, which it had missed out on seven years earlier. Following their string of results, Taunton rejoined the Southern League for the 2002–03 season. After the latest re-organisation of the English football league system, the club are members of the Southern Football League Division One South & West. In December 1947 a group of businessmen founded Taunton Football Club, the club joined the Somerset Senior League, in which they played until 1953. During this year the club gained admission to the Western League for the first time, in the same year, the club also moved into their present ground on Wordsworth Drive, which they leased from Taunton Borough Council. During these early years of the club they battled financial problems, in 1968–69, the club enjoyed success for the first time, winning the Western League under the management of Doug Hillard. Over the following years Taunton Town continued to prosper on the pitch, during this time the club bought their Wordsworth Drive ground from the local council and installed floodlights. In 1977 they were promoted into the Southern League, Two years later, following the opening of the M5 motorway, they moved into the Midlands Section of the league. The club finished as champions for the second time in 1989–90 and followed this win up with further success, winning the league again in 1995–96, 1998–99, 1999–2000. They also finished as runners-up on four occasions, in 1993–94, 1996–97, 1997–98, the club have remained in this league ever since, and after the restructuring of the English football league system, the club were placed in the Southern Football League Division One South & West. The club reached the final of the FA Vase in 1994, a second FA Vase finals appearance in 2001 resulted in greater success, Taunton Town beating Berkhamsted Town 2–1. In 2016–17 they reached the first round proper of the FA Cup for only the time in their history
Bath City F.C.
Bath City Football Club is a semi-professional association football club based in Bath, Somerset, England. The club participates in the National League South, the tier of English football. Formed in 1889 as Bath AFC, Bath Citys history is entirely in non-league football and they changed their name to Bath Railway in 1902 before settling on the name Bath City F. C. After many years playing in the echelons of non-League football they spent a decade in the Southern League after being relegated from the 1996–97 Football Conference. They were promoted to the Conference South by winning the Southern League in the 2006–07 season and they have reached the FA cup third round six times. In 2004 they lost in the FA Cup second round to Peterborough United, in 2009, City beat Football League Two side Grimsby Town in the FA Cup first round, only to lose to Forest Green Rovers in the second round. In 1889 Bath City were formed as Bath AFC and began to play at the Belvoir ground, in 1908 they commenced playing competitive league format football, joining the Western League Division Two. For the 1921–22 season they moved up to Southern League, English section, after the War they were forced to resume playing in the Southern League which they won in the 1959–60 season. A year later they were runners up in the same league, over the next thirteen years they were three times relegated into and again promoted from the Southern League Division one. In the 1977–78 season they won the Southern League title for a second time, for the next season they fell short of election to the Football League by a narrow margin so they became founder members of the Alliance Premier League, now the Conference National. They narrowly missed out on election to the Football League, in 1989 however they were relegated back to the Southern League but were promoted back next season. Here they remained until they were relegated once more to the Southern League in 1997 and they narrowly missed out on promotion to the Conference South in the season 2005–06 season finishing second in the Southern League and lost to Bedford Town. However the following season won promotion as winners of the Southern League in their second season under manager John Relish. They finished in 8th position in the Conference South in the 2007–08 season, in the same season they developed a local arrangement to establish a junior footballing set-up called Bath City Youth. This set-up is now being developed into an academy and in October 2008 manager John Relish moved aside from managerial duties to concentrate on creating this. He was replaced by his former assistant Adie Britton, however, ESPN did not play the extra time, instead cut back after the end of the match. In the 2011–12 season, Bath City had a run of bad results, therefore being relegated from the Conference National. They were the first football club in the top five divisions of England to be relegated and they are currently playing in the Conference South following this relegation
Exeter City F.C.
Exeter City Football Club /ˈɛksɪtə ˈsɪti/ is a professional association football club based in Exeter, Devon, England. The team play in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. The club is owned by the clubs supporters through the Exeter City Supporters Trust, the club was a member of the Football League from 1920 to 2003. Following five seasons in the Conference National, Exeter were promoted back to League Two for the 2008–09 season, in the 2011–12 season of League One Exeter City were relegated to League Two, finishing 23rd with 48 points, they have remained in League Two ever since. Exeter City was founded in 1904 and began playing on an old used for fattening pigs. Exeter remain at St James Park to this day, the club is nicknamed The Grecians. For the 2016–17 season Citys home kit is supplied by Joma and it consists of red and white shirts, black shorts, and black and white socks. The club is known as the first side to play a team from Brazil. As a result, City and Brazilian side Fluminense are now also partner clubs, Exeter City F. C. was formed from two predecessor clubs, Exeter United F. C. and St Sidwells United. Exeter United was a club from Exeter, Devon, that played between 1890 and 1904. In 1904, Exeter United lost 3–1 to local rivals St Sidwells United, the new team took the name Exeter City and continued to play at Exeter Uniteds ground, St James Park, where Exeter City still play today. Exeter United was formed from the team of the same name and were one of the first football teams with the moniker United. St Sidwells United was a club that had formed from the regulars who frequented the Foresters Inn in Sidwell Street, Exeter, although the house was always known as the Drum. The team played in St Sidwells old colours of green and white, on 10 September 1904, Exeter City played its first ever competitive match, a 2–1 victory at St James over 110th Battery of the Royal Artillery, in the East Devon League. The attendance was 600, and the goal scored by Sid Thomas. City topped the East Devon League with 11 wins, two draws, one defeat in its first season, and transferred to the Plymouth & District League for next three seasons, in 1908, Exeter City A. F. C. became a limited company. City became a professional team, and applied successfully for membership of the Southern League. A wooden grandstand was erected, and the club entered into an arrangement over the ground
Reading Football Club is a professional association football club based in Reading, Berkshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. The club played at Elm Park for 102 years between 1896 and 1998, in 1998 the club moved to the new Madejski Stadium, which is named after the clubs co-chairman Sir John Madejski. Reading then finished eighth in the 2006–07 Premier League, their first ever season as a top flight club, Reading were formed on 25 December 1871, following a public meeting at the Bridge Street Rooms organised by the future club secretary Joseph Edward Sydenham. The early matches were played at Reading Recreation Ground, and later the club held fixtures at Reading Cricket Ground, Coley Park and Caversham Cricket Ground. The switch to professionalism in 1895 resulted in the need for a ground and, to this end. In 1913, Reading had a tour of Italy, prompting the leading sports newspaper Corriere della Sera to write without doubt. Reading were elected to the Football League Third Division South of the Football League in 1920, Reading lost their place in Division Two in May 1931, and remained in Third Division South until the outbreak of World War II. When League football resumed after the war, Reading quickly came to prominence once again, the sides moment of cup glory came in 1988 when they won the Simod Cup, beating a number of top flight sides en route to their Wembley win over Luton Town. Reading were promoted to the Second Division as champions in 1986 under the management of Ian Branfoot, the appointment of Mark McGhee as player-manager, shortly after the takeover by John Madejski, in 1991 saw Reading move forward. They were crowned champions of the new Division Two in 1994, in 1995, Reading had eased past Tranmere Rovers in the play-off semi-finals and looked to have booked their place in the Premier League only to lose against Bolton Wanderers in the final. Quinn and Goodings contracts were not renewed two years later after Reading had slid into the half of Division One. Their successor, Terry Bullivant, lasted less than one season before being sacked in March 1998, the year 1998 also saw Reading move into the new 24,200 all-seater Madejski Stadium, named after Chairman John Madejski. Tommy Burns had taken over from Terry Bullivant but lasted just 18 months before being replaced by Alan Pardew, the club finished third in 2000–01 qualifying for the play-offs, losing 2–3 in the final against Walsall at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Reading returned to Division One for 2002–03 after finishing runners-up in Division Two, the following season, they finished fourth in Division One and qualified for the play-offs, where they lost in the semi-final to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Alan Pardew moved to West Ham United the following October and was replaced by Steve Coppell, Reading won the 2005–06 Championship with a league record 106 points, scoring 99 goals and losing only twice. Reading were promoted to English footballs top division for the first time in their history, the 2006–07 season saw Reading make their first appearance in the top flight of English football. Reading defied pre-season predictions of relegation to finish the season in place with 55 points
Elm Park (stadium)
Elm Park was a football stadium in the West Reading district of Reading, Berkshire, England. The stadium was the home of Reading Football Club from 1896 to 1998, in 1998 they moved to the new Madejski Stadium. In 1889, Reading were unable to continue playing at Coley Park as W B Monck no longer allowed due to rowdyism the rougher elements. With club membership exceeding 300 by the time the club went professional in 1895, a meeting the following year determined that funding would be difficult. £20 was donated by J C Fidler, on the proviso that no liquors were to be sold on site, the rest of the cost was financed through donations by wealthy supporters, as well as one large individual donation. A former gravel pit in West Reading was identified as the site, the first game at Elm Park was held on 5 September 1896 between Reading and A Roston Bourkes XI. The visitors were a team from Holloway College and thus not registered with the Football Association. Reading were later fined £5 and suspended for playing against an unregistered team, the away team was named after Arthur Roston Bourke, honorary secretary of the Referees Association. The match was abandoned due to weather, Reading were leading 7–1 when the match ended. £44 was taken on the gate, with an attendance of approximately 2,500, in 1908, the clubs annual general meeting proposed moving to a new ground near Reading railway station. As a result of Readings relegation to Division Four after the 1982–83 season, the teams merger and closure of the stadium was subsequently averted, and the following season saw Readings promotion back to Division Three under the guidance of Ian Branfoot. In 1994, the Taylor Report made all-seater stadiums compulsory in the top two divisions, Reading were champions of the second division in 1994, and were promoted to the first division. Reading became subject to the Taylor requirements, though converting Elm Park to a stadium would have been impractical. Instead, a location in Smallmead was identified as the site for a new stadium, the former council landfill site was bought for £1, with further conditions that the development of the stadium would include part-funding of the A33 relief road. Expansion of the home would also allow alternative commercial ventures. The last competitive match at Elm Park took place on 3 May 1998 against Norwich City, Reading began the 1998–99 season at the Madejski Stadium. Elm Park featured four stands, North South West East The north and south stands were covered, the east stand was reserved for away supporters, as was a small section of the north stand. In 1920, the seats in the stand were upholstered
Bristol City F.C.
Bristol City Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bristol, England. Their ground is Ashton Gate, located in the southwest of the city and they currently play in the Championship, the second tier of English football, after winning League One during the 2014–15 season. In sealing the League One title, Bristol City became only the team to win both the third-tier championship and Football League Trophy double during the same season. Bristol City won the Welsh Cup – despite being an English club – in 1934, in 1907 they finished runners-up in Football League Division One, which is their highest ever final position. In 1909 they lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United, since relegation in 1911, however, they only returned to the top division from 1976 to 1980 and did not contend for any honours then. In 1982, Bristol City became the first English club to three consecutive relegations. With victories in 1986,2003 and 2015, Bristol City are now the most successful team in the Football League Trophy, the clubs nickname is The Robins, and a robin featured on the clubs badge from 1976 to 1994. Official club merchandise, including replica kits, still has a showing a robin. An attempt by the club to alter the badge was abandoned after it was criticised fiercely by fans, the teams main rivals are Bristol Rovers in the Bristol derby and Cardiff City in the Severnside derby, along with other regional teams in the West Country derby. Bristol Citys current manager is Lee Johnson, a former Bristol City player who made 199 appearances for the club. Coincidentally, he is the son of former City manager Gary Johnson, who took City to the Championship play-off final in 2008, where they eventually lost 0–1 to Hull City. The club was founded in 1894 as Bristol South End and changed their name to Bristol City on adopting professionalism three years later when they were admitted into the Southern League. Finishing as runners-up in three of the first four seasons, in 1900 the club amalgamated with local Southern League rivals Bedminster, City joined the Football League in 1901 when they became only the third club south of Birmingham to perform in the competition. Their first game in the Football League was on 7 September 1901 at Bloomfield Road, nicknamed the Bristol Babe at this time, they finished as runners-up in their inaugural First Division campaign. Unfortunately, there was no such award to help them in the Final at the Crystal Palace as Manchester United took the honours 1–0. The 1920s were a time as City bounced between the Second Division and the Southern Section of the Third Division. By the 1930s they had slumped into the division. Harry Dolman became chairman in 1949, a post he would hold for over 30 years, an engineer who had bought out the firm he worked for, he designed the first set of floodlights installed at Ashton Gate in the early 1950s
Ashton Gate Stadium
Ashton Gate Stadium is a stadium in Ashton Gate, Bristol, England, and is the home of Bristol City F. C. and Bristol Rugby. Located in the south-west of the city, just south of the River Avon, the ground has also played a part in the history of rugby in the city. Several rugby internationals have been held, starting with England versus Wales in 1899,100 years later, the All Blacks took on Tonga in a 1999 Rugby World Cup pool match. As of the 2014-2015 season, Bristol Rugby permanently moved to Ashton Gate and it has hosted two England under-21 international friendlies. The first was against Romania’s under-21’s on 21 August 2007, the other was against Uzbekistan’s under-21’s on 10 August 2010. The hosts beat the visitors 2 -0 with Danny Rose scoring on the 64th minute and it marked the completion of the redevelopment of Ashton Gate and The Lansdown Stand is the largest in the stadium and has a capacity of 11,000. It has two tiers and is equipped with multiple executive boxes, the roof is covered in solar panels to provide a renewable energy source to power the entire stadium. Beneath the stand lies the changing rooms and offices, Dolman Stand The Dolman Stand, which lies opposite the Lansdown Stand, was built in 1970. At that time it was built it had a small, flat Family Enclosure in front of it, in the summer of 2007, the original wooden seats in the upper area were replaced by modern plastic seats. It is named after the club chairman and president Harry Dolman. This stand was redeveloped over the summer of 2015 as part of the redevelopment of Ashton Gate, Atyeo Stand The Atyeo stand is the smallest in the stadium and was built in 1994 to replace an open terrace. It contains new dressing rooms and a large gymnasium and it is named after Bristol City legend John Atyeo, who played 645 times for City and scored 351 goals, making him the clubs top goalscorer ever. He died in 1993, a year before the new stand opened, after the demolition of the Wedlock Stand, the north-east section of this stand was used to house the away fans. As the construction of the Lansdown Stand has been completed, away fans are situated in the Western three-quarters of the Atyeo Stand, for cup matches this can be extended to the whole of this stand. South Stand The South Stand was completed just after the end of the 2014-15 season as part of the redevelopment of Ashton Gate and it has a capacity of 6,071 and is all-seater. Unlike the other stands at Ashton Gate, it is not named after a person who had ties with the club. The stand is linked to the neighbouring Dolman and Lansdown stands via a concourse, Wedlock East End Stand The old East End was demolished during the summer of 2014 and has been completely rebuilt to modern standards. It was built as a terrace in 1928, converted to seats in the 1990s and was the traditional home fans end until 1994
English Football League
The English Football League is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football and it was the top-level football league in England from its foundation in the 19th century until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League. The league has 72 clubs evenly divided into three divisions, which are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division, the Football League has been associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016. As this sponsor changed over the years the league too has been known by various names, the English Football League is also the name of the governing body of the league competition, and this body also organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London, the commercial office was formerly based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston. The Football League consists of 70 professional association football clubs in England and 2 in Wales and it runs the oldest professional football league competition in the world. It also organises two knockout cup competitions, the Football League Cup and Football League Trophy, the Football League was founded in 1888 by then Aston Villa director William McGregor, originally with 12 member clubs. Steady growth and the addition of more divisions meant that by 1950 the League had 92 clubs, the Football League therefore no longer includes the top 20 clubs who belong to this group, although promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Premier League continues. In total,136 teams have played in the Football League up to 2013, the Football Leagues 72 member clubs are grouped into three divisions, the Football League Championship, Football League One, and Football League Two. Each division has 24 clubs, and in any season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium. This makes for a total of 46 games played each season, clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the higher division. At the top end of the competition, three Championship clubs win promotion from the Football League to the Premier League, with the bottom three Premier League clubs taking their places, reserve teams of Football League clubs usually play in the Central League or the Football Combination. Since the 2004–05 season, penalties have existed for clubs entering financial administration during the season and it is also required that a club exiting administration agree a Creditors Voluntary Agreement, and pay in full any other footballing creditors. Failure to do either of these result in a second. The other main situation in which is a club may lose points is by fielding an improperly registered or otherwise ineligible player. If a club is found to have done this, then any points earned from any match that player participated in will be deducted, the EFL organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and is open to all EFL and Premier League clubs, the EFL Trophy is for clubs belonging to EFL League One and EFL League Two
Plymouth Argyle F.C.
Plymouth Argyle Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Plymouth, Devon, England. They have played in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. They are one of two teams in Devon currently competing in the Football League, the other being Exeter City – Argyles local rivals, since becoming professional in 1903, the club has won five Football League titles, five Southern League titles and one Western League title. The 2009–10 season was the clubs 42nd in the tier of English football. The team set the record for most championships won in the tier, having finished first in the Third Division South twice, the Third Division once. The club takes its nickname, The Pilgrims, from an English religious group that left Plymouth for the New World in 1620, the club crest features the Mayflower, the ship that carried the pilgrims to Massachusetts. The club have played in dark green and white throughout their history, with a few exceptions in the late 1960s. The city of Plymouth is the largest in England never to have hosted top-flight football and they are the most southerly and westerly League club in England. Home Park is the 37th biggest stadium in England, the original ground of the professional club at Home Park was destroyed by German bombers during the Blitz on Plymouth in World War II. Having been rebuilt after the war, Home Park was largely demolished as part of a process of renovation. The new Devonport End was opened for the 2001 Boxing Day fixture with Torquay United, the other end, the Barn Park End, opened on the same day. The Lyndhurst stand reopened on 26 January 2002 for the game against Oxford United, plans are currently under discussion regarding the completion of the refurbishment of the ground with the replacement of the Mayflower stand. The ground is situated in Central Park, very near to the area of Peverell. Towards the end of the 2005–06 Championship season, the decided to buy the stadium for £2.7 million from Plymouth City Council. This purchase was concluded in December 2006, in December 2009 it was announced that the stadium was to be one of 12 chosen to host matches during the World Cup 2018, should Englands bid be successful. The then Argyle chairman Paul Stapleton stated that work on a new South Stand at Home Park would start in 2010, however, England failed to be chosen for the 2018 tournament, and Plymouth Argyle entered administration in March 2011. After selling the back to the council on 14 October 2011 for £1.6 million. The club was taken over by local business owner James Brent, who submitted fresh plans to build a new Mayflower Grandstand with a 5,000 seating capacity
Bristol Rovers F.C.
Bristol Rovers Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Bristol, England. They compete in League One, the tier of English football. The team play their matches at Memorial Stadium, in Horfield, a suburb of Bristol. The club was founded in 1883 as Black Arabs F. C. and were known as Eastville Rovers. The clubs official nickname is The Pirates, reflecting the history of Bristol. According to a survey conducted in December 2003, Cardiff City and Swindon Town are considered their second, Rovers were admitted to the Football League in 1920 and have played there ever since, apart from spending the 2014–15 season in the Conference Premier. Their highest finishing positions were in 1956 and 1959, on both occasions ending the season in 6th place in Division Two, then the tier of English football. Rovers were Football League Trophy finalists in 1990 and 2007, the club was formed following a meeting at the Eastville Restaurant in Bristol in September 1883. It was initially called Black Arabs F. C. after the Arabs rugby team and this name only lasted for the 1883–84 season, and in a bid to draw more fans from the local area the club was renamed Eastville Rovers in 1884. The club played friendly games until the 1887–88 season, when it took part in the Gloucestershire Cup for the first time. In 1892 the club became a member of the Bristol and District League. In 1897 Eastville Rovers joined the Birmingham and District League, at the beginning of the 1897–98 season, the club turned professional and changed its name to Bristol Eastville Rovers, and on 17 February 1899 the name was officially changed to Bristol Rovers. In 1899 Bristol Rovers joined the newly formed Southern League, where remained until 1920. For the 1920–21 season, the Southern League teams were moved into the new Division Three of the Football League and they remained in this division for over 30 years, before winning the league, and promotion in the 1952–53 season. The club has been relegated six times—in 1961–62, 1980–81, 1992–93, 2000–01, 2010–11 and most recently at the end of the 2013–14 season. The highest position in the football ladder achieved by Rovers at the end of season is sixth place in the tier, which they did twice, once in 1955–56. The closest they came to the top flight was in 1955–56, the lowest league position achieved by the club is twenty-third out of twenty-four teams in the fourth tier, which has occurred twice. This position was matched at the end of the 2013–14 season and they returned to the league at the end of their first Conference season, with a penalty shootout victory over Grimsby Town in the play-off final
Swindon Town F.C.
Swindon Town Football Club is a professional football club in Swindon, Wiltshire, England. Founded as Swindon AFC in 1879, they became Spartans in 1880, the team compete in League One, the third tier of the English football league system. The clubs home ground, where it has played since 1896, is the 15,728 capacity County Ground, the club went professional in 1894 and entered the Football League in 1920. Swindon Town won promotion to the Premier League in the 1992–93 season, Swindon Town Football Club was founded by Reverend William Pitt of Liddington in 1879. The team turned professional in 1894 and joined the Southern League which was founded in the same year, during this period Septimus Atterbury played for the club. Swindon reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time in the 1909–10 season, Barnsley and Swindon were invited to compete for the Dubonnet Cup in 1910 at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris. The result was a 2–1 victory for Swindon with Harold Fleming scoring both of the clubs goals, the following season, 1910–11, Swindon Town won the Southern League championship, earning them a Charity Shield match with the Football League champions Manchester United. This, the highest-scoring Charity Shield game to date, was played on 25 September 1911 at Stamford Bridge with Manchester United winning 8–4, some of the proceeds of this game were later donated to the survivors of the Titanic. In 1912 Swindon Town reached the finals of the FA Cup for a second time in 3 years. Swindons exploits at this time owed a lot to the skilful forward H. J. Fleming who was capped by England 11 times between 1909 and 1914 despite playing outside the Football League. Fleming remained with Swindon throughout a career spanning 1907 and 1924. Swindon entered the Football League in 1920 as a member of Division Three. This result stands as a record for the club in League matches, the club was relegated back into Division Three in 1965 but it was about to create a sensation. In 1969, Swindon beat Arsenal 3–1 to win the League Cup for the time in the clubs history. As winners of the League Cup, Swindon were assured of a place in their first European competition, however, the Football Association had previously agreed to inclusion criteria with the organizers which mandated that only League Cup winners from Division One would be able to take part. As the team were not eligible, the short lived Anglo-Italian competitions were created to give teams from lower divisions experience in Europe, the first of these, the 1969 Anglo-Italian League Cup, was contested over two legs against Coppa Italia winners A. S. Swindon won 5–2, with the scorer of two goals in the League Cup final – Don Rogers – scoring once and new acquisition Arthur Horsfield acquiring his first hat-trick for the club. The team then went on to win the 1970 Anglo-Italian Cup competition in a tournament beset by hooliganism, napoli was abandoned after 79 minutes following pitch invasions and a missile barrage, with teargas being employed to allow the teams to return to the dressing room
Yeovil Town F.C.
Yeovil Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Yeovil, Somerset, England. They play in League Two, the tier of English football. The club won the League Two championship in 2004–05, and promotion to the Championship through the play-offs in 2013, founded in 1895, Yeovil took 108 years to enter the Football League when they were promoted from the Football Conference as champions in 2003. This success was repeated in 2005 when they reached the round and were drawn away against Charlton Athletic, then in the Premier League. Yeovils home ground is Huish Park, built in 1990 on the site of an old camp and named after their former home, Huish, itself known for its pitch. The clubs nickname The Glovers is a reference to the history of glove-making in the town of Yeovil, Yeovil Football Club was founded in 1890, and shared its ground with the local rugby club for many years. Five years later the club was renamed Yeovil Casuals and started playing games at the Pen Mill Athletic Ground. In 1907 the name Yeovil Town was adopted, which on amalgamation with Petters United became Yeovil, the name reverted to Yeovil Town before the 1946–47 season. The club came to attention as giant-killers during the 1948–49 FA Cup, in which they defeated Sunderland 2–1 in the fourth round. They were defeated 8–0 in the round by Manchester United. Between 1955 and 1973 they were champions of the Southern Football League three times, and runners-up twice, during this period, Yeovil Town applied for election to the Football League on a number of occasions, coming within a few votes of being elected in 1976. In 1979 the Glovers were founder members of the new national non-league division, in 1985, they were relegated to the Isthmian League. Yeovil won that championship in 1988 and returned to the Conference, there was success in the Bob Lord Challenge Trophy in 1990 and three years later Yeovil finished fourth in the Conference, their best finish ever. In January 1995, former Weymouth and Spurs player Graham Roberts was appointed manager, Yeovil secured promotion back into the Conference in 1997 after winning the Isthmian League with a record number of points –101. Colin Lippiatt became manager for the 1998–99 season and brought Terry Skiverton to the club as a player and their team included many top players, some of whom went on to play Premier League football. Notable players include Gavin Williams who moved to West Ham United, Lee Johnson, Chris Weale, Darren Way, Yeovils first game in the Football League was a 3–1 away win over Rochdale. The Glovers finished their first season in position, and reached the third round of the FA Cup before losing 2–0 at home to Liverpool. The following season Yeovil finished as champions of League Two with 83 points, partway through the season the club was sold by Jon Goddard-Watts to David Webb, who took over the role of chief executive from chairman John Fry
Weymouth Football Club is an English football club based in the town of Weymouth, who currently play in the Southern League Premier Division. The club is affiliated to the Dorset County Football Association and is a FA chartered Standard club, Weymouth Football Club were founded in 1890 and played their first game on 24 September of that year. Nicknamed The Terras due to their terracotta strip, the won the Dorset Junior Cup for the first three seasons, becoming a senior club as the team rose in stature. Founder members of the Dorset League, Weymouth joined the Western League in 1907–08, the club embraced full-time professionalism in 1923 after winning the Western League, joining the Southern League in the process. By 1928–29, with debts mounting, the club withdrew from the Southern League to become once again. They climbed back up the table and reached the Premier League and then folded for five years, the Second World War saw an end to football in Weymouth as the Recreation Ground was requisitioned for the War effort in 1939. The club reformed in 1947 on a basis, and soon achieved promotion back into the Southern League. The club suffered a tragedy on 28 February 1967 when player Dick Keith was killed in a building site accident at the age of 33. Keith had previously played in the Football League for Newcastle United and Bournemouth, Weymouth have enjoyed considerable FA Cup success since first entering in 1893–94. They first reached the stages in 1905–06 when they were thrashed 12–1 by Gainsborough Trinity. In 1949 they lost 4–0 at Maine Road to Manchester United in the Third round, in 2005, the team held former European Champions Nottingham Forest to a 1–1 draw at the City Ground, before losing 2–0 in the replay. In the 2006–07 FA Cup, Weymouth held Bury to a 2–2 draw at home, on 21 October 1987, Manchester United came to play against Weymouth on the night of the stadium unveiling by Ron Greenwood. Weymouth won 1–0 against Manchester United which included such as Remi Moses. Peter Conning scored the goal for the Terras, within a season they had turned the club around from relegation fodder to just missing out on promotion to the Conference. Gates also increased from around 500 to 1,200, Harrison sacked Claridge within a month. When the team dropped down the league, Johnson was sacked by Harrison in March 2005 with Garry Hill taking over. The club won promotion to the Conference in May 2006 but at a heavy price with large loans from Harrison to meet soaring wage bills of around £20,000 a week. At the clubs 2005 AGM, Harrison confirmed plans, pending local authority approval, to re-develop the Wessex Stadium and this now looks very unlikely with local planners opposed to such a deal
Barry Town United F.C.
Barry Town United Football Club is an association football team based in Barry. They are known for representing Wales in Europe as winners of the Welsh Premier League and Welsh Cup during the 1990s and early 2000s, the team, which has contained more than 50 full internationals, is now run by supporters. They play at their home of Jenner Park, Barry. Barry Town Uniteds history dates back to 1892 when a football team named Barry. During the early years, this side endured many upheavals, playing on five different grounds under various identities, including Barry Unionist Athletic, Barry United Athletic and Barry District. Players who featured during these years included Ted Vizard and Billy Jennings, in November 1912, a meeting at The Windsor public house in Holton Road saw townsfolk choose to pursue membership of the thriving Southern League as Barry AFC. The club would secure land owned by the Jenner family and the people of the came together to build Jenner Park. On 6 September 1913, Barry played their first ever fixture, the game attracted 4,000 spectators, including 1,000 travelling supporters. Fittingly, the new team would register a surprise, albeit merited, victory, with Barrys Ralph Isherwood scoring the very first goal at Jenner Park just three minutes in. His second, midway through the half, sealed a 2–1 victory, a fine start for the Barry side on, coincidentally. The ensuing two seasons would see Stoke City, Brentford, Coventry City and others visit the new ground, however, the Great War would soon interrupt any competitive proceedings, with Barry captain Major James Wightman one of the many casualties of The Battle of the Somme. The 1920–21 season ranks as one of the finest in Barrys history, the achievement was all the more impressive when considering the small Barry squad played over 100 matches in all competitions during the course of the season. Competing simultaneously in both the Welsh and Western League, the Barry board gave priority to Southern League fixtures, Barry retained membership of the Southern League for more than 60 years – their highest finish being fourth in the 1930s. Among the notable players of the era were Johnny Gardner, Dai Ward, meanwhile, Barry-born sportsman Ernie Carless combined his footballing exploits with a successful cricketing career with Glamorgan. At the end of the 1920s, a crowd of 6,000 at Upton Park saw Barry beat Dagenham 1–0 to progress to the FA Cup 2nd Round and it proved to be their most successful run in the competition. Barry would reach the 1st Round again in 1934–35, losing 1–0 to Northampton Town at Jenner Park, Football again took a backseat in 1939, with the eruption of World War II. In the 1949–50 season, Jenner Park became one of the first grounds in the country to introduce floodlights, with Newport County, Swansea City, two seasons later, an all-Welsh showdown in the FA Cup 1st Round saw Barry beaten by Newport, 4–0. Nevertheless, the town’s most celebrated footballing achievement was right around the corner, in May 1955, following a 1–1 draw at the Racecourse in Wrexham, Barry beat Chester City 4–3 at Ninian Park to lift the Welsh Cup for the first time
Pontypridd Town A.F.C.
Pontypridd Town AFC is a Welsh football club, based in the town of Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan. The club was formed in 1992 after merging with another team, the club plays in the Welsh Football League. The club is managed by Dominic Broad, assisted by Phil Clay with Damien Broad operating in a Head Coach role. Nicholls also took The Dragons to Round Four of the prestigious FAW Welsh National Cup, the team manager for the 2007/08 season was Mal Camilleri but after the clubs successive relegations down to Division 3, the club was on the brink of collapse. Discussions between Ponty Town and Treforest began with a view to a merger however stark opposition from the amateur league prevented the merger from happening, at the 11th hour the club received support from local businessman Clayton Jones and was saved. In 2009 Cardiff businessman Phil Gibb joined the club and Allan Davies was appointed as Manager, Davies was an experienced defender who also coached at Graig FC in 2008 and previously spent ten years at Burton Albion where he played under Nigel Clough before joining Worcester then Gresley. In the 2010/11 season the team started erratically, but from January they were on fire losing just 2 out of 20 games, in the last week of the season, although they won the last game, they missed out on promotion to Division 2 on goal difference. 2013/14 season started with a change of management, Dominic Broad was appointed Manager, bringing in his brother Damien Broad as his Assistant Manager, a week before the season started the club only has 2 signed players, the others having followed Allan Davies out of the club. They quickly set about signing players to field a team for the first match and set themselves the target of maintaining Welsh League status. On 29 July 2014, Ponty played a friendly against Valencia CF Mestalla. Well over 100 people from around the UK booked their flights to Valencia, on 29 July 2015, exactly a year after the Valencia game, the club repeated its feat by securing another high-profile friendly in Spain, this time against Deportivo de La Coruña. In January 2016 Manager Damien Broad left the club having secured a prestigious coaching role with Manchester City based in China, on 11 May 2016, almost 1,600 supporters from around the UK gathered in Ynysangharad Park to see Ponty Town take on the talkSPORT All Stars. Ponty Town won the game 3-1 with goals from Luke Gullick, Scott Hillman and Omar Abdillahi, after a successful 2015/16 The Dragons sealed the Division Three title in May 2016 after a 2-0 victory away at Tredegar Town. The Dragons lifted the trophy the following week away at Bridgend Street. After their title winning season, Pontypridd Town started this season in Division Two of the Welsh Football League and have several changes in. The club harbour a goal of becoming the first football team from the Rhondda Cynon Taf area to play in the Welsh Premier League, Welsh Football League Division 3 Winners, 2015–16 Official website
Penalty kick (association football)
A penalty kick is a method of restarting play in association football, taken from 11 metres out from the goal, on the penalty mark. Penalty kicks are performed during normal play and they are awarded when a foul that is punishable by a direct free kick is committed within the offending players own penalty area. Similar kicks are made in a penalty shootout in some tournaments to determine which team is victorious after a drawn match, in practice, penalties are converted to goals more often than not, even against world class goalkeepers. This means that penalty awards are often decisive, especially in low-scoring games, the referee gives the ball to the non-offending team. The goalkeeper must stand on the line between the post until the ball is kicked. Lateral movement is allowed, but the keeper is not permitted to come off the goal line by stepping or lunging forward until the ball is in play. When the goalkeeper indicates to the referee that they are ready, once the shooter has started their approach to the ball, they are not permitted to interrupt it. The ball must be stationary before the kick, and must be struck forwards, violation of these rules will result in a re-kick. After the penalty is taken properly, the ball may be played by any player except the one who executed the penalty kick. The kicker may not play the ball again until it has touched or played by another player on either team. For penalties taken near the end of time, play may be extended so that the penalty kick may be taken. A two-man penalty, or tap penalty, occurs when the penalty-taker, instead of shooting for goal, taps the ball slightly forward so that a team-mate can run on to it and shoot. The team-mate, like all other players, must be at least ten yards from the penalty mark when the ball is initially kicked and this strategy depends on the element of surprise, so that the team-mate can reach the ball ahead of any defenders. There is no requirement for the penalty taker to shoot for goal, the first recorded tap penalty was taken by Jimmy McIlroy and Danny Blanchflower of Northern Ireland against Portugal on 1 May 1957. Another was taken by Rik Coppens and André Piters in the World Cup Qualifying match Belgium v Iceland on 5 June 1957, arsenal players Thierry Henry and Robert Pirès failed in an attempt at a similar penalty in 2005, during a Premier League match against Manchester City at Highbury. Lionel Messi tapped a penalty for Luis Suárez as Suárez completed his hat-trick on 14 February 2016 against league opponents Celta De Vigo, in the case of a player repeatedly infringing the laws during the penalty kick, the referee may caution the player for persistent infringement. Note that all offences that occur before kick may be dealt with in this manner, as with a direct free kick, the kicker may not touch the ball a second time, until another player has touched the ball. Another example of an infringement is when a player will run up, stop directly at the ball and this gives the goalkeeper no chance at saving it, and the result of this would be a free kick for the opposing team
Eastville Stadium, also known as Bristol Stadium and Bristol Stadium – Eastville, was a stadium in Eastville, a northern suburb of the English city of Bristol. Constructed in 1897, it was the home of Bristol Rovers F. C. the Bristol Bulldogs speedway team and was also a racing venue. During 1986 it was also the home of the short-lived Bristol Bombers American football team, Rovers played their home games at Eastville until forced to leave by financial difficulties in 1986. Rovers then spent a decade at Twerton Park in Bath before returning to the city to play at the Memorial Stadium where they remain to this day. Built near to a gas holder, the constant smell of gas in the air gave rise to the name used for Bristol Rovers fans of The Gas or Gasheads. The nickname The Gas began as a nickname used by Bristol City fans. The number 12 squad shirt has been allocated to Gasheads by the club in honour of the crowd being the 12th man. Another unique feature of Eastville was the flower beds behind each goal, the Tote End or simply the Tote was a large section of covered terracing behind one of the goals. Originally built in 1935, the Tote End terrace was built following the curve of the racing track. It had a covered section in the South-West corner. The Totaliser clocks mounted first on the back of the terrace and then after a roof was added in 1961 to cover most of the terrace, on the roof fascia. Shortly after Rovers left Eastville in 1986, the Tote End was bulldozed, Racing started on Saturday June 16,1928 becoming the second track in Bristol to open after Knowle Stadium. The first ever winner was a greyhound called Vivacious who collected £20 for his connections, the totalisator system was introduced in 1932 securing the future of the stadium, this was in contrast to the football club who were in financial difficulties. During 1939 Bristol Rovers F. C negotiated a price to the Bristol Greyhound Company, albeit by the chairman. Eastville changed hands for £12,000 and the first General Manager was Lieutenant-Colonel Forsdike who was to become secretary of the National Greyhound Racing Club, the Golden Crest competition was introduced in 1937 and became one of the most important races in the provincial calendar. In 1945 Shannon Shore recorded a win by ten lengths in a new track record for 500 yards. A second major competition was introduced in 1946 and this was the Western Two Year Old Produce Stakes, in 1947 Oxford Stadium owner Leslie Calcutt was appointed as Director of Bristol Greyhound Racing Association Ltd, a move that would eventually result in Bristol taking over Oxford. The company also acquired Swindon Stadium in 1952 and would be known as Bristol Stadium Ltd following the death of Leslie Calcutt, Eastville became one of the first circuits to abandon grass in 1968, becoming sand based, many tracks would follow suit over the next decade
St James Park (Exeter)
St James Park is a football stadium in Exeter and is the home of Exeter City F. C. The stadium is served by the St James Park railway station which is next to the ground. The current capacity of St James Park is 8,541, however the record attendance is 20,984, in 1654 the land was owned by Lady Anne Clifford who rented it out for fattening pigs. The proceeds went to a charity set up to pay for the apprenticeship of a child from the parish of St Stephen. Pigs were resident for nearly 250 years and in times, were joined by other tenants of low repute. Prior to 1904, Exeter United FC played its games here, in 1994 the club encountered financial difficulties and the ground was sold to Beazer Homes, later purchased by Exeter City Council who leased it back to the club. Finances had improved by 1996 and the club began to redevelop St James Park, rebuilding the Big Bank stand, the neighbouring former St. James School building was refurbished into new offices, a social club and corporate hospitality /conference and banqueting facilities. Later that year the Supporters Trust took over running of the club and to overcome the financial problems. In the mean time, much of the small scale maintenance and repair work has been undertaken by a workforce of fans organised by the Trust. In 2004, talks were held with the Exeter Chiefs rugby club, there were also talks of a future groundshare at the Sandy Park stadium should Exeter City decide to leave St James Park. In the end, the Chiefs missed promotion by 4 points to Bristol and were able to stay at the County Ground for the next season, contractual restrictions on the use of Sandy Park halted talk of a future groundshare there too. The option for a new, covered standing terrace was also included and approved under planning permission. St James Park hosted an international fixture on 22 November 2006, the Park also hosted the England C international match against Wales on 20 February 2008, which England won 2–1
County Ground (Swindon)
The County Ground is a stadium located near the town centre of Swindon, England, and has been home to Swindon Town Football Club since 1896. The current capacity of 15,728, all-seated, has been at that level since the mid-1990s, a record attendance of 32,000 was set on 15 January 1972, against Arsenal in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. North of the stadium is Swindon Cricket Club, with their pitch is also named The County Ground which was used for the football club from 1893 till 1896. Since its original construction, the ground has been updated with new features or fittings. A covered stand on the Shrivenham Road side was erected in 1932, at a cost of £4,300 a roof was erected over the Town End, this was raised by the Supporters Club, and was opened on 27 August 1938 by local MP, W. W. The War Department took over the ground in 1940, where for a while POWs were housed in huts placed on the pitch, for this the club received compensation of £4,570 in 1945. The addition of floodlights in 1951 at a cost of £350 and these were first tried out v Bristol City on 2 April 1951 beating Arsenal by six months. These original set of lights were supplemented by lights on both side stand roofs, which were sufficient for the County Ground to stage its first floodlit league match on 29 February 1956 v Millwall, the present pylons date from 1960. The Nationwide Stand replaced the Shrivenham Road enclosure, a two-tiered terrace, during the stands history, a fire broke out on the top tier making the upper area unsafe. In its last years the upper tier was used by TV cameras, the ground itself is on land owned by Swindon Borough Council to whom the club pay rent. Swindon have in the past considered a move to a club owned stadium to generate more revenue, the stadium is pro Swindon Towns new owners released a 10-point plan after they took over the club in January 2008 outlining future plans for the County Ground. In this 10 point plan various upgrades to the current ground were noted, the club plans to replace all of the seats that are not red and white and replace them with red and white seas to unify the seating and make the stadium look more up to date. The club also plan to improve disabled access and improve the playing surface, relocation was first proposed around the year 2000, but since then redevelopment appears to have been the preferred option. In September 2009 Swindon Town announced that the County Ground would be redeveloped into a 25, had Bristol become a World Cup host city, it had been hoped that international Teams will use the County Ground as a training ground in 2018 or 2022. However, Englands bid to host the World Cup failed in December 2010 and it was also suggested that in the future, if needs be, the stadium could be increased to hold 25,000. This proposition was due to the increased financial viability and sustainability for the future. The land which the county ground is on will also be bought in the process and these plans, however, were delayed due to Swindon Towns relegation to League Two at the end of the 2010-11 season. By the end of the 2012-13 season, redevelopment should start with the end being the first stand to be rebuilt