The Isthmian League is a regional mens football league covering London, East and South East England featuring mostly semi-professional clubs. It is sponsored by Ryman, and therefore known as the Ryman League. It was founded in 1905 by amateur clubs in the London area and it now consists of 72 teams in three divisions, the Premier Division above its two feeder divisions, Division One North and Division One South. Together with the Southern League and the Northern Premier League, it forms the seventh and eighth levels of the English football league system and it has various regional feeder leagues and the league as a whole is a feeder league mainly to the National League South. Before the Isthmian League was formed, there were no leagues in which amateur clubs could compete, therefore, a meeting took place between representatives of Casuals, Civil Service, Clapton, Ealing Association, Ilford and London Caledonians to discuss the creation of a strong amateur league. All the clubs supported the idea and the Isthmian League was born on 8 March 1905, membership to the league was through invitation only. The league was strongly dedicated to amateurism, the champions did not even receive a trophy or medals, teams less able to compete financially thus gravitated to it rather than the Southern League, while those with ambition and money would move in the opposite direction. By 1922 the league had fourteen clubs and over the five decades, only a few new members were admitted. Most new Isthmian League members joined from the Athenian League, which was dedicated to amateurism. The league began to admit professionalism in the 1970s, a second division of sixteen clubs was formed in 1973 and a third division followed in 1977. The reward of promotion into the Conference means that, since 1985, the Athenian League disbanded in 1984 when the Isthmian League Second Division split into North and South Divisions. These were restructured again to Second and Third Divisions in 1991, in 2002, the league was restructured again, with the First and Second Divisions merging to become Division One North and Division One South, and the Third Division being renamed as Division Two. In 2004, The Football Association pushed through a restructuring of the non-league National League System. The Isthmian League was reduced back down to three divisions, and its boundaries were changed to remove the overlap with the Southern League, in 2006, further reorganisation saw a reversion to two regional Division Ones and the disbandment of Division Two. This current plan calls for clubs based on the edges of the Isthmian Leagues territory to transfer to, One team, Clapton, had been ever-present in the Isthmian League since its foundation, but they moved to the Essex Senior League for the 2006–07 season. Dulwich Hamlet, who joined the league in 1907, are currently its longest serving member, for the 1973–74 season, the Second Division was added. For the 1977–78 season, the Premier Division was added, for the 1984–85 season, the Second Division was reorganised into North and South regions. For the 1991–92 season, the regional Second Divisions were merged, at the end of the 1994–95 season, Enfield were denied promotion to the Conference
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
St Albans City F.C.
St Albans City Football Club is a football club based in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England. It was founded in 1908 and plays its matches at Clarence Park. The club is in the National League South, citys most famous match was on 22 November 1922 in a fourth round qualifying FA Cup match. Having been held by Dulwich Hamlet to a 1–1 draw at Clarence Park on 18 November, citys New Zealand-born goalkeeper W. Tennant did not appear, his place taken by Alf Fearn who was usually a half-back with the reserves. Dulwich put eight goals past him, the goal coming in near darkness at the end of extra time. What put the game in the books was that City scored seven times. His feat remains the highest tally by a player on the side of an FA Cup tie. Founded in April 1908, the period in the history of St Albans City Football Club came during the 1920s. In February 2002, with the club having made one visit to the High Court in London. Since that time the Saints have existed very successfully within their financial means although the rise into the Nationwide Conference has been far from smooth, midway through the following campaign City were rooted to the foot of the table and facing an immediate return to the Isthmian League. Football had been played at the Saints Clarence Park home for 14 years prior to the formation of the present day club. The original St Albans, which played home matches at three other venues within the old Roman stronghold, met its demise in 1904 having come into existence back in 1881. After a four-year lapse a senior club bearing the name of the city again in 1908 and during its formative years competed in the Herts County. A move to the Athenian League heralded the start of the Saints halcyon days as that championship was won twice in three years paving the way for election to the Isthmian League. St Albans City won the Isthmian at the first attempt and followed it with two further successes before the decade was out, City remained in the Isthmian League until 2003 but never again did the title return to Clarence Park. When an extra Division was added in 1973 St Albans, along with Corinthian Casuals, had the honour of being the first club to be relegated within the Isthmian League. When a second relegation followed 12 years later the club turned to its former player John Mitchell, whose semi-final goals took Fulham to the 1975 FA Cup final, Mitchell duly obliged with two promotions in three years. In 1998 the diseased tree was felled, along with the Saints five championship successes in eight years during the 1920s the club also enjoyed its greatest days in the Amateur Cup
London Caledonians F.C.
London Caledonians F. C. was an amateur football club based in London, primarily for Scottish players. They were founder members of the Isthmian League, which won in its inaugural season. They remained in the league until 1939 when the club folded, the club won the first of their five Middlesex Senior Cups in 1889–90 and the first of their five London Senior Cups in 1899–1900. They were founder members of the Isthmian League in 1905 and were champions in its first season and they won the league again in 1907–08 and then three times in a row between 1911–12 and 1913–14. They reached the first round of the FA Cup in 1912–13, the following season they started in the first round, but lost 3–0 at Huddersfield Town. In 1922–23 the club reached the final of the FA Amateur Cup, the following season they reached the semi-finals again, but lost in a second replay. A sixth Isthmian League title was won in 1924–25, the following season they again entered the FA Cup in the first round, but lost to Ilford. In 1926–27 they again lost in the first round, this time to Luton Town, however, the following season they reached the third round, where they lost 3–2 at home to Crewe Alexandra. The club did not return to the league after World War II. C
Lynn Road was a football ground in the Newbury Park area of Ilford, London. It was the ground of Ilford F. C. from 1904 until 1977. The ground was built in 1904 after Ilford were given notice to leave their Wellesley Road ground, the first match at the new ground was played against Clapton in September that year, and in November a new 400-seat stand was opened on the southern side of the pitch. They bought the freehold of the site in 1922, and built another stand on the side of the pitch. The original stand was demolished in 1928 and replaced by an 850-seat stand that included a paddock with a capacity of 950. The record attendance of 17,000 was set for an English Schools Trophy match between Ilford and Swansea in May 1952, by this time the ground had a capacity of 18,000. Floodlights were subsequently installed in 1962, in the 1970s plans were made to relocate to a new ground near Fairlop tube station and the club left in the summer of 1977, with the main stand dismantled in order to be moved to the new site. However, the new ground never materialised and Ilford subsequently merged with Leytonstone to form Leytonstone/Ilford
Woking Football Club is a semi-professional association football club based in Woking, Surrey, England. Formed in 1889, the play at The Laithwaite Community Stadium and participates in the National League. Woking have won the FA Trophy a joint-record three times and finished 2015–16 season in 12th place, Woking are known as The Cards or The Cardinals. Woking Football Club, known as the Cards, was formed in 1889, the club joined the West Surrey League in 1895–96, winning the title by one point. However, within 21 years of being formed, the club was in danger of folding for financial reasons, the turning point came when, in January 1908, Woking played Bolton Wanderers in the First Round of the FA Cup, having made it through five qualifying rounds. Despite losing the away game 5–0, the club made it into the national news, Bolton Wanderers, impressed by the minnows they had defeated, travelled to Woking for a friendly match the following season, which kept the club solvent. In 1911 the club joined the Isthmian League, maintaining their place in the top division for 72 years and finishing as runners-up to Wycombe Wanderers in 1956–57. That achievement was eclipsed the following season when, in front of a 71,000 crowd, the club then went into decline, culminating in a first-ever relegation in 1982–83. By the end of the 1984–85 season the club had plunged to Division Two South of the Isthmian League and it was during that season that former player, Geoff Chapple, was appointed as manager. However, Chapelle was not able to save the club from relegation, the following season, the club just missed out on promotion at the first attempt. The next season saw the club part of FA Cup folklore. Entering the competition in the Fourth Qualifying Round, they beat three Conference sides to set up a Third Round tie away to West Bromwich Albion, recovering from being a goal behind, Woking triumphed 4–2, after a hat-trick from Tim Buzaglo. The club was drawn against Everton. The tie was originally going to be played at Woking, though the venue was switched to Evertons home ground, Woking narrowly lost the match 1–0 to a Kevin Sheedy goal. Promotion to the Conference was achieved in 1991–92, the Isthmian League title was clinched in early April, with seven games still to be played,18 points clear of nearest rivals, Enfield. The next season saw Woking finish the season in eighth position, the FA Trophy was won in 1994 when Runcorn were beaten at Wembley. Twelve months later Kidderminster Harriers were beaten as Woking became the club ever to win successive finals. Wembley was revisited in 1997 and the FA Trophy was won for the third time, the Cards also achieved five successive top five finishes in the Conference, including being runners-up in 1994–95 and 1995–96 when they finished below Stevenage
Nunhead Football Club were an English football club from Nunhead, Greater London. The club were prominent in southern English non-league football prior to World War II, but ceased all playing activities at the end of the 1940–41 season, founded as Wingfield House Football Club in 1888, the club changed its name to Nunhead F. C. in 1904. During the 1926–27 season, Nunhead reached the FA Cup second round, the campaign was also notable for Nunhead setting a record for the highest margin of victory by a non-league side in an FA Cup round proper match when they beat Kingstonian 9–0 in the first round. In the 1931–32 season Nunhead were on the end of that same nine goal margin of victory record when they lost 9–0 in the FA Cup first round to Bath City. In the mid-1930s Dennis Compton played for the club and he would go on to play for Arsenal and England. The Second World War, the termination by the landlords of the lease on Browns Ground. The site of the ground now forms part of the playing fields of the Haberdashers Askes Federation. As late as the early 1980s the old football clubs dressing rooms were used by the Haberdashers Askes boys school where they were referred to as the Cowsheds. Albert Cadwell Denis Compton Sidney Pugh Isthmian League Champions, 1928–29, 1929–30 Runners-up, 1919–20, 1922–23 London Senior Cup Winners,1923 Surrey Senior CupWinners,1908 Runners-up,1930
Wimbledon Football Club was an English football club formed in Wimbledon, south-west London, in 1889 and based at Plough Lane from 1912 to 1991. Founded as Wimbledon Old Centrals, the club were a team for most of their history. The team rose quickly from obscurity during the 1980s and were promoted to the then top-flight First Division in 1986, the team remained in the First Division and its successor the FA Premier League until they were relegated in 2000. In 2001, after rejecting a variety of local sites and others further afield. A group of supporters responded by forming a new club, AFC Wimbledon, Wimbledon played their first match in Milton Keynes in 2003, and adopted the name Milton Keynes Dons in 2004. Wimbledon Old Central Football Club were formed in 1889, taking its name from the Old Central School on Wimbledon Common where players had been pupils. The clubs first match was a 1–0 victory over Westminster, Wimbledon won the Clapham League again in 1900–01, as well as two minor trophies. The club was restarted a year later under the name Wimbledon Borough, though Borough was dropped from the name after barely a year. The club continued to play on Wimbledon Common and at other locations in the Wimbledon area until 1912. Wimbledon joined the Athenian League for 1919–20, and in the season in its new division finished as runners-up. The club then joined the Isthmian League, winning four Isthmian League titles during the 1930s, and reaching the FA Amateur Cup final in 1934–35, Wimbledon began to prosper. The club reached another FA Amateur Cup final in 1946–47, Wimbledon won the Isthmian League for the fifth time in 1958–59 before starting a period of domination that saw three successive championships – 1961–62, 1962–63 and 1963–64. Following these successes the decision was taken to turn professional for the 1964–65 season, Wimbledon had continued success in their new league, finishing as runners-up at the first attempt. They then became the first non-League team that century to beat a First Division side away from home by defeating Burnley at Turf Moor. In the fourth round the good form continued, as the team held the reigning First Division champions Leeds United to a 0–0 draw at Elland Road. Goalkeeper Dickie Guy saved a penalty from Peter Lorimer to earn a replay, after winning the Southern League three times running from 1974–75 to 1976–77, Wimbledon were elected to The Football League in place of Workington for the 1977–78 season. The 1977–78 season was a satisfactory Football League debut for Wimbledon, Allen Batsford had resigned as manager on 2 January 1978 to be succeeded by Dario Gradi, who guided the club to promotion in 1978–79. Wimbledons first stay in the Third Division was not a successful one, the team struggled, and were relegated in bottom place, winning just 10 league games all season