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
Colchester United F.C.
Colchester United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Colchester, Essex, England. The team competes in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. Founded in 1937, the club spent its early years playing in the Southern Football League until they were elected to the Football League in 1950. Colchester United were relegated to the Football Conference in 1990 following a decline in the late 1980s and they achieved promotion to the Second Division in 1998 following a 1–0 win against Torquay United in the play-off final. The club were promoted in 2006, achieving second place in League One. The club returned to League One in 2008 following relegation from the Championship, Colchester United play their home games at Colchester Community Stadium in Colchester. They relocated to the stadium in 2008 when they moved away from Layer Road, until 1937, Colchester Town were Colchesters main club and were the original tenants of Layer Road. Colchester Town joined the Eastern Counties League in 1935, but their performances in the league convinced supporters that the club should turn professional. With club officials against the idea of turning professional, a new club was formed in March 1937, Colchester United. United joined the Southern Football League as crowds for Town matches dwindled, in December 1937, Colchester United formed a reserve team, signing many of Towns players. As a result of this and Town struggling with £300 debts, the club won the Southern League Cup in their first season of existence, and were Southern League champions during in 1939 prior to the Second World War. They finally fell to Blackpool in the fifth round and this set them in good stead for potential election to the Football League. Colchester United were elected to the Football League in 1950 on the back of their second Southern League Cup win and ending the 1949–50 season second to Merthyr Tydfil on goal average alone. With the draw having been made prior to the replay against Rochdale, the Us knew they would face a home tie with First Division Leeds United, and duly trounced Dale 5–0. In the match with Leeds, the Us raced to an unprecedented 3–0 lead in front of a 16,000 Layer Road crowd, Leeds did grab two goals back but Colchester held on for a famous 3–2 victory. The club faced Everton in the quarter-finals but succumbed to a 5–0 defeat in front of 53,028 at Goodison Park. Financial difficulties and a number of changes at board level in the mid-1980s caused a slide towards the end of the Fourth Division table. Despite a brief turn around in form under former Rangers manager Jock Wallace, despite their relegation, the Us remained a full-time club while playing in the Football Conference, as they sold their Layer Road ground to the Colchester Borough Council to clear the clubs debts
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
World War II
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the worlds countries—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing alliances, the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust and the bombing of industrial and population centres. These made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history, from late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, and formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Poland, Finland, Romania and the Baltic states. In December 1941, Japan attacked the United States and European colonies in the Pacific Ocean, and quickly conquered much of the Western Pacific. The Axis advance halted in 1942 when Japan lost the critical Battle of Midway, near Hawaii, in 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in South Central China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy, thus ended the war in Asia, cementing the total victory of the Allies. World War II altered the political alignment and social structure of the world, the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The victorious great powers—the United States, the Soviet Union, China, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 46 years. Meanwhile, the influence of European great powers waned, while the decolonisation of Asia, most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery. Political integration, especially in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities, the start of the war in Europe is generally held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland, Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or even the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred simultaneously and this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935. The British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the forces of Mongolia and the Soviet Union from May to September 1939, the exact date of the wars end is also not universally agreed upon. It was generally accepted at the time that the war ended with the armistice of 14 August 1945, rather than the formal surrender of Japan
Gillingham Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Gillingham, Kent, England. The only Kent-based club in the Football League, the Gills play their matches at the Priestfield Stadium. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1893 and joined the Football League in 1920 and they were voted out of the league in favour of Ipswich Town at the end of the 1937–38 season, but returned to it 12 years later after it was expanded from 88 to 92 clubs. Twice in the late 1980s they came close to winning promotion to the tier of English football. The local success of a football side, Chatham Excelsior F. C. encouraged a group of businessmen to meet with a view to creating a football club which could compete in larger competitions. New Brompton F. C. was formed at the meeting, the founders also purchased the plot of land which later became Priestfield Stadium. The new club played its first match on 2 September 1893, New Brompton were among the founder members of the Southern League upon its creation in 1894, and were placed in Division Two. They were named Champions in the first season going on to defeat Swindon Town in a test match to win promotion, in the seasons that followed, the club struggled in Division One, finishing bottom in the 1907–08 season, avoiding relegation only due to expansion of the league. In 1938 the team finished bottom of the Third Division and were required to apply for re-election for the time since joining the league. This bid for re-election failed, with Gillingham returning to the Southern League, Gillingham quickly established themselves as one of the stronger sides in the league, winning a local double of the Kent League and Kent Senior Cup in the 1945–46 season. In the 1946–47 season the team won both the Southern League Cup and the Southern League championship, during which they recorded a club record 12–1 victory over Gloucester City, the Gills also won the league title in 1948–49. The team spent eight seasons in Division Three before the restructuring of the system for the 1958–59 season saw them placed in the newly created Fourth Division. They remained in this division until 1964, when manager Freddie Cox led them to promotion, the team finished the season level on 60 points with Carlisle United, but with a fractionally better goal average, which was the tightest league title finish in Football League history. After relegation back to the Fourth Division in 1970–71, the Gills were soon promoted back to the Third Division in the 1973–74 season. During this period the club produced future stars Steve Bruce and Tony Cascarino, in 1987, the Gills hit the headlines when, on consecutive Saturdays, they beat Southend United 8–1 and Chesterfield 10–0, the latter a club record for a Football League match. Just a few later, however, manager Keith Peacock was controversially sacked. The ensuing spell in the division brought little success
Chelmsford City F.C.
Chelmsford City Football Club is a football club based in the city of Chelmsford, Essex, England. They are currently members of the National League South and play at the Melbourne Stadium, Chelmsford Football Club was established in 1878 by members of the Chelmsford Lawn Tennis and Croquet club in order to give them something to do in the winter. The club won the Essex Senior Cup in 1892–93 and again in 1901–02, in 1895 they were founder members of the North Essex League, but left in 1900 to join the South Essex League. In 1903–04 the club entered a team into the newly-formed South East Anglian League. In 1908–09 they spent a season playing in the Eastern Division of the Spartan League, in 1912 Chelmsford were amongst the founder members of the Athenian League, although they also continued to play in the South Essex League for another season. In 1922 the club failed to be re-elected and dropped into the Middlesex County League, in 1923–24 they also entered a team into the Essex & Suffolk Border League. That season saw the win the Middlesex County League and finish second in the Border League. In the following season, Chelmsford won the East Anglian Cup, the club won the London League Premier Division title in 1930–31, before becoming founder members of the Eastern Counties League in 1935. Two years later left the ECL to become founder members of the Essex County League. In 1938, it was decided to form a club in order to join the Southern League. Chelmsford City was established in 1938 and took over Chelmsfords New Writtle Street ground and they joined the Southern League and made an immediate impact in the FA Cup, reaching the fourth round in its first season. In the fourth round they lost 6–0 at Birmingham City, at the end of the season the club applied to join the Football League, but received only one vote. The club were the Southern Leagues first champions when football resumed after World War II, Chelmsford won the league cup again in 1959–60 and the league title in 1967–68 and 1971–72. They continued to apply to join the Football League, making bids in 1960,1961,1962, the club remained in the top division of the Southern League until 1976–77, when they were relegated to Division One South. In 1977, City were one of six clubs to represent England in the Anglo-Italian Cup, after the formation of the Alliance Premier League they regained their top division status in the Southern League. The club were relegated again in 1987–88 but made a return to the Premier Division after winning Division One South the following season. Another relegation was experienced in 1996–97 and after an issue with the seating at the ground meant they were refused promotion in 1997–98, in 2004, Chelmsford transferred to the Premier Division of the Isthmian League and were champions in 2007–08, earning promotion to the Conference South. They reached the play-offs in the season but lost to Hampton & Richmond in the play-off semi-finals
Worcester City F.C.
Worcester City Football Club is an English football club based in Worcester, Worcestershire. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. Established in 1902, they have spent the majority of their history in non-league football and they currently play at Victoria Ground, home to Bromsgrove Sporting, after leaving St Georges Lane in 2013. Initially they played on Pitchcroft on an area called Severn Terrace. They played there until the start of the 1905 season and it was in 1905 that they reached the first round of the FA Cup, losing 6–0 at home to Watford. In 1924–25 they won the league for the first time, the club won back-to-back league titles in 1928–29 and 1929–30, also reaching the FA Cup first round in the former, losing 3–1 at Walsall. In 1938 they joined the Southern League, in 1940 they won the Southern League Cup beating Chelmsford 7–3 over two legs under the guidance of former Fulham F. C. legend Syd Gibbons. During World War II the club returned to the Birmingham & District League for two seasons, after the war Worcester rejoined the Southern League. In 1958–59 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup again, after beating Chelmsford City in a replay and then Millwall 5–2 in the second round, they were drawn against Liverpool. A 2–1 win saw Worcester qualify for the round against Sheffield United. They were defeated 2–0 in front of a home attendance of 17,042 at St Georges Lane. In 1973–74 the club were relegated to Division One North of the Southern League and they returned to the Premier Division as Division One champions in 1977, and in 1978–79 won the title. The following season they became members of the Alliance Premier League. However, they were relegated at the end of the 1984–85 season, the 1973–74 season saw City reach the quarter-final of the FA Trophy. They beat Taunton Town 1–0 away from home and then a 5–1 home win over Bletchley saw the club reach the third round. Having beaten Sandbach Ramblers 4–1, City progressed to the last eight where a 2–0 away defeat followed a draw against South Shields ended their cup run. In the 1978–79 season, Worcester reached the semi-finals after beating Cardiff City 3–2 in the quarters and they again played Shrewsbury, this time losing 2–0 away. The club remained in the Southern League Premier Division until 2004, in 2008 they were moved to the Conference South after no southern teams were relegated from the Conference National
Guildford City F.C.
Guildford City Football Club is a football club based in Guildford, Surrey, England. The club was established in 1921, folded in 1974 and were reformed in 1996, Guildford City play in the Combined Counties League Premier Division. The first club in the town was amateur side Guildford, formed in 1877 and they played home matches at the Woodbridge Road Sports Ground. A successful start led to a number of people mooting a new professional club, in May 1921 they were accepted into the Southern League, the equivalent of the National League today. At the same land had been purchased in Joseph’s Road. Playing in green and white the hosts won 2–0 with a crowd of over 5,000 spectators, in 1927 Guildford became a diocese and the Guildford Cathedral was built. It was believed that Guildford would become a city so the club changed its name, at this time they also changed the colours to red and white stripes. Despite excellent gates the club was facing a crisis at the end of the season – this was to be a recurrent theme throughout the club’s history. At the start of the 1936–37 season the club made the decision to turn full-time professional. That season they finished 4th but next season things got even better, in 1937–38 City beat Reading in the FA Cup but in the league they won 22 of their 34 games to finish as Champions for the first time. That feat was repeated the following year, with City finishing runners-up to Colchester United by one point. In the league game at home to Colchester on Easter Monday City won 3–1 in front of the largest crowd ever for a game at Joseph’s Road 9,443. Earlier that season City had attracted a bigger crowd to Joseph’s Road for an FA Cup 1st Round Replay against local rivals Aldershot. 9,932 people saw City lose a nail-biting game 4–3 and this successful period was brought to a premature conclusion by the outbreak of the Second World War. The ground had been used by the Army during the War, in 1946–47 City re-entered the Southern League – this time as a part-time club. In 1950–51 the team reached the final of the Southern League Cup for the first time, in the 1951–52 season the City undertook their longest trip when they when they travelled to Gateshead in the 2nd Round of the FA Cup. An estimated 5,000 supporters made the trip to the North East of England in December. A15,000 crowd saw City dominate the game but lose 2–0, in debt again, City sold Jimmy Langley to Leeds for £2,000
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
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
Arsenal F.C. Under-23s and Academy
Arsenal Football Club Academy is the youth team setup of Arsenal Football Club based in Hale End, London, England. They currently play in the Professional Development League, the highest level of football in England. The club also features within the FA Youth Cup and the UEFA Youth League as well, the academy enters Under-18 and Under-16 teams in these tourneys, in all operating the academy for boys from the ages of nine years old upwards. The Netherlands Andries Jonker was in prior at the helm of Arsenals academy at Hale End with Englishman Luke Hobbs now at the helm, Arsenals Academy is one of the most successful within England winning seven FA Youth Cups together with six Premier Academy League titles as well. Arsenal have occasionally operated a team as far back as 1893–94. The club have played in the FA Youth Cup since the 1954–55 season, the following season the league competition was renamed as the South East Counties League. Arsenals Academy altogether was victorious in the Counties League in 1956,1965,1972 and 1991, Arsenals youths also played in the London Minor FA Challenge Cup from 1955 to 1956. In 1960 they rejoined the competition where they stayed until 1967 and was successful in the Southern Junior Floodlit Cup which they won in 1956,1972,1975 and 1999. Arsenal thus became, of teams in the country, the winners of seven South East Counties League titles. The youth team became members of the FA Premier Youth League in 1997–98. The league was initially a division and Arsenal won the inaugural title. The following season this was renamed the Premier Academy League and split into Under-19 and Under-17 sections, Arsenal entered teams in both sections, winning the U17 title in 1999–00 and the U19 title in 2001–02 as well as two more FA Youth Cups in 2000 and 2001. Since 2004–05, the FA Premier Academy League has consisted of only a section for Under-18s. Arsenal U18s have won their group three times, in 2007–08, 2008–09 and 2009–10. They went on to win the academy play-off semi-final and final in 2008–09, in 2009 they completed their first double by also winning the 2008–09 FA Youth Cup, having beaten Liverpool 6–2 on aggregate in the final. Arsenal got to place of the NextGen Series in 2013. In 2016 Arsenals U21s, vied and won the semifinal of the Professional Development Leagues Division 2 playoffs 2-1 against Blackburn Rovers, the gunners thus in the final beat Aston Villa by 3 goals to 1 at the Emirates Stadium so as to become playoff champions. The clubs Academy at Hale End is currently undergoing renovations under the purview of academy chief Jonker, the work upon these halls of ivy are set to be fully completed in February 2017
Cardiff City F.C.
Cardiff City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Cardiff, Wales that competes in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1899 as Riverside A. F. C. before changing its name to Cardiff City in 1908 and they play their home games at the Cardiff City Stadium, after moving from Ninian Park in 2009. The club reverted to their traditional blue in January 2015 and they have long-standing rivalries with nearby clubs Swansea City, known as the South Wales derby, and Bristol City, known as the Severnside derby. The club was founded in 1899 as Riverside A. F. C and their first season saw them playing friendlies against local sides at their Sophia Gardens ground, but in 1900 they joined the Cardiff & District League for their first competitive season. To combat this they arranged to join the South Wales Amateur League in 1907, with the club growing in stature, they were forced to turn down the opportunity to join the newly formed Southern League Second Division due to the lack of facilities at their Sophia Gardens ground. The club eventually secured land to build their own stadium, moving into Ninian Park, the club made its first signing the following year with the acquisition of Jack Evans from fellow Welsh club Cwmparc. With the new ground in place, Cardiff joined the Southern League Second Division, and appointed their first manager in Davy McDougall, who became player-manager. They went on to finish in place in their first year in the league but the board decided to replace McDougall with Fred Stewart. In 1920, the club submitted an application to join the Football League and were placed into the Second Division for the 1920–21 season. Stewart brought in players with Football League experience, breaking the clubs transfer record on two occasions to sign Jimmy Gill and later Jimmy Blair from The Wednesday. In the 74th minute, after collecting a throw George MacLachlan, dan Lewis, the Arsenal goalkeeper, appeared to collect the ball but, under pressure from the advancing Len Davies, clumsily allowed the ball to roll through his grasp. In a further attempt to retrieve the ball Lewis only succeeded in knocking the ball with his elbow into his own net, captain Fred Keenor received the FA Cup trophy from King George V only seven years after Cardiff City had entered the Football League. However, he was unable to turn the fortunes around by the end of the season. McCandless left the club soon after and was replaced by Cyril Spiers who led the club to promotion the in 1951–52 season, however, despite spending five seasons in the First Division, the club continually struggled in the bottom half of the table and were eventually relegated in 1957. They returned to the First Division for two seasons between 1960 and 1962 before again suffering relegation, during the 1960s, Cardiff began qualifying for European competition for the first time as a result of winning the Welsh Cup. They went on to reach the quarter-finals before being knocked out by Real Zaragoza, despite their exploits in Europe, the club were still struggling in league competition under the stewardship of Jimmy Scoular, finishing in 20th position in the Second Division. After a 1–1 draw in the first leg, just over 43,000 fans turned out at Ninian Park to watch Hamburg win 3–2, during the 1970–71 season, Cardiff reached the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners Cup where they faced Spanish side Real Madrid. The first leg of the tie was held at Ninian Park where 47,000 fans watched one of the most famous victories in the history when Brian Clark headed in to give Cardiff a 1–0 win
Tunbridge Wells F.C.
Tunbridge Wells Football Club is a football club based in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England. They are currently members of the Southern Counties East League Premier Division and they play their home games at Culverden Stadium. Kent League, Tunbridge Wells Rangers were a club founded as a professional team in 1903 when they joined the Kent League. They stayed there for three seasons before joining the Southern Football League in Division two for the start of the 1906-07 season, however, after two seasons they rejoined the Kent League and the South Eastern League, they were to stay in the Kent League until they. Two seasons after joining the Eastern section the club started playing in the Central section as well, in the 1936-37 season the club then played in the southern section but also competed in the Southern League Midweek Section, becoming champions of this competition in the 1938-39 season. During their time in the Southern league the club managed to get to the round of the FA Cup twice. During this period the club once again progressed to the first round proper of the FA Cup, in 1961 they fared slightly better, edged out 3–1 by Aldershot – their last appearance to date in the Cup proper. In the early 1960s Rangers – a name to which they reverted in 1963 – began to struggle in the Southern League, the supporters formed a new club, once again called simply Tunbridge Wells FC, and re-joined the Kent League where they have remained ever since. On 31 August 2005, Tunbridge Wells made football history by winning the longest penalty shoot-out ever in a cup match. No less than 40 spot kicks were needed before Wells emerged as the victors, after a poor start to the 2007–08 season Mike Robbins, previously of Rye United, was installed as manager. After a promising start, Wells drifted from the top three to tenth after many left to play at a higher level. Robbins stepped down from his post at the conclusion of the 2008–09 season, to be replaced in his position of manager by his assistant, in March 2013, Tunbridge Wells reached the Final of the FA Vase, playing Spennymoor Town on 4 May at Wembley. Tunbridge Wells play their games at the Culverden Stadium in Tunbridge Wells. It grounds capacity is 3,750, of which 250 is seated, the ground is floodlit and has a sloped pitch. The ground also hosts the annual Courier Cup in August, the Culverden Stadium was opened in 1962 as a permanent home for the club. The occasion was commemorated with a charity match between Tunbridge Wells and a TV All Stars team which included Jess Conrad and Bernard Bresslaw. On 31 August 2005, during an FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay, the match was won by Tunbridge Wells against Littlehampton Town 16-15 after 40 penalty kicks. This was recognized as an FA and European record, in September 2006, the Culverden Stadium was subject to a series of vandalism attacks
Norwich City F.C.
Norwich City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Norwich, Norfolk. The club currently plays in the Championship, the tier of English football. They were first promoted to the top flight in 1972, Norwich have won the League Cup twice, in 1962 and 1985. The club has never won the top flight, but finished third in 1993, the club was founded in 1902. The fans song On the Ball, City is regarded as being the oldest football song in the world which is still in use, the club plays in characteristic yellow and green kits and are nicknamed The Canaries after the history of breeding the birds in the area. They joined the Norfolk & Suffolk League for the 1902–03 season, but following a FA Commission, the club was ousted from the amateur game in 1905, deemed a professional organisation. Later that year Norwich were elected to play in the Southern League and with increasing crowds, they were forced to leave Newmarket Road in 1908, moving to The Nest, a disused chalk pit. During the First World War, with football suspended and facing spiralling debts, the club was officially reformed on 15 February 1919 – a key figure in the events was Charles Frederick Watling, future Lord Mayor of Norwich and the father of future club chairman, Geoffrey Watling. When, in May 1920, the Football League formed a third Division and their first league fixture, against Plymouth Argyle, on 28 August 1920, ended in a 1–1 draw. The club went on to endure a mediocre decade, finishing no higher than eighth, the inaugural match, held on 31 August 1935, against West Ham United, ended in a 4–3 victory to the home team and set a new record attendance of 29,779. The biggest highlight of the four seasons was the visit of King George VI to Carrow Road on 29 October 1938. However, the club was relegated to the Third Division at the end of the season, the league was suspended the following season as a result of the outbreak of the Second World War and did not resume until the 1946–47 season. City finished this and the season in 21st place, the poor results forcing the club to apply for re-election to the league. The 1958–59 season saw Norwich reach the semi-final of the FA Cup as a Third Division side, in the 1959–60 season, Norwich were promoted to the Second Division after finishing second to Southampton, and achieved a fourth-place finish in the 1960–61 season. In 1962 Ron Ashman guided Norwich to their first trophy, defeating Rochdale 4–0 on aggregate in a final to win the League Cup. They made their first appearance at Wembley Stadium in 1973, losing the League Cup final 1–0 to Tottenham Hotspur. Relegation to the Second Division in 1974 came after Saunders had departed and been succeeded by John Bond, a highly successful first season saw promotion back to the First Division and another visit to Wembley, again in the League Cup final, this time losing 1–0 to Aston Villa. Bond departed to Manchester City in the autumn of 1980 and the club were relegated six months later, Norwich had also been the beneficiaries of one of English footballs first million-pound transfers when they sold striker Justin Fashanu to Nottingham Forest in August 1981
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
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
Cheltenham Town F.C.
Cheltenham Town Football Club /ˈtʃɛltnəm ˈtaʊn/ is a professional association football club based in the town of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. The team compete in League Two, the tier of English football. Their nickname is The Robins, and the club is affiliated to the Gloucestershire County FA. Promoted to The Football League as Conference Premier champions in 1999, Cheltenham have played as high as League One and their best FA Cup run saw them reach the last 16 in 2002. The last piece of silverware won by the club was the National League title in 2015–2016 and its league status was lost with relegation in 2015, only for the team to return, as champions, a year later. Cheltenham has a history of prior to The Robins. In 1849, the first use of three referees in a match, two in field and one in tribune, was recorded in the town. However, the club was founded in 1887 by Albert Close White. The club spent its first three decades in local football, notable players from those days include cricketers Gilbert Jessop and brothers Charles Barnett and Edgar Barnett. In the early 1930s the club turned professional and joined the Birmingham Combination before joining the Southern League in 1935 and they won promotion to the Alliance Premier League in 1985, but were relegated seven years later. They were promoted back to the Conference in 1997 and two years later gained promotion to the Football League, after two mid-table finishes in Division Three they won via the playoffs and were promoted to Division Two. The appointment of Steve Cotterill as manager during the 1996–97 was the start of a period of success at the club resulted in Cotterill being their most successful manager. In 1997–98, Cheltenham finished runners-up in the Conference and were close to champions Halifax Town until the end of April 1998 and they secured a place at Wembley in the FA Trophy final, beating Southport 1–0 in front of a crowd of 27,000. In 1998–99 Cheltenham secured the Conference title and entry to the Football League, after two mid-table finishes in Division Three, Cheltenham finally won promotion to Division Two at the end of the 2001–02 season. Shortly after winning promotion, Cotterill left Cheltenham to join Stoke City as their manager, Cheltenham replaced Cotterill with first-team coach Graham Allner who had won the Conference championship with Kidderminster Harriers in 1994. Allner and assistant manager Mike Davis, who was assistant to Cotterill, were sacked in January 2003, after six months in the job. Cheltenham turned to Bobby Gould, one of the most experienced managers in English football whose exploits include an FA Cup victory with Wimbledon in 1988. Cheltenham continued to struggle, and defeat in their game of the season condemned the club to relegation back to Division Three after just one season
Ipswich Town F.C.
Ipswich Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. They play in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1878 but did not turn professional until 1936 and they play their home games at Portman Road in Ipswich. The clubs traditional colours are blue shirts and white shorts. Ipswich have won the English league title once, in their first season in the top flight in 1961–62 and they won the FA Cup in 1977–78, and the UEFA Cup in 1980–81. They have competed in the top two tiers of English football uninterrupted since 1957–58. They have competed in all three European club competitions, and have never lost at home in European competition, defeating Real Madrid, AC Milan, Internazionale, Lazio and Barcelona F. C. among others. The club was founded as a side in 1878 and were known as Ipswich A. F. C. until 1888 when they merged with Ipswich Rugby Club to form Ipswich Town Football Club. The team won a number of cup competitions, including the Suffolk Challenge Cup. The club won the league a further three times, in 1929–30, 1932–33 and 1933–34, before becoming members of the Eastern Counties Football League at the end of the 1934–35 season. A year later, the club turned professional and joined the Southern League, Ipswich were elected to The Football League on 30 May 1938, and played in Division Three until the end of the 1953–54 season, when they won the title and promotion to Division Two. The club won the Division Three title again in 1956–57, and this time, Ipswich established themselves in Division Two, and as the division champions, won promotion to the top level of English football, Division One, in 1960–61. In the top flight for the first time, Ipswich became Champions of the Football League at the first attempt in 1961–62, as English league champions, they qualified for the 1962–63 European Cup, defeating Maltese side Floriana 14–1 on aggregate before losing to Milan. Ramsey quit the club in April 1963 to take charge of the England national team, after the team won the 1966 World Cup, Ramsey was replaced by Jackie Milburn, under whose leadership fortunes on the pitch plummeted. Milburn quit after just one season and was replaced by Bill McGarry in 1964. McGarry left to manage Wolves and was replaced by Bobby Robson in January 1969, Robson led Ipswich to two major trophies and several seasons in top flight European football. The successful period began in 1973 when the won the Texaco Cup and finished fourth in the league. Ipswich regularly featured in the top five of the league and in the UEFA Cup, at their peak in the 1979–80 season, they beat Manchester United 6–0 in a league game at Portman Road, a game where United goalkeeper Gary Bailey also saved three penalties
Newport County A.F.C.
Newport County Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Newport, South Wales. The team play in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. Most recently reformed in 1989, the club is a continuation of the Newport County club which was founded in 1912 and was a member of the Football Leagues new Third Division in 1920. Newport County were Welsh Cup winners in 1980 and subsequently reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1981, the club was relegated from the Football League in 1988 and went out of business in February 1989. The club reformed shortly afterwards and entered the English football league system at a lower level. In 2013 the club won back to the Football League for the first time since 1988. Newport County, originally nicknamed The Ironsides due to Newport being home to Lysaghts Orb Works steel works, the official name of the club was The Newport & Monmouth County Association Football Club, although the shorter Newport County was soon adopted. The club were reformed in 1919 and were first elected to the Football League in 1920 and they were not re-elected after the 1930–31 season but rejoined for 1932–33. After almost 20 years in the Third Division South, the club clinched promotion to the Second Division as champions in 1939 under manager Billy McCandless. Hopes were high that the side could prosper in the Second Division. Newport County managed a 1–1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur and a 3–1 win over Southampton, the War League operated for the remainder of the 1939–40 season and County finished 10th in the South-West Division. After the war, the reformed and competed in the temporary Football League South for the 1945–46 season. Newcastle player Len Shackleton remarked they were lucky to get nil, despite victories over Coventry City, Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham, the club needed four wins out of the last four games to have any hope of safety. Despite a revenge victory over Newcastle United, defeats to Birmingham City, Luton Town, County finished bottom of the Second Division and were relegated. Newport reached the round of the 1948–49 FA Cup under manager Tom Bromilow. They only narrowly lost the game 3–2 away to Portsmouth, the eventual FA Cup semi-finalists, after 11 further seasons in the Third Division South, the club narrowly avoided another effective relegation with the creation of the Fourth Division for the 1958–59 season. The bottom 12 teams from the Third Division North and South were placed in the new division, County avoided this fate by a mere four points. However, in 1962, with seven wins all season
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
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
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
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
Dartford Football Club is an English association football club based in Dartford, Kent. The club participates in the National League South, the tier of English football. After finishing as champions of the Isthmian League Division One North in the 2007–08 season and they finished in 8th position in their first season. They were crowned champions of the Isthmian League Premier Division in their second season and that season they finished in 10th place, but once again gained promotion at the second attempt in 2011–12, by winning the play off final, after finishing second in the table. Since the 2012–13 season they have playing in the Conference Premier. Home matches are played at the environmentally friendly stadium, Princes Park. The club was formed in 1888 by members of the Dartford Working mens club and they have also reached the final of the FA Trophy once. Dartford Football Club was formed in 1888 by members of the Dartford Working Mens Club, the club soon was entering cup competitions, reaching the final of the Kent Senior Cup in 1894. Following this, Dartford were founder members of the Kent League for the 1894–95 season, Two seasons later, Dartford became founder members of the Southern League Division Two, winning the Championship at the first attempt. The club moved between the Southern and Kent Leagues several times over the seasons, dropping to the West Kent League in the 1900s. Around the same time the club found its first permanent home ground, Summers Meadow in Lowfield Street, in 1908–09 Dartford won the West Kent League and Cup double and rejoined the Kent League where they remained until the outbreak of the First World War. In 1913 Dartford undertook a tour of Norway culminating in a 6–1 win over a Norway XI. Darts continued their association with the Kent League, winning the cup in 1923–24. At the start of the 1930s the Dartford Board appointed the successful Kettering Town manager, Bill Collier, the Scot continued his pattern of success with Dartford and won trophies by the shoal during the decade leading up to the 1939–45 war. In county football Dartford won the Kent Senior Cup four times in five seasons, in addition Dartford gained a reputation nationally by becoming the first club outside the Football League to reach the FA Cup Third Round Proper in successive seasons. In 1935–36 Dartford lost to a star-studded Derby County by 3–2 at the Baseball Ground having at one time led by 2–0, leading player Fred Dell was transferred to West Ham United for a reported £2,000 immediately after the game. The following season saw Dartford lose 0–1 at home to Darlington at the same stage, for a decade and a half following the 1939–1945 war, Dartford had little to show for its efforts except for a sparkling win over Bromley in Kent Senior Cup in 1947. Included in the Dartford line-up that day was Ted Croker, later to become the Secretary of the Football Association, soon after this win Dartford transferred Riley Cullum and Fred Alexander to Charlton Athletic for £6,000, which wiped out the clubs debts entirely
Walsall Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Walsall, West Midlands, England. The team play in League One, the tier in the English football league system. The club was founded in 1888 as Walsall Town Swifts, an amalgamation of Walsall Town F. C. and their first match at Wembley Stadium was the 2015 Football League Trophy Final, which they lost to Bristol City. Walsall moved into their Bescot Stadium in 1990, having played at nearby Fellows Park for almost a century. The ground is known as Bankss Stadium for sponsorship purposes, the team play in a red and white kit and their club crest features a swift. The clubs nickname, The Saddlers, reflects Walsalls status as a centre for saddle manufacture. Walsall were formed as Walsall Town Swifts in 1888 when Walsall Town F. C. Walsall Town had been founded in 1877 and Walsall Swifts in 1879. Both clubs had played at the Chuckery, and the new club remained at the same ground, Walsall Town Swifts first match was a draw against Aston Villa. Two players from this early era received international caps, in 1882, Alf Jones won the first two of his three caps while with Walsall Swifts, and in 1889 Albert Aldridge received the second of his two caps while playing for Walsall Town Swifts. The club were first admitted to the Football League in 1892 and they moved to the West Bromwich Road ground in 1893. After finishing 14th out of 16 teams in 1894–95 the club failed to be re-elected to the Football League, at the start of the 1895 season the club moved to Hilary Street, later renamed Fellows Park. In 1896 they changed their name to Walsall F. C. a year later, they returned to the Second Division, three teams having failed re-election in 1896. The team finished in place in 1898–99, but once again failed re-election two years later, dropping back into the Midland League. A move to the Birmingham League followed in 1903, and in 1910, with the expansion of the Football League after World War I, Walsall became a founding member of the Third Division North in 1921. Walsalls highest home attendance was set in 1930, when played in of front of 74,600 fans against Aston Villa in the FA Cup Fourth Round. Although a home match for Walsall, the tie was played at their opponents Villa Park ground, in 1933, Walsall won 2–0 in the FA Cup against Arsenal at Fellows Park. Arsenal went on to win the First Division that season, in 1958, following a reorganisation of the Football League, Walsall became founder members of the Fourth Division. Players such as Bill Chopper Guttridge, Tony Richards and Colin Taylor were intrinsically important to the success of the side
AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Rushden & Diamonds is an English football club based in Northamptonshire. They played their season at Kiln Park, the home of Raunds Town. The club was formed in July 2011 by supporters after Rushden & Diamonds, at an open meeting chaired by a supporters group called SaveRDFC, a mandate was agreed upon to create a phoenix club, fully owned and controlled by its supporters. A team was created and accepted into the Northants Senior Youth League for the 2011–12 season, for the 2013–14 season, an Under-21 team was added, which plays in the Midland Football Combination Under-21 division. The original Rushden & Diamonds was formed on 21 April 1992, following the merger of Irthlingborough Diamonds, the clubs early years were marked by success. Within four seasons the club had reached the Conference National, however, following their promotion to Division Two the Diamonds fortunes took a turn for the worse. The club were relegated twice in three years, and suffered instability off the field, seven different managers took charge of the team between March 2004 and May 2011, while the club itself was controlled by four different parties during the same period. Following a period of sustained financial difficulties during the 2010–11 season, the club were expelled from the Conference at the end of the campaign, and entered administration that July. Following an open meeting, supporters voted to play their games for the 2011–12 season at Kiln Park, Raunds. On 18 July 2011 the club announced the appointment of former Rushden & Diamonds head of youth development Mark Starmer as their first manager, on 22 July 2011, AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18s were accepted into the Northants Senior Youth League for the 2011–12 season. With no senior side registered in time for the 2011–12 season, AFC R&D played their first official match in a 3–0 loss to Raunds Town in a friendly youth match played on 6 August 2011, attended by 350 supporters. The Diamonds played their first competitive game on 25 August 2011, running out comfortable 3–0 winners against Daventry Town in the Northants Senior Youth League, watched by 467 supporters. On 9 October 2011, the club won its first ever competitive cup match, throughout the season much was done to integrate AFC R&D into the local footballing community. Deals were struck with St Neots Town, South Rushden Junior Football Club, Raunds Town, on 24 March 2012, Mark Starmer was announced as First Team Manager for the 2012–13 season. The club ended the campaign in a respectable mid-table position. The first season of existence for AFC Rushden & Diamonds also ended in cup success, winning the NSYL Knock-Out Cup at Steel Park, in the final Diamonds beat AFC Kempston Rovers 4–1, securing their first piece of silverware ahead of a 479-strong crowd. Ex-Rushden & Diamonds player Andy Peaks was appointed as First Team Assistant Manager on 5 May 2012. A senior side was registered to play in the United Counties Football League Division One for the 2012–13 season, playing its games at the Dog and Duck
Alvechurch Football Club is English association football club based in Alvechurch, near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, currently playing in the Midland League Premier Division. They are affiliated with the Worcestershire County Football Association, Alvechurch F. C. was founded in 1929 and played in the local park prior to a move to Lye Meadow. In November 1993 they folded, but a group of supporters resurrected the club under the name Alvechurch Villa in 1994, the name changed back to Alvechurch in 1996. Alvechurch reached the 1st round of the FA Cup in 1971–72 after five replays in their 4th round qualifying tie with Oxford City, the tie lasted eleven hours making it longest in the history of the FA Cup. The scores were 2–2, 1–1, 1–1, 0–0, 0–0 and 1–0 to Alvechurch and this tie was included in the Guinness Book of Records – now never to be beaten after the advent of penalty shoot-outs at the end of the first replay. Two years later the club achieved their best ever result in the FA Cup and this tie was the first FA Cup tie to be played on a Sunday. Specific Club website Info from RSSSF Info from The Pyramid
Banbury United F.C.
Banbury United Football Club is a football club based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England. They are currently members of the Premier Division of the Southern League, the club was established in 1931 as Spencer Sports Club, a works team of the Spencer Corsets factory. They initially played matches, with their first match against St Johns of the Oxfordshire Junior League played on 29 August 1931. In 1933 they joined the Banbury division of the Oxfordshire Junior League, later in the season they were renamed Banbury Spencer, and went on to win the league title in their first season. They then joined the Oxfordshire Senior League for the 1934–35 season, after winning the league at the first attempt, they were elected to the Birmingham Combination. After World War II the club turned professional, the 1947–48 season saw them finish as runners-up in the Combination and reach the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, where they lost 2–1 at Colchester United. The league was reduced to a division in 1960. The 1961–62 season had seen the club reach the FA Cup first round again, in 1965 the club was renamed Banbury United after a change in ownership, and at the end of the 1965–66 season they transferred to Division One of the Southern League. When Division One was split into two divisions in 1971, the club was placed in Division One North, in 1972–73 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for a third time, this time losing 2–0 at home to Barnet. The following season saw them repeat the feat, this time losing 3–2 at Northampton Town in a replay after a 0–0 draw at home, after winning the Premier Division in 1999–2000, Banbury were promoted to Division One East of the Southern League. An eighth-place finish in 2003–04 was enough to be promoted to the Premier Division after the creation of the Conference North and South led to clubs being moved up a division. The season also saw the win the Oxfordshire Senior Cup. They remained in the Premier Division until the end of the 2014–15 season, in August 2015, a supporter-led Community Benefit Society took formal control of the club. Their first season in Division One South and West saw them finish as runners-up, after beating Winchester City 1–0 in the semi-finals, they defeated Taunton Town 2–0 in the final to earn promotion back to the Premier Division. The club has played at the Spencer Stadium on Station Approach since the start of the 1934–35 season, when the club joined the Southern League in 1966, floodlights were installed and a new clubhouse was built to replace the railway carriages that the club had used for changing rooms. Financial problems led to the deteriorating, and the main stand was closed in 1985 before being demolished in 1990. A new stand was built on the touchline in the summer of 2000. Both ends of the ground had uncovered terracing installed, with the other touchline having terracing along half its length, the ground currently has a capacity of 6,500, of which 250 is seated and covered. C
Barwell Football Club is a football club based in Barwell, near Hinckley in Leicestershire. They are currently members of the Northern Premier League Premier Division, in 1994 Barwell were founder members of the Midland Alliance, and went on to win the League Cup in 2005–06, beating Leamington 3–1 in the final. After finishing as runners-up in 2008–09, they won the league the following season and their first season in the division saw them win the title, earning promotion to step three of the National League System. Instead of playing in the Northern Premier Leagues Premier Division, the club were moved to the Premier Division of the Southern League, however, two seasons later, they were transferred back to the Northern Premier League. In 2015–16 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, the club play at Kirkby Road in Barwell. The sports complex also incorporates bowling facilities and a cricket pitch, floodlights were installed prior to the 1992–93 season, and a number of seats were obtained from the old main stand at Leicester Citys Filbert Street ground. A new covered stand to accommodate five hundred spectators was built prior to the 1996–97 season, towards the end of the 2000–01 season, a new 256 seater cantilever stand was erected, and the club have made further improvements to allow them to progress up the pyramid. The ground currently has a capacity of 2,500, of which 256 is seated and 750 covered. C, players Barwell F. C. managers Official website
Bedworth United F.C.
Bedworth United Football Club is a football club based in Bedworth, Warwickshire, England. They are currently members of the Northern Premier League Division One South, the first club from which the modern Bedworth United traces its lineage was Bedworth Town, established in 1895. In 1898 they were members of the Nuneaton & District League. The name Bedworth Town was resurrected in 1905 when Bedworth Evening Combination School of the Coventry & North Warwickshire League changed their name, however, they folded in the early 1920s. The name was restored to use again in 1925 when Collycroft United (founded 1916, in 1936 they joined the Central Amateur League, but played in the league for only one season. Following World War II, a new Bedworth Town club was established in 1947 and they joined the Birmingham Combination, finishing third in their first season, before winning back-to-back titles in 1948–49 and 1949–50. In 1954 the club moved up to the Northern Division of the Birmingham & District League, in 1962 the league was renamed the West Midlands League. After several seasons struggling in the league, finishing bottom in 1959–60, however, a replacement club was formed under the name Bedworth United, which took over from Town in the West Midlands League. In 1972 the club moved up to Division One North of the Southern League, a sixth-place finish in 1981–82 was enough to earn a place in the new Premier Division in 1982. In 1988–89 they finished bottom of the division and were relegated to Division One Midlands, in 2006 they were transferred to Division One Midlands, which became Division One Central in 2010. A third-place finish in 2011–12 saw the club qualify for the promotion play-offs, after beating Uxbridge 2–1 in the semi-final, they defeated Beaconsfield SYCOB 3–1 in the final to earn promotion to the Premier Division. However, the season saw them finish second-bottom of the table, resulting in relegation. They were transferred back to Division One Central of the Southern League in 2014, a 2–1 win over Aylesbury in the semi-finals and then a 2–0 victory against Barton Rovers in the final saw them promoted back to the Southern Leagues Premier Division. However, the season saw them relegated again, again to Division One South of the Northern Premier League. Between 1911 and 1939 the club played at the British Queen Ground and it has a capacity of 3,000, of which 300 is seated and covered. C. Players Bedworth United F. C. managers Official website
Biggleswade Town F.C.
Biggleswade Town Football Club is a football club based in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, England. The club are members of the Southern League Premier Division. The club were established in 1874 as Biggleswade, later becoming known as Biggleswade & District, in 1902 they were founder members of the Biggleswade and District League, and were its first champions, also winning the Bedfordshire Senior Cup that year. The club went on to win the league twice more before World War I, in 1920 the club joined the Northamptonshire League, which became the United Counties League in 1934, and won the Bedfordshire Premier Cup in 1922–23 and 1927–28. After World War II the club adopted its current name and joined the Spartan League in 1945 and they returned to the UCL in 1951, before switching to the Eastern Counties League in 1955. During their time in the ECL they set the record for biggest away win with a 12–0 victory over Newmarket Town, in 1963 they returned to the UCL due to the increasing transport costs. In 1975–76 they finished bottom of the Premier Division, and were relegated to Division One, in 1980 they joined the Premier Division of the South Midlands League. They were relegated to Division One in 1983, but were promoted back to the Premier Division in 1987, when the Spartan and South Midlands leagues merged to form the Spartan South Midlands League in 1997 the club were placed in the Premier Division North. The following season they were placed in the Senior Division, in 2007–08 they won the Bedfordshire Premier Cup for a third time, beating Luton Town 3–2 in the final. The following season won the league title, earning promotion to Division One Midlands of the Southern League. In 2010 the division was renamed Division One Central, and the 2010–11 season saw Biggleswade finish fourth, qualifying for the promotion play-offs and losing 2–0 to Daventry Town in the semi-finals. In 2012–13 they finished fourth again, and in the subsequently play-offs they beat Godalming Town 2–1 in the semi-finals, in 2014–15 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 4–1 at Stourbridge. The club originally played at the Fairfield Road ground, which was shared with a cricket club. A wooden stand was erected in the 1920s, and for years had an Anderson shelter on either side. Floodlights were installed in 1989, and the stand was demolished after being condemned in the 1990s. In 2006 the club left Fairfield Road and groundshared with Bedford United & Valerio whilst a new ground was built on Langford Road. The Carlsberg Stadium was opened for the start of the 2008–09 season, the ground has a capacity of 3,000, of which 300 is seated. C
Coalville Town F.C.
Coalville Town Football Club is a football club based in Coalville, Leicestershire, England. They are currently members of the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the club was established as Ravenstone Miners Athletic in 1926, and were based in the village of Ravenstone. They played in the Coalville & District Amateur League, winning the title five times. In 1958 the club were renamed Ravenstone, and in 1975 they joined the North Leicestershire League and they won the league in 1988–89 and 1989–90, and were promoted to Division One of the Leicestershire Senior League in 1991. In 1995 the club moved to nearby Coalville after being unable to upgrade their Ravenslea ground, in 1996–97 they finished second in Division One and were promoted to the Premier Division. The club adopted their current name in 1998 and they won back-to-back Premier Division titles in 2001–02 and 2002–03, after which they were promoted to the Midland Alliance. In 2004–05 the club entered the FA Cup for the first time and they were league runners-up in 2009–10, and the following season saw them reach the final of the FA Vase, losing 3–2 to Whitley Bay at Wembley Stadium. They also won the Midland Alliance, scoring 153 goals in the process, in 2012–13 Coalville won the Westerby Cup, beating Loughborough Dynamo 2–1 in the final at the King Power Stadium. They were also Division One South runners-up and qualified for the promotion play-offs, however, they lost 2–1 to Chasetown in the semi-finals. The following season saw them finish as runners-up again, however, they lost the play-off semi-final against Mickleover Sports. In 2015–16 they qualified for the play-offs again, after beating Basford United 5–0 in the semi-finals, they defeated Shaw Lane 3–1 to earn promotion to the Premier Division. When based in Ravenstone, the played at Ravenslea. However, after the council refused the club permission to erect floodlights. Floodlights were installed at the new ground in 1996, the ground is currently also known as the Mander Cruickshank Solicitors Stadium for sponsorship purposes, and has a capacity of 2,000, of which 240 is seated and covered. C
Halesowen Town F.C.
Halesowen Town Football Club is an English association football club formed in 1873, that play in Halesowen and as of 2014 are playing in the Northern Premier League Premier Division. The team is nicknamed The Yeltz, Halesowen Town FC was formed in 1873, making it one of the oldest clubs in the Midlands, and initially played in the Birmingham Combination. In 1946, it joined the Birmingham and District League and was champions in its very first season, the 1960s saw it consistently finish high in the league, but by contrast the 1970s saw it struggle, finishing bottom of the table twice. The 1983 final saw the club lose 1–0 to VS Rugby, in 1983, the club also beat Heybridge Swifts in the final of the Thorn EMI six-a-side tournament at the Alexandra Stadium and won a £20,000 set of floodlights for their ground. The early 1990 were dominated by players leaving to join clubs, including Dean Spink, Stuart Cash, Andy Pearce, Tim Clarke, Sean Flynn. For its first eight seasons at this level Halesowen never finished outside the top 10, including being beaten to promotion by Rushden. Financial difficulties, however, led to a slump which culminated in relegation in 2001, although Halesowen bounced back in style, winning the Western Division championship at a canter, the club was relegated once again in 2003. The club failed to return to two of the non-league pyramid the following season, finishing fourth and missing out on the new Conference North. The club appointed the former Walsall and Birmingham City captain Martin OConnor as manager in late 2006, Halesowen came close to gaining promotion in 2006–07, losing to Hitchin Town in the last game of the season, which meant missing the playoffs. In October 2007, the club was sold to an owner who brought in former Kettering FC manager Morell Maison. On October 18, former Manchester United and Aston Villa manager Ron Atkinson was appointed as a consultant to the new manager, in autumn 2009, insolvency experts Marshman Price were appointed as the clubs administrators. The team enjoyed a successful start to the 2009–10 season after receiving a 10-point deduction for entering administration. Brendan Phillips left the club and the rose to fifth position by the turn of the new year. Shaun Cunnington appointed Paul Tomlinson as his assistant manager and made staying up his top priority, according to the clubs records, it has played at The Grove since its formation in 1873. The ground was originally a cricket pitch and was therefore a three sided stadium, in the 1930s, a small wooden stand was constructed along the perimeter of the James Grove Button Factory. During the 1950s, the Old Hawne Lane end was constructed along with changing rooms, during this time players had to change in the Waggon and Horses public house on Stourbridge Road. In the 1980s, the three sided ground was converted to four with the addition of the uncovered terracing along the Recreation Park side of the ground. In 1987, the 420 seater Harry Rudge Stand was completed on the site of the 1930s vintage wooden cover, the stand was extended in 1998 and again in 2000
Hitchin Town F.C.
Hitchin Town Football Club is an English semi-professional football club based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. They will compete in the Southern Football Leagues Premier Division for the 2016–17 season and their most recent league honour has been the Southern League Division One Central, finishing play-off winners in 2010–11, their second season in the competition. The original Hitchin club, Hitchin F. C. were formed in 1865, the club took part in the inaugural FA Cup competition in 1871–72, reaching the quarter-finals before losing to runners-up Royal Engineers. In 1905, Hitchin defeated Chelsea 3–2 to become the first away team to win at Stamford Bridge, Hitchin turned professional during the early years of the 20th century, but following financial difficulties and a fire at their ground, the club folded in 1911. Hitchin Town F. C. were formed in 1928, the club colours were settled as yellow and blue, replacing the old clubs white and magenta — green replaced blue after only a few seasons. The new club were admitted to the Spartan League, and their first season, 1928–29, was a success — Hitchin won the Herts Charity Shield, promotion to the top flight of the Spartan League was won in 1930–31 and Hitchin won the AFA Senior Cup a year later. Reg Smith, a future England player, led Hitchin to the Spartan League championship in 1934–35 before moving on to Millwall a year later. The club moved from the Spartan League to the Athenian League for the 1939–40 season, the Athenian League returned for 1945–46, and Hitchin finished 10th out of 14 clubs. The next season saw an improvement to sixth, but Hitchin did not achieve a higher than mid-table until the 1953–54 campaign — Hitchin finished as runners-up. The club reached the quarter-finals of the FA Amateur Cup, two years later, Hitchin beat Wycombe Wanderers 1–0 in the same competition in front of 7,878 spectators, but the club once again failed to progress beyond the quarter-finals. Peter Hammond became the first Hitchin player to represent his country in 1958, former Arsenal player and England international Laurie Scott was appointed manager the same year. Scott worked to bring the club more into line with their professional counterparts. The club met Football League opposition in the FA Cup for the first time during 1958–59, Hitchin travelled to Crystal Palace two years later in the same competition and lost 6–2. Meanwhile, Scott prepared his team for an assault on the Athenian League title, scotts team finished fifth during 1960–61, and lost in the semi-finals of the Cup. Hitchin came sixth the year, and 1962–63 saw another fifth-place finish. The move to the Isthmian League coincided with a time of financial strife at the club, the club finished in the bottom half of the division during their first five seasons in the league, as the club struggled to attract players of a sufficient quality. The club were not helped by corruption behind the scenes — some supposedly amateur players were receiving salaries, and when this emerged and it took some time for the clouds to disperse, and the result was the departure of Scott. The late 1960s saw the arrival of Vince Burgess as manager, led by Burgess, Hitchin finished as Isthmian League runners-up in 1968–69 and won the London Senior Cup a year later
Kettering Town F.C.
Kettering Town Football Club is an English football club originating in Kettering, Northamptonshire but currently based in the town of Burton Latimer. The club participates in the Southern League Premier Division, the tier of English football. Kettering Town were originally formed in 1872, turning professional in 1891, the club graduated through twelve different leagues from 1892 until they became founding members of the Alliance Premier League in 1979. The club maintained its status in the top flight of football until the 2000–01 season. Many honours have found their way to Rockingham Road, winning the Midland Football League title in 1896 and 1900, the Southern League Championship was won on three occasions by the club, in 1928 and 1957 under Tommy Lawton and in 1973 under the guidance of Ron Atkinson. In the 1930s the club won the East Midlands League and in 1948 the Poppies became Birmingham League Champions, during the 1970s, Kettering Town sought election to the Football League, coming five votes short of election in 1974. The deal was brokered by chief executive and manager Derek Dougan, four days later, The Football Association ordered the club to remove the slogan, but Dougan changed the words on the shirts to Kettering T, and claimed that the T stood for Town. Nonetheless, the FA ordered the club to remove the words, shirt sponsorship was eventually permitted within the English game in 1977, although the ban on shirt sponsors in televised games wasnt lifted until 1983. Kettering are also the first ever British team to have their initials on their grounds floodlights, the club finished runners-up in the Football Conference in 1981,1989,1994 and 1998. The GMAC Cup was won in 1987 and the Poppies were runners-up in 1995, County competitions have been won regularly by Kettering Town, with the Northants Senior Cup won on 28 occasions and the Maunsell Cup 13 times. The FA Cup has brought success and publicity to Rockingham Road with the first round proper being reached on 41 occasions. During the 1994–95 season the club made their debut live on Sky TV in a first round tie against Plymouth Argyle, as of 2016 the Poppies had scored more goals than any other team in the FA Cups history, with 870 goals scored in 381 appearances. Wembley has been reached on two occasions before, the Poppies lost 2–0 to Stafford Rangers in the 1979 FA Trophy Final. More recently, the FA Trophy Final in 2000 saw the Poppies lose a closely fought final with Kingstonian 3–2, most recently, the club were narrowly relegated on the last day of the 2000–01 season which ended 30 years in the top flight of non-league football. The following season was a disappointment and the club, rarely out of the bottom three, were again demoted – this time to the Isthmian League. Carl Shutt left the club in April 2003 and Dominic Genovese, after a period as acting manager. After a poor run of results and a disappointing defeat to Boreham Wood in the FA Cup Dominic Genovese was replaced by former Northampton Town manager. Changes to the team were made and the finished the season on a 12-game unbeaten run
King's Lynn Town F.C.
Kings Lynn Town Football Club is an English football club based in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. They were founded 2010 after the winding-up of their predecessor, Kings Lynn F. C. and are members of the Southern League Premier Division. Their first season was successful, having managed to reach the FA Vase semi-final, the Norfolk Senior Cup final and they repeated this feat in 2012 and were promoted to the Northern League Division 1 South. On 30 April 2013, they overhauled Coalville Town, who had a 17-point lead at one point, to win the league, Kings Lynn Town returned to the Northern Premier League for the 2013–14 season, the league in which the previous club had folded in 2009. They finished 11th in their first season but struggled in the 2014–15 season, FA restructuring moved the Linnets into the Southern Premier League for the 2015–16 season. The club is affiliated to the Norfolk County FA, the club plays at The Walks, the ground of their predecessor club, located on Tennyson Road. It has a capacity of 5,733, with 1,200 seats in a single stand, prior to the start of the 2010–11 season, new Chairman Keith Buster Chapman and the local Council oversaw a ground improvement programme that brought The Walks up to Conference standard. These included new turnstiles and ticket office, new toilets and perimeter fencing, improvements were also made to the Main Stand including refurbishments to the bar and hospitality lounges, dressing rooms and a new cafe and club shop. The new club retained the blue and gold home colours of the original Kings Lynn F. C. when reforming in 2010. The change strip colours have varied from season to season, the current kit supplier is Joma. The main shirt sponsor is currently Optima Stainless, trophy tie with Carshalton Athletic on 27 October 2012, the first team wore pink shirts in place of the usual blue and gold. After the match, which Kings Lynn won 6-1, the shirts were auctioned off to help raise money for Cancer Research. Lynn recently announced a new deal with Joma. Kings Lynn Town Reserves have enjoyed continued success since the reformation of the club in 2010, having joined the UCL Reserve League Division 2 for the 2010/11 season, they won that league and promotion at the first attempt. This was the first of four titles and promotions in their first four seasons through both United Counties League Reserve divisions and then divisions of the Peterborough & District League. After winning the Peterborough & District League Premier Division title at the end of the 2013/14 season, in June 2015 the club announced the formation of an Under-18s team which was elected to the Thurlow Nunn Youth League for the 2015/16 season. Some of the players from the Under 18s team also featured in games for the Reserves, in March 2016 the club announced that an Under-16s team would be formed in partnership with the Kings Lynn Community Football Elite scheme to attract and develop further young players. Best league position, 1st, Northern Premier League Division One South2012-13 Biggest win, heaviest defeat, 1-6 vs Skelmersdale United
Leiston Football Club is an English football club based in Leiston, Suffolk. The club are members of the Isthmian League Premier Division as of the 2016-17 season. They reached the final of the Suffolk Senior Cup in 1892,1897 and 1904, losing on each occasion, in 1894 they joined the North Suffolk League, which they played in until 1909. In 1900 they also joined the Ipswich & District League and were champions in their first three seasons, in 1904 they transferred to the South East Anglian League, but left in 1907 before rejoining in 1911. Between 1912 and 1914 they also played in the Ipswich & District League, after World War I the club was reformed as Leiston Works Athletic and rejoined the Ipswich & District League and the East Anglian League. In 1920 they left the EAL and joined the Essex & Suffolk Border League, at the end of the 1920–21 season they left both the IDL and ESBL to join the Norfolk & Suffolk League before rejoining the IDL in 1926. After finishing bottom of the table in 1934–35 they were reformed as Leiston and they won all seventeen league matches in 1937–38 and were promoted to Division One after defeating Division 2A winners Manningtree Rovers in a play-off. In 1948 they rejoined the Norfolk & Suffolk League, but transferred back to the Ipswich & District League in 1953, after finishing bottom of the Senior Division in 1981–82 they were relegated, and the following season finished below local side Leiston St Margarets. However, they did win the Junior Cup, retaining it in 1983–84 when they won the Division One title and were promoted back to the Senior Division. They then spent several years as a yo yo club as they were relegated in 1988–89, promoted back in 1989–90, relegated again in 1991–92, after finishing third in 2000–01 they stepped up to Division One of the Eastern Counties League. In 2003–04, they finished third, and were promoted to the Premier Division, in the same season they beat Brentwood Town on penalties to win the East Anglian Cup. In the 2008–09 season the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time after beating Conference club Lewes 3–1 in a replay, in the first round, the club was drawn at home to Conference North club Fleetwood Town. After drawing 0–0 in front of a crowd of 1,250. In 2010–11 Leiston won the Eastern Counties League Premier Division, earning promotion to Division One North of the Isthmian League, in 2011–12 Leiston won the Isthmian League Division One North, achieving back-to-back promotions, moving up to the Isthmian League Premier Division. Leiston initially played at the old Recreation Ground, today known as Park Hill, in 1921 they moved to their current ground on Victory Road, then known as the Leiston Works Athletic Association, after Garretts bought the ground. It was later renamed the Leiston Town Athletic Association
Lowestoft Town F.C.
Lowestoft Town Football Club is an English semi-professional football club from Lowestoft, Suffolk. The club was formed in 1887 by the merger of East Suffolk and their home ground is the Crown Meadow, and their home colours is all blue with white trims. The club currently compete in the Isthmian League Premier Division as of the 2016-17 season, the club was established in 1887 as Lowestoft F. C. by a merger of East Suffolk and the original Kirkley, and were renamed Lowestoft Town in 1890. They reached the final of the FA Amateur Cup in 1900, losing the final 5–1 to Bishop Auckland, in the 1926-27 season they reached the first round of the FA Cup the first time, losing 10–1 at Watford. They won the Norfolk & Suffolk League again in 1928–29 and 1930–31, in 1935 the club merged with another incarnation of Kirkley, and joined the new Eastern Counties League. They shared the first championship with Harwich & Parkeston, before winning it outright in 1937–38, the following season they won the League Cup with a 4–1 win over Colchester Town reserves, and also reached the first round of the FA Cup losing 6–0 at Swindon Town. They won the League Cup again in 1955, and after turning semi-professional in 1962, dominated the league during the 1960s, winning the championship in 1962–63 and finishing runners-up in 1963–64. They then won four championships, before finishing second in 1968–69. They also reached the first round of the FA Cup in 1966–67, losing 2–1 at home to Orient, and again the following season, when they lost 1–0 at home to Watford. They won the league again in 2005–06, and in 2008 reached the final of the FA Vase, where they lost 2–1 to Kirkham & Wesham. The following season won the Premier Division of the Eastern Counties League again, together with the Suffolk Premier Cup. They won the league at the first attempt to earn promotion to the Premier Division, also reaching the first round of the FA Cup, in their first season in the Premier Division they finished fourth and reached the play-off final, where they lost 4–3 at Tonbridge Angels. In 2011–12 the club reached the final again after finishing third. The club also reached the final of the Suffolk Premier Cup, in 2012–13 Lowestoft reached the play-off final for the third consecutive season after finishing as runners-up, this time losing 2–1 at home to Concord Rangers. After finishing fourth the season, the club finally earned promotion to the Football Conference North. The Lowestoft Town Reserves team play in the Reserves Premier Division section of the Eastern Counties League after joining the league in the 2012-13 season, the team finished their first season in 7th position. Lowestoft Towns club colours are all blue with white strips and the second choice kit, usually when away from home, is all white with blue. The club badge is the town crest of Lowestoft, Lowestoft originally played at the Crown Meadow Athletics Ground, which shared part of the same site as the modern Crown Meadow
Needham Market F.C.
Needham Market Football Club is an English football club based in Needham Market, Suffolk. The club are members of the Isthmian League Premier Division as of the 2016-17 season. Although records show the existence of a Needham Market Football Club during the late 1890s and they later moved to Crowley Park, and joined the Suffolk & Ipswich League, winning Division Two in 1946–47 and Division One in 1952–53. They won the League Cup in 1978 and again in 1980, the Suffolk Junior Cup was won in 1985, and the Suffolk Senior Cup in 1990. In 1995–96 the club won the Senior Division, and were promoted to Division One of the Eastern Counties League, the club finished runners-up in 2004–05 and were promoted to the Premier Division, winning the Senior Cup in the same season. A new record crowd of 750 was set for a Suffolk Premier Cup match against Ipswich Town reserves during the 2006–07 season, in which they also won the East Anglian Cup. The following season the club won the Suffolk Premier Cup and the League Cup, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the FA Vase, a new record attendance of 1,375 was set during the home leg. In 2009–10 the club won the Premier Division of the Eastern Counties League, in their first season in Division One, Needham finished as runners-up, but lost 3–1 at home to Brentwood Town in the play-off semi-finals. The following season the finished third and reached the play-off final. In 2014-15, they won Division One North and were promoted to the Isthmian League Premier Division for the first time, in 2013 the clubs reserve team joined Division One of the Eastern Counties League
Redditch United F.C.
Redditch United Football Club is an English football club based in Redditch, Worcestershire. The club participates in the Southern League Premier Division, and play their games at The TRICO Stadium. Redditch Town were established in 1891 and immediately joined the Birmingham Combination, the club achieved its first success by winning the Worcestershire Senior Cup in 1894 and becoming runners-up in 1898. In 1914 they won the Birmingham Combination Championship for the first time and, finally, the 1930s were a much more rewarding period for the club and its supporters, starting by winning the Worcestershire Senior Cup and the Birmingham Senior Cup in successive seasons. Reds almost achieved a double in 1932–33 when, having won the Combination. Apart from an appearance in the Birmingham Senior Cup final just before the World War. In 1953 Redditch regained the Combination Championship and were runners-up in the Worcestershire Senior Cup and this Championship success was repeated in 1955. In 1957 they were runners-up in the Birmingham Senior Cup, in 1971–72 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 6–0 in the replay at Peterborough United after a 1–1 draw at home in front of a crowd of 4,500. At the end of the season they finished sixth in the West Midlands League Premier Division and they won the Worcestershire Senior Cup in 1974 and 1975. The following season they won Division One North and were promoted to the Premier Division, in 1978–79 they finished eighth in the league, and became founder members of the Alliance Premier League. However, they finished bottom in its first season, and dropped into the Southern Leagues Midland Division, after finishing as runners-up in 1985–86, the club were promoted to the Premier Division, where they remained until relegation in 1989. The following season, they reached the first round of the FA Cup, at the end of the season they beat Northwich Victoria 4–3 over the two-legged final of the Staffordshire Senior Cup. In 1997–98 the Reds reached two cup finals, the Southern League Cup and the Birmingham Senior Cup, both were lost, and the cup run caused a large fixture backlog that resulted in the club having to play nine matches in nine days at the end of the season. In 2003–04 the club won the Southern League Western Division, due to league reorganisation caused by the establishment of the Conference North and South, the club entered play-offs to be promoted to the new leagues. After beating Kings Lynn 1–0 and Merthyr Tydfil 3–0, the club were promoted to the Conference North, after a ninth-place finish in 2004–05, Redditch struggled in 2005–06, only avoiding relegation on the final day of the season. After a very difficult 2010–11 campaign in the Conference North, Redditch were relegated to the Southern League Premier Division where they remain currently, on 17 March 2011, businessman Chris Swan took over the club, after a previous attempt to purchase Kidderminster Harriers fell through. This is 5 recent Redditch United seasons for a full history look List of Redditch United F. C. seasons Note, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Players with international caps in bold See Redditch United F. C
Royston Town F.C.
Royston Town Football Club are an English football club based in Royston, Hertfordshire, England, and have played their home games at Garden Walk since 1932. Founded in 1875, they are the second oldest club in Hertfordshire behind Hitchin Town and they reached the Fifth Round of the FA Vase in season 2009–10 for the first time in their history and the Third Qualifying Round in the FA Cup in 1998–99. They won the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division in 2011–12, the current first team manager is former St Albans City boss Steve Castle who arrived at the club in 2013. The 2014-15 season was a successful one finishing 2nd in the league, however Royston lost to Barton Rovers 5-4 on penalties and their promotion dreams were ended. During the summer, Royston started to rebuild by bringing in the likes of Rhys Hoenes, Lewis Donovan, Ryan Towner, a poor first few games in the new season came before an incredible run which included a 7-1 hammering of North Greenford United. Royston beat Great Wakering Rovers 3-0 in the round of the FA Trophy. Goals from Rhys Hoenes, The club-captain Scott Bridges and Ryan Towner, Royston Town, known as The Crows were formed in 1875 and are the second oldest club in Hertfordshire. One of the first traces of the club was in October 1875 when Royston visited Saffron Walden, the game was played at Saffron Walden common. This game was re-lived in October 1975 to celebrate the Essex Clubs centenary year, after the First World War the club entered the Buntingford & District League and in 1921, when the Club was affiliated to the Cambs F. A. they won the Creake Shield. The clubs first major honour came in guise of the Herts County Premier League title in 1969–70 and they repeated the feat in 1972–73, in 1978 they rejoined the South Midlands League and won the Division One title at the first time of asking. Success continued with a Cup Final appearance in the Herts Charity Shield for the first time in 1979, the Herts Charity Shield was won in 1981–82 and two years later the club joined the Isthmian League Division Two North were they remained for six years. One of the legacies of their spell in the Isthmian League is the stand at Garden Walk, erected in 1984, it replaced an earlier timber structure and is constructed largely from brick with a sloping metal roof supported by ten posts. The official seated capacity is 300, although this is largely on benches, in 1990 the club lifted the Herts Charity Shield again with a 1–0 defeat of Pirton. However, after a start to the following season, the club dropped from 6th place to 16th. As a result, were relegated to Division Three where they remained until resigning from the Isthmian League at the end of the 1993–94 season despite finishing 8th spot. The club had never been well supported and were instructed to construct a new stand behind the dugouts opposite the existing stand at an estimated £20,000. Rather than comply with the ruling, Royston resigned from the Isthmian League after ten seasons and it was during this season that the club achieved its highest official attendance of 876 with the visit of Aldershot Town. The following season saw a 6th-place finish and the departure of Tony Galvin, Paddy Butcher took over as player/manager having returned to the club from Ware
Rushall Olympic F.C.
Rushall Olympic Football Club are an English football club based in Rushall, a former mining village now forming part of the northern suburbs of Walsall. They play in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the club joined the Cannock & District League in 1895, finishing as runners-up in their first season and later joined the Junior, Amateur, Parks and Senior sections of the Walsall & District League. During the inter-war years the team won a number of local honours, at this time the team comprised mainly local colliery workers and played on a field behind the Miners Arms pub in Rushall and changed in the pub itself. However, some prior to World War II the club disbanded. In 1951, a group of young men decided to reform the club. They approached the proprietor of a fish and chip shop for permission to use his premises as their headquarters. Following promotion to the First Division, the club won four titles between 1960 and 1965. In 1975, in a bid to gain a higher league status, meanwhile, the club obtained the lease on some land in Daw End, Rushall, and the new Dales Lane ground was officially opened on Sunday 14 August 1977. The club were accepted into the West Midlands League in 1978, the club enjoyed fourteen seasons of moderate success in the Premier Division, with a highest finish of fifth place achieved in season 1988–89. In 1994 the Pics became founder members of the new Midland Football Alliance, after finishing in second place in both 2000–01 and 2002–03, the Pics finally claimed the league title in 2004–05 and with it promotion to the Southern League Division One West. They were then transferred to the Southern League Division One Midlands for the 2006–07 season where they stayed for two years, qualifying for the playoffs in their last season by finishing 5th and they were also unsuccessful in achieving promotion this time. A 2–0 victory over Grantham Town in the final saw Rushall Olympic to reach Northern Premier League Premier Division, the first season at this higher level saw Rushall Olympic finish 8th in the league. They reached the final of three cup competitions, the cup, the Staffordshire Senior Cup and the Walsall Senior Cup which they retained. Rushall also equalled their best ever performance in the FA Cup reaching the fourth qualifying round where they suffered a defeat at the hands of Stourbridge. In 2012–13 Rushall made their debut in the first round proper of the FA Trophy having qualified with victories over Woodford United, Chasetown and their reward was a trip to Wrexham where they suffered a defeat against a team that went on to win the final of the competition. In the League Rushall again were on the verge of the play offs finishing in 6th position, in 2013–14 Rushall Olympic made the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup before losing out at Grimsby Town. Rushall eventually finished in 7th place in the league narrowly missing out on the play offs, however, there were two cup final appearances. The Pics lost out in the final of the Walsall Senior Cup, at the end of the season the club amicably parted company with manager of five years Neil Kitching
St Ives Town F.C.
St. Ives Town F. C. is a football club based in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, England. They play in the Southern League Premier Division and this St Ives Town should not be confused with the Cornwall Combination team playing in St Ives, Cornwall, which is also called St Ives Town F. C. The club is managed by Ricky Marheineke and assisted by Jack Cassidy who both joined from Histon in preparation for the 2014-15 Season, St Ives Town Football Club was formed in 1887. The club briefly played in the United Counties Football League Division Two for two seasons in the early 1950s and they rejoined the United Counties Football League Division One in 1985–86, and gained promotion to the Premier Division in 2004–05 after a third-placed finish. They reached the Fifth Round of the FA Vase in 2007–08, 2008–09 and 2009–10 and they won promotion to the Southern Football League after finishing second in the United Counties League Premier Division in 2012–13. They also produced Conor Washington who now plays at Queens Park Rangers and has several appearances for Northern Ireland. In the 2015–16 season, the club earned promotion to the Southern League Premier Division via the play-offs, FA CupFirst Qualifying Round 2006–07, 2009–10 FA Vase Quarter Finals 2011–12 St Ives Town official website
St Neots Town F.C.
St Neots Town Football Club is an English semi-professional football club based in St Neots, Cambridgeshire. The club are members of the Southern Football League Premier Division. Founded in 1879 and known as The Saints, St Neots Town play their matches at Rowley Park stadium. St Neots Town was formed in 1879 when it was known as plain St Neots, the club clinched its first honour when it became inaugural winners of the Huntingdonshire Senior Cup in 1888–89. They went on to win the cup four times before the turn of the century in 1892–93, 1894–95, 1895–96. In the 1901/02 season the Club recorded its first known ‘double’ when it won the Hunts Senior Cup, for the time. During this period played in the Biggleswade & District League. For the 1924–25 season the club was renamed St Neots & District, by 1927 they had joined the Bedfordshire & District League, which later became the South Midlands League in 1929. The South Midlands League title was clinched in 1932–33 and they won the league and league cup double in its first season, but returned to the UCL in 1951. In 1956 they switched again, joining Division One South of the Central Alliance. The following year the club was renamed for the time to its present name St Neots Town F. C. In 1960 they returned to the Metropolitan League and won the Professional Cup in 1964–65, in 1966–67 St Neots enjoyed their best run to date in the FA Cup reaching the first round proper, where they were beaten 2–0 away at Walsall. They went on to win the United Counties League and League Cup double in 1967–68 after rejoining the season earlier, the following season they retained the league cup and also won the Huntingdonshire Senior Cup for the twelfth consecutive season, a record for senior cups in England. In 1969 the club transferred to the Eastern Counties League because it was felt it would be a stronger league, but returned for a fourth spell in the UCL Premier Division in 1973. They were relegated at the end of the 1981–82 season after eight years of moderate success, but made an immediate return the following season after finishing as runners-up in Division One. During the 1987–88 season the owner of their long term home at Shortsands yard sold it to a housing developer, meaning the club had to finish the season on a sub-standard borrowed works pitch. At the end of the 87–88 league season just four places from the bottom of the table the club was forced to disband in order to clear its outstanding debt. After four consecutive titles and a six year absence from senior football and they won Division One at the first attempt and were promoted to the Premier Division, where they would stay for the next 17 years