Western Football League
The Western Football League is a football league in South West England, covering Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, western Dorset, parts of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. The leagues current main sponsor is Toolstation, so it is known as the Toolstation League. The champion club may apply for promotion to a Step 4 league, below the Western League are four local leagues covering smaller areas, the Gloucestershire County League, the Somerset County League, the Dorset Premier League and the Wiltshire League. The South West Peninsula League Premier Division is also a feeder to the Western League but due to having Step 6 status, Premier Division, Division One, The league was formed in 1892 as the Bristol & District League, and became the Western League in 1895. In the years before World War II, many teams played in both the Southern and Western Leagues, the Western League was considered as secondary to the Southern League. On four occasions, member clubs have lifted the FA Vase, Tiverton Town twice, Taunton Town once and most recently Truro City, totton in 2007 at the first final to be held at the new Wembley Stadium before a competition record crowd of 27,754. Truro City were the one of the three to win the FA Vase while in Division One, while none are current members of the Western League. Bedminster | Clevedon | Clifton Association | Eastville Rovers | Mangotsfield | St. George | Trowbridge Town | Warmley | Wells Official Site Western League -Fixtures, Results and Tables
Salisbury City F.C.
Salisbury City Football Club was an English football club based in Salisbury, Wiltshire. They were formed in 1947 and played at The Raymond McEnhill Stadium, the club spent two seasons in the Conference South before winning promotion to the Conference Premier via the play-offs in the 2012–13 season. In 2014, the club were removed from the Football Conference after failing to pay debts, the club has reformed as Salisbury F. C. for the 2015–16 season. The club was founded as Salisbury F. C. in 1947, Salisbury immediately entered the Western League and won the Second Division title at the very first attempt. An attendance of 8,902, a figure never beaten, saw the championship decider, in 1993 the clubs name was officially changed to Salisbury City, and in 1994–95 they won the Southern League Southern Division championship. After redevelopment work at the council-owned Victoria Park, the club was able to step up to the Premier Division, a promotion which had been denied them two years earlier due to ground gradings. Salisbury lasted seven seasons in the Premier Division, but troubles off the field led to the departure of manager Geoff Butler. On 13 May 2007, they defeated Braintree Town 1–0 in the Conference South promotion play-off final, in front of a record attendance at The Raymond McEnhill Stadium of 3,100, Salisbury held Forest to a 1–1 draw live on BBC One. The replay at the City Ground saw Forest progress into the 3rd round with a 2–0 victory, salisburys first season in the Conference Premier saw them finish a credible twelfth after a run of several wins in the second half of the season. This success continued into the 2008–09 season when they hit top spot in early September, however, this run soon came to an end when they suffered many injuries which saw their form slip. Then an appeal to raise £100,000 in two weeks was asked of the fans and the city, but only £33,000 was raised. This was insufficient to keep the club going with the squad they had, in April 2009 the club was put up for sale for £1 in a bid to attract new investors to help the club survive. However, the future of the club remained unclear after it was announced that the club had been unable to find a willing to assume the financial liabilities. On 3 September 2009 Salisbury entered administration clearing debts of £200,000, in the summer of 2009, Salisbury City Football Club faced bankruptcy and in early September the club was formally placed in administration. Whilst still functioning as a team, The Whites were fined and were punished further by the football authorities with the deduction of points. From September 2009, Salisbury City FC was being run by Carl Faulds and Michael Fortune operating as agents and contracting for Portland Business, on 19 May 2010 the club was demoted two divisions to the Southern League Premier Division due to a breach of Conference rules. A consortium of William Harrison-Allan, Chris Brammall and Jeff Hooper took the club on, what followed was a complete restructure with manager Tommy Widdrington going to Southend United as assistant manager in the summer of 2010. Long-serving Nick Holmes followed him out the door, which left Darrell Clarke and they managed to assemble a squad of youngsters over pre-season to go with the players that remained at the club
Poole Town F.C.
They were established in 1880 and joined the Western League Division Two in 1930. The club is affiliated to the Dorset County Football Association and is a FA Charter Standard Community Club. They won the Western League title in 1957 and reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup four times in their history and they play at Tatnam, Poole, and finished the 2008–09 season as Double winners – champions and Dorset Senior Cup winners. In 2009–10 they became champions of the Wessex League and completed an unprecedented treble winning the League for the 3rd time in a row in 2010–11. Promotion to the Southern League was finally achieved after an upgrade to the Tatnam facilities, Poole were second in their first season, losing to Gosport in a playoff final and then Champions and promoted to the Southern Premier League the following season. Poole Town were formed when two teams, Poole Hornets and Poole Rovers, merged in 1890. Both teams had been in existence since 1880, Poole joined the Dorset League in 1896 then the Hampshire League in 1903. The club enjoyed success in the Dorset Senior Cup in their early years, after several seasons without football because of the First World War, the club began playing again in the 1919–20 season under the name Poole & St. Marys. They changed their name back to Poole FC after one season, Poole joined the Western League in 1923. Poole won the Dorset Senior Cup again in 1926, the club turned professional that year and joined the Southern Football League. The 1926–27 season saw the clubs best FA Cup run in its history and they reached the third round and played Everton, losing 3–1 at Goodison Park. They won the Dorset Senior Cup again in 1927 and reached the First Round of the FA Cup three seasons in a row, Poole rejoined the Western League in 1930 and stayed there until 1957. In 1933, Poole moved into Poole Stadium and they became known as Poole Town in 1934. Poole Town reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup in 1946 and they held Queens Park Rangers to a 2–2 draw before losing in the replay 6–0. They reached the first round again in 1963 and 1967, losing to Watford and Queens Park Rangers, the Main Stand at Poole Stadium was built by supporters of the Club for the Football Club in the 1950s. In 1994 the Dog Track was widened making the center green too small for a regulation pitch, Poole Town were obliged to move on and find a new home. In 1994, Poole Town were forced to leave Poole Stadium to make way for Poole Pirates speedway, the record was subsequently beaten by A. F. C. Poole Town were relegated from the Southern League and joined the Hampshire League Division One, Poole won the Dorset Senior Cup for the 12th time in 1998
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
Cinderford Town A.F.C.
Cinderford Town Association Football Club is a football club based in Cinderford in Gloucestershire, England. Affiliated to the Gloucestershire County FA, they are members of the Southern League Premier Division. The modern club was formed in 1922 and joined the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League and they were runners-up in 1935–36 and 1937–38, before winning the league in 1939–39. They subsequently joined the Bristol Charity League, but the closed down two weeks into the 1939–40 season due to World War II. After the war the club joined Division Two of the Western League, after winning Division Two in 1956–57 they were promoted to Division One. However, the left the league at the end of the 1958–59 season. Cinderford subsequently rejoined the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League, and were champions in 1960–61, in 1968–69 the club reached the League Cup final, drawing 1–1 with Kidderminster Harriers, with the league declaring them joint winners. In 1969 the club transferred to the Gloucestershire County League, finishing as runners-up in their first season, in 1974 they joined Division One of the Midland Combination, which became the Premier Division in 1983. They won the League Cup in 1982–83, beating Bridgnorth Town in the final, however, they returned to the Gloucestershire County League at the end of the 1983–84 season. In 1990 the club joined Division One of the Hellenic League, after winning the Premier Division, the Premier Division Cup and the Floodlit Cup in 1994–95, the club were promoted to Division One South of the Southern League. The 1995–96 season saw Cinderford reach the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, after beating Bromsgrove Rovers 2–1, they lost 3–0 at Gravesend & Northfleet in a second round replay. The club were transferred to the Division One Midlands in 1998, in 2000–01 the club won the Gloucestershire Senior Cup, beating Bristol City 1–0 in the final. They were moved back to the Division One Midlands in 2006, in 2015–16 they won the division and were promoted to the Premier Division. The club initially tried to refuse due to concerns about increased costs. The club initially played at the Royal Oak ground behind the public house. When the club started playing again after World War II they discovered that the ground had been sold off, Two years later they bought three fields on the Causeway, where the Causeway Ground was subsequently built. A stand was erected using a tool shed, and two new stands were built in 1949. Floodlights were installed in 1991 and officially inaugurated with a match against Birmingham City
Minehead Association Football Club is a football club based in Minehead, Somerset, England. The club are members of the Somerset County League Division One West. The club is affiliated to the Somerset County FA, the club was established in 1889, and initially played in local leagues until joining the Western League in 1923. After finishing in place in 1924–25, they were relegated to the newly established Division Two. However, after finishing bottom in 1926–27 and 1927–28, the club withdrew from the league, Minehead returned to the Western League in 1949, joining Division Three. After finishing third in their first season back, they were promoted to Division Two, a fourth-place finish in 1957–58 saw the club promoted to Division One. In 1970–71 they reached the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time, after finishing as runners-up in 1971–72, the club were elected to Division One South of the Southern League. A fifth-place finish in 1972–73 was followed by finishing fourth in 1973–74 and third in 1974–75, before the club won the division in 1975–76, despite reaching the second round of the FA Cup the following season, the club were relegated after finishing second bottom of the Premier Division. In 1982–83 they finished bottom in the Midland Division. In 1988–89 they were relegated to Division One after finishing bottom of the league, however, the club recovered to win Division One the next season, earning promotion back to the Premier Division. In 1993–94 the club finished bottom of the Premier Division again, and returned to Division One, in 1998 the club changed its name to Minehead Town, and won Division One in the season that followed, losing only one match all season. However, the finished bottom of the Premier Division for two consecutive seasons, before returning to Division One. In 2009–10 they finished bottom of Division One and were relegated to the Somerset County League, Minehead play their home games at Irnham Road, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5DP. Players that hold a club record, gerry Cakebread Cliff Myers Club website
Bridgwater Town F.C.
Bridgwater Town Football Club is a football club based in Bridgwater, Somerset, England. Affiliated to the Somerset County FA, they are members of the Southern League Division One South & West. Bridgwater Association Football Club were established at a meeting in the Cross Rifle pub on 28 January 1898 and they joined the Somerset Senior League later in the year, and in their first full season they won the Somerset Senior Cup, beating Yeovil Casuals 1–0 in a replay. However, the club disbanded after four seasons in the league, in 1903 a new Bridgwater A. F. C. was formed. They subsequently joined the Clevedon & District League for the 1905–06 season and they won Division Two of the Weston & District League in 1908–09, but finished bottom of Division One the following season and were relegated back to Division Two. This was repeated when they won Division Two again in 1911–12, the club subsequently folded during the 2013–14 season. In 1921, Highbridge League club Wills Athletic, the team of the Wills Engineering company. The level of interest in the led to the club being transformed into Bridgwater Town during the 1921–22 season. After being rejected by the Somerset Senior League in 1923, they joined both the Mid-Somerset and West Somerset leagues, following World War II Crown Dynamos were formed in 1946 and joined the Bridgwater & District League. They moved up to Somerset Senior League in 1947, and after finishing third in their first season, the first season under the new name saw the club finish as runners-up, resulting in a successful application to join Division Two of the Western League. They finished as runners-up in Division Two in 1951–52, earning promotion to Division One, the 1957–58 season saw them finish second in Division One, as well as winning the League Cup. They repeated the feat the following season, beating Weston-super-Mare 1–0 in a first round replay, in 1963–64 another first round appearance resulted in a 3–0 defeat at home to Third Division Luton Town, they were beaten in the same round by Reading in 1971–72. The club went on to win the league in 1980–81, after winning the League Cup the following season, they moved up to the Midland Division of the Southern League. However, after two seasons the club resigned from the league and folded due to problems caused by the additional travelling, falling attendances. A new Bridgwater Town was established, taking over from the clubs reserves in Division One of the Somerset Senior League. They went on to win three successive Premier Division titles in 1989–90, 1990–91 and 1991–92, and after finishing as runners-up in 1993–94, were promoted to Division One of the Western League, in 1995–96 they won Division One and were promoted to the Premier Division. After finishing as Premier Division runners-up in 2006–07, Bridgwater were promoted to Division One South & West of the Southern League, a third-place finish in 2009–10 saw them qualify for the promotion play-offs. Although the club defeated VTFC 3–0 in the semi-finals, they lost 4–3 to Cirencester Town in the final, the original Bridwater club played at field that later became the British Cellophane factory
Dorchester Town F.C.
Dorchester Town Football Club are a semi-professional football club, based in Dorchester, Dorset, England. They currently play in the Southern League Premier Division, the tier of English football. The club is affiliated to the Dorset County Football Association and is a FA chartered Standard club and they play at the Avenue Stadium, on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. They were founder members of the Conference South in 2004, which was the highest standard they have ever reached, founded in 1880, Dorchester Town were Dorset Senior Cup finalists in 1888 and 1890 before joining the Dorset League in 1896. Despite being founder members of the league, the club had success before winning the championship in 1937/38 with a 2–0 victory at Sherborne on 25 April 1938. The club joined the Western League in 1947, winning promotion from Division Two in 1950, and going on to take the league championship in 1954/55. In 1954, Dorchester reached the 2nd Round before eventually losing out to York City in front of 5,500 fans at the old Avenue ground, following four more victories in the Dorset Senior Cup, the club entered the Southern League in 1972. Stuart Bell succeeded David Best as manager during the season, before leaving the Magpies, Senior helped the club reach the 2nd Round of the FA Cup again before losing out to AFC Bournemouth in a replay at Dean Court in front of a crowd of 8,700. A goal four minutes from the end of time was enough to end Dorchesters dreams of a place in the third round – a feat they have still yet to achieve. Relegated at the end of the 1983/84 season following a financial crisis. The return to the top division has been a rollercoaster of emotions for Dorchester fans. Having been a team for a number of years, a brush with relegation came at the start of the nineties. In his first full season, Morgan took the club to sixth in the league, a season earlier the Magpies had picked up the Southern League Cup for the first time, again defeating Kings Lynn in a 4–0 aggregate victory in the final. A season later the Magpies almost saw further play-off glory, but missed out on another promotion opportunity on the day of the season. A mid-table finish the year ended with the resignation of Mark Morris – arguably the clubs most successful manager in recent history – with Mick Jenkins taking charge of the first team. In September 2014, Dorchester suffered a loss, their kitman Alex Legge, aged 38. He was well known around the club and town and was loved by many, the club is democratically run by its supporters. The club have a tradition of playing in black and white striped shirts with black shorts