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
Weymouth Football Club is an English football club based in the town of Weymouth, who currently play in the Southern League Premier Division. The club is affiliated to the Dorset County Football Association and is a FA chartered Standard club, Weymouth Football Club were founded in 1890 and played their first game on 24 September of that year. Nicknamed The Terras due to their terracotta strip, the won the Dorset Junior Cup for the first three seasons, becoming a senior club as the team rose in stature. Founder members of the Dorset League, Weymouth joined the Western League in 1907–08, the club embraced full-time professionalism in 1923 after winning the Western League, joining the Southern League in the process. By 1928–29, with debts mounting, the club withdrew from the Southern League to become once again. They climbed back up the table and reached the Premier League and then folded for five years, the Second World War saw an end to football in Weymouth as the Recreation Ground was requisitioned for the War effort in 1939. The club reformed in 1947 on a basis, and soon achieved promotion back into the Southern League. The club suffered a tragedy on 28 February 1967 when player Dick Keith was killed in a building site accident at the age of 33. Keith had previously played in the Football League for Newcastle United and Bournemouth, Weymouth have enjoyed considerable FA Cup success since first entering in 1893–94. They first reached the stages in 1905–06 when they were thrashed 12–1 by Gainsborough Trinity. In 1949 they lost 4–0 at Maine Road to Manchester United in the Third round, in 2005, the team held former European Champions Nottingham Forest to a 1–1 draw at the City Ground, before losing 2–0 in the replay. In the 2006–07 FA Cup, Weymouth held Bury to a 2–2 draw at home, on 21 October 1987, Manchester United came to play against Weymouth on the night of the stadium unveiling by Ron Greenwood. Weymouth won 1–0 against Manchester United which included such as Remi Moses. Peter Conning scored the goal for the Terras, within a season they had turned the club around from relegation fodder to just missing out on promotion to the Conference. Gates also increased from around 500 to 1,200, Harrison sacked Claridge within a month. When the team dropped down the league, Johnson was sacked by Harrison in March 2005 with Garry Hill taking over. The club won promotion to the Conference in May 2006 but at a heavy price with large loans from Harrison to meet soaring wage bills of around £20,000 a week. At the clubs 2005 AGM, Harrison confirmed plans, pending local authority approval, to re-develop the Wessex Stadium and this now looks very unlikely with local planners opposed to such a deal
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
Wisbech Town F.C.
Wisbech Town F. C. is an English football club currently based in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. The club are members of the United Counties League Premier Division. Although a Wisbech Town existed in the 1890s, the current club was established in 1920 by the merger of three local clubs and they initially played in the Peterborough & District League, winning it in 1924–25, 1927–28, 1928–29, 1931–32 and 1932–33. In 1935 the club turned semi-professional and joined the United Counties League, former West Ham player Sam Jennings was the first major signing, and the club won the United Counties League Cup in their first season. In 1945–46 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup, the following season they won the league title, a feat repeated the season after. In 1950 they switched to the Eastern Counties League, before joining the Midland League in 1952, in 1957–58 the club reached the second round of the FA Cup, beating Colchester United 1–0 in the first leg, before losing 2–1 at Reading. That season they finished second in the league, and switched again to the Southern League, after finishing ninth and reaching the first round of the FA Cup again, the club was placed in the new Premier Division as the league reorganised. They reached the first round again in 1959–60, but lost 4–1 to Wycombe Wanderers and they were relegated in 1960–61, but returned as Division One champions in 1961–62. Despite reaching the first round of the FA Cup again, they were relegated back to Division One in 1964–65, in 1965–66 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for the last time until 1995, losing 10–1 at Brighton, their record defeat. In 1970 the club returned to the Eastern Counties League and they won the League Cup in 1971, the league and cup double in 1971–72, and the league again in 1976–77. In 1983–84 the club went 37 league matches unbeaten, but lost the title on goal difference, the following season they reached the semi-finals of the FA Vase, but lost to Halesowen Town in a semi-final replay after a draw over the original two legs. They reached the stage the next season, but lost to Southall. They won the East Anglian Cup in 1988, and in 1990–91 they won the league again, in 1995–96 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time since the 1960s, but lost 5–1 at Kingstonian. However, after finishing second in the league season the club were promoted to the Midland Division of the Southern League. Whilst playing in the Southern League, the reserve team entered the Eastern Counties League. The club reached the first round of the FA Cup again in 1996–97, the following season they reached the second round, after beating Billericay Town 2–1, before losing 2–0 at home to Bristol Rovers. The club were relegated back to the Eastern Counties League in 2001–02 after finishing bottom of their division, having finished the 2012–13 season in second place in the Eastern Counties League Premier Division, the club were eligible for promotion. However, this opportunity was declined in favour of a lateral movement
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
King's Lynn F.C.
Kings Lynn Football Club was an English association football club based in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. The club is said to have been reformed 1879, and they were wound up at the High Court on 25 November 2009 with debts of £77,000, the club was re-formed in January 2010 as Lynn FC and later renamed Kings Lynn Town. It is not known when Kings Lynn first had a football club there is mention of it existing in 1868. Known locally as Lynn Town, it is said they did not adopt the name Kings Lynn until 1953, in 1882–83 they won the Norfolk Senior Cup and went on to win it three more times in the next seven years. In 1897 they were members of the Norfolk & Suffolk League and were champions four times before World War I. After the war they won four titles between 1921–22 and 1924–25. During this period the club played in the East Anglian League. They left in 1946 to join the United Counties League, in 1953–54 they won the league and league cup, and at the end of the season stepped up to the Midland League. Four years later joined the Southern League when it added a second division. After a transitional season in the South East Division, they qualified for a place in the Premier Division and they were relegated to Division One at the end of the 1961–62 season, but returned to the Premier Division after finishing second in 1963–64. They won four successive East Anglian Cups between 1964–65 and 1967–68, but were relegated again at the end of the 1970–71 season, in 1980 the club transferred to the Northern Premier League, winning the Presidents Cup in their third season in the league. In 1983 they returned to the Southern League and won the East Anglian Cup again in 1984–85 and they were relegated to the Midland Division at the end of the 1986–87 season, where they remained until finishing second in 1995–96 and earning promotion back to the Premier Division. They were relegated again in 2001–02, but returned to the Premier Division after winning Division One East in 2003–04 and they won the League Cup in 2004–05 and qualified for the promotion play-offs in 2005–06 and 2006–07, but lost on both occasions. Although they were promoted to the Conference North as champions in 2007–08, midway through their first season back in the Northern Premier League the club folded due to financial difficulties. Kings Lynn reserves played in the Peterborough & District League between 1928 and 1954, winning the title in 1950–51 and 1953–54 and they then spent a season in the United Counties League, before returning to the Peterborough & District League. After a third title in 1956–57 they left to join the Central Alliance, however, after applying for the reserve team to join the Eastern Counties League every year since 1956, they were finally successful in 1959. They remained in the ECL until 1971 when they returned to the Peterborough & District League and they won the Norfolk Senior Cup in 1982–83 and the league title in 1984–85. They returned to the ECL when it added a division in 1988
Tonbridge Angels F.C.
Tonbridge Angels Football Club is an English football club who play at Longmead Stadium in Tonbridge, Kent, since moving from the Angel Ground in 1980. The club were promoted to the Conference South after beating Lowestoft Town 4–3 in the final of the Isthmian League Premier Division in the 2010–11 season. They were relegated back to the Isthmian League in 2014 where they compete as of the 2016-17 season, notable ex-players include England international Malcolm Macdonald, Aston Villas league championship winning manager Ron Saunders and former England manager Roy Hodgson. The club took out a lease on the Angel Ground, formerly the home of Kent County Cricket Club and named after the nearby hotel, hence Tonbridge FC became known as The Angels. A crowd of around 5,000 turned up for the opening league fixture against fellow newcomers Hastings United but the match was lost 2–1. Throughout the 1950s the Angels would struggle to make any progress in the Southern League and a peak of 11th place was reached in 1949–50, however, Tonbridge would prove to be a strong side in cup competitions. In 1949–50, the reached the semi-finals of the Southern League Cup. In three successive seasons, 1950–51, 1951–52 and 1952–53, Tonbridge reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup, the Angels opponents were Chelmsford City, Aldershot and Norwich City respectively. The Aldershot tie at the Angel Ground saw an attendance of 8,236, while the Norwich City game was shrouded in controversy. The first trophy to be lifted came in 1951/52 with the Angels winning the Kent Senior Shield, Tonbridge would go on to win this trophy a further four times, in 1956,1958,1959 and 1964. Two Southern League Cup finals were reached and lost, beaten in 1954–55 by Yeovil Town, the club were relegated from the Premier Division in 1961–62, but were promoted two seasons later finishing in 4th place after narrowly missing out the year before. However the club were relegated back to Division One in 1965–66. The notable success of the 1960s was the achievement of reaching the First Round Proper for a fourth time, the club also won the Kent Senior Cup for the first time in 1964–65. In 1972–73 the Angels won promotion to the Premier Division by finishing as runners-up to Maidstone United, in the same season the First Round Proper of the FA Cup was reached once again as Charlton Athletic were the visitors to the Angel Ground. A crowd of 7,770 saw Charlton win 5–0, Tonbridge won the Kent Senior Cup in 1974–75 while managed by former World Cup winner George Cohen. After struggling to stay in the Premier Division, the club suffered financial troubles, Tonbridge Angels FC was then formed and allowed to complete the fixture list on the understanding that relegation would result at the end of the 1975–76 season, wherever the club finished. Another major problem loomed soon after, the clubs landlords, the local council, wanted the Angel Ground for development. A battle lasting up to three years went as far as the High Courts ensued before the club was eventually offered a new ground at Longmead
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
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
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
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
Margate Football Club, originally called Margate Town, is an English football team based in the seaside resort of Margate, Kent. They currently play in the National League South, the tier of English football. The club was known for a number of years during the 1980s as Thanet United, the club was founded in 1896 and joined the Southern Football League in 1933. The team, nicknamed The Gate, have to date reached the third round proper of Englands premier cup competition, on the second of these occasions they played Tottenham Hotspur, a First Division team and the reigning UEFA Cup holders. This ground became known as the Hall-by-the-Sea Ground, taking its name from a dance hall. After the First World War, Margate joined the Kent League, but in 1923 the league suspended the team due to financial irregularities and the club promptly folded. A year later the reformed, initially under the name Margate Town, and returned to the Kent League, still playing at Dreamland. In 1929 the club reformed again and moved to its present home at Hartsdown Park, around this time Margate signed a Dutch player, a highly unusual move in an era when it was almost unknown for Continental players to move to English clubs. Goalkeeper Gerrit Gerard Keizer, who joined the Kent club from Ajax Amsterdam, from 1934 until 1938 Margate, by now playing in the Southern League, served as the official nursery side for Arsenal. Under this arrangement the London club regularly loaned promising young players to Margate in order for them to gain match experience, star players such as Eddie Hapgood also turned out for Margate whilst regaining match fitness after injuries. After the Second World War the Gate continued to play in the Kent League under new manager Charlie Walker, who led the team to two Kent League championships but was then controversially sacked. The team slumped during a succession of managerial changes which only ended in 1950 when Almer Hall was appointed manager. Under Hall the team won a host of local cup honours and reached the proper of the FA Cup on a number of occasions. In 1959–60 Margate returned to the Southern League after the Kent League folded, two years later the club turned full-time professional but this policy proved financially untenable when the team were relegated back to Division One in 1965–66. Nonetheless, they won promotion at the first attempt and returned to the Premier Division in 1967, during the 1970s Margate endured severe financial problems and a series of mediocre league seasons, but took part in two famous FA Cup ties. In 1971 the Gate lost 11–0 to Bournemouth, with Ted MacDougall scoring a cup record nine goals, then, a year later, Margate beat Swansea City and Walton & Hersham to set up a third round tie against First Division Tottenham Hotspur, then UEFA Cup holders. A record crowd of around 14,500 packed into Hartsdown Park for a match which Margate lost 6–0. The negotiations floundered, however, and Ramsgate ultimately had no involvement in the formation of Thanet United F. C. in 1981, which turned out to be purely a name change for Margate
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
Nuneaton Town F.C.
Nuneaton Town Football Club is an English football club based in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. In 1889 Nuneaton St. Nicholas were the first team to senior football within Nuneaton. Five years later, they changed their name to Nuneaton Town, however, two days later Nuneaton Borough F. C. were founded. In 2008 the club was liquidated, and due to a FA ruling were reformed as Nuneaton Town – suffering a two division demotion, the club is still known as The Boro by its supporters. The club currently play their fixtures at Liberty Way, Nuneaton. The clubs home colours are blue & white, local rivals include Tamworth, Leamington, Bedworth United and Coventry City. The club origins date from 1889 when young men from Nuneaton St. Nicolas Parish Church formed a team to represent the town. Originally playing only friendly games, from 1892 Nuneaton St. Nicolas entered Charity Cup competitions, in September 1894 the Nicks’ changed their name to Nuneaton Town Association F. C. This was despite Nuneaton Town being financially sound, following the disbandment of the Boro by its shareholders, a new group of local gentlemen decided to reform the football club. The new name Nuneaton Borough reflected the royal charter status that the town had been granted, Southern League Cup, Winners 1995–96, Runners Up 1962–63, Southern League Championship Match, Winners 199. Runners Up 1996, Home, At Manor Park 22,114, in May 2007, the curtain came down on Manor Park as they drew the last game 1–1 against Vauxhall Motors. Striker Gez Murphy took the honour of being the last Nuneaton Borough scorer at the ground, in the 2007–08 season, ill-health meant that the clubs owner, Ted Stocker, decided to sell his shares. March 2008 saw local businessman Ian Neale planned to take ownership of the club for a trial period, however, he took 100% ownership of the club in April. In May 2008, Mr Neale found some irregularities in the finances of the club, on 2 June 2008 Nuneaton Borough went into liquidation. Following the clubs liquidation, the reformed, this time as Nuneaton Town. The new club was forced to revert to its name of Nuneaton Town. Falling foul of regulations regarding football finance, the new club was demoted two divisions from Conference North to Southern League Division One, nevertheless, successive promotions saw the club quickly regain its former league status
Cambridge City F.C.
Cambridge City Football Club is an English football club based in Cambridgeshire, currently playing in the Southern League Premier Division. Formed in 1908, as Cambridge Town, the club have spent their whole history as a club, and have operated as amateur, professional. The club does not own its own ground and currently plays its games at Westwood Road in St Ives. For most of their history, between 1922 and 2013, they played in Cambridge at the City Ground and their home colours are white and black, leading to the clubs nickname of The Lilywhites. The club was founded in 1908 as Cambridge Town F. C. as Cambridge had not been granted city status at that point, the club competed in the Southern Amateur League, developing a fierce rivalry with Ipswich Town that was evident both on and off the pitch. In 1936 the club were invited to apply to the Football League, however, City declined in order that the club should uphold its amateur nature, though Ipswich took up the offer and were elected in 1938. Cambridge was formally granted city status in 1951, both Cambridge Town and their neighbours Abbey United applied to change their name to Cambridge City. The club went on to make five applications to join the Football League between 1959 and 1974, all of which were unsuccessful and they were Southern League Champions in 1962–63 and stayed in the Leagues top division until 1968, when they were relegated and turned semi-professional. They were promoted back to the Premier Division after finishing in the Division One runners-up spot in 1969–70, 1975–76 saw the second relegation in the clubs history, into the Southern Leagues Division One North. They remained here until 1979–80, when a re-organisation of the structure, in order to become a feeder to the newly formed Football Conference. The then board announced that it was to scrap the first team and this prompted the formation of a supporters trust, who within weeks had taken over the running of the club. Though the original deal was not overturned, in May 2008 City were demoted from the Conference South, after their ground failed an FA inspection, to the Southern League Premier Division for the 2008–09 season. Cambridge City have traditionally played in shirts, leading to the club being nicknamed The Lilywhites, they currently play in white shirts, black shorts. Their current away strip is sky blue shirts, sky blue shorts, the clubs badge is a simplified version of the crest of the city of Cambridge, featuring a fortified bridge over a river. The City Ground, was Cambridge Citys home ground from 29 April 1922 until 27 April 2013 and it is located in the Chesterton area of the city, approximately 0.62 miles north of the city centre. In the mid 80s, part of the land the original ground stood on was sold for redevelopment, the capacity of the second ground was approximately 3,000 with 700 seats. The club was in a dispute with their landlords over the ground. The High Court ruled that the club had been misrepresented
Bedford Town F.C.
Bedford Town Football Club is a football club based in the Borough of Bedford, England. The club are members of the Southern League Division One Central and play at the Eyrie in Cardington. They are full members of the Football Association and affiliated to the Bedfordshire County Football Association, a Bedford Town Football Club was in existence by 1884, although it changed its name to Bedford Association in 1887. As there were no leagues at the time, the club played matches in cups, including the Kettering Charity Cup. The name Bedford Town reappeared in 1894 when Swifts, a club founded in 1890, were renamed and they absorbed Bedford Rovers in 1896, and although local leagues had been formed, the club continued to play only cup matches and friendlies. However, the club disappeared around the turn of the century, on 31 July 1908 a new Bedford Town was formed at the Association Rooms on Harpur Street. They joined Division One of the Northamptonshire League, finishing bottom of the table in their first two seasons, but avoiding relegation to Division Two. They went on to finish as runners-up for three seasons between 1911–12 and 1913–14 before the league closed down due to World War I. They also won the Northamptonshire Senior Cup in 1912–13, after the war the club continued in the league, finishing as Division One runners-up in 1929–30 before winning the title in 1930–31. The following season saw them finish in place again, after which they won back-to-back titles in 1932–33. The league was renamed the United Counties League, with Bedford finishing as runners-up in 1934–35 and reaching the first round of the FA Cup for the first time. They finished as runners-up again in 1936–37, remaining in the league until World War II, in 1945 Bedford joined the Southern League. They reached the first round of the FA Cup several times in the early 1950s, losing 2–0 at Swindon Town in 1951–52, 4–0 at Weymouth in 1953–54 and 2–0 at Dorchester Town in 1954–55. In 1955 they applied for election to the Football League after finishing eighteenth in the Southern League, the 1955–56 season saw them reach the first round of the FA Cup again, and for the first time they progressed to the next round after beating Leyton 3–0. The second round saw them defeat Football League opposition for the first time as they won 3–2 against Watford, the first match at Highbury ended 2–2, with Arsenal winning the replay 2–1. They applied for election to the Football League again following a third-place finish in the Southern League, in the following season the club again beat Football League opposition in the FA Cup, defeating Norwich City 4–2 at Carrow Road before losing 1–0 at Reading. They finished as runners-up in both 1956–57 and 1957–58, again applying unsuccessfully for Football League membership, although they received one vote in 1957, despite winning their division, they failed to receive a single vote in the 1959 Football League elections. The following season saw further league re-organisation, with Bedford placed in the new Premier Division, however, the mid-1960s was an extremely successful period for the club in the cup, in 1962–63 they reached the second round where they were again beaten by Gillingham
Cambridge United F.C.
Cambridge United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. The club currently plays in League Two, the tier of the English league system. The club was founded in 1912 as Abbey United, and took the name Cambridge United in 1951 and it first competed in the Football League in 1970, staying there for 35 seasons until relegation in 2005. Football League status was regained in 2014, after nine seasons in the Conference, Cambridge United have had two spells in the leagues second tier, from 1978 to 1984, and again from 1991 to 1993. They reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup twice and Football League Cup once during the early 1990s, the club is based at the Abbey Stadium on Newmarket Road, approximately 1.86 miles east of Cambridge city centre. The stadium has a capacity of 8,127, made up of terracing, the club had close links with Cambridge Regional College, a team formed in 2006 as a de facto reserve team, however, CRC folded at the end of the 2013–14 season. The club was founded in 1912 as Abbey United, named after the Abbey district of Cambridge, a club called Cambridge United existed in Cambridge from 1909, but it was not linked to the club that exists today. The club played in amateur leagues for many of its early years. In 1949 the club turned professional, and changed its name to Cambridge United in 1951 and they played in the Eastern Counties League until finishing as runners-up in 1957–58, which saw them promoted to the Southern League. Three years later, Cambridge United reached the Premier Division of the Southern League, after election to the Football League in 1970, to replace Bradford, the club was promoted from the Fourth Division after three seasons, but went straight back down. Following the appointment of Ron Atkinson as manager, Cambridge won successive promotions took them into the Second Division in 1978 – a mere eight years after joining the Football League. Atkinson had gone to West Bromwich Albion, a First Division club, in January 1978, and was succeeded by John Docherty, Cambridge peaked at eighth place in the Second Division in 1980. However, a season in 1983–84 was followed by a further relegation in 1984–85. They had to apply for re-election in their first season back in the Fourth Division, the early 1990s was the Us most successful period. Dion Dublin scored the goal in a game against Chesterfield. Under Beck, United gained promotion from the Fourth Division and had reached the FA Cup quarter finals in 1990, and reached them again a year later. United reached the play-offs in 1992, after finishing 5th in the Second Division and this was the clubs highest final league placing to date. The following season the club sacked John Beck and were relegated from the new First Division, further relegation followed two seasons later
Romford Football Club is an English football club based in Romford, East London. The club are members of Division One North of the Isthmian League. The original Romford was established in 1876 and they reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in 1880–81, but lost 15–0 at Darwen. There was no football for them to play until they joined the South Essex League in 1896. The original club continued under new management and joined the Southern League while still playing in the South Essex League, but played only a single season before leaving. They changed to Romford Town and joined the Athenian League, but finished bottom in their first season and left at the end of their second, before closing down during World War I. Romford Town had remained members of the South Essex League and returned to action after the war, for the rest of the 1920s the only club under the Romford name was Romford Town Thursday, playing on Thursday afternoons at Brooklands, a ground previously used by Romfords reserve team. In 1929 the club was re-established, taking over the use of the Brooklands stadium, they joined the London League. In 1931 they moved to the Athenian League, which won in 1935–36. Following World War II the club transferred to the Isthmian League, in 1948–49 they reached the final of the FA Amateur Cup, but lost 1–0 to Bromley in front of 100000 spectators in the first final to be held at Wembley. In 1959 they switched to Division One of the Southern League and they were promoted to the Premier Division in their first season after finishing second, and won the Premier Division in 1966–67. The club made several applications to join the Football League, but were never successful in the elections, in 1974–75 they finished second bottom of the Premier Division, and were relegated to Division One. After a season of borrowing grounds to play home matches they resigned from the Southern League and folded in 1978, with the work on a new ground barely started. In 1992 the club was resurrected for a time and joined the Essex Senior League. They won the league in 1995–96, and in the merged with Collier Row to form Collier Row & Romford. The new club took Collier Rows place in Division Two of the Isthmian League, in the summer of 1997 they were renamed Romford. In 2000–01 they finished bottom of Division One and were relegated to Division Two. After finishing bottom the following season they resigned to go back to the Essex Senior League and they returned to the Isthmian League after winning the Senior League in 2008–09
Rugby Town F.C.
Rugby Town Football Club is a football club based in Rugby, Warwickshire, which plays in the Northern Premier League Division One South. It is nicknamed The Valley, and plays its matches at Butlin Road. It was originally named New Bilton Juniors and renamed four times, first, in 1956, to Valley Sports. The next time was in 1971 to Valley Sports Rugby, or simply VS Rugby, then in 2000 to Rugby United, formed by Keith Coughlan and under the name of New Bilton Juniors, the Valley played its first friendly match in 1955. In 1956, the club was renamed for the first time, to Valley Sports and entered the Rugby, the club progressed to the Coventry and North Warwickshire Football League in 1963, and to the United Counties League in 1969 changing the name to VS Rugby. VS Rugby moved into their own ground, Butlin Road, in 1973 the first competitive game there being a 0-0 draw against Burton park Wanderers in The United Counties league. In 1975 the club was invited to join the West Midlands League, in 1981, the Valleys most successful manager, Jimmy Knox, took over. He had previously managed the then Rugby Town and AP Leamington. Knox turned around the clubs fortunes dramatically and in1983 they won The FA Vase and they also had memorable cup ties against Northampton Town, Bristol City, and Leyton Orient. A group of supporters that included founder Keith Coughlan, however, rescued the club, the same season the club also again reached the first round of The FA Cup losing at home to Brentford. VS Rugby changed its name to Rugby United in 2000, Valley came close to promotion twice under manager Dave Stringer in the 2012–13 and 2013–14 seasons. In 2012–13 they missed out on the title on the day before losing to Biggleswade Town in the play-off final at Butlin Road. The following season saw Valley once again in contention for the title on the day only to fail to secure top spot. Promotion hopes once again ended in the play-offs after a defeat to Slough Town over two legs in the semi-final, the 2014/15 season was less successful for Valley with the club failing to make the play-offs after an inconsistent season. At the end of the campaign, Rugby Town parted company with manager Dave Stringer, for the first time in the clubs history, Rugby Town were moved into the Northern Premier League system for the 2015–16 season. Stringers replacement, former Rushden & Diamonds midfielder Gary Mills, tendered his resignation early into the season after a start and was replaced by ex-Tamworth boss Dale Belford. Now, approximately 2,800 spectators are able to be accommodated under cover and 740 of these can also be seated, the main stand, which holds 500 fans and also includes the dressing rooms. New facilities under the also include 4 changing rooms, referees room, male, female and disabled toilets
Hastings United F.C.
The club is based in the borough of Hastings and is based at The Pilot Field. The present-day team known as Hastings United Football Club was founded in 1894 as Rock-a-Nore, the team played in local leagues until 1921, when they merged with All Saints and joined the Sussex County League, where they played until 1927. In 1952, the club rejoined the Sussex County League, remaining there until the 1984/85 season, in 1921, Hastings & St. Leonards Amateurs moved to the Sussex County League and finished runners-up to Worthing. The club again finished second in the 1926–27 season, this time behind Southwick, the club joined the Sussex County League again in 1952, but had to wait until the 1959–60 for success, finishing second in Division Two of the Sussex County League. In 1979, the changed its name to Hastings Town and, in the 1979/80 season, won the Division Two championship. The 1980–81 season saw the win the County League Cup. The club also negotiated a long lease with Hastings Borough Council for use of Uniteds Pilot Field ground. 1991/92 culminated in a win at second placed Weymouth to clinch the title and promotion to the Southern League Premier Division. The Club was saved from extinction by a last gasp bid from another local lottery winner, Mick Maplesden and Town were accepted back into the Southern League, the 2002–03 season saw Hastings Town renamed as Hastings United, playing in the former teams traditional claret and blue kit. Following the restructuring of the football pyramid, United kicked off the 2004–05 season in the Isthmian League. A few months into the 2005/06 season, Southall parted company with the Club after disagreements with the chairman Dave Walters and he was replaced by the inexperienced management duo of senior players, Nigel Kane and Pat Brown. The 2006–07 season was a Jekyll & Hyde affair for the club, a dip in form towards the end of the campaign led to Hastings eventually finishing in fourth place, good enough for a place in the divisional play-offs. Hastings played away to Dover Athletic in the semi-final and, despite being reduced to ten men after half an hour, triumphed 2–0. The final saw Hastings travel to take on Tooting & Mitcham United at Imperial Fields, the return to Premier Division football began well, and a fine sequence of results at the Pilot Field enabled United to sit proudly in the top six at an early stage. A couple of later, his successor was named as the former Tonbridge Angels manager Tony Dolby. However, on 2 February 2009, John Lambert was sacked from his role of manager along with assistant Wayne Farrier, Tony Dolby returned to the role. From November 2011, Sean Ray was appointed player/manager, Ray and Mark Stapley initially took over in a caretaker capacity, but wins over Horsham and Aveley in their first two games led to Ray being appointed player-manager and Stapley assistant manager. United achieved back-to-back league wins early in the 2012/13 campaign before pulling off their first FA Cup victory in six years against Chatham Town and that proved the start of an unbelievable run in the world’s most decorated domestic knockout competition which ended with two of Ray’s finest moments in football
Lincoln City F.C.
Lincoln City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Lincoln, Lincolnshire. The club participates in the National League, the tier of English football. The club plays at the 10, 312-capacity Sincil Bank, and are nicknamed the Imps after the legend of the Lincoln Imp and they have also been known as the Red Imps. Traditionally they play in red and white striped shirts with shorts and red. Their most recent championship win was the Football Conference, in the 1987–88 season. This season saw the set a all-time record attendance for a Conference match, attracting 9,432 spectators in a 2–0 win against Wycombe Wanderers, on 2 May 1988. The game also decided the championship, as beforehand Lincoln had not occupied the top spot at any point in the season, the clubs highest-ever position is fifth in the Second Division in 1901–02. They have not been higher than the third tier since 1960–61 and their best performance in the League Cup came in 1967–68, when they reached the fourth round before losing 0–3 at home to Derby County in a replay. Lincoln have reached the play-offs of the Third Division/League Two in five seasons, from 2002–03 to 2006–07, losing in the final twice. This failure to succeed in five consecutive play-off competitions is also a record, having formed officially as an amateur association in 1884 after the disbanding of Lincoln Rovers, football in the city of Lincoln had been prominent since the 1860s. George Hallam set two records for the club that day and he scored the first ever goal for the club, and also the first ever hat-trick. Their first competitive game at home ended in an emphatic manner, beating Boston Excelsior 11–0. It was at time, before the club gained entry into the Football League and professional status. They won it for the first time in the 1886–87 season with a 2–0 replay victory over neighbours Grimsby Town F. C. after the match had finished 2–2. Lincoln soon helped to form what was then the Second Division in 1892–93 season and their first game in the Football League was a 4–2 away defeat to Sheffield United on 3 September 1892. Their first home game was also against Sheffield United, this time, however, the first game at Sincil Bank in 1895, after moving from the John OGaunts Ground due to Dawbers death, was a 0–0 friendly draw with local rivals, Gainsborough Trinity. The first competitive fixture at the ground was against Arsenal, the game ended 1–1, in January 1907 The Imps knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup after a replay. Managed by David Calderhead, two goals salvaged a home draw in the first leg
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
Stockport County F.C.
Stockport County Football Club is a semi-professional football club in Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. Formed in 1883 as Heaton Norris Rovers, the team adopted their name in 1890 after the County Borough of Stockport and they have played at Edgeley Park since 1902, traditionally in blue and white, and are nicknamed The Hatters after the towns former hat-making industry. Stockport County joined the Football League in 1900 and competed in it continuously from 1905 to 2011, however, instability on and off the pitch eventually led to Stockport falling back to the lower divisions. The club started the 2011–12 season in the Conference National, having been relegated from Football League Two for the first time in their history at the end of 2010–11, at the end of 2012–13, Stockport were relegated to the Conference North. Stockport County was formed in 1883 as Heaton Norris Rovers by members of the Wycliffe Congregational Church, the club adopted The Hatters as their nickname, owing to Stockports history as the centre of the Victorian hat-making industry, a nickname that is shared with Luton Town. Stockport played in the Lancashire League until 1900, when they gained admission to the Football League Second Division, Stockports first Football League match was against Leicester Fosse which ended in a 2–2 draw. Stockport left their Green Lane home in 1902 and moved to Edgeley Park where they currently reside, the club finished in the bottom three for their first four seasons, and at the end of 1903–04 they failed to gain re-election. They spent one year in the Lancashire Combination and the Midland League, at the end of the season, they were re-admitted to the Football League after being re-elected through the Midland League. In their first season back in the Football League, Stockport reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, however, Stockport finished the league in 10th position that season. Stockport remained in Division 2 of the Football League for seven years until 1912–13 when they again had to seek re-election, Stockport gained 22 votes and was therefore re-elected. Albert Williams was presented with the seven days later before the home game with Lincoln City. This title win began a remarkable coincidence which has occurred in each of Stockports title winning seasons where Lincoln City have been the last opponents in each of those seasons. Joe OKane, who joined Stockport the previous season, was a factor in the clubs promotion although he left the club at the end of the season. Once Stockport returned to Division 2, they struggled and survived an automatic relegation by one point, the 1923–24 season saw Stockport County finish 13th, one place above Manchester United. This is the time in history Stockport has achieved better than Manchester United. During this campaign Stockport goalkeeper Harry Hardy was called up to play for the England national team and he is the only player to be capped at full level by England while on Stockports books. Two seasons later Stockport returned to the division after finishing bottom of the league. Stockport closed out the 1920s in Division Three North with a 3rd-placed finish in 1927–28, Joe Smith was Stockports and the divisions leading goalscorer in this particular season contributing to 38 of Stockports 89 goals
Barrow Association Football Club is an association football club based in the town of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England. The club participates in the National League, the tier of the English league system. Barrow play their games at Holker Street, close to the town centre. The club spent over fifty years in the Football League between 1921 and 1972, achieving promotion to Division 3 by finishing 3rd in the Football League Fourth Division in the 1966–67 season. The highest league period in the history was to be short-lived. Barrow have since spent their time in the top two levels of football, having been promoted five times to the Conference, most recently as Conference North champions in 2014–15. The club colours are blue and white, though the combination of these has varied over time, average attendance stood at 1456 during the 2014–15 season. Barrow are owned by Dallas-based businessman Paul Casson, who purchased the club for £600,000 in September 2014. Barrow were founded on 16 July 1901 at the old Drill Hall in the Strand and played initially at the Strawberry Ground, before moving to Ainslie Street and then on to Little Park, Roose. In 1903 Barrow was elected to Division Two of the Lancashire Combination, in 1909, Barrow moved once more to Holker Street, the stadium that they still occupy today. The club remained in the Lancashire Combination for up to and after the First World War and this victory preceded the formation of the Football League Third Division North in the 1921–22 season, and Barrow became one of the leagues founder members. In their early years as a club, Barrow were as notable for their absence of success as any achievements. Their highest finish before the Second World War was 5th in the 1931–32 season, in 1933–34 season Barrow finished in 8th position. Barrow remained in the lowest tier of the Football League when football resumed after the war, the 1950s saw greater success in the FA Cup, however. The clubs record crowd of 16,874 watched Barrow draw 2–2 with Swansea Town in the 1953–54 FA Cup, a few years later this was followed by a Third Round tie in the 1958–59 competition against the then Football League champions Wolverhampton Wanderers at Holker Street. Wolves, captained by Billy Wright, won 4–2, the late 1960s finally saw Barrow win promotion, after a third-place finish under the management of Don McEvoy in the 1966–67 Fourth Division. McEvoys successor, Colin Appleton, lead Barrow to their highest ever league position of eighth in the Football League Third Division the following season. The club topped the Third Division league table for one day during the season, during this period defender Brian Arrowsmith became the player to make the most Football League appearances for Barrow
F.C. Halifax Town
F. C. Halifax Town is a semi-professional association football club based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. They replaced Halifax Town A. F. C. which went into administration in the 2007–08 season, huge tax debts buried Halifax Town A. F. C. after almost 100 years as a football club. New figures put to a creditors meeting in May 2008 showed the cash-strapped Shaymen owed over £800,000 to Her Majestys Revenue. The Revenue refused any deal and that finished the club – already over £2 million in the red. It was originally thought the club owed the taxman around £500,000, but the news that it owed £814,000 meant that even if all the other creditors had accepted the 2. 5p-in-the-pound offer originally on the table it would not have been enough. Halifax appealed against the decision to them from the Football Conference. Though the appeal was rejected on 11 June, the hope was that Halifax could play in the NPL Premier Division. This did not materialise, and eventually Halifax Town were accepted to play in the Northern Premier League Division One North in the new season under the new name FC Halifax Town. The clubs first game under the new name FC Halifax Town was a friendly away against Tamworth on 19 July 2008, there was to be no fairytale ending however, and the game ended in a 2–0 defeat. The clubs first ever victory was against Alsager Town on 26 July 2008 by a 2–0 scoreline, colin Hunter scored the new clubs first ever goal after six minutes. Their first competitive Northern League Division One North match was at The Shay against Bamber Bridge on 16 August 2008, the club got off to a poor start, despite recording their first competitive victory in the next match. However, a 7–1 home win against Salford City in late September seemed to turn the tide for Town and they went on an 8-game unbeaten run,7 of those being victories, and shot to the top of the league table. The run eventually came to an end against Rossendale United, who ended up doing the double over Halifax. Despite the loss, Halifax remained top and more results, including 5–1 and 4–1 victories against Garforth Town and Wakefield respectively. After the Wakefield match however, Halifax won just 2 of their final 14 league games and this poor run led to the sacking of manager Jim Vince, and senior player Nigel Jemson stepped up to the managers position for the remainder of the season. They could only manage 2 draws and so a poor ending to the season cost them dearly, with new manager Neil Aspin taking the helm near the start of close season, Halifax Town got off to a much better start. Promising results in friendlies were consolidated after beating Colwyn Bay 3–0 on their own turf in the first league match of the season
Northern Football League
The Northern League is a mens football league in north east England for semi-professional and amateur teams. Having been founded in 1889, it is the oldest surviving football league in the world after the Football League and it contains two divisions, Division One and Division Two. Division One sits on the tier of the English football league system. These leagues cover County Durham, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, northern Cumbria, One of the top three teams of Division One may be eligible for promotion to Division One North of the Northern Premier League, subject to certain criteria. The Northern League ran as one of two major competitions in tandem with the professional Football League, Southern League and, since 1968. In 1974, amateur status was abandoned by the Football Association, ultimately, the Northern League remained out of the football pyramid until 1991, a decision that proved very costly to its status. The league declined throughout the 1980s as its leading clubs defected to other leagues within the football pyramid, Northern League clubs now compete for the FA Vase. The League had a sponsorship deal put in place by Brooks Mileson, owner of the Albany Group. In that year, Mileson announced that he had created a trust which would continue to sponsor the league throughout his lifetime, in 2008, however, the league announced that this sponsorship had come to an end, and it held a raffle to determine its next sponsor. Interested parties were invited to buy a stake in the raffle for £250, the winning stake was held by a local training company and the league was known as the skilltrainingltd Northern League from the 2008–09 season until the 2011–12 season. The league is sponsored by dehumidifier manufacturer Ebac. Level 11 clubs from the Northern Football Alliance, Teesside Football League, originally the league comprised a single division. The champions were as follows, In 1897, the league split into two divisions. In 1900, the league reverted to a single division, in 1905 the league split into two sections, one for professionals and one for amateurs. This lasted for a single season, in 1906 the league reverted to a single division, a format retained until 1982. In 1982 the league added a second division
Hereford United F.C.
Hereford United Football Club was an English association football club based in the city of Hereford that last played in the Southern League Premier Division, the seventh tier of English football. Founded in 1924, the club was elected to the Football League in 1972, the club reached the old Second Division in 1976, its best league performance, but was relegated after only one season at that level. Hereford achieved national prominence in 1972 when, as a Southern League club, Hereford played at Edgar Street for their entire history. They were nicknamed The Whites or The Lilywhites, after their predominantly white kit, the clubs motto was Our greatest glory lies not in never having fallen, but in rising when we fall. The club was affiliated to the Herefordshire County FA, on 19 December 2014, the club was wound up in the High Court after a petition had been brought against it by HM Revenue and Customs. Following the demise of United, a new club was being set up. The new club incorporates the words Forever United into its crest design, for league and cup performance, see List of Hereford United F. C. seasons. Hereford United Football Club was founded in 1924 with the merger of two local clubs St Martins and RAOC, with the intention of sustaining a higher class of football in the city of Hereford, Hereford joined the Birmingham Combination and lost its first match 2–3 to Atherstone United. The clubs second match was an FA Cup Preliminary Round tie against future rivals Kidderminster Harriers which they lost 2–7. Hereford progressed to the Birmingham & District League in 1928 where the club spent 11 seasons, at the same time the club became a limited company. When football resumed after the war, Hereford finished 1st in their first full season in the only to be demoted to 2nd behind Chelmsford City. In 27 seasons in the Southern League, Hereford finished as runners-up three times, and also lifted the Southern League Cup three times, when the league was regionalised for one season in 1958–59, Hereford also won their regional division to add to their third League Cup win. In 1966 Hereford signed John Charles, the former Leeds United, Juventus and Welsh international and he became manager a year later and set about building a team to challenge at the top of the Southern League and gain election to the Football League. With the club becoming one of the best-supported non-league clubs in the country Charles used his standing within the game to canvass votes from member clubs for election to the Football League. The 1971–1972 season saw the club second in the Southern League. Charles had departed the club in October 1971 and his successor Colin Addison inherited a side that defeated top-flight Newcastle United in the FA Cup. The star player was Dudley Tyler, Ronnie Radford and Ricky Georges goals earned the club a Fourth Round tie against West Ham United where they were defeated in a replay at Upton Park. The Cup run played a part in the successful election to the Fourth Division
Wigan Athletic F.C.
Wigan Athletic Football Club is a professional association football club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester, England. The team compete in the Championship, the tier of English football. Founded in 1932, the club have played at the DW Stadium since 1999 and their colours are blue and white, recently most often striped, although all-blue shirts have been common throughout history. The team were elected to The Football League in 1978, the club also made their European debut during the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League. Wigan Athletic was formed in 1932, following the winding up of Wigan Borough the previous year, Wigan Athletic was the fifth attempt to create a stable football club in the town following the demise of Wigan County, Wigan United, Wigan Town and Wigan Borough. Springfield Park, the home of Wigan Borough, was purchased by the club for £2,850. Despite their initial application being turned down, Wigan Athletic were elected into the Cheshire County League following the resignation of Manchester Central, the club had also made the first of many attempts to be admitted into the Football League, but failed to receive a single vote. On 27 August 1932, Wigan Athletic played their first ever game against Port Vale Reserves. The team played in red and white shirts with black shorts, Wigan Athletic won their first honours in the 1933–34 season, finishing as champions of the Cheshire League. In the 1935–36 season, the club won their third consecutive Cheshire League title, after the Second World War, Wigan Athletic adopted their more familiar blue and white strip. The club struggled to assemble a side, and finished bottom of the league in 1946–47 season. Despite their pre-war success, the failed to gain re-election and were replaced by Winsford United. The club joined the Lancashire Combination, winning the league in their first season, in 1950, Wigan Athletic came close to election to The Football League, narrowly losing out to Scunthorpe United and Shrewsbury Town. In the next round of the cup, Wigan Athletic were drawn against First Division side Newcastle United, Wigan Athletic held their top flight opponents to a 2–2 draw at St James Park, but went on to lose the replay 3–2. In 1961, the club moved back to the Cheshire League, in the 1964–65 season, Wigan Athletic won their first Cheshire League title since returning to the league, with top goalscorer Harry Lyon scoring 66 times. He remains the clubs greatest goalscorer of all time, Wigan Athletic won four cup titles in the 1966–67 season and were also Cheshire County League runners-up. In 1968, Wigan Athletic were founder members of the Northern Premier League, winning the league title in 1970–71, leading goalscorer with 42 goals, including 7 hat-tricks, was Geoff Davies who scored 28 goals in the following 1971–72 season. As a non-league club, the played at Wembley Stadium for the first time in the 1973 FA Trophy Final
Morecambe Football Club is a professional football club in Morecambe, Lancashire, England, which plays in League Two, the fourth tier of English football. In 2007, they were promoted for the first time into the Football League, from 1921 to 2010, home matches were played at Christie Park. In 2010, the moved to Globe Arena. Football in the dates back to the turn of the 20th century, however. The club then took its place in the Lancashire Combination League for the 1920–21 season. Sharing grounds with the Cricket Club at Wood Hill Lane during the first season, football proved popular, with crowds in excess of 3,000 for derby fixtures with Lancaster City and Fleetwood Town. Although success on the field was hard to come by, with the club languishing near the bottom of the table, at the end of the first season the club moved grounds to Roseberry Park. A few years later after the purchase of the ground by the then-President, Mr. J. B. Christie, the grounds name was changed to Christie Park, in his honour. Mr. Christie bequeathed the ground to the club in 1927, whilst success was only just around the corner, the foundations for the future were being built. The Auxiliary Supporters club had formed and with their help many ground improvements were undertaken. The fourteen years from 1960 could justifiably be said to be Morecambes Golden Era, the next 12 years were as barren as any previous period in the clubs history, with the Grim Reaper never far from the Christie Park door. Attendances fell from a creditable 2,000 plus to a miserable 200 minus, however, in 1985–86, signs of improvement appeared, the clubs league position improved and cup success over the next few years filled the club with optimism. Since elevation to the Conference in season 1995–96, the Shrimps achieved status as one of the teams in the league. In fact, only Woking had an unbroken membership of the league at this time. Runners-up spot was claimed on one occasion and the places were narrowly missed twice. Also during this time, the club also equalled its best appearance in the FA Cup in both 2000–01 and 2002–03, on both occasions the club faced Ipswich Town, losing 3–0 and 4–0 respectively. Morecambe also defeated a few clubs in the FA Cup, including Cambridge United in 2000–01. In the 2005–06 season, Morecambe reached the play-offs, but were beaten 4–3 on aggregate by Hereford United, in November 2005, Jim Harvey suffered a heart attack during a league game at Christie Park against Cambridge United
Wimbledon Football Club was an English football club formed in Wimbledon, south-west London, in 1889 and based at Plough Lane from 1912 to 1991. Founded as Wimbledon Old Centrals, the club were a team for most of their history. The team rose quickly from obscurity during the 1980s and were promoted to the then top-flight First Division in 1986, the team remained in the First Division and its successor the FA Premier League until they were relegated in 2000. In 2001, after rejecting a variety of local sites and others further afield. A group of supporters responded by forming a new club, AFC Wimbledon, Wimbledon played their first match in Milton Keynes in 2003, and adopted the name Milton Keynes Dons in 2004. Wimbledon Old Central Football Club were formed in 1889, taking its name from the Old Central School on Wimbledon Common where players had been pupils. The clubs first match was a 1–0 victory over Westminster, Wimbledon won the Clapham League again in 1900–01, as well as two minor trophies. The club was restarted a year later under the name Wimbledon Borough, though Borough was dropped from the name after barely a year. The club continued to play on Wimbledon Common and at other locations in the Wimbledon area until 1912. Wimbledon joined the Athenian League for 1919–20, and in the season in its new division finished as runners-up. The club then joined the Isthmian League, winning four Isthmian League titles during the 1930s, and reaching the FA Amateur Cup final in 1934–35, Wimbledon began to prosper. The club reached another FA Amateur Cup final in 1946–47, Wimbledon won the Isthmian League for the fifth time in 1958–59 before starting a period of domination that saw three successive championships – 1961–62, 1962–63 and 1963–64. Following these successes the decision was taken to turn professional for the 1964–65 season, Wimbledon had continued success in their new league, finishing as runners-up at the first attempt. They then became the first non-League team that century to beat a First Division side away from home by defeating Burnley at Turf Moor. In the fourth round the good form continued, as the team held the reigning First Division champions Leeds United to a 0–0 draw at Elland Road. Goalkeeper Dickie Guy saved a penalty from Peter Lorimer to earn a replay, after winning the Southern League three times running from 1974–75 to 1976–77, Wimbledon were elected to The Football League in place of Workington for the 1977–78 season. The 1977–78 season was a satisfactory Football League debut for Wimbledon, Allen Batsford had resigned as manager on 2 January 1978 to be succeeded by Dario Gradi, who guided the club to promotion in 1978–79. Wimbledons first stay in the Third Division was not a successful one, the team struggled, and were relegated in bottom place, winning just 10 league games all season
Corby Town F.C.
Corby Town Football Club is a football club based in Corby, Northamptonshire, England. They are currently members of the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the club was established in 1948, taking over from Stewarts & Lloyds as the main team in the town. The new team contained a mix of Stewarts & Lloyds and new players and their first league match saw them win 5–1 against Wellingborough Town. In front of a crowd of 6,294, Corby lost the match, in 1954–55 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 2–0 at home to Watford. In 1958 Corby transferred to the Southern League, spending their first season in the North-Western Division, despite only finishing sixth in 1961–62, Corby applied for election to the Football League. However, they failed to receive a single vote, after finishing seventh the following season the club applied again, and again received no votes. In 1963–64 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for a second time and they appeared in the first round again the following season, losing 3–1 at home to Hartlepools United. The season also saw them finish fourth in Division One, earning promotion to the Premier Division, in the third round they were beaten 6–0 at Plymouth Argyle. The club applied for Football League membership for a fourth time, the club made their final application in 1966–67, again receiving no votes. The following season saw another FA Cup first round appearance but ended in relegation to Division One, in 1971 the club were placed in Division One North after league reorganisation. Further reorganisation in 1979 and 1982 saw them placed in the Midland Division, after finishing bottom of the Premier Division in 1994–95, the club were relegated again. In 1998 they were moved to the Division One South, after being transferred to Division One West in 2004, they were moved back to Division One East the following season. In 2005–06 they finished second, and were promoted to the Premier Division, the 2008–09 season saw Corby win the Premier Division, earning promotion to the Conference North. In 2010–11 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time since the 1960s and they appeared in the first round again the following season, losing 3–1 at Bristol Rovers. After four seasons in the Conference North, Corby were relegated at the end of the 2012–13 season and they were Southern League Premier Division champions again in 2014–15 and were promoted back to the renamed National League North. However, another relegation in 2015–16 saw the club relegated to the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League, the club originally played at Occupation Road. The new ground was opened on 6 September 1985 by Neil Kinnock, in 2011 the club moved to Steel Park, built adjacent to the athletics stadium. The first match was played on 25 July 2011, a 2–0 win over Notts County and it has a capacity of 3,893, of which 577 is seated. C
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
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
Merthyr Tydfil F.C.
Merthyr Tydfil Football Club was a Welsh football club based at the Penydarren Park ground in Merthyr Tydfil. In 2010 the club was liquidated and reformed under the name Merthyr Town, the club was formed in 1945, and joined the Welsh League. In their first season, they finished as runners-up, and joined the Southern League, the club were immensely successful in their first few seasons, winning the championship in 1947–48, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1951–52 and 1953–54. In the 1947–48 championship-winning season, Merthyr only dropped one point at home, however, despite their success, the club failed to be elected to the Football League. The 1950–51 season ended with Merthyr winning the Southern League, the Welsh Cup, the Southern League Cup and this time, winning the championship meant promotion to the Football Conference, the fifth level of English football. The club finished ninth in their first two seasons, and then fourth, however, they then went into decline, and were relegated back to the Southern League in 1995, where they remained until reforming in 2010. They should have been relegated a season earlier, but were reprieved when Northern Premier League champions Marine failed to meet the criteria for the league. The clubs best FA Cup performance was reaching the second round, the only time the club managed to defeat a Football League club in the FA Cup was in the first round of the 1946–47 cup, when they beat Bristol Rovers 3–1. The club were more successful in the Welsh Cup, which they won on three occasions,1949,1951 and 1987. In addition, the finished as runners-up in 1947 and 1952. After winning the final in 1987, the club were allowed to enter the European Cup Winners Cup, in the first round, they were drawn against the Italian club Atalanta. The club managed a win in the first leg at home, however, the return leg was lost 2–0, and the club were out. Historically, the clubs biggest rivals are Gloucester City, the two clubs played over 120 times in their history, making it one of the most played Anglo-Welsh derbies in football. In the late 1990s and early 2000s Newport County were local rivals but the teams have not met in the same league for many years