Western Football League
The Western Football League is a football league in South West England, covering Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, western Dorset, parts of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. The leagues current main sponsor is Toolstation, so it is known as the Toolstation League. The champion club may apply for promotion to a Step 4 league, below the Western League are four local leagues covering smaller areas, the Gloucestershire County League, the Somerset County League, the Dorset Premier League and the Wiltshire League. The South West Peninsula League Premier Division is also a feeder to the Western League but due to having Step 6 status, Premier Division, Division One, The league was formed in 1892 as the Bristol & District League, and became the Western League in 1895. In the years before World War II, many teams played in both the Southern and Western Leagues, the Western League was considered as secondary to the Southern League. On four occasions, member clubs have lifted the FA Vase, Tiverton Town twice, Taunton Town once and most recently Truro City, totton in 2007 at the first final to be held at the new Wembley Stadium before a competition record crowd of 27,754. Truro City were the one of the three to win the FA Vase while in Division One, while none are current members of the Western League. Bedminster | Clevedon | Clifton Association | Eastville Rovers | Mangotsfield | St. George | Trowbridge Town | Warmley | Wells Official Site Western League -Fixtures, Results and Tables
Bridgwater Town F.C.
Bridgwater Town Football Club is a football club based in Bridgwater, Somerset, England. Affiliated to the Somerset County FA, they are members of the Southern League Division One South & West. Bridgwater Association Football Club were established at a meeting in the Cross Rifle pub on 28 January 1898 and they joined the Somerset Senior League later in the year, and in their first full season they won the Somerset Senior Cup, beating Yeovil Casuals 1–0 in a replay. However, the club disbanded after four seasons in the league, in 1903 a new Bridgwater A. F. C. was formed. They subsequently joined the Clevedon & District League for the 1905–06 season and they won Division Two of the Weston & District League in 1908–09, but finished bottom of Division One the following season and were relegated back to Division Two. This was repeated when they won Division Two again in 1911–12, the club subsequently folded during the 2013–14 season. In 1921, Highbridge League club Wills Athletic, the team of the Wills Engineering company. The level of interest in the led to the club being transformed into Bridgwater Town during the 1921–22 season. After being rejected by the Somerset Senior League in 1923, they joined both the Mid-Somerset and West Somerset leagues, following World War II Crown Dynamos were formed in 1946 and joined the Bridgwater & District League. They moved up to Somerset Senior League in 1947, and after finishing third in their first season, the first season under the new name saw the club finish as runners-up, resulting in a successful application to join Division Two of the Western League. They finished as runners-up in Division Two in 1951–52, earning promotion to Division One, the 1957–58 season saw them finish second in Division One, as well as winning the League Cup. They repeated the feat the following season, beating Weston-super-Mare 1–0 in a first round replay, in 1963–64 another first round appearance resulted in a 3–0 defeat at home to Third Division Luton Town, they were beaten in the same round by Reading in 1971–72. The club went on to win the league in 1980–81, after winning the League Cup the following season, they moved up to the Midland Division of the Southern League. However, after two seasons the club resigned from the league and folded due to problems caused by the additional travelling, falling attendances. A new Bridgwater Town was established, taking over from the clubs reserves in Division One of the Somerset Senior League. They went on to win three successive Premier Division titles in 1989–90, 1990–91 and 1991–92, and after finishing as runners-up in 1993–94, were promoted to Division One of the Western League, in 1995–96 they won Division One and were promoted to the Premier Division. After finishing as Premier Division runners-up in 2006–07, Bridgwater were promoted to Division One South & West of the Southern League, a third-place finish in 2009–10 saw them qualify for the promotion play-offs. Although the club defeated VTFC 3–0 in the semi-finals, they lost 4–3 to Cirencester Town in the final, the original Bridwater club played at field that later became the British Cellophane factory
Exeter City F.C.
Exeter City Football Club /ˈɛksɪtə ˈsɪti/ is a professional association football club based in Exeter, Devon, England. The team play in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. The club is owned by the clubs supporters through the Exeter City Supporters Trust, the club was a member of the Football League from 1920 to 2003. Following five seasons in the Conference National, Exeter were promoted back to League Two for the 2008–09 season, in the 2011–12 season of League One Exeter City were relegated to League Two, finishing 23rd with 48 points, they have remained in League Two ever since. Exeter City was founded in 1904 and began playing on an old used for fattening pigs. Exeter remain at St James Park to this day, the club is nicknamed The Grecians. For the 2016–17 season Citys home kit is supplied by Joma and it consists of red and white shirts, black shorts, and black and white socks. The club is known as the first side to play a team from Brazil. As a result, City and Brazilian side Fluminense are now also partner clubs, Exeter City F. C. was formed from two predecessor clubs, Exeter United F. C. and St Sidwells United. Exeter United was a club from Exeter, Devon, that played between 1890 and 1904. In 1904, Exeter United lost 3–1 to local rivals St Sidwells United, the new team took the name Exeter City and continued to play at Exeter Uniteds ground, St James Park, where Exeter City still play today. Exeter United was formed from the team of the same name and were one of the first football teams with the moniker United. St Sidwells United was a club that had formed from the regulars who frequented the Foresters Inn in Sidwell Street, Exeter, although the house was always known as the Drum. The team played in St Sidwells old colours of green and white, on 10 September 1904, Exeter City played its first ever competitive match, a 2–1 victory at St James over 110th Battery of the Royal Artillery, in the East Devon League. The attendance was 600, and the goal scored by Sid Thomas. City topped the East Devon League with 11 wins, two draws, one defeat in its first season, and transferred to the Plymouth & District League for next three seasons, in 1908, Exeter City A. F. C. became a limited company. City became a professional team, and applied successfully for membership of the Southern League. A wooden grandstand was erected, and the club entered into an arrangement over the ground
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
Devizes Town F.C.
Devizes Town F. C. is a football club based in Devizes, Wiltshire, England. They are currently members of the Western League Division One and play at Nursted Road, Devizes Town FC was established in 1884 as Southbroom Football Club, which was formed by the members of Southbroom Cricket Club as a winter activity. In 1898 Southbroom and other smaller clubs amalgamated to form Devizes Town Football Club. The new club leased a field in Quakers Walk and in their first season won the Wiltshire League as well as reaching the First Round Proper of the FA Amateur Cup. After the Second World War the club moved to Nursteed Road, in the Wiltshire Senior Cup, the team appeared in every final between 1956/57 and 1962/63 winning six out of the seven finals. In the 1961–62 season, the club achieved a treble by winning the County Senior Cup, Premier League Championship, in 1965 the club purchased the Nursteed Road Ground and in 1967 joined the Western League. In the 1972–73 season and managed by Ken Owens the club won the Western League Championship and they stayed in the top division for a further 3 years but were relegated to Division one. For four seasons the club remained in one but returned to Western League Premier as Division One Runners-up in 1979–80 under manager Paul Lloyd. Paul Lloyd resigned in 1984 and the club was relegated back to the first division at the end of the 1984–85 season, where they remained for a further 15 seasons. During this period the club faced some hard times and had to sell their ground to neighbours Linpac in 1991 in return for a lease deal securing the ground for 99 years. The 1999–2000 season under manager Brian Newlands saw the club promoted back to the Western Premier league as Division One title winners, the club stayed in the Premier division until the 2008–09 season and have since remained in the first Division. In the 1980–81 season, they reached the quarter-finals of the FA Vase, losing 3–0 at Whickham, Devizes Town repeated this feat in 2002–03, this time, the run ended with a 0–3 defeat at home to Maldon Town. Devizes Town FC play their games at Nursteed Road, Devizes, trophy best performance, Third qualifying round 1974–75 F. A. Vase best performance, Quarter Finals 1980–81, 2002–031, players that have played/managed in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level. Players that hold a record or have captained the club. Roger Hunt Mike Ford Tony Edge Managers/Coaches that have played/managed in the league or any foreign equivalent to this level
Salisbury City F.C.
Salisbury City Football Club was an English football club based in Salisbury, Wiltshire. They were formed in 1947 and played at The Raymond McEnhill Stadium, the club spent two seasons in the Conference South before winning promotion to the Conference Premier via the play-offs in the 2012–13 season. In 2014, the club were removed from the Football Conference after failing to pay debts, the club has reformed as Salisbury F. C. for the 2015–16 season. The club was founded as Salisbury F. C. in 1947, Salisbury immediately entered the Western League and won the Second Division title at the very first attempt. An attendance of 8,902, a figure never beaten, saw the championship decider, in 1993 the clubs name was officially changed to Salisbury City, and in 1994–95 they won the Southern League Southern Division championship. After redevelopment work at the council-owned Victoria Park, the club was able to step up to the Premier Division, a promotion which had been denied them two years earlier due to ground gradings. Salisbury lasted seven seasons in the Premier Division, but troubles off the field led to the departure of manager Geoff Butler. On 13 May 2007, they defeated Braintree Town 1–0 in the Conference South promotion play-off final, in front of a record attendance at The Raymond McEnhill Stadium of 3,100, Salisbury held Forest to a 1–1 draw live on BBC One. The replay at the City Ground saw Forest progress into the 3rd round with a 2–0 victory, salisburys first season in the Conference Premier saw them finish a credible twelfth after a run of several wins in the second half of the season. This success continued into the 2008–09 season when they hit top spot in early September, however, this run soon came to an end when they suffered many injuries which saw their form slip. Then an appeal to raise £100,000 in two weeks was asked of the fans and the city, but only £33,000 was raised. This was insufficient to keep the club going with the squad they had, in April 2009 the club was put up for sale for £1 in a bid to attract new investors to help the club survive. However, the future of the club remained unclear after it was announced that the club had been unable to find a willing to assume the financial liabilities. On 3 September 2009 Salisbury entered administration clearing debts of £200,000, in the summer of 2009, Salisbury City Football Club faced bankruptcy and in early September the club was formally placed in administration. Whilst still functioning as a team, The Whites were fined and were punished further by the football authorities with the deduction of points. From September 2009, Salisbury City FC was being run by Carl Faulds and Michael Fortune operating as agents and contracting for Portland Business, on 19 May 2010 the club was demoted two divisions to the Southern League Premier Division due to a breach of Conference rules. A consortium of William Harrison-Allan, Chris Brammall and Jeff Hooper took the club on, what followed was a complete restructure with manager Tommy Widdrington going to Southend United as assistant manager in the summer of 2010. Long-serving Nick Holmes followed him out the door, which left Darrell Clarke and they managed to assemble a squad of youngsters over pre-season to go with the players that remained at the club
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