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
Is a football club based in Bideford, Devon, England. They are currently members of the Southern League Division One South & West, the club are nicknamed The Robins due to their all-red strip. Bideford Town was established in late 1890s and spent most of their playing in the North Devon League. In 1947 the club was reformed as Bideford A. F. C. although they finished bottom of the division, they remained in Section A for the 1948–49 season, which saw them finish sixth. At the end of the season they joined Division Three of the Western League, in 1951–52 they won Division Two, and were promoted to Division One. The league was reduced to a division in 1960, and after finishing as runners-up in 1962–63. In 1964–65 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time and they drew 3–3 with Third Division Colchester United at Layer Road before losing the replay 2–1. They went on to win championships in 1970–71 and 1971–72, also winning the League Cup during 1971–72. In 1973–74 they reached the first round of the FA Cup again following four replays with Falmouth Town in the qualifying round. Drawn at home to Third Division Bristol Rovers, they lost 2–0, after three seasons in the Southern League they dropped back down to the Western League. When the Western League gained a second division in 1976 Bideford were placed in the Premier Division and they finished as runners-up twice in a row in 1977–78 and 1978–79, also reaching the FA Cup first round in 1977–78, losing 3–1 at Portsmouth. They won the Western League again in 1981–82, as well as reaching the first round of the FA Cup, the following season saw them retain the league title, and they won the League Cup for a second time in 1984–85. Bideford dominated the Western League in the 2000s, winning the Premier Division in 2001–02, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06 and 2009–10, as well as the League Cup in 2001–02, after finishing second-from-bottom of the division in 2015–16 they were relegated back to Division One South & West. Bideford reserves were founder members of the South Western League in 1951 and they joined the North Devon League in 2008. In 2015 they started playing under the name Bideford Community, the club also had an A team, which played in the North Devon League from 1996 until 2002. The Academy team was founded in 2014 and joined the North Devon League and they were renamed Bideford Community reserves in 2015. The clubs under 11s, under 13s and under 15s also compete in the North Devon League, Bideford play their games at the Sports Ground on Kingsley Road. It has a capacity of 6,000, of which 375 is seated and 1,000 covered. F. C
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
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
Andover Football Club was an association football club based in Andover, Hampshire, established in 1883. Since the 2007–08 season, Andover had been a member of the Southern League Division One South, the club played at this level for 29 of its 128 years of existence, and played its thousandth game in this league in 2008. In the 2010–11 season, the club finished twenty-first out of twenty-one teams, in a statement announcing the matter, club secretary Graham Cousins expressed a hope that the club could be resurrected to play at a more appropriate level in the future. A new club, Andover Lions F. C. was subsequently formed, Andover Football Club was formed in 1883 and played their first game on 27 October at Strides Field, Weyhill Road, a friendly match against Basingstoke Mechanical Engineers. Three years later moved to the Walled Meadow, where they played their home matches for the next 96 years. During this time, Andover won the Salisbury League eight times, Andover competed in the first Hampshire Senior Cup in 1888, but became involved in controversy after they were knocked out of the competition by Woolston Works. During this match, a Glasgow–based player called J. Kesson played for Woolston in their victory, Andover protested that Kesson should be disqualified on the grounds of residency—although he had played for Woolston Works earlier that season, he had since moved back to Glasgow. Woolstons appeal rested on the fact that Kesson had left some items of clothing at his lodgings in Woolston, the Hampshire FA upheld the appeal, allowing Woolston to progress through to the next round and eventually win the inaugural competition. Andover joined the newly formed Southern League Second Division South West section in 1898 and they won just two of their ten games at this higher level and finished bottom of their six-team division, which also included Cowes, Ryde and Eastleigh. After just one season, they moved back down to county league football along with the majority of teams in that division, until the First World War Andover played in the Hampshire League North Division, and their first major honour came in 1913–14 when they won that division. Competition was suspended during the war, and upon the restart they rejoined the Hampshire League in the North Division before moving to an enlarged County Division in the 1920–21 season. It was while in this division that won their most prestigious title to date. Division One of the Hampshire League was formed at the start of the 1929–30 season, the only slip was in 1936–37 when they were relegated, but they returned the following year after winning promotion from Division Two. The club remained active during the Second World War, winning the Hampshire League title in 1944–45, Andover had a certain degree of success in county cup competitions during this period. They reached the final of the Hampshire Senior Cup twice, in 1931 and 1933, losing to Winchester City and they also won the Russell Cotes Cup four times and reached the final a further three times. Andover continued playing in Division One of the Hampshire League after the war and they had success during the period between 1948 and 1951, winning two more Hampshire League championships as well as winning the Hampshire Senior Cup for the first two times in the clubs history. In 1960–61, Andover won the Russell Cotes Cup for the time, while the reserves were champions of Division Two. The following year saw the first team win their eighth Hampshire League championship and retain the Russell Cotes Cup, ian Henderson broke his own goalscoring record set the previous year, scoring 62 goals
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
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