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
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
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
Dunstable Town F.C.
Dunstable Town Football Club is a football club based in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England. Affiliated with the Bedfordshire County Football Association, they are members of the Southern League Premier Division. The club was established in October 1883, and were members of the Bedfordshire FA the following year. In their first competitive match they lost 4–3 to Luton Montrose in the Bedfordshire Senior Cup after being 3–0 up, however, the following season the club won the competition. In 1950 the club joined the Metropolitan League, and in 1956–57 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, eventually losing 3–1 at Margate. In 1961 Dunstable switched to the United Counties League, but left two seasons to rejoin the Metropolitan League, becoming one of only three first teams playing in Division Two. The following season saw the club moved into Division One, League restructuring saw them placed in the new Division One North for the 1971–72 season. They were moved into Division One South the following season and finished bottom of the division, transferred back to Division One North for the 1973–74 season, they finished bottom of the table again. Although Best only played in two matches, Astle stayed at the club and scored 34 goals as they finished as Division One South runners-up. However, debts caused the club to fold midway through the 1975–76 season, despite finishing eighth in the league, they were demoted to Division One North. Dunstable were transferred to Division One South for the 1978–79 season, and they remained in the division until the end of the 1993–94 season, after which they folded. The club was re-established in 1998 and joined Division One of the Spartan South Midlands League, after winning the division in 1999–2000 without losing a match, they were promoted to the Senior Division. The following season saw them finish as Senior Division runners-up, earning promotion to the Premier Division, the club went on to win the Premier Division in 2002–03 and were promoted to Division One North of the Isthmian League. However, they were relegated to the Western Division at the end of the 2004–05 season, the following season saw them finish in the relegation zone, but the club were reprieved due to FA restructuring and moved to Division One Midlands. However, they were relegated back to the Spartan South Midlands League at the end of the 2008–09 season following a 13-point deduction, in 2012–13 Dunstable won the Spartan South Midlands League without losing a match, as well as winning the leagues Challenge Trophy and the Bedfordshire Premier Cup. The clubs reserve team joined Division One of the South Midlands League in 1951 and they finished as runners-up in their first season, earning promotion to the Premier Division. They left the league in 1954, switching to the Hellenic League and they were Premier Division runners-up in 1957–58, after which they switched to the United Counties League. They went on to win back-to-back United Counties League titles in 1958–59 and 1959–60, in 1964 they returned to the Hellenic League, and were placed in Division One, but took over from the first team in the Metropolitan League for the 1965–66 season
Stourbridge Football Club is an English association football club based in the town of Stourbridge, West Midlands. The club currently plays in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the club was founded in 1876 and was originally known as Stourbridge Standard. The 1923–24 season was one of the best in the history, as they clinched the Birmingham League championship. The club returned to the Birmingham League in 1954 on the disbanding of the Birmingham Combination and were runners-up in 1955–56. The Birmingham Senior Cup was won for a time in 1958–59. Twin strikers Ray Haywood and Chic Bates each notched 50 goals that season and were transferred to Shrewsbury Town, where Bates served 13 years as both player and manager. Another highlight in 1973–74 was a run in the Welsh Cup. A record crowd of 5,726 saw the Glassboys lose the home leg 1–0, Stourbridge were one of the first English semi-professional clubs to tour the South East of the USA in the early Eighties. In 2000 a new owner came to the club, and swiftly appointed Mark Serrell as chairman, along with FA Qualified coach and ex-Birmingham City player Mark Harrison as manager. Despite an influx of new players, continued poor results meant Stourbridges 29-year spell at Southern League level ended with defeat in the last game of the season at Hinckley United in May 2000. With many players moving on, the new management team had to rebuild the side from scratch, the following season saw a memorable run in the FA Vase, culminating in a quarter-final defeat at A. F. C. Sudbury in the quarter-final before finally succumbing to a 4–1 defeat after extra time, in May 2005 Hackett took sole charge of the team after Ford decided to step down due to work and family commitments. After a poor start, a run of 14 league games unbeaten was enough to clinch a runners-up spot and with it promotion back to the Southern League. Victories over Burton Albion and Moor Green also saw the team reach the Birmingham Senior Cup Final for the first time in 30 years, Stourbridges first season back in the Southern League Midlands Division in 2006–07 saw them finish in seventh place. The 2007–08 season saw Stourbridge seal a third-place finish in the Midlands Division to reach the play-offs, however Stourbridge once again suffered heartbreak in the final as Hednesford Town defeated the Glassboys 2–0 at Burton Albions Pirelli Stadium. In the 2009–10 season, Stourbridge reached the FA Cup first round for the first time in their 133-year history and were drawn at home to Walsall, the game ended in a 1–0 defeat for Stourbridge in front of 2,014 fans. In the 2011–12 season, the club won their way through four qualifying rounds to reach the first round of the FA Cup. They were drawn away to League Two side Plymouth Argyle where they drew 3–3 at Home Park to earn themselves a replay, the replay at the War Memorial Ground was chosen for live coverage by ESPN, netting the club over £33,000
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
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
Ebbsfleet United F.C.
Ebbsfleet United Football Club is a football club in Northfleet, Kent, England, which is in the National League South, the sixth tier of English football. The team plays matches at Stonebridge Road. Before 2007, the club was called Gravesend & Northfleet, from 1969 and 1971, Roy Hodgson, who later became manager of the national teams of Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Finland and England, was a player at the club, making 59 appearances. In 1979, the team was one of the members of the Alliance Premier League. For the 1997–98 season, Gravesend & Northfleet left the Southern League, on 13 November 2007, it was announced that the website MyFootballClub had entered a deal in principle to take over the club. Approximately 27,000 MyFootballClub members each paid £35 to provide an approximate £700,000 takeover fund and all owned a share in the club. Members had a vote on transfers as well as player selection, because of the nature of MyFootballClub, it was announced that manager Liam Daish would become instead the first team head coach. His backroom staff would remain at the club, both resulted in overwhelming Yes votes,95. 89% voted to proceed with the takeover while 95. 86% voted to allow Daish to continue his transfer plans. The deal was ratified at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the board on 19 February. On 10 May 2008, Ebbsfleet United won the FA Trophy, defeating Torquay United 1–0 in the final on the clubs first trip to Wembley, becoming the first Kentish team to win this trophy. Ebbsfleet United went on to win the Kent Senior Cup in the same season, with a 4–0 victory over Cray Wanderers on 26 July 2008. After one year of ownership a majority of MyFC members failed to renew, the club had previously stated that 15,000 was the minimum required. As of September 2010, two and a years after the takeover, there were around 3,500 members. Both the manager and the club secretary opposed the change, Liam Daish subsequently departed as manager and the new ownership appointed Dover Athletic coach and former Charlton Athletic defender Steve Brown as the new manager. Steve Browns first competitive game was a draw at home to Havant & Waterlooville. A club record was broken just before Christmas as Browns team achieved nine wins in succession, Ebbsfleet eventually reached the playoffs, helped by goalkeeper Preston Edwards keeping eleven clean sheets at Stonebridge Road over the course of the season. The playoff semi-final first leg against Bromley at Stonebridge Road ended in a 4–0 win for the Fleet, despite Bromley winning the second leg, Browns side won 4–1 on aggregate. The playoff final was against Dover Athletic at Stonebridge Road in front of a 4,200 crowd, Dover dominated the encounter, winning 1–0 with a goal early in the second half from former Ebbsfleet striker Nathan Elder
Hillingdon Borough F.C.
For the administrative area see London Borough of Hillingdon. Hillingdon Borough Football Club are a football club based in Ruislip. The club is affiliated to the Middlesex County Football Association and it was also the name of a now-extinct club that existed between 1965 and 1987. They currently play in the Spartan South Midlands League Division One, the first club was founded as Yiewsley F. C. in 1872, and played on a small area of open ground in Falling Lane, Yiewsley, in Middlesex. The club made its debut in the FA Cup in the 1939–40 season, in 1951 they were one of the 14 clubs who founded the Delphian League. Two seasons later at the end of the 1953–54 campaign they moved to the Corinthian League, in 1958 a decision was made to turn semi-professional, and the club joined the South-East zone of the Southern League. Their most noteworthy achievement until that point was holding Third Division Gillingham to a 2–2 draw on their ground in the first round proper of the 1956–57 FA Cup. Jackie Milburn also played for the club briefly when he retired professional football in the early 1960s. The club renamed itself as Hillingdon Borough in 1964 in line with the local government reorganisation in London that saw the formation of the London Borough of Hillingdon. The change of name saw their fortunes change, as in their season they were promoted to the Premier Division of the Southern League after finishing runners up. Their most successful period followed over the five years. In 1968–69 they finished runners-up to Cambridge United, who were elected to the Football League. The following season, they reached the third round proper of the FA Cup beating Wimbledon and Luton Town before losing to Sutton United 4–1 in a replay. In the 1970–71 season, they reached the FA Trophy final at Wembley losing 3–2 to Telford United and these achievements were all under the managership of Jimmy Langley, who was himself an ex-Yiewsley player. Other notable managers of the club included Barry Fry, latterly of Birmingham City, the club failed to build on the success of the late 1960s and early 1970s. This club ran for two seasons before changing their name back to Burnham, and continue to play in the Southern league. The newly named club then joined the Premier Division of the Spartan League for the start of the 1990–91 campaign, the club would then go on to finish Runners-up twice before the league merged with the South Midlands League to form the Spartan South Midlands Football League. The club was placed in the Premier South Division, in 2006, Hillingdon Borough reached the FA Vase final at St. Andrews, Birmingham, after an 11-game qualification route starting in the competition as early as the 2nd qualifying round
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
Atherstone Town F.C.
Atherstone Town Football Club is a football club based in Atherstone, Warwickshire, England. They were officially established in 2004 after a club bearing the same name folded in 1979. They currently play in the Midland League Division One, the original Atherstone Town club was formed in 1887, and after drifting between various local leagues, settled in the Birmingham Combination in 1911, where they remained until 1954. Prior to this the Adders had gained recognition by reaching the semi-final of the FA Amateur Cup in both 1907 and 1909. After several decades of varying performance, the 1947–48 season saw the Adders claim the Birmingham Combination League, in 1954 they stepped up to the Birmingham and District League, where they were runners-up in 1972 and moved up to the Southern League. In their first season gained promotion to the Premier Division, where their best position was third in 1973–74. A group of enthusiasts managed to fulfil the teams reserve fixtures in the West Midlands League under the name Atherstone United. In 1982 the new club won promotion to the West Midlands League Premier Division, followed in 1986–87 by winning the Premier Division title, two years later they were promoted again, to the Southern League Premier Division, where they finished as high as 4th. However, the end of the 1999–00 season saw Atherstone relegated for the first time in either incarnation, the situation at the club worsened and in September 2003 Atherstone United were put into liquidation. Again a group of supporters formed a new Atherstone Town club, in their debut season the new Atherstone Town were accepted into the Midland Combination Division One, winning the league and promotion at the first attempt along with the Presidents Cup. In the 2005–06 season, they were the champions of the Midland Combination Premier Division, further success in 2005–06 came in the Birmingham County FA Midweek Floodlit Cup and the Midland Combination Endsleigh Challenge Cup. In the 2007–08 season, the club won again as champions of the Midland Football Alliance. The first season in the Southern League Midland Division saw the Adders in the top three for most of the season, at the end they finished third behind champions Leamington and near neighbours Nuneaton Town. They made the play-offs, only to lose to Chasetown and they did however win the GX Southern League Cup for the first time after beating Bridgwater Town in the two legged final. Due to financial problems, the club had to resign from the Southern League mid-way during the 2010–11 season, in 2011–12 they played in the Midland Football Alliance but were relegated at the end of the season to the Midland Combination Premier Division. The team were managed by Dale Belford, his assistant manager is Steve Hinks, Reserve team manager is Richard Smith and Youth Team manager Mark Grainger and first team coach is Wayne Chapman. However Belford moved back to Tamworth, and the club are now managed by Mark Grainger, disorder broke out at an FA Cup game against Barrow at Sheepy Road on 12 October 2013, when Atherstone fans invaded the pitch and were involved in clashes with visiting supporters. The following February when 29 Atherstone fans were charged in court for their conduct months earlier, in November 2015, those charged were sentenced to prison sentences for their violent behaviour
Maidstone United F.C. (1897)
The original Maidstone United was an English football club from Maidstone, Kent, which existed from 1897 to 1992. The club played in the Football League Fourth Division from 1989 until their demise in 1992, during their time in the Football League Maidstone played their games at Dartfords Watling Street ground. The club also played in amateur leagues and the Southern League. Maidstone United was formed in 1897 and played in leagues such as the Corinthian, Athenian. They joined the Southern League, the major league in southern England. Attendances were much improved from the days with local derbies against Tonbridge. The following season Maidstone finished top and were promoted to the Southern League Premier Division and they continued to progress and during their six-year spell in the league they finished in the top five on four occasions. In 1979 they became members of the Alliance Premier League. At the time of their first championship, Maidstone failed to gain promotion to the Football League because they lost out in the system that the League employed at the time. By the time Maidstone United won the Conference again in 1989, Maidstone thus became members of the Football League Fourth Division. In 1988 the Stones left their ground in Maidstone, having sold the land on which it stood to MFI, the ground was not considered large enough for league football, so they switched to ground-sharing with Dartford for their home matches. This caused average attendances to fall from around 2,400 to 1,400 and their form in the following season went from very good to very poor in a short period of time, which prompted the controversial sacking of manager Keith Peacock. The next manager was former Blackpool and Northampton Town boss Graham Carr, by this time, the club were lurching into serious financial problems. They had spent vast amounts getting into the Football League and the spending continued now they were there, running costs were huge, and attendances were falling as a result of Maidstones disappointing form in the 1990-91 season, and the onset of a recession. The clubs finances spiralled out of control, with large debts being run up. The club then took a gamble, and without any kind of planning permission. By being able to return to Maidstone, the club believed they would be able to afford to continue in the Football League, However, the gamble did not pay off and the planning application to build on the land was turned down by the council. The entire squad of players was put up for sale to raise cash in an attempt to save the club, during the 1991–92 season, the club was put up for sale
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
Grantham Town F.C.
Grantham Town Football Club is a football club, based in Grantham, Lincolnshire. The club plays in the Northern Premier League Premier Division and they are nicknamed The Gingerbreads and they play their home matches at the South Kesteven Sports Stadium. The club was established in August 1874, granthams first match was a 2–1 friendly win against Third Lincs Volunteer Rifles on 29 October 1874. In 1877–78, the club one of the first to enter the FA Cup. On 7 April 2012 the club became champions of the Northern Premier League Division One South, players that have played/managed in the Football League or any foreign equivalent to this level. Players that hold a club record, terry Bly Edwin Cooke Frank Watson Official website Grantham Town at the Football Club History Database Grantham F. C. at the Football Club History Database
Burton Albion F.C.
Burton Albion Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. Burton Albion competed in the non-League of English football from their formation in 1950 until 2009, when they were promoted to the Football League. The clubs home ground is the Pirelli Stadium, having moved from Eton Park in 2005, Burton Albion were formed in 1950, and joined the Birmingham & District League. They finished the 1953–54 season as runners-up, and in 1958–59 joined the Southern League North Western zone, in 1965–66 Burton missed out on the runners-up place on goal difference, but were still promoted to the Southern League Premier Division. They avoided relegation in 1968, thanks to Stevenage Town folding, Burton missed out on promotion on goal average in 1970–71, but finished as runners-up the following season and were promoted back to the Premier Division. The next two seasons saw them relegated, and then promoted back to the Premier Division again and they stayed in the same division until being relegated once more at the end of 1976–77. In October 1998, Nigel Clough was appointed as player-manager and he led the club to two successive runners-up spots, in 1999–2000 and 2000–01. Burton were again moved to the Northern Premier League Premier Division in 2001–02, the club were promoted to the Football Conference for the first time. The club was brought to attention when they were drawn at home against 11-times winners Manchester United in the third round of the 2005–06 FA Cup. The Brewers held the Premier League team to a 0–0 draw at home, at the end of the season Roy McFarland left the club and was replaced by Paul Peschisolido, with Gary Rowett acting as his assistant. Burtons first win in the Football League was 5–2 against Morecambe at the Pirelli Stadium, in their second season Burton claimed a notable scalp in the FA Cup third round when they knocked out Championship team Middlesbrough 2–1 at the Pirelli Stadium. In the league, Burton experienced a 17-game winless run and fell from fifth place on Boxing Day to 17th place at the end of the 2011–12 season, Gary Rowett was appointed as the new manager of Burton in May 2012. In his first full season in charge, he led Burton to a fourth-place finish, Burton lost their play-off semi-final 4–5 on aggregate to Bradford City despite winning the first leg 3–2 at Valley Parade. In the 2013–14 season, Burton finished sixth, reaching the final in which they lost 1–0 against Fleetwood Town. During the 2014–15 season, Rowett left to join Birmingham City, under Hasselbaink the Brewers won League Two and were promoted to League One for the first time in their history. Hasselbaink left by mutual consent in December 2015 to join Queens Park Rangers as manager, Clough returned to Burton to replace him for his second spell as manager and led the club to a second-place finish in the league, earning promotion to the Championship, another first for Burton. Albion began life at the Lloyds Foundry ground on Wellington Street, Eton Park was built off Derby Road and officially opened on 20 September 1958, coinciding with the clubs promotion to the Southern League
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
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
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
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
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