AFC Wimbledon is a professional association football club based in Kingston upon Thames, Greater London, England. After the 2016 League Two play-offs, the club was promoted to League One of the English Football League and they play at Kingsmeadow, in Kingston upon Thames, a ground which is shared with Isthmian League club, Kingstonian. Wimbledon F. C. physically moved in 2003 and then changed the name of the club to Milton Keynes Dons in 2004. In its short history, the club has been successful, being promoted six times in 13 seasons. They also hold the distinction of being the first club formed in the 21st century to make it into the Football League, on 13 June 2002, a new manager, kit, crest and stadium were unveiled to fans and the media at the packed out Wimbledon Community Centre. The event attracted 230 hopeful players, from whom the clubs squad for their season was eventually chosen. The first ever game, a friendly against Sutton United on 10 July 2002. In 2003–04, AFC Wimbledon won their first 21 league games before a 2–2 draw against Sandhurst Town on 10 January 2004, assistant manager Nick English took charge with immediate effect. In spite of everything, the team went on to finish as champions of the Combined Counties League with a record for the season of 42 wins. AFC Wimbledon also won the leagues Premier Challenge Cup after beating North Greenford United 4–1 in the Final on 30 April 2004, Dave Anderson was appointed as new manager on 11 May 2004. The Dons secured another double by defeating Walton & Hersham 2–1 in the Final of the Surrey Senior Cup on 3 May 2005. Over the course of the season, AFC Wimbledon set a new record for the longest run of league games at any level of senior football in the United Kingdom. The team remained unbeaten for 78 league matches between 22 February 2003 and 4 December 2004, the 2005–06 season proved far more competitive than previous seasons – as after winning their first few games, AFC Wimbledon found themselves struggling to remain in the play-off places. After fluctuating form they eventually reached the play-offs after a 1–0 win against Andersons former club, however, a 2–1 defeat at Fisher Athletic on 2 May 2006 prevented the club from achieving three back-to-back promotions. The Dons once again reached the final of the Surrey Senior Cup, however, however, this punishment was eventually reduced to a three-point deduction and a £400 fine on appeal after the FA finally acknowledged that the club had made a simple administrative error. The Darlington affair also resulted in expulsion from the Surrey Senior Cup, although AFC Wimbledon did enough to qualify for the play-offs, they once again missed out on promotion, this time as a result of losing 1–0 to Bromley in the play-off semi-final on 1 May 2007. Manager Dave Anderson subsequently left the club by mutual consent on 2 May 2007, Terry Brown was appointed as the new AFC Wimbledon manager on 15 May 2007. The Dons made steady progress throughout the season, qualifying for the play-offs after finishing third in the League, AFC Wimbledon beat AFC Hornchurch 3–1 in the play-off semi-final on 29 April 2008 and went on to triumph 2–1 over Staines Town in the play-off final on 3 May 2008
The competition was instigated in 1969 to cater for those non-league clubs that paid their players and were therefore not eligible to enter the FA Amateur Cup. This covers the National League, the Southern League, Isthmian League, the final of the competition was held at the original Wembley Stadium from the tournaments instigation until the stadium closed in 2000. The final has been played at the new Wembley Stadium since its opening in 2007, the record for the most FA Trophy wins is shared by Woking and two defunct clubs, Scarborough and Telford United, with three victories each. The Trophy is currently held by FC Halifax Town who beat Grimsby Town F. C. in the 2016 final, the competition was created by the Football Association in 1969 to afford semi-professional teams an opportunity to compete for the chance to play at Wembley Stadium. The first winners of the competition were Macclesfield Town of the Northern Premier League, Northern Premier League clubs dominated the first decade of the competition, with Telford United the only Southern League team to break the northern clubs hold on the competition. In the early years of its existence the competition struggled to achieve the level of prestige as the long-established Amateur Cup. In 1974 the FA abolished the distinction between official professional and amateur status and discontinued the Amateur Cup, and the Trophy soon had 300 entrants and this figure was gradually reduced until by 1991 only around 120 clubs took part. Telford Uniteds win in 1989 made them the team to win the Trophy three times. Between 1990 and 2000 three more teams claimed multiple wins, as of 2001 the competition was sponsored by Umbro, in the 2007-08 season it was sponsored by Carlsberg. The competition is a tournament with pairings drawn at random. If a match is drawn, there is a replay, usually at the ground of the team played away from home for the first game. Drawn replays are now settled with extra time and penalty shootouts, originally the competition included as many qualifying rounds as were required to reduce the number of teams to 32. In 1999 the format was amended to match that of the FA Cup, with six rounds prior to the semi-final stage, albeit without qualifying rounds. Teams from the Football Conference received byes through the early rounds, as of 2008–09 the competition featured four qualifying rounds and four rounds proper before the semi-finals. The FA pays prize money to all teams win at least one match in the Trophy competition. In the 2014-15 season the prize for the 64 preliminary round winners was £2,500, the final was traditionally held at the original Wembley Stadium, but was moved to Villa Park during Wembleys redevelopment, and a final was also played at West Ham Uniteds Boleyn Ground. In 2007 the final moved to the new Wembley Stadium, Scarborough, Telford United, and Woking share the record for the most victories in the final. In 1985 Wealdstone became the first team to win the Non-League Double of FA Trophy, since then Colchester United in 1992 and Wycombe Wanderers in 1993 have equalled Wealdstones achievement
Hampton & Richmond Borough F.C.
Hampton & Richmond Borough Football Club is an English football club based in the suburb of Hampton, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. They were founded in 1921 and formerly known as Hampton F. C. until 1999 when they changed their name in an attempt to draw a wider support base from around the borough and they currently compete in the National League South, the sixth tier of English football. The club has a support base of around 300 to 400 people. Hamptons early years were spent in the Kingston & District and the South West Middlesex Leagues, although twice winning the Kingston & District title in the early 1930s the club never managed to capture the South West Middlesex League title during their 26-year stay. In 1959, Hampton entered the football ranks as members of the Surrey Senior League. In 1964 they won the championship and stepped up into the Spartan League where they enjoyed seven seasons of unparalleled success, the club captured the Spartan League title four times in 1965,1966,1967 and 1970 as well as finishing runners-up in 1968. They never finished outside the top four places during their stay, in 1971 they were elected to the Second Division of the Athenian League. After narrowly missing promotion in their first season, Hampton finished runners-up to Ruislip Manor in 1973, by this time, though, the Beavers had already been elected to the newly formed Second Division of the Isthmian League. The club were to remain in Division Two of the Isthmian League until 1990, worse was to follow as the two regionalised Second Divisions were split in 1991 to form a Second and Third set-up. The Beavers found themselves one place below the line and were relegated to the Third Division for the 1991–92 season. Although missing automatic promotion by one place, the club was promoted at the Isthmian AGM to fill a vacancy in the Second Division, Hampton started 1998–99 in the Premier Division – now the top tier of Isthmian League football. In 1999–00, they became the first winners of the George Ruffell Memorial Shield and they remained in the Premier Division until 2002–03, which led to relegation and a return to Division One. In the summer of 2003, the club invited experienced manager Alan Devonshire, Alan signed as manager and had the task of winning promotion back to the Premier Division, this was achieved on the last day of his first season in charge with a 3–0 win at Leatherhead. On 28 April 2007, Hampton & Richmond Borough were promoted as champions of the league to the Conference South after a 4–2 victory over Slough Town. The crowd of nearly 1,100 witnessed an epic match in which Hampton led 2–1 until a late Slough goal looked to have given the championship to promotion rivals, Bromley. This would have forced Hampton into 2nd place, meaning that they would have had to compete in the competition for promotion. Hampton & Richmond Borough quickly established themselves in the Conference South in the tier of English football. In 2007–08 they finished in 3rd position in the league, reaching the final which was narrowly lost to Eastbourne Borough
Billericay Town F.C.
Billericay Town Football Club is a semi-professional football club based in Billericay, Essex, England. They are currently members of the Isthmian League Premier Division and play at New Lodge and they are the second most successful club in FA Vase history, having won the competition on three occasions. Established as Billericay in 1880, the joined the Romford & District League in 1890. They also started playing in the Mid-Essex League, winning Division Two in 1912–13 and they remained in the Mid-Essex League until joining the Southern Essex Combination League in 1947. In 1946 they adopted their current name, in 1966 the club were founder members of the Essex Olympian League. The 1969–70 season saw them win the league and League Cup double, following their back-to-back titles, the club became founder members of the Essex Senior League in 1971, finishing as runners-up in its first season and winning the title in 1972–73. After finishing as runners-up again, the club won league titles in 1974–75. The latter season saw them reach the final of the FA Vase and beat Stamford 1–0 at Wembley. Although they only finished third in 1976–77, they retained the FA Vase, in 1977 the club switched to the Athenian League, which they won at the first attempt. The following season saw them move up to Division Two of the Isthmian League, they won at the first attempt. Billericay remained in the Premier Division until being relegated to Division One at the end of the 1985–86 season and this began a spell as a yo-yo club, as they were relegated to Division Two North at the end of the 1988–89 season. The 1997–98 season also saw them reach the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, in 2004–05 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup again, losing 1–0 at home to Stevenage Borough. They also finished as Premier Division runners-up, qualifying for the promotion play-offs, however, they were beaten 2–0 at home by Leyton in the semi-finals. In 2007–08 they qualified for the first round of the FA Cup again, in 2010–11 Billericay won the Essex Senior Cup for a second time, beating Aveley 2–0 in the final. The following season saw the win the Premier Division, earning promotion to the Conference South. However, they were relegated back to the Isthmian League the following season after finishing second-from-bottom of the Conference South, as of 2 March 2017 Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, Billericay Town played at Archer Hall on Laindon Road until moving to New Lodge in 1971
South London derby
It is sometimes more specifically called the South East London derby when played between Charlton and Millwall. The close geographical proximity of the teams contributes significantly to the rivalry, Charlton Athletic and Millwall are located in South East London, with Millwalls The Den and Charltons The Valley being less than four miles apart. Crystal Palace are based further south in the suburb of South Norwood, their stadium Selhurst Park still being only six miles from The Den, AFC Wimbledon play at Kingsmeadow, which is eight miles west of Selhurst Park,11 from The Den and 15 from The Valley. The fixture between the teams has been contested over 300 times and the dates back to 1906. Often competing in the division, the two teams have contested the most derby games, over 130. Charlton entered the Football League in 1921, competing at the level as their counterparts for the first time. Wimbledon became a Football League club in 1977 and contested their first derby in 1980, in 2003 Wimbledon were relocated to Milton Keynes and reformed as Milton Keynes Dons. A new team founded by supporters against the move in 2002, AFC Wimbledon played their first derby in 2009, a cup game against Millwall. According to a survey conducted in 2012, Charlton fans regard Crystal Palace as their main rival, Palace fans regard Brighton & Hove Albion to be their main rival, with Millwall placing second and Charlton third. Millwalls main rival is West Ham United, with Palace placing second, Millwall were founded in 1885, some 20 years before Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace, who were both founded in 1905. Soon after Crystal Palace were formed, they joined the Southern Football League, the two teams played against each other for ten seasons in this league. Up until that point the most successful team based in South London was Woolwich Arsenal, Charlton Athletics early years were somewhat hindered by the presence of Woolwich Arsenal, who were the closest team in locality and were well supported. Charlton spent the first years of their playing in non-professional leagues. Eventually, Woolwich Arsenal moved to North London, losing the Woolwich from their name, the same year Charlton adopted senior status. They became a team in 1920, joining the Southern League. Wimbledon became a Football League club five decades later in the 1977–78 season, there have been two occasions where all four South London teams have played in the same league together. In the 1985–86 season, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Millwall, Charlton finished 2nd and Wimbledon 3rd, both being automatically promoted. Palace finished 5th and Millwall 9th, the 1989–90 season signifies the only time all four teams competed in the First Division together, the top tier of English football
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
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
Hendon Football Club is an English semi-professional football club based in West Hendon in the London Borough of Brent. The club is competing in the Ryman Isthmian Football League Premier Division. After three seasons ground-sharing at Harrow Borough F. C. ’s Earlsmead Stadium in South Harrow, Hendon began season 2016-17 at a new stadium, Silver Jubilee Park in West Hendon. Prior to the founding of the present club, there was a club with the same name which appeared in the FA Cup between 1877 and 1887. One of the clubs players, Charles Plumpton Wilson made two appearances for England in 1884. At the start of the 1909–10 season the club were renamed Hampstead Town and they also won Division Two at the first attempt, earning promotion to the First Division, which they won in 1911–12. The club then joined the London League and Middlesex League, before being elected to the Athenian League in 1914, however, the 1914–15 season was postponed due to World War I. In 1926 the club was renamed Hampstead, before becoming Golders Green in 1933, in 1946 the club adopted its current name. In 1952–53 the club won its first Athenian League title, in 1954–55 they reached the final of the FA Amateur Cup, losing 2–0 to Bishop Auckland. They went on to win the Athenian League title again in 1955–56, a third Athenian League title was achieved in 1960–61. In 1963 the club switched to the Isthmian League, and have remained in the division since. In 1964–65 the club won the Isthmian League and Amateur Cup double and they reached the final of the Cup again the following season, but lost 3–1 to Wealdstone. After winning their third Amateur Cup with a 2–0 win against Enfield in 1971–72, the following season they reached the third round of the FA Cup, where they drew Newcastle United. After holding Newcastle to a 1–1 draw at St James Park, in 1975–76 the club defeated a Football League club for the first time, beating Reading 1–0 in the first round, before losing to Swindon Town in the second round. At the end of the 2005–06 season the finished in the relegation zone. In 2008–09 the club left its Claremont Road ground, initially groundsharing at nearby non-League clubs, over the summer of 2010, the club was bought out by the Hendon FC Supporters Trust, an Industrial and Provident Society. Until 26 September 2009, Hendon played in the suburb of Cricklewood, within the London Borough of Barnet, at a ground known by the local road name. The ground was opened on 18 September 1926 before an FA Cup tie with Berkhamsted
Kingsmeadow is an association football stadium in the area of Norbiton, Kingston upon Thames, London, which is used for the home matches of both AFC Wimbledon and Kingstonian. It has a capacity of 4,850 with 2,265 seats, the freehold of the site is owned by Kingston Council. The idea is the takings from that first fixture should cover Kingstonians rent, Kingsmeadow comprises the following stands, John Green Stand – a newly built, covered behind-the-goal all-seater stand with 1,000 seats. It was first sponsored by Nong Shim Ltd, south Koreas largest processed food manufacturer, whose UK head office is based locally in New Malden. The rebuilding of the stand increased the capacity to approximately 4,850. It was renamed the John Green Stand for the 2015 season after the American bestselling author, before the start of the 2015/2016 season the club installed a camera gantry above the stand in order to get different angles for replays to be shown on Dons Player. Paul Strank Stand – the all-seater main stand with 1,265 seats, the main stand was extended during the 2008–09 season, adding additional seats and also extending the roof to provide better protection from rain. It was also renamed the Paul Strank Stand at this time, Paul Strank is a supporter and major benefactor of AFC Wimbledon, hence it was named in his honour. RyGas Stand – is a partially covered shallow terrace along the length of the pitch, AFC Wimbledon are about to commence a feasibility study regarding the best way to upgrade this area of the ground, which must meet football league standards by May 2014. Due to AFC Wimbledons desire to move to a stadium in Wimbledon in the medium to long term and this stand also holds the camera gantry at the stadium as well as the scoreboard. Chemflow End – a covered behind-the-goal deep terrace and its original name came from the Kingston Athletics Centre which sits directly behind the stand. For the 2013–14 season the stand was renamed the EcoHouse End in a new deal with EcoHouse Group. As of October 2012, the stadium has a capacity of 4,850 and it originally was designated to have a 6,299 capacity before modern safety requirements and ground improvements required the capacity to be reduced. Kingstonians highest attendance at Kingsmeadow was 4,582 v Chelsea on 22 July 1995, AFC Wimbledons highest attendance at Kingsmeadow was 4,870 against Accrington Stanley on 14 May 2016 which set the record attendance at Kingsmeadow. The stadium has been the home of Kingstonian since 1989, when built the entire complex on the site following the sale of their traditional Richmond Road ground. Kingstonian opened the ground with a friendly against Queens Park Rangers, following relegation from the Conference, Kingstonian went into financial administration and both the club and ground were purchased by Rajesh Khosla and his son Anup. Much of Kingstonians support were alienated as there was a perception that the Khoslas were business men first rather than football oriented, after one season as tenants of the Khoslas, AFC Wimbledon undertook to buy the leasehold to the ground. The clubs owners, the Dons Trust, launched a share issue to finance the purchase, the club subsequently arranged for a commercial loan to clear the remaining debt to the Khoslas
The Isthmian League is a regional mens football league covering London, East and South East England featuring mostly semi-professional clubs. It is sponsored by Ryman, and therefore known as the Ryman League. It was founded in 1905 by amateur clubs in the London area and it now consists of 72 teams in three divisions, the Premier Division above its two feeder divisions, Division One North and Division One South. Together with the Southern League and the Northern Premier League, it forms the seventh and eighth levels of the English football league system and it has various regional feeder leagues and the league as a whole is a feeder league mainly to the National League South. Before the Isthmian League was formed, there were no leagues in which amateur clubs could compete, therefore, a meeting took place between representatives of Casuals, Civil Service, Clapton, Ealing Association, Ilford and London Caledonians to discuss the creation of a strong amateur league. All the clubs supported the idea and the Isthmian League was born on 8 March 1905, membership to the league was through invitation only. The league was strongly dedicated to amateurism, the champions did not even receive a trophy or medals, teams less able to compete financially thus gravitated to it rather than the Southern League, while those with ambition and money would move in the opposite direction. By 1922 the league had fourteen clubs and over the five decades, only a few new members were admitted. Most new Isthmian League members joined from the Athenian League, which was dedicated to amateurism. The league began to admit professionalism in the 1970s, a second division of sixteen clubs was formed in 1973 and a third division followed in 1977. The reward of promotion into the Conference means that, since 1985, the Athenian League disbanded in 1984 when the Isthmian League Second Division split into North and South Divisions. These were restructured again to Second and Third Divisions in 1991, in 2002, the league was restructured again, with the First and Second Divisions merging to become Division One North and Division One South, and the Third Division being renamed as Division Two. In 2004, The Football Association pushed through a restructuring of the non-league National League System. The Isthmian League was reduced back down to three divisions, and its boundaries were changed to remove the overlap with the Southern League, in 2006, further reorganisation saw a reversion to two regional Division Ones and the disbandment of Division Two. This current plan calls for clubs based on the edges of the Isthmian Leagues territory to transfer to, One team, Clapton, had been ever-present in the Isthmian League since its foundation, but they moved to the Essex Senior League for the 2006–07 season. Dulwich Hamlet, who joined the league in 1907, are currently its longest serving member, for the 1973–74 season, the Second Division was added. For the 1977–78 season, the Premier Division was added, for the 1984–85 season, the Second Division was reorganised into North and South regions. For the 1991–92 season, the regional Second Divisions were merged, at the end of the 1994–95 season, Enfield were denied promotion to the Conference
National League South
The National League South, formerly Conference South, is one of the second divisions of the National League in England, taking its place immediately below the top division National League. Along with National League North it is at the level of the National League System. It was introduced in 2004 as part of a restructuring of the National League System. The champion team each year is promoted to the National League. A second promotion place goes to the winners of play-offs of the finishing in second place to fifth place. The three bottom clubs are relegated to Step 3 leagues, from the start of the 2015–16 season, the league is known as the National League South. The current champions are Sutton United, who finished 6 points ahead of second place, the current member club for the 2016–17 season are as follows, The stadiums of all teams in the league for the 2016–17 season are listed below in capacity order, ** Not promoted. In 2004–05 only three places were available to the Conference National. The third place was decided in a Playoff at Stokes Britannia Stadium, which Eastbourne lost 2–1 to the Conference North Playoff winners, Altrincham
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