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
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
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
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