Western Football League
The Western Football League is a football league in South West England, covering Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, western Dorset, parts of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. The leagues current main sponsor is Toolstation, so it is known as the Toolstation League. The champion club may apply for promotion to a Step 4 league, below the Western League are four local leagues covering smaller areas, the Gloucestershire County League, the Somerset County League, the Dorset Premier League and the Wiltshire League. The South West Peninsula League Premier Division is also a feeder to the Western League but due to having Step 6 status, Premier Division, Division One, The league was formed in 1892 as the Bristol & District League, and became the Western League in 1895. In the years before World War II, many teams played in both the Southern and Western Leagues, the Western League was considered as secondary to the Southern League. On four occasions, member clubs have lifted the FA Vase, Tiverton Town twice, Taunton Town once and most recently Truro City, totton in 2007 at the first final to be held at the new Wembley Stadium before a competition record crowd of 27,754. Truro City were the one of the three to win the FA Vase while in Division One, while none are current members of the Western League. Bedminster | Clevedon | Clifton Association | Eastville Rovers | Mangotsfield | St. George | Trowbridge Town | Warmley | Wells Official Site Western League -Fixtures, Results and Tables
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
Larkhall Athletic F.C.
Larkhall Athletic Football Club are a football club based in Larkhall, in Bath, Somerset, England. From 2014–15 they have playing in the Southern Football League Division One South & West. The club is affiliated to the Somerset County FA, the club was founded in 1914, and played local football until joining the Western League when it expanded to two divisions in 1976. They won promotion to the Western Football League Premier Division from the First Division for the first time in 2008–09 as champions and they had previously won the Division One title in the 1988–89 season but remained in Division One. In 2010–11, in only their second season at Premier level. They remained in the Premier Division for the 2011–12 season however, in 2014 they won the Western League double and progressed to the Southern League for the first time in club history. The Larks best FA Vase runs before the 2008–09 saw them reach the Second Round on three occasions, in the 2011–12 season, the surpassed their 2008–09 season by reaching the Fifth Round, but lost to Herne Bay. They equalled this feat in 2012–13, losing in the round to the eventual finalists Tunbridge Wells, and in 2013–14. Larkhall Athletic play their games at Plain Ham, Charlcombe Lane, Larkhall, Bath. The Larks also run a side, who play in the Somerset County League
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
Bradford Town F.C.
Bradford Town Football Club are a football club based in Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire, England. They are currently members of the Western League Premier Division and play at the Bradford on Avon Sports, Bradford Town FC was formed by Les Stevens and his wife Pat in 1992. In the 1993-94 season they gained promotion to the Wilts County Premier League and they then started to ground share with Trowbridge Town at the old Frome Road ground in Trowbridge until moving to their present ground in Bradford on Avon in 1996. In their first season they finished 10th but slipped to 17th & 13th in the two years. 2008-09 also saw the installation of the Clubs floodlights officially switched on by Steve Phillips of Bristol Rovers and we then had our best season to date finishing 3rd in the league after challenging for promotion. Season 2009-10 saw the installation of another stand complete with seating for 100, the team reached the second round proper of the FA Vase losing out to Wellington in a very close game. After a blip in mid season following the result of losing prolific goal scorer Matt Minis to Frome Town, 2010-11 Season saw the team finish 6th and 2011-12 Season finishing 5th in the league. Season 2012-13 saw Paul Shanley added Ali Belcher to his management team and this season saw the management team guide the team to 3rd, where with fewer injuries and silly loses may have seen us in with a shout of promotion, which just eluded us. Early exits from both the FA Cup and the FA Vase were a disappointment and Paul hoped that we could improve on this for the season 2013-2014, the 2013-2014 Season saw the club focus on the first team, following the disbandment of the Reserve Team. Manager Paul Shanley also picked up the Div.1 Manager of the Year award, the team were runners up in the Wilts Senior Cup losing out to Melksham Town on penalties after an exciting final at Chippenham Towns ground in front of a 500+ crowd. The FA Cup was disappointing as we went out in the first game, 2014-2015, our first season in the Premiership was a very good one for the most part. We progressed to the 3rd round of the stages of the FA Cup. We were even more successful in the FA Vase where we got through 6 rounds before missing out on the finals having been beaten by Highworth Town 2-1. We made it to the finals of the Les Phillips Cup. Most of the season saw us in contention with the top three but we fell away badly at the end of the season, injuries, suspensions and poor play saw us finish the season in 8th place. 2015-2016 saw us finish in 8th place once again in the league. We progressed to the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup getting knocked out by Chippenham Town in front of a crowd of nearly 400 & reaching the 4th round of the FA Vase losing out to Hartley Wintney. After 8 years at the helm Paul Shanley decided to step down as manager, 2016-2017 starts with a new management team of Danny Greaves former assistant manager of Bristol Manor Farm, assisted by former fans favourite Aaron Wilson
Barnstaple Town F.C.
Barnstaple Town Football Club is a football club based in Barnstaple, Devon, England. They are currently members of Division One South & West of the Southern League, the club was established in 1904 as Pilton Yeo Vale, and were founder members of the North Devon League in the same year. They played in the leagues first match, hosting Ilfracombe on 1 October, however, that was to be the only defeat all season in the league and club went on to win the inaugural league title. At the end of the season they adopted their current name, after winning a second North Devon league title in 1908–09, they club switched to the Exeter & District League, where they remained until World War I. After the war returned to the North Devon League, before rejoining the Exeter & District League. They won the title in 1946–47 and were runners-up the following season. In 1949–50 Barnstaple won Division Two, earning promotion to Division One, in 1951–52 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 5–2 to Folkestone in a replay. The club were champions in 1952–53, and reached the first round of the FA Cup again in 1954–55. They reached the first round of the FA Cup for a time in 1959–60. The league was reduced to a division in 1960. The league expanded back to two divisions in 1976, with Barnstaple placed in the Premier Division, in 1979–80 they won their second Western League title, and finished as runners-up in the following two seasons. After finishing second-from bottom in 1990–91, Barnstaple were relegated to Division One, three seasons later they won Division One, earning promotion back to the Premier Division. They remained in the Premier Division until being relegated again at the end of the 2012–13 season, however, they made an immediate return to the top division after winning Division One in 2014–15. The following season saw the finish as runners-up in the Premier Division. The club play their games at Mill Road in Barnstaple. It has a capacity of 5,000, of which 250 is seated and 1,000 covered. C, players Barnstaple Town F. C. managers Official website
Wells City F.C.
Wells City F. C. are a football club based in Wells, Somerset, England. The club is affiliated to the Somerset County FA and they are currently members of the Western League Premier Division and play at the Athletic Ground. They joined the Western League Division Two in 1929 and won the Western League title in 1950, declining performances culminated in relegation to the second division after the 1956–57 season and after three seasons in the Western League Division Two, Wells City left the league. Wells rejoined the Somerset Senior League in 1960–61 with the competing in the Mid-Somerset Football League. Wells finished 6th in their first season back in the Somerset Senior League, the side finished very much in mid-table until 1965–66 when they were third behind Street and Welton Rovers Reserves. They were runners-up behind Paulton Rovers in 1971–72, relegation from the Premier Division to Division occurred at the end of the 1977–78 season with promotion to the top section being gained at the end of 1979–80. Promotion back again was a time in arriving, not until 1994 would Wells City grace the top flight of Somerset football. Soon the yo-yo effect happened once more with relegation at the end of 1997–98 followed by bouncing back up in 1998–99. The club maintained a Premier Division place until promotion back to the Western Football League Division One in 2008, Wells City would finally reclaim the Somerset Senior Cup in 2006–07, defeating Burnham United 2–1 at Weston-super-Mare. Wells Citys first season back in the Western League saw them finish a respectable finish in 10th place. On 24 April 2010 Wells City earned promotion to the Premier Division of the Western Football League after finishing 1st and they were however relegated back to Division One in 2013. Wells City play their games at the Athletic Ground, Rowdens Road, Wells
Hengrove Athletic F.C.
Hengrove Athletic Football Club are a football club which is based in the Bristol suburb of Hengrove. They are currently members of the Western League Division One and play at Norton Lane, the club is affiliated to the Somerset County FA. The club was founded in 1948 by ex-members of Christchurch Hengrove Boys Club playing at school pitches until moving to their current base at Norton Lane in 1964, the club played in the Bristol & Suburban League before the first team progressed to the Somerset County League in 1974. Their reserves play in the Somerset County League and their team plays in the Bristol & Suburban League. During the 1980s, the played in the FA Vase for seven seasons. The 2012–13 season saw the club promotion to the Premier division of the Western league when they finished as runners up behind Sherborne Town in Division One. They were relegated back to Division One at the end of the 2013-14 season, Hengrove Athletic play their home games at Norton Lane, Whitchurch, Bristol, BS14 0BT