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
Bostik is an international adhesives company. The company was created as Bostik Findley in 2001 after the merger of Bostik and Ato Findley, following the merger of their parent companies, Total Fina, in 2015 Bostik was sold to Arkema from Total for a reported €1.71 billion. The owner of the Bostik brand began as the Boston Blacking Company, founded in 1889 in Chelsea, in 1929 the company was bought by the United Shoe Machinery Company. The Bostik brand name was first registered in the USA in 1930, in 1950 the company became the B. B. Chemical Co. and then Bostik, Inc and it then merged with Emhart Manufacturing in 1975, and Emhart was purchased by Black & Decker Corporation in 1989. Black & Decker then sold the Bostik businesses to Total in 1990, Bostik, Inc. then merged with Ato Findley, Inc. to become Bostik Findley, Inc. in 2001. In 2004, Bostik Findley changed its name back to Bostik, on February 2,2015, Arkema announced its acquisition of Bostik. Early in its history, Boston Blacking acquired a number of subsidiaries, such as the Boston Blacking Company, Ltd. in Leicester. By 1940 this had become known as the B. B, chemical Co. and by 1966 as Bostik Ltd. On 9 December 2005, Bostik Ltd. in the UK acquired Laybond Group for $21million, Laybond Ltd employs 120 people on a site near Chester, manufacturing adhesives and coatings supplied to builders merchants and flooring and roofing distributors in the UK, Ireland and export markets. The product portfolio includes water and solvent-based adhesives, cementitious powders, grab adhesives, Laybond holds leading UK positions in the grab adhesives segment with the Gripfill brand and in the flooring and roofing segments with the Laybond brand. On 16 January 2006 Bostik Ltd. acquired Biscem, on 13 July 2006 Bostik Ltd acquired Sealocrete PLA. Sealocrete PLA employed 64 people and manufactures and sells adhesives and coatings for the builders merchants, Sealocrete PLAs product portfolio includes tiling adhesives, cementitious powders, paints, sealants and bitumen-based weatherproofing products. The majority of products are manufactured in the companys factory in Stafford. On 3 September 2006, the relocation of products to Bostiks own sites caused job losses at Laybond, the Biscem site was also shut down, moving all products to Bostik Leicester, as was the Sealocrete site as products moved to Bostik Stafford. Between 2006 and 2010 the Chester site was decommissioned, some staff were reassigned to other departments at Bostik Stafford. In July 2010, the Chester site was completely decommission and all remaining equipment was moved to Bostik Stafford, Bostik is among the four top adhesives and sealants producers in the world. Bostik employs over 5,000 workers in 50 countries and five continents, Bostik has well recognized name in industrial markets
Hereford Football Club is an English association football club from the city of Hereford. They were founded in 2014 as a club for Hereford United. The club is affiliated to the Herefordshire County Football Association, the club currently plays in the Southern League South and West, in the eighth tier of the English football league system. They entered the pyramid before the 2015–16 season, and won the Midland Football League Premier Division. Following the winding up of Hereford United on 19 December 2014, a press release followed on 24 December, outlining plans to let HUST members decide on the clubs kits and crest. The press release stated that HUSTs stake would be more than this. The clubs official website went live on 29 December and added further names to the group, with Phil Eynon, George Webb and Hugh Brooks being mentioned on the clubs homepage. The website stated that once the club was organised, the Hereford United Supporters Trust chairman, Chris Williams. In an FAQ released on 13 January, it was revealed that Hale would be the clubs chairman and it was confirmed at an open meeting two days later that Brooks would be the clubs finance director, Webb would be the commercial director and Eynon would be governance director. On 20 and 21 January, HUST members voted in favour of the proposal from the Hale group, on 10 February, HUST confirmed that the Hereford FC bid had been the only approach submitted to them. Two weeks later, Herefordshire Council confirmed that the club had secured a lease for the citys Edgar Street stadium. On 27 February, the announced that it was taking applications for the position of club manager. Forty-two people applied for the position and on 17 April 2015, on 14 May 2015, the FA confirmed that Hereford would compete in the Midland Football League Premier Division for the clubs first season. As a consequence, this meant that the club were entered into the FA Vase, the first game, a pre-season friendly, took place away at Malvern Town on 7 July 2015, a 3–2 victory for Hereford, in front of a record crowd for the hosts. On 10 December 2015, while in first place in the league, Hereford broke their attendance record again in the FA Vase semi-final first leg against Salisbury on 12 March. Hereford won 1–0 in front of a crowd of 4,683. On 25 April, Hereford clinched the title following a 4–0 away win at Coventry Sphinx and were subsequently promoted to the Southern League South. A week later, the picked up their second trophy
Slough Town F.C.
Slough Town Football Club is an English semi-professional football club. The club was founded in 1890 after the amalgamation of three local clubs, Swifts, Slough Albion and Young Mens Friendly Society, who between them forged a new club, Slough F. C. The club is a senior football club representing Slough, England. Nicknamed The Rebels, the team plays in the Southern Football League Premier Division. In 1921 it attempted to join the Isthmian League but lost out to Wycombe Wanderers in the voting, instead Slough chose to join the Spartan League. In 1936 the owners of the ground, The Dolphin Stadium, sold up to a greyhound racing consortium. After being forced to groundshare with Maidenhead United for several years, the new club took the name Slough United F. C. After The Second World War Slough Utd was reluctant to rejoin the Spartan League and led a movement to form a new league. It was from this that the club derived its nickname of The Rebels, the Rebels were champions of this league on three occasions, with the third win earning promotion to the Isthmian League in 1973. During the 1980s they were champions on two occasions, the second of which brought promotion to the Football Conference. Slough lasted four seasons at this level, were relegated back to the Isthmian League, bounced back at the first attempt, in the 2004–05 season, Slough knocked Walsall of Football League One out of the FA Cup. Slough transferred over to the Southern Football League Division One South & West for the 2007–08 season, although initially relegated, they were one of the teams given a provisional reprieve after Halifax Town went into administration. In the season of 2004–05 Slough Town beat Walsall to reach the 2nd round of the FA Cup however they then lost to Yeading, over the next two seasons, and now playing in the Southern Football League Division One Midlands, Sloughs performance continued to improve. In the 2009–10 season, Slough Town finish 5th in the table, having beaten second-placed Hitchin Town 2–1 in the play-off semi-final, Slough lost 4–0 to Chesham United in the final, meaning they had to remain in the same division for the 2010–11 season. Once again they finished 5th in the 2010–11 season, but lost to Hitchin Town in the play-off semi-final 4–1. The club looked to take a new direction in 2013–14 and appointed Neil Baker and Jon Underwood, with Godalming forced to relocate to the South & West Division following their failure to win the play-offs, the majority of their squad decided to follow Baker and Underwood to Slough. In their very first season, the new management team steered the club to promotion via the play-offs. Slough claimed a 3-0 victory at Rugby Town in the semi-final before winning the final against Kettering Town in front of 2,331 at Kettering’s temporary home of Latimer Park on 5 May 2014
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
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
Chesham United F.C.
Chesham United Football Club is a football club in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England. Nicknamed the Generals, they are members of the Southern League Premier Division. The club was established in 1917 by a merger of Chesham Town, the new club joined the Spartan League in 1919, which the Generals had been members of prior to World War I. They won back-to-back league titles in 1921–22 and 1922–23, and were again in 1924–25. League reorganisation in 1928 saw them placed in Division One West, however, the following season saw them placed in the Premier Division after further reorganisation, and they were league runners-up in 1929–30, before going on to win the league in 1932–33. During World War II they played in the Great Western Combination, when the league resumed after the war, Chesham were placed in the Western Division of the Spartan League for the 1945–46 season. The league was reduced to a division for the 1946–47 season. In 1966–67 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, the following season saw them reach the final of the FA Amateur Cup, losing 1–0 to Leytonstone at Wembley Stadium. Another FA Cup first round appearance in 1968–69 ended with a 5–0 defeat at Colchester United, in 1973 Chesham switched to Division Two of the Isthmian League, which was renamed Division One in 1977. They reached the FA Cup first round again in 1976–77, losing 2–0 at Brentford, a fifth appearance in the first round in 1982–83 resulted in a 1–0 defeat by Yeovil Town. The club were relegated to Division Two North at the end of the 1985–86 season, the 1990–91 season saw Chesham win Division One, earning promotion to the Premier Division. They went on to win the Premier Division in 1992–93, but were denied promotion to the Football Conference due to their failing to meet the necessary criteria. The club were relegated back to Division One at the end of the 1994–95 season, although they did reach the FA Cup first round. However, they returned to the Premier Division after winning Division One in 1996–97, Chesham finished bottom of the Southern League Premier Division in 2005–06, resulting in relegation to Division One South & West. After one season in the division they were transferred to Division One Midlands, a fifth-place finish in 2008–09 saw them qualify for the promotion play-offs, in which they lost 2–1 to Nuneaton Town in the semi-finals. The club went on to qualify for the Premier Division promotion play-offs in 2011–12, the following season resulted in another play-off qualification, this time losing 2–0 to Hemel Hempstead Town in the semi-finals. The following season saw them reach the first round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1994, in 2016–17, another first round appearance resulted in a 2–1 defeat at Peterborough United. As of 19 November 2016 Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality
Merthyr Town F.C.
Merthyr Town Football Club is a Welsh semi-professional football club based in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. The club will play in the Southern Football League Premier Division, Merthyr Town were founded in 1909 and played in the Football League during the 1920s, but the club folded in 1934 and were replaced by new formed Merthyr Tydfil F. C. in 1945. In 2010, the club reformed again after Merthyr Tydfil FC was liquidated, after finishing third in 1911–12 the club were promoted to the first division, though they were relegated back to the second division in 1913–14. The Southern League did not operate during the First World War, in the summer of 1920 the Football League expanded with the creation of a new Third Division, which was made up entirely of the First Division of the Southern League from the previous season. Despite having finished bottom in season before, usually a relegation place. In their first season in the Football League, the club had a better season. This, however, proved to be their most successful league season, from then on the club declined further, and finished bottom of the Third Division in 1924–5. Although they finished 14th in 1925–6, in the seasons the club finished 17th, 21st, 20th and then bottom again. They were replaced by the ill-fated Thames, during their penultimate season in the Football League the club had their best season in the FA Cup, getting past the first round for the only time, before losing to Watford in the second round. The club dropped back into the Southern League, but lasted four seasons. In 2010, Merthyr Tydfil F. C. of the Southern Football League Premier Division were liquidated despite finishing the 2009–10 season 17th of 22 clubs. The club was reformed under the name of Merthyr Town and consequently were required to drop three divisions to begin the 2010–11 season in the Western Football League Division One. The club was forced to switch grounds, and left Penydarren Park to take Rhiw Dda’r. In their first season they won Division One and were promoted to the Western League Premier Division, the newly promoted club once again called Penydarren Park home. Their first match back at their ground was a 1–9 defeat to Welsh Premier League side Llanelli in a pre-season friendly in July 2011. However Merthyr went on to secure a consecutive championship and with it promotion to the Southern League. On 6 April 2015, Merthyr Town were promoted back to the Southern League Premier Division only five years after being expelled, the club is fully owned by the supporters trust. As of 02 February 2017 Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality
Gosport Borough F.C.
Gosport Borough Football Club is a semi-professional football club based in Gosport, Hampshire, England. The club is affiliated to the Hampshire Football Association, and is a FA Charter Standard Community Club and they currently compete in the National League South, the sixth tier of English football. Gosport Borough Athletic Club were founded in 1944 in an initiative to bring back organised football, athletics, in their first season, the football section of the Club won the Portsmouth and District League Division One under the guidance of former Southampton player, Stan Cribb. The line-up at that time included Jimmy Scoular and Peter Harris, for their second season, the Club were accepted into the Hampshire League and won the Division One title at their first attempt. This feat was not repeated for thirty-one seasons, despite the club being a force in Hampshire football during that period. In the teams first four seasons they never finished outside the top four, two years later Gosport lost their Premier Division status and were relegated to the Southern Division. However, the season saw the team bounce straight back after an incredible run of sixteen wins in their final nineteen matches. Boro still needed to win the match to be certain of promotion and, in front of a home crowd in excess of 1,500. In the 1987–88 season the team were again threatened with relegation. However, a run in the Hampshire Senior Cup that took the all the way to the final – played at The Dell, home of then-Premier League club Southampton. Victory over favourites Farnborough in the final was followed by a run of results in the league – lifting the team out of trouble to remain in the Premier Division. The club enjoyed their highest ever finish in the 1988–89 season, unfortunately, a mass exodus of players and a change in the management saw the team relegated to the Southern Division the following season, before a further relegation to the Wessex League in 1992. Following relegation the Chairman at the time, Ian Hay, appointed Roger Sherwood as manager, although Boro had three good seasons under Sherwood, the Wessex League Cup in 1992–93 was, in his first season in charge, his only major success. In 1997, Boro approached Gomer Football Club, a youth club. Nevertheless, Boros position in the Wessex League continued to deteriorate, dave Pitt and Barry Cook resigned in October 1999 after a particularly difficult start to the 1999–2000 season. John Hawes became Chairman of the club, but resigned from position after one year to return to his coaching role. During this period, Ian Hay restructured the clubs finances and implemented a new and relatively unique Trustee Scheme, dave Taviner, another former player, took over as caretaker manager until former reserve team manager Mick Marsh was appointed as the new first team manager in December 1999. At the start of the 2000–01 season, Vice-Chairman John Stimpson was elected to the Chairmanship of the club and he immediately agreed with Marsh that the club should continue to develop young local players and also look to include a mix of more experienced players in the first team