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
National League System
The National League System comprises the seven levels of the English football league system immediately below the level of the Premier League and the English Football League. It contains 84 league competitions and more than 1,600 clubs and it comes under the jurisdiction of The Football Association. The National League System has a format with promotion and relegation between leagues at different levels. For details of leagues above and below the National League System, the system underwent a rearrangement from 2004 to 2008. Phase one went into operation in 2004–05, at the start of the 2006–07 season, phase two was introduced, and a further phase three started from 2007–08 with the starting of a second Step 4 league in the north of England. At the top of the National League System pyramid is the National League and its top division, also called the National League, is the only division in the System which is organised on a national rather than regional basis. Although the National League is the top level of the non-league pyramid, below the National League, the layers have progressively more leagues and cover ever smaller geographical areas. Some leagues have more than one division, at the lower levels the existence of leagues becomes intermittent, although in some areas there are as many as twenty layers. All the leagues are bound together by the principle of promotion and relegation, clubs that are successful in their league can rise higher in the pyramid, whilst those that finish at the bottom can find themselves sinking further down. In theory it is possible for a local amateur club to rise to the pinnacle of the English game and become champions of the Premier League. While this may be unlikely in practice, there certainly is significant movement within the pyramid, in particular, clubs that hope to be promoted from Step 5 leagues to Step 4 must apply in advance to be assessed for whether they meet the grading requirements. The teams must then also finish in the top 3 in their league to be considered for promotion, which is not automatic. For instance, in the 2005–06 season 100 clubs applied to be considered for promotion, of which 51 met the grading requirements, under the direction of The Football Association, the National League System evolved over many years. Todays pyramid can be said to be twenty years old. Leagues have formed and dissolved over the years and reorganisations have taken every few years as a result. The Conference North and South have since renamed the National League North and South. This table includes the seven steps of the National League System, above the NLS are the Premier League and the English Football League. Two teams from the National League can be promoted to EFL League Two at the end of each season and this structure was the result of changes made after the 2005–06 season
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
Northern Premier League
The Northern Premier League is one of the regional football leagues in England which sits directly below the National League featuring semi-professional and amateur clubs. Geographically, the covers all of Northern England, and the northern areas of the Midlands. Originally just one division, a division was added in 1987. This new division was split twenty years later into Division One North, together with the Southern League and the Isthmian League it forms level 7–8 of the English football league system. It is, however, also possible for teams to be promoted to the National League South. Due to title sponsorship deals, the league has been billed under various names, including a spell as the Unibond League. When this deal ended in 2010, a new deal was announced which will see the competition billed as the Evo-Stik League until at least the 2015–16 season. At that time they were the highest level non-League division below The Football League, the level as the other league in Northern England. From 1992–93 to 1994–95 the Leagues Division One included two clubs, Caernarfon Town from Wales and Gretna from Scotland, who have since joined their countries league systems. Colwyn Bay, Bangor City, Newtown, and Rhyl have also played in the league, the first sponsors of the NPL were Multipart who sponsored the 1985–86 season. The sponsors after this were, HFS Loans, Unibond and Evo-Stik, since 2007, the NPL has had three divisions, the Premier Division, Division One North and Division One South. Prior to 2007 there was just a single Division One, the Premier Division has 24 clubs, with the champions promoted to the National League along with the winners of a playoff between the second to fifth place clubs. From the 2009–10 season, Division One North and South have 22 clubs each, in each division, the champions are promoted to the Premier Division, along with the winners of a playoff between the second to fifth place clubs. The bottom two clubs in each division are relegated to one of the leagues below provided there are enough suitable promotion candidates from those leagues. The champions of the three feeder leagues covering the NPL area are promoted each season and these are the Northern League, the Northern Counties East League, and the North West Counties League. Clubs in the extremities of the Midland League and the United Counties League may also be promoted to the Northern Premier League. Division One North and South teams receive a bye to the Preliminary Round of FA Cup Qualification, Premier Division teams receive a bye to the First Round of Qualification. The league has two knockout competitions, all clubs in the three leagues play in the Challenge Cup
AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Rushden & Diamonds is an English football club based in Northamptonshire. They played their season at Kiln Park, the home of Raunds Town. The club was formed in July 2011 by supporters after Rushden & Diamonds, at an open meeting chaired by a supporters group called SaveRDFC, a mandate was agreed upon to create a phoenix club, fully owned and controlled by its supporters. A team was created and accepted into the Northants Senior Youth League for the 2011–12 season, for the 2013–14 season, an Under-21 team was added, which plays in the Midland Football Combination Under-21 division. The original Rushden & Diamonds was formed on 21 April 1992, following the merger of Irthlingborough Diamonds, the clubs early years were marked by success. Within four seasons the club had reached the Conference National, however, following their promotion to Division Two the Diamonds fortunes took a turn for the worse. The club were relegated twice in three years, and suffered instability off the field, seven different managers took charge of the team between March 2004 and May 2011, while the club itself was controlled by four different parties during the same period. Following a period of sustained financial difficulties during the 2010–11 season, the club were expelled from the Conference at the end of the campaign, and entered administration that July. Following an open meeting, supporters voted to play their games for the 2011–12 season at Kiln Park, Raunds. On 18 July 2011 the club announced the appointment of former Rushden & Diamonds head of youth development Mark Starmer as their first manager, on 22 July 2011, AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18s were accepted into the Northants Senior Youth League for the 2011–12 season. With no senior side registered in time for the 2011–12 season, AFC R&D played their first official match in a 3–0 loss to Raunds Town in a friendly youth match played on 6 August 2011, attended by 350 supporters. The Diamonds played their first competitive game on 25 August 2011, running out comfortable 3–0 winners against Daventry Town in the Northants Senior Youth League, watched by 467 supporters. On 9 October 2011, the club won its first ever competitive cup match, throughout the season much was done to integrate AFC R&D into the local footballing community. Deals were struck with St Neots Town, South Rushden Junior Football Club, Raunds Town, on 24 March 2012, Mark Starmer was announced as First Team Manager for the 2012–13 season. The club ended the campaign in a respectable mid-table position. The first season of existence for AFC Rushden & Diamonds also ended in cup success, winning the NSYL Knock-Out Cup at Steel Park, in the final Diamonds beat AFC Kempston Rovers 4–1, securing their first piece of silverware ahead of a 479-strong crowd. Ex-Rushden & Diamonds player Andy Peaks was appointed as First Team Assistant Manager on 5 May 2012. A senior side was registered to play in the United Counties Football League Division One for the 2012–13 season, playing its games at the Dog and Duck
Alvechurch Football Club is English association football club based in Alvechurch, near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, currently playing in the Midland League Premier Division. They are affiliated with the Worcestershire County Football Association, Alvechurch F. C. was founded in 1929 and played in the local park prior to a move to Lye Meadow. In November 1993 they folded, but a group of supporters resurrected the club under the name Alvechurch Villa in 1994, the name changed back to Alvechurch in 1996. Alvechurch reached the 1st round of the FA Cup in 1971–72 after five replays in their 4th round qualifying tie with Oxford City, the tie lasted eleven hours making it longest in the history of the FA Cup. The scores were 2–2, 1–1, 1–1, 0–0, 0–0 and 1–0 to Alvechurch and this tie was included in the Guinness Book of Records – now never to be beaten after the advent of penalty shoot-outs at the end of the first replay. Two years later the club achieved their best ever result in the FA Cup and this tie was the first FA Cup tie to be played on a Sunday. Specific Club website Info from RSSSF Info from The Pyramid
Bedworth United F.C.
Bedworth United Football Club is a football club based in Bedworth, Warwickshire, England. They are currently members of the Northern Premier League Division One South, the first club from which the modern Bedworth United traces its lineage was Bedworth Town, established in 1895. In 1898 they were members of the Nuneaton & District League. The name Bedworth Town was resurrected in 1905 when Bedworth Evening Combination School of the Coventry & North Warwickshire League changed their name, however, they folded in the early 1920s. The name was restored to use again in 1925 when Collycroft United (founded 1916, in 1936 they joined the Central Amateur League, but played in the league for only one season. Following World War II, a new Bedworth Town club was established in 1947 and they joined the Birmingham Combination, finishing third in their first season, before winning back-to-back titles in 1948–49 and 1949–50. In 1954 the club moved up to the Northern Division of the Birmingham & District League, in 1962 the league was renamed the West Midlands League. After several seasons struggling in the league, finishing bottom in 1959–60, however, a replacement club was formed under the name Bedworth United, which took over from Town in the West Midlands League. In 1972 the club moved up to Division One North of the Southern League, a sixth-place finish in 1981–82 was enough to earn a place in the new Premier Division in 1982. In 1988–89 they finished bottom of the division and were relegated to Division One Midlands, in 2006 they were transferred to Division One Midlands, which became Division One Central in 2010. A third-place finish in 2011–12 saw the club qualify for the promotion play-offs, after beating Uxbridge 2–1 in the semi-final, they defeated Beaconsfield SYCOB 3–1 in the final to earn promotion to the Premier Division. However, the season saw them finish second-bottom of the table, resulting in relegation. They were transferred back to Division One Central of the Southern League in 2014, a 2–1 win over Aylesbury in the semi-finals and then a 2–0 victory against Barton Rovers in the final saw them promoted back to the Southern Leagues Premier Division. However, the season saw them relegated again, again to Division One South of the Northern Premier League. Between 1911 and 1939 the club played at the British Queen Ground and it has a capacity of 3,000, of which 300 is seated and covered. C. Players Bedworth United F. C. managers Official website
Tamworth Football Club is an English football club based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. The club were formed in 1933 after the previous Tamworth club, Tamworth Castle and they originally played at The Jolly Sailor Ground but after a year moved into The Lamb Ground. Local rivals include Burton Albion and Nuneaton Town, and to a lesser degree Atherstone Town, Bedworth United, the team are currently managed by Andy Morrell, and the current club captain is Paul Green. The town of Tamworth had been represented at football by Tamworth Castle F. C. until the club folded in 1933. This void was filled thanks to a campaign started by a letter from a businessman in the local newspaper setting in motion the formation of Tamworth F. C. Originally playing next to the Jolly Sailor pub, the moved to their present ground, The Lamb Ground. Tamworth began life competing in the Birmingham Combination, before joining the West Midlands League,1972 saw Tamworth promoted to the Southern League, but a period of falling attendances and financial difficulties followed. The club returned to the West Midlands League, and it was taken over by a consortium of businessmen in 1984. In 1987–88 Tamworth won the League and were promoted back to the Southern League, Tamworth, managed by Graham Smith, won the FA Vase in 1989, beating Sudbury Town. The final was played at Wembley Stadium, but the game finished 1–1, the replay was played at London Road, the home of Peterborough United, and Tamworth won 3–0 to lift the FA Vase for the first time. Tamworth won promotion to the Football Conference in 2002–03 after winning the Southern League in 2001–02 and that year, Tamworth earned a 3–3 draw on the final day at Folkestone Invicta while Kettering Town won, passing Tamworth for first place and winning promotion to the Football Conference. Tamworth also reached the final of the FA Trophy in 2002–03 season where they played Burscough but were denied a double, losing 2–1. The club completed perhaps their highest profile signing of all time on 23 February 2006, with the capture of former Arsenal, Aston Villa, Walsall and English national midfielder Paul Merson. However, the arrangement meant that until the end of the season, the arrangement however only lasted two games, although Merson only played once in the 2–1 home loss to Halifax Town. Merson was dropped to the bench for the game, which was a 5–0 defeat away to Grays Athletic. Merson later announced his retirement from football as a player on 9 March 2006. Although the club finished the 2005–06 season in 21st position, in the Conference National, the Lambs did, however, reach the 3rd round of the FA Cup for the first time that season
Leiston Football Club is an English football club based in Leiston, Suffolk. The club are members of the Isthmian League Premier Division as of the 2016-17 season. They reached the final of the Suffolk Senior Cup in 1892,1897 and 1904, losing on each occasion, in 1894 they joined the North Suffolk League, which they played in until 1909. In 1900 they also joined the Ipswich & District League and were champions in their first three seasons, in 1904 they transferred to the South East Anglian League, but left in 1907 before rejoining in 1911. Between 1912 and 1914 they also played in the Ipswich & District League, after World War I the club was reformed as Leiston Works Athletic and rejoined the Ipswich & District League and the East Anglian League. In 1920 they left the EAL and joined the Essex & Suffolk Border League, at the end of the 1920–21 season they left both the IDL and ESBL to join the Norfolk & Suffolk League before rejoining the IDL in 1926. After finishing bottom of the table in 1934–35 they were reformed as Leiston and they won all seventeen league matches in 1937–38 and were promoted to Division One after defeating Division 2A winners Manningtree Rovers in a play-off. In 1948 they rejoined the Norfolk & Suffolk League, but transferred back to the Ipswich & District League in 1953, after finishing bottom of the Senior Division in 1981–82 they were relegated, and the following season finished below local side Leiston St Margarets. However, they did win the Junior Cup, retaining it in 1983–84 when they won the Division One title and were promoted back to the Senior Division. They then spent several years as a yo yo club as they were relegated in 1988–89, promoted back in 1989–90, relegated again in 1991–92, after finishing third in 2000–01 they stepped up to Division One of the Eastern Counties League. In 2003–04, they finished third, and were promoted to the Premier Division, in the same season they beat Brentwood Town on penalties to win the East Anglian Cup. In the 2008–09 season the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time after beating Conference club Lewes 3–1 in a replay, in the first round, the club was drawn at home to Conference North club Fleetwood Town. After drawing 0–0 in front of a crowd of 1,250. In 2010–11 Leiston won the Eastern Counties League Premier Division, earning promotion to Division One North of the Isthmian League, in 2011–12 Leiston won the Isthmian League Division One North, achieving back-to-back promotions, moving up to the Isthmian League Premier Division. Leiston initially played at the old Recreation Ground, today known as Park Hill, in 1921 they moved to their current ground on Victory Road, then known as the Leiston Works Athletic Association, after Garretts bought the ground. It was later renamed the Leiston Town Athletic Association
Lowestoft Town F.C.
Lowestoft Town Football Club is an English semi-professional football club from Lowestoft, Suffolk. The club was formed in 1887 by the merger of East Suffolk and their home ground is the Crown Meadow, and their home colours is all blue with white trims. The club currently compete in the Isthmian League Premier Division as of the 2016-17 season, the club was established in 1887 as Lowestoft F. C. by a merger of East Suffolk and the original Kirkley, and were renamed Lowestoft Town in 1890. They reached the final of the FA Amateur Cup in 1900, losing the final 5–1 to Bishop Auckland, in the 1926-27 season they reached the first round of the FA Cup the first time, losing 10–1 at Watford. They won the Norfolk & Suffolk League again in 1928–29 and 1930–31, in 1935 the club merged with another incarnation of Kirkley, and joined the new Eastern Counties League. They shared the first championship with Harwich & Parkeston, before winning it outright in 1937–38, the following season they won the League Cup with a 4–1 win over Colchester Town reserves, and also reached the first round of the FA Cup losing 6–0 at Swindon Town. They won the League Cup again in 1955, and after turning semi-professional in 1962, dominated the league during the 1960s, winning the championship in 1962–63 and finishing runners-up in 1963–64. They then won four championships, before finishing second in 1968–69. They also reached the first round of the FA Cup in 1966–67, losing 2–1 at home to Orient, and again the following season, when they lost 1–0 at home to Watford. They won the league again in 2005–06, and in 2008 reached the final of the FA Vase, where they lost 2–1 to Kirkham & Wesham. The following season won the Premier Division of the Eastern Counties League again, together with the Suffolk Premier Cup. They won the league at the first attempt to earn promotion to the Premier Division, also reaching the first round of the FA Cup, in their first season in the Premier Division they finished fourth and reached the play-off final, where they lost 4–3 at Tonbridge Angels. In 2011–12 the club reached the final again after finishing third. The club also reached the final of the Suffolk Premier Cup, in 2012–13 Lowestoft reached the play-off final for the third consecutive season after finishing as runners-up, this time losing 2–1 at home to Concord Rangers. After finishing fourth the season, the club finally earned promotion to the Football Conference North. The Lowestoft Town Reserves team play in the Reserves Premier Division section of the Eastern Counties League after joining the league in the 2012-13 season, the team finished their first season in 7th position. Lowestoft Towns club colours are all blue with white strips and the second choice kit, usually when away from home, is all white with blue. The club badge is the town crest of Lowestoft, Lowestoft originally played at the Crown Meadow Athletics Ground, which shared part of the same site as the modern Crown Meadow
Needham Market F.C.
Needham Market Football Club is an English football club based in Needham Market, Suffolk. The club are members of the Isthmian League Premier Division as of the 2016-17 season. Although records show the existence of a Needham Market Football Club during the late 1890s and they later moved to Crowley Park, and joined the Suffolk & Ipswich League, winning Division Two in 1946–47 and Division One in 1952–53. They won the League Cup in 1978 and again in 1980, the Suffolk Junior Cup was won in 1985, and the Suffolk Senior Cup in 1990. In 1995–96 the club won the Senior Division, and were promoted to Division One of the Eastern Counties League, the club finished runners-up in 2004–05 and were promoted to the Premier Division, winning the Senior Cup in the same season. A new record crowd of 750 was set for a Suffolk Premier Cup match against Ipswich Town reserves during the 2006–07 season, in which they also won the East Anglian Cup. The following season the club won the Suffolk Premier Cup and the League Cup, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the FA Vase, a new record attendance of 1,375 was set during the home leg. In 2009–10 the club won the Premier Division of the Eastern Counties League, in their first season in Division One, Needham finished as runners-up, but lost 3–1 at home to Brentwood Town in the play-off semi-finals. The following season the finished third and reached the play-off final. In 2014-15, they won Division One North and were promoted to the Isthmian League Premier Division for the first time, in 2013 the clubs reserve team joined Division One of the Eastern Counties League
Barwell Football Club is a football club based in Barwell, near Hinckley in Leicestershire. They are currently members of the Northern Premier League Premier Division, in 1994 Barwell were founder members of the Midland Alliance, and went on to win the League Cup in 2005–06, beating Leamington 3–1 in the final. After finishing as runners-up in 2008–09, they won the league the following season and their first season in the division saw them win the title, earning promotion to step three of the National League System. Instead of playing in the Northern Premier Leagues Premier Division, the club were moved to the Premier Division of the Southern League, however, two seasons later, they were transferred back to the Northern Premier League. In 2015–16 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, the club play at Kirkby Road in Barwell. The sports complex also incorporates bowling facilities and a cricket pitch, floodlights were installed prior to the 1992–93 season, and a number of seats were obtained from the old main stand at Leicester Citys Filbert Street ground. A new covered stand to accommodate five hundred spectators was built prior to the 1996–97 season, towards the end of the 2000–01 season, a new 256 seater cantilever stand was erected, and the club have made further improvements to allow them to progress up the pyramid. The ground currently has a capacity of 2,500, of which 256 is seated and 750 covered. C, players Barwell F. C. managers Official website
Coalville Town F.C.
Coalville Town Football Club is a football club based in Coalville, Leicestershire, England. They are currently members of the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the club was established as Ravenstone Miners Athletic in 1926, and were based in the village of Ravenstone. They played in the Coalville & District Amateur League, winning the title five times. In 1958 the club were renamed Ravenstone, and in 1975 they joined the North Leicestershire League and they won the league in 1988–89 and 1989–90, and were promoted to Division One of the Leicestershire Senior League in 1991. In 1995 the club moved to nearby Coalville after being unable to upgrade their Ravenslea ground, in 1996–97 they finished second in Division One and were promoted to the Premier Division. The club adopted their current name in 1998 and they won back-to-back Premier Division titles in 2001–02 and 2002–03, after which they were promoted to the Midland Alliance. In 2004–05 the club entered the FA Cup for the first time and they were league runners-up in 2009–10, and the following season saw them reach the final of the FA Vase, losing 3–2 to Whitley Bay at Wembley Stadium. They also won the Midland Alliance, scoring 153 goals in the process, in 2012–13 Coalville won the Westerby Cup, beating Loughborough Dynamo 2–1 in the final at the King Power Stadium. They were also Division One South runners-up and qualified for the promotion play-offs, however, they lost 2–1 to Chasetown in the semi-finals. The following season saw them finish as runners-up again, however, they lost the play-off semi-final against Mickleover Sports. In 2015–16 they qualified for the play-offs again, after beating Basford United 5–0 in the semi-finals, they defeated Shaw Lane 3–1 to earn promotion to the Premier Division. When based in Ravenstone, the played at Ravenslea. However, after the council refused the club permission to erect floodlights. Floodlights were installed at the new ground in 1996, the ground is currently also known as the Mander Cruickshank Solicitors Stadium for sponsorship purposes, and has a capacity of 2,000, of which 240 is seated and covered. C
Halesowen Town F.C.
Halesowen Town Football Club is an English association football club formed in 1873, that play in Halesowen and as of 2014 are playing in the Northern Premier League Premier Division. The team is nicknamed The Yeltz, Halesowen Town FC was formed in 1873, making it one of the oldest clubs in the Midlands, and initially played in the Birmingham Combination. In 1946, it joined the Birmingham and District League and was champions in its very first season, the 1960s saw it consistently finish high in the league, but by contrast the 1970s saw it struggle, finishing bottom of the table twice. The 1983 final saw the club lose 1–0 to VS Rugby, in 1983, the club also beat Heybridge Swifts in the final of the Thorn EMI six-a-side tournament at the Alexandra Stadium and won a £20,000 set of floodlights for their ground. The early 1990 were dominated by players leaving to join clubs, including Dean Spink, Stuart Cash, Andy Pearce, Tim Clarke, Sean Flynn. For its first eight seasons at this level Halesowen never finished outside the top 10, including being beaten to promotion by Rushden. Financial difficulties, however, led to a slump which culminated in relegation in 2001, although Halesowen bounced back in style, winning the Western Division championship at a canter, the club was relegated once again in 2003. The club failed to return to two of the non-league pyramid the following season, finishing fourth and missing out on the new Conference North. The club appointed the former Walsall and Birmingham City captain Martin OConnor as manager in late 2006, Halesowen came close to gaining promotion in 2006–07, losing to Hitchin Town in the last game of the season, which meant missing the playoffs. In October 2007, the club was sold to an owner who brought in former Kettering FC manager Morell Maison. On October 18, former Manchester United and Aston Villa manager Ron Atkinson was appointed as a consultant to the new manager, in autumn 2009, insolvency experts Marshman Price were appointed as the clubs administrators. The team enjoyed a successful start to the 2009–10 season after receiving a 10-point deduction for entering administration. Brendan Phillips left the club and the rose to fifth position by the turn of the new year. Shaun Cunnington appointed Paul Tomlinson as his assistant manager and made staying up his top priority, according to the clubs records, it has played at The Grove since its formation in 1873. The ground was originally a cricket pitch and was therefore a three sided stadium, in the 1930s, a small wooden stand was constructed along the perimeter of the James Grove Button Factory. During the 1950s, the Old Hawne Lane end was constructed along with changing rooms, during this time players had to change in the Waggon and Horses public house on Stourbridge Road. In the 1980s, the three sided ground was converted to four with the addition of the uncovered terracing along the Recreation Park side of the ground. In 1987, the 420 seater Harry Rudge Stand was completed on the site of the 1930s vintage wooden cover, the stand was extended in 1998 and again in 2000
Rushall Olympic F.C.
Rushall Olympic Football Club are an English football club based in Rushall, a former mining village now forming part of the northern suburbs of Walsall. They play in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the club joined the Cannock & District League in 1895, finishing as runners-up in their first season and later joined the Junior, Amateur, Parks and Senior sections of the Walsall & District League. During the inter-war years the team won a number of local honours, at this time the team comprised mainly local colliery workers and played on a field behind the Miners Arms pub in Rushall and changed in the pub itself. However, some prior to World War II the club disbanded. In 1951, a group of young men decided to reform the club. They approached the proprietor of a fish and chip shop for permission to use his premises as their headquarters. Following promotion to the First Division, the club won four titles between 1960 and 1965. In 1975, in a bid to gain a higher league status, meanwhile, the club obtained the lease on some land in Daw End, Rushall, and the new Dales Lane ground was officially opened on Sunday 14 August 1977. The club were accepted into the West Midlands League in 1978, the club enjoyed fourteen seasons of moderate success in the Premier Division, with a highest finish of fifth place achieved in season 1988–89. In 1994 the Pics became founder members of the new Midland Football Alliance, after finishing in second place in both 2000–01 and 2002–03, the Pics finally claimed the league title in 2004–05 and with it promotion to the Southern League Division One West. They were then transferred to the Southern League Division One Midlands for the 2006–07 season where they stayed for two years, qualifying for the playoffs in their last season by finishing 5th and they were also unsuccessful in achieving promotion this time. A 2–0 victory over Grantham Town in the final saw Rushall Olympic to reach Northern Premier League Premier Division, the first season at this higher level saw Rushall Olympic finish 8th in the league. They reached the final of three cup competitions, the cup, the Staffordshire Senior Cup and the Walsall Senior Cup which they retained. Rushall also equalled their best ever performance in the FA Cup reaching the fourth qualifying round where they suffered a defeat at the hands of Stourbridge. In 2012–13 Rushall made their debut in the first round proper of the FA Trophy having qualified with victories over Woodford United, Chasetown and their reward was a trip to Wrexham where they suffered a defeat against a team that went on to win the final of the competition. In the League Rushall again were on the verge of the play offs finishing in 6th position, in 2013–14 Rushall Olympic made the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup before losing out at Grimsby Town. Rushall eventually finished in 7th place in the league narrowly missing out on the play offs, however, there were two cup final appearances. The Pics lost out in the final of the Walsall Senior Cup, at the end of the season the club amicably parted company with manager of five years Neil Kitching
Stourbridge Football Club is an English association football club based in the town of Stourbridge, West Midlands. The club currently plays in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the club was founded in 1876 and was originally known as Stourbridge Standard. The 1923–24 season was one of the best in the history, as they clinched the Birmingham League championship. The club returned to the Birmingham League in 1954 on the disbanding of the Birmingham Combination and were runners-up in 1955–56. The Birmingham Senior Cup was won for a time in 1958–59. Twin strikers Ray Haywood and Chic Bates each notched 50 goals that season and were transferred to Shrewsbury Town, where Bates served 13 years as both player and manager. Another highlight in 1973–74 was a run in the Welsh Cup. A record crowd of 5,726 saw the Glassboys lose the home leg 1–0, Stourbridge were one of the first English semi-professional clubs to tour the South East of the USA in the early Eighties. In 2000 a new owner came to the club, and swiftly appointed Mark Serrell as chairman, along with FA Qualified coach and ex-Birmingham City player Mark Harrison as manager. Despite an influx of new players, continued poor results meant Stourbridges 29-year spell at Southern League level ended with defeat in the last game of the season at Hinckley United in May 2000. With many players moving on, the new management team had to rebuild the side from scratch, the following season saw a memorable run in the FA Vase, culminating in a quarter-final defeat at A. F. C. Sudbury in the quarter-final before finally succumbing to a 4–1 defeat after extra time, in May 2005 Hackett took sole charge of the team after Ford decided to step down due to work and family commitments. After a poor start, a run of 14 league games unbeaten was enough to clinch a runners-up spot and with it promotion back to the Southern League. Victories over Burton Albion and Moor Green also saw the team reach the Birmingham Senior Cup Final for the first time in 30 years, Stourbridges first season back in the Southern League Midlands Division in 2006–07 saw them finish in seventh place. The 2007–08 season saw Stourbridge seal a third-place finish in the Midlands Division to reach the play-offs, however Stourbridge once again suffered heartbreak in the final as Hednesford Town defeated the Glassboys 2–0 at Burton Albions Pirelli Stadium. In the 2009–10 season, Stourbridge reached the FA Cup first round for the first time in their 133-year history and were drawn at home to Walsall, the game ended in a 1–0 defeat for Stourbridge in front of 2,014 fans. In the 2011–12 season, the club won their way through four qualifying rounds to reach the first round of the FA Cup. They were drawn away to League Two side Plymouth Argyle where they drew 3–3 at Home Park to earn themselves a replay, the replay at the War Memorial Ground was chosen for live coverage by ESPN, netting the club over £33,000
Biggleswade Town F.C.
Biggleswade Town Football Club is a football club based in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, England. The club are members of the Southern League Premier Division. The club were established in 1874 as Biggleswade, later becoming known as Biggleswade & District, in 1902 they were founder members of the Biggleswade and District League, and were its first champions, also winning the Bedfordshire Senior Cup that year. The club went on to win the league twice more before World War I, in 1920 the club joined the Northamptonshire League, which became the United Counties League in 1934, and won the Bedfordshire Premier Cup in 1922–23 and 1927–28. After World War II the club adopted its current name and joined the Spartan League in 1945 and they returned to the UCL in 1951, before switching to the Eastern Counties League in 1955. During their time in the ECL they set the record for biggest away win with a 12–0 victory over Newmarket Town, in 1963 they returned to the UCL due to the increasing transport costs. In 1975–76 they finished bottom of the Premier Division, and were relegated to Division One, in 1980 they joined the Premier Division of the South Midlands League. They were relegated to Division One in 1983, but were promoted back to the Premier Division in 1987, when the Spartan and South Midlands leagues merged to form the Spartan South Midlands League in 1997 the club were placed in the Premier Division North. The following season they were placed in the Senior Division, in 2007–08 they won the Bedfordshire Premier Cup for a third time, beating Luton Town 3–2 in the final. The following season won the league title, earning promotion to Division One Midlands of the Southern League. In 2010 the division was renamed Division One Central, and the 2010–11 season saw Biggleswade finish fourth, qualifying for the promotion play-offs and losing 2–0 to Daventry Town in the semi-finals. In 2012–13 they finished fourth again, and in the subsequently play-offs they beat Godalming Town 2–1 in the semi-finals, in 2014–15 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 4–1 at Stourbridge. The club originally played at the Fairfield Road ground, which was shared with a cricket club. A wooden stand was erected in the 1920s, and for years had an Anderson shelter on either side. Floodlights were installed in 1989, and the stand was demolished after being condemned in the 1990s. In 2006 the club left Fairfield Road and groundshared with Bedford United & Valerio whilst a new ground was built on Langford Road. The Carlsberg Stadium was opened for the start of the 2008–09 season, the ground has a capacity of 3,000, of which 300 is seated. C
Kettering Town F.C.
Kettering Town Football Club is an English football club originating in Kettering, Northamptonshire but currently based in the town of Burton Latimer. The club participates in the Southern League Premier Division, the tier of English football. Kettering Town were originally formed in 1872, turning professional in 1891, the club graduated through twelve different leagues from 1892 until they became founding members of the Alliance Premier League in 1979. The club maintained its status in the top flight of football until the 2000–01 season. Many honours have found their way to Rockingham Road, winning the Midland Football League title in 1896 and 1900, the Southern League Championship was won on three occasions by the club, in 1928 and 1957 under Tommy Lawton and in 1973 under the guidance of Ron Atkinson. In the 1930s the club won the East Midlands League and in 1948 the Poppies became Birmingham League Champions, during the 1970s, Kettering Town sought election to the Football League, coming five votes short of election in 1974. The deal was brokered by chief executive and manager Derek Dougan, four days later, The Football Association ordered the club to remove the slogan, but Dougan changed the words on the shirts to Kettering T, and claimed that the T stood for Town. Nonetheless, the FA ordered the club to remove the words, shirt sponsorship was eventually permitted within the English game in 1977, although the ban on shirt sponsors in televised games wasnt lifted until 1983. Kettering are also the first ever British team to have their initials on their grounds floodlights, the club finished runners-up in the Football Conference in 1981,1989,1994 and 1998. The GMAC Cup was won in 1987 and the Poppies were runners-up in 1995, County competitions have been won regularly by Kettering Town, with the Northants Senior Cup won on 28 occasions and the Maunsell Cup 13 times. The FA Cup has brought success and publicity to Rockingham Road with the first round proper being reached on 41 occasions. During the 1994–95 season the club made their debut live on Sky TV in a first round tie against Plymouth Argyle, as of 2016 the Poppies had scored more goals than any other team in the FA Cups history, with 870 goals scored in 381 appearances. Wembley has been reached on two occasions before, the Poppies lost 2–0 to Stafford Rangers in the 1979 FA Trophy Final. More recently, the FA Trophy Final in 2000 saw the Poppies lose a closely fought final with Kingstonian 3–2, most recently, the club were narrowly relegated on the last day of the 2000–01 season which ended 30 years in the top flight of non-league football. The following season was a disappointment and the club, rarely out of the bottom three, were again demoted – this time to the Isthmian League. Carl Shutt left the club in April 2003 and Dominic Genovese, after a period as acting manager. After a poor run of results and a disappointing defeat to Boreham Wood in the FA Cup Dominic Genovese was replaced by former Northampton Town manager. Changes to the team were made and the finished the season on a 12-game unbeaten run
St Ives Town F.C.
St. Ives Town F. C. is a football club based in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, England. They play in the Southern League Premier Division and this St Ives Town should not be confused with the Cornwall Combination team playing in St Ives, Cornwall, which is also called St Ives Town F. C. The club is managed by Ricky Marheineke and assisted by Jack Cassidy who both joined from Histon in preparation for the 2014-15 Season, St Ives Town Football Club was formed in 1887. The club briefly played in the United Counties Football League Division Two for two seasons in the early 1950s and they rejoined the United Counties Football League Division One in 1985–86, and gained promotion to the Premier Division in 2004–05 after a third-placed finish. They reached the Fifth Round of the FA Vase in 2007–08, 2008–09 and 2009–10 and they won promotion to the Southern Football League after finishing second in the United Counties League Premier Division in 2012–13. They also produced Conor Washington who now plays at Queens Park Rangers and has several appearances for Northern Ireland. In the 2015–16 season, the club earned promotion to the Southern League Premier Division via the play-offs, FA CupFirst Qualifying Round 2006–07, 2009–10 FA Vase Quarter Finals 2011–12 St Ives Town official website
Stratford Town F.C.
Stratford Town Football Club is a football club based in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, England, currently playing in the Southern Football League. The club was formed in 1941 as Stratford Rangers, changing their name in 1949, after playing in various local leagues they joined the Worcestershire Combination in 1954. In 1957 they switched to the Birmingham and District League, which became the West Midlands League in 1962, in 1975 they took the unusual step of joining the Hellenic League, which does not normally include teams from Warwickshire. After two unsuccessful seasons they rejoined the Midland Combination once again, where remained until becoming founder members of the Midland Football Alliance in 1994. The club entered financial difficulty in 1998 and were reformed to become Stratford Town F. C.1998 and they have reached the third qualifying round of the FA Cup three times, in seasons 2004–05, 2006–07 and 2011–12. The team is managed by Carl Adams, who had previously shared the role with Morton Titterton. After two seasons in the Division One South & West, Stratford Town earned promotion to the Premier Division via the play-offs with a 3–2 win against Larkhall Athletic on 4 May 2015 and they successfully retained their status the following season. Stratford Town moved into The DCS Stadium at Knights Lane, Tiddington in the 2007–08 season and they played their first league match there against Barwell on February 16,2008, losing 1–0 to a Stuart Spencer goal. The record attendance is 1,054 for the Southern League Division One South & West play-off final against Larkhall Athletic in May 2015, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality
Banbury United F.C.
Banbury United Football Club is a football club based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England. They are currently members of the Premier Division of the Southern League, the club was established in 1931 as Spencer Sports Club, a works team of the Spencer Corsets factory. They initially played matches, with their first match against St Johns of the Oxfordshire Junior League played on 29 August 1931. In 1933 they joined the Banbury division of the Oxfordshire Junior League, later in the season they were renamed Banbury Spencer, and went on to win the league title in their first season. They then joined the Oxfordshire Senior League for the 1934–35 season, after winning the league at the first attempt, they were elected to the Birmingham Combination. After World War II the club turned professional, the 1947–48 season saw them finish as runners-up in the Combination and reach the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, where they lost 2–1 at Colchester United. The league was reduced to a division in 1960. The 1961–62 season had seen the club reach the FA Cup first round again, in 1965 the club was renamed Banbury United after a change in ownership, and at the end of the 1965–66 season they transferred to Division One of the Southern League. When Division One was split into two divisions in 1971, the club was placed in Division One North, in 1972–73 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for a third time, this time losing 2–0 at home to Barnet. The following season saw them repeat the feat, this time losing 3–2 at Northampton Town in a replay after a 0–0 draw at home, after winning the Premier Division in 1999–2000, Banbury were promoted to Division One East of the Southern League. An eighth-place finish in 2003–04 was enough to be promoted to the Premier Division after the creation of the Conference North and South led to clubs being moved up a division. The season also saw the win the Oxfordshire Senior Cup. They remained in the Premier Division until the end of the 2014–15 season, in August 2015, a supporter-led Community Benefit Society took formal control of the club. Their first season in Division One South and West saw them finish as runners-up, after beating Winchester City 1–0 in the semi-finals, they defeated Taunton Town 2–0 in the final to earn promotion back to the Premier Division. The club has played at the Spencer Stadium on Station Approach since the start of the 1934–35 season, when the club joined the Southern League in 1966, floodlights were installed and a new clubhouse was built to replace the railway carriages that the club had used for changing rooms. Financial problems led to the deteriorating, and the main stand was closed in 1985 before being demolished in 1990. A new stand was built on the touchline in the summer of 2000. Both ends of the ground had uncovered terracing installed, with the other touchline having terracing along half its length, the ground currently has a capacity of 6,500, of which 250 is seated and covered. C
Royston Town F.C.
Royston Town Football Club are an English football club based in Royston, Hertfordshire, England, and have played their home games at Garden Walk since 1932. Founded in 1875, they are the second oldest club in Hertfordshire behind Hitchin Town and they reached the Fifth Round of the FA Vase in season 2009–10 for the first time in their history and the Third Qualifying Round in the FA Cup in 1998–99. They won the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division in 2011–12, the current first team manager is former St Albans City boss Steve Castle who arrived at the club in 2013. The 2014-15 season was a successful one finishing 2nd in the league, however Royston lost to Barton Rovers 5-4 on penalties and their promotion dreams were ended. During the summer, Royston started to rebuild by bringing in the likes of Rhys Hoenes, Lewis Donovan, Ryan Towner, a poor first few games in the new season came before an incredible run which included a 7-1 hammering of North Greenford United. Royston beat Great Wakering Rovers 3-0 in the round of the FA Trophy. Goals from Rhys Hoenes, The club-captain Scott Bridges and Ryan Towner, Royston Town, known as The Crows were formed in 1875 and are the second oldest club in Hertfordshire. One of the first traces of the club was in October 1875 when Royston visited Saffron Walden, the game was played at Saffron Walden common. This game was re-lived in October 1975 to celebrate the Essex Clubs centenary year, after the First World War the club entered the Buntingford & District League and in 1921, when the Club was affiliated to the Cambs F. A. they won the Creake Shield. The clubs first major honour came in guise of the Herts County Premier League title in 1969–70 and they repeated the feat in 1972–73, in 1978 they rejoined the South Midlands League and won the Division One title at the first time of asking. Success continued with a Cup Final appearance in the Herts Charity Shield for the first time in 1979, the Herts Charity Shield was won in 1981–82 and two years later the club joined the Isthmian League Division Two North were they remained for six years. One of the legacies of their spell in the Isthmian League is the stand at Garden Walk, erected in 1984, it replaced an earlier timber structure and is constructed largely from brick with a sloping metal roof supported by ten posts. The official seated capacity is 300, although this is largely on benches, in 1990 the club lifted the Herts Charity Shield again with a 1–0 defeat of Pirton. However, after a start to the following season, the club dropped from 6th place to 16th. As a result, were relegated to Division Three where they remained until resigning from the Isthmian League at the end of the 1993–94 season despite finishing 8th spot. The club had never been well supported and were instructed to construct a new stand behind the dugouts opposite the existing stand at an estimated £20,000. Rather than comply with the ruling, Royston resigned from the Isthmian League after ten seasons and it was during this season that the club achieved its highest official attendance of 876 with the visit of Aldershot Town. The following season saw a 6th-place finish and the departure of Tony Galvin, Paddy Butcher took over as player/manager having returned to the club from Ware
Hitchin Town F.C.
Hitchin Town Football Club is an English semi-professional football club based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. They will compete in the Southern Football Leagues Premier Division for the 2016–17 season and their most recent league honour has been the Southern League Division One Central, finishing play-off winners in 2010–11, their second season in the competition. The original Hitchin club, Hitchin F. C. were formed in 1865, the club took part in the inaugural FA Cup competition in 1871–72, reaching the quarter-finals before losing to runners-up Royal Engineers. In 1905, Hitchin defeated Chelsea 3–2 to become the first away team to win at Stamford Bridge, Hitchin turned professional during the early years of the 20th century, but following financial difficulties and a fire at their ground, the club folded in 1911. Hitchin Town F. C. were formed in 1928, the club colours were settled as yellow and blue, replacing the old clubs white and magenta — green replaced blue after only a few seasons. The new club were admitted to the Spartan League, and their first season, 1928–29, was a success — Hitchin won the Herts Charity Shield, promotion to the top flight of the Spartan League was won in 1930–31 and Hitchin won the AFA Senior Cup a year later. Reg Smith, a future England player, led Hitchin to the Spartan League championship in 1934–35 before moving on to Millwall a year later. The club moved from the Spartan League to the Athenian League for the 1939–40 season, the Athenian League returned for 1945–46, and Hitchin finished 10th out of 14 clubs. The next season saw an improvement to sixth, but Hitchin did not achieve a higher than mid-table until the 1953–54 campaign — Hitchin finished as runners-up. The club reached the quarter-finals of the FA Amateur Cup, two years later, Hitchin beat Wycombe Wanderers 1–0 in the same competition in front of 7,878 spectators, but the club once again failed to progress beyond the quarter-finals. Peter Hammond became the first Hitchin player to represent his country in 1958, former Arsenal player and England international Laurie Scott was appointed manager the same year. Scott worked to bring the club more into line with their professional counterparts. The club met Football League opposition in the FA Cup for the first time during 1958–59, Hitchin travelled to Crystal Palace two years later in the same competition and lost 6–2. Meanwhile, Scott prepared his team for an assault on the Athenian League title, scotts team finished fifth during 1960–61, and lost in the semi-finals of the Cup. Hitchin came sixth the year, and 1962–63 saw another fifth-place finish. The move to the Isthmian League coincided with a time of financial strife at the club, the club finished in the bottom half of the division during their first five seasons in the league, as the club struggled to attract players of a sufficient quality. The club were not helped by corruption behind the scenes — some supposedly amateur players were receiving salaries, and when this emerged and it took some time for the clouds to disperse, and the result was the departure of Scott. The late 1960s saw the arrival of Vince Burgess as manager, led by Burgess, Hitchin finished as Isthmian League runners-up in 1968–69 and won the London Senior Cup a year later
St Neots Town F.C.
St Neots Town Football Club is an English semi-professional football club based in St Neots, Cambridgeshire. The club are members of the Southern Football League Premier Division. Founded in 1879 and known as The Saints, St Neots Town play their matches at Rowley Park stadium. St Neots Town was formed in 1879 when it was known as plain St Neots, the club clinched its first honour when it became inaugural winners of the Huntingdonshire Senior Cup in 1888–89. They went on to win the cup four times before the turn of the century in 1892–93, 1894–95, 1895–96. In the 1901/02 season the Club recorded its first known ‘double’ when it won the Hunts Senior Cup, for the time. During this period played in the Biggleswade & District League. For the 1924–25 season the club was renamed St Neots & District, by 1927 they had joined the Bedfordshire & District League, which later became the South Midlands League in 1929. The South Midlands League title was clinched in 1932–33 and they won the league and league cup double in its first season, but returned to the UCL in 1951. In 1956 they switched again, joining Division One South of the Central Alliance. The following year the club was renamed for the time to its present name St Neots Town F. C. In 1960 they returned to the Metropolitan League and won the Professional Cup in 1964–65, in 1966–67 St Neots enjoyed their best run to date in the FA Cup reaching the first round proper, where they were beaten 2–0 away at Walsall. They went on to win the United Counties League and League Cup double in 1967–68 after rejoining the season earlier, the following season they retained the league cup and also won the Huntingdonshire Senior Cup for the twelfth consecutive season, a record for senior cups in England. In 1969 the club transferred to the Eastern Counties League because it was felt it would be a stronger league, but returned for a fourth spell in the UCL Premier Division in 1973. They were relegated at the end of the 1981–82 season after eight years of moderate success, but made an immediate return the following season after finishing as runners-up in Division One. During the 1987–88 season the owner of their long term home at Shortsands yard sold it to a housing developer, meaning the club had to finish the season on a sub-standard borrowed works pitch. At the end of the 87–88 league season just four places from the bottom of the table the club was forced to disband in order to clear its outstanding debt. After four consecutive titles and a six year absence from senior football and they won Division One at the first attempt and were promoted to the Premier Division, where they would stay for the next 17 years
King's Lynn Town F.C.
Kings Lynn Town Football Club is an English football club based in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. They were founded 2010 after the winding-up of their predecessor, Kings Lynn F. C. and are members of the Southern League Premier Division. Their first season was successful, having managed to reach the FA Vase semi-final, the Norfolk Senior Cup final and they repeated this feat in 2012 and were promoted to the Northern League Division 1 South. On 30 April 2013, they overhauled Coalville Town, who had a 17-point lead at one point, to win the league, Kings Lynn Town returned to the Northern Premier League for the 2013–14 season, the league in which the previous club had folded in 2009. They finished 11th in their first season but struggled in the 2014–15 season, FA restructuring moved the Linnets into the Southern Premier League for the 2015–16 season. The club is affiliated to the Norfolk County FA, the club plays at The Walks, the ground of their predecessor club, located on Tennyson Road. It has a capacity of 5,733, with 1,200 seats in a single stand, prior to the start of the 2010–11 season, new Chairman Keith Buster Chapman and the local Council oversaw a ground improvement programme that brought The Walks up to Conference standard. These included new turnstiles and ticket office, new toilets and perimeter fencing, improvements were also made to the Main Stand including refurbishments to the bar and hospitality lounges, dressing rooms and a new cafe and club shop. The new club retained the blue and gold home colours of the original Kings Lynn F. C. when reforming in 2010. The change strip colours have varied from season to season, the current kit supplier is Joma. The main shirt sponsor is currently Optima Stainless, trophy tie with Carshalton Athletic on 27 October 2012, the first team wore pink shirts in place of the usual blue and gold. After the match, which Kings Lynn won 6-1, the shirts were auctioned off to help raise money for Cancer Research. Lynn recently announced a new deal with Joma. Kings Lynn Town Reserves have enjoyed continued success since the reformation of the club in 2010, having joined the UCL Reserve League Division 2 for the 2010/11 season, they won that league and promotion at the first attempt. This was the first of four titles and promotions in their first four seasons through both United Counties League Reserve divisions and then divisions of the Peterborough & District League. After winning the Peterborough & District League Premier Division title at the end of the 2013/14 season, in June 2015 the club announced the formation of an Under-18s team which was elected to the Thurlow Nunn Youth League for the 2015/16 season. Some of the players from the Under 18s team also featured in games for the Reserves, in March 2016 the club announced that an Under-16s team would be formed in partnership with the Kings Lynn Community Football Elite scheme to attract and develop further young players. Best league position, 1st, Northern Premier League Division One South2012-13 Biggest win, heaviest defeat, 1-6 vs Skelmersdale United
English football league system
There are more than 140 individual leagues, containing more than 480 divisions. As there are no definitions of any level below 11, any references to the structure at level 12. The pyramid for womens football in England runs separately to nine tiers, the Football League was created in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor. It was dominated by clubs who had supported professionalism. The twelve founding members consisted of six from Lancashire and six from the Midlands, no sides from the South including London initially participated. The system consists of a pyramid of leagues, bound together by the principle of promotion and relegation. A certain number of the most successful clubs in each league can rise to a higher league, in addition to sporting performance, promotion is usually contingent on meeting criteria set by the higher league, especially concerning appropriate facilities and finances. In theory it is possible for a local amateur club to rise to the pinnacle of the English game and become champions of the Premier League. While this may be unlikely in practice, there certainly is significant movement within the pyramid, the top five levels contain one division each and are nationwide in scope. Below this, the levels have progressively more leagues, with each covering progressively smaller geographic areas. Many leagues have more than one division, at the lower levels the existence of leagues becomes intermittent, although in some of the more densely populated areas there are leagues more than twenty layers below the Premier League. Clubs from these leagues may, if they feel they meet the standard of play and have suitable facilities. The seven levels immediately below the Premier League and English Football League are known as the National League System, in May 2014 The Football Association announced provisional plans for a new division between the English Football League and the National League which would include B teams of higher level clubs. The English football league system does not include the version of the game often called Sunday league football. These leagues are independent entities with no promotion or relegation involving the football pyramid, however, some Sunday League clubs have been known to join pyramid leagues if they desire to progress higher. There are also some Saturday leagues such as the Lincolnshire League which are not officially part of the pyramid, at the top is the single division of the Premier League, containing 20 clubs, all of which, up to the 2010–11 season, were based in England. Below the Premier League is the English Football League, which is divided into three divisions of 24 clubs each, The Championship, League One and League Two, the 92 clubs in the Premier League and English Football League are all full-time professional clubs. They are often referred to as League clubs because, before the establishment of the Premier League in 1992, clubs outside this group are referred to as non-League clubs, although they too play most of their football in league-type competitions
Redditch United F.C.
Redditch United Football Club is an English football club based in Redditch, Worcestershire. The club participates in the Southern League Premier Division, and play their games at The TRICO Stadium. Redditch Town were established in 1891 and immediately joined the Birmingham Combination, the club achieved its first success by winning the Worcestershire Senior Cup in 1894 and becoming runners-up in 1898. In 1914 they won the Birmingham Combination Championship for the first time and, finally, the 1930s were a much more rewarding period for the club and its supporters, starting by winning the Worcestershire Senior Cup and the Birmingham Senior Cup in successive seasons. Reds almost achieved a double in 1932–33 when, having won the Combination. Apart from an appearance in the Birmingham Senior Cup final just before the World War. In 1953 Redditch regained the Combination Championship and were runners-up in the Worcestershire Senior Cup and this Championship success was repeated in 1955. In 1957 they were runners-up in the Birmingham Senior Cup, in 1971–72 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 6–0 in the replay at Peterborough United after a 1–1 draw at home in front of a crowd of 4,500. At the end of the season they finished sixth in the West Midlands League Premier Division and they won the Worcestershire Senior Cup in 1974 and 1975. The following season they won Division One North and were promoted to the Premier Division, in 1978–79 they finished eighth in the league, and became founder members of the Alliance Premier League. However, they finished bottom in its first season, and dropped into the Southern Leagues Midland Division, after finishing as runners-up in 1985–86, the club were promoted to the Premier Division, where they remained until relegation in 1989. The following season, they reached the first round of the FA Cup, at the end of the season they beat Northwich Victoria 4–3 over the two-legged final of the Staffordshire Senior Cup. In 1997–98 the Reds reached two cup finals, the Southern League Cup and the Birmingham Senior Cup, both were lost, and the cup run caused a large fixture backlog that resulted in the club having to play nine matches in nine days at the end of the season. In 2003–04 the club won the Southern League Western Division, due to league reorganisation caused by the establishment of the Conference North and South, the club entered play-offs to be promoted to the new leagues. After beating Kings Lynn 1–0 and Merthyr Tydfil 3–0, the club were promoted to the Conference North, after a ninth-place finish in 2004–05, Redditch struggled in 2005–06, only avoiding relegation on the final day of the season. After a very difficult 2010–11 campaign in the Conference North, Redditch were relegated to the Southern League Premier Division where they remain currently, on 17 March 2011, businessman Chris Swan took over the club, after a previous attempt to purchase Kidderminster Harriers fell through. This is 5 recent Redditch United seasons for a full history look List of Redditch United F. C. seasons Note, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Players with international caps in bold See Redditch United F. C
Rushden & Higham United F.C.
Rushden & Higham United F. C. is a football club based in Rushden, Northamptonshire, England. They are currently members of the United Counties League Division One, records show that a Higham Town club was formed in 1876 at a meeting held in the Griffin. There was a competing in the Northants League during the 1890s. They joined the Northamptonshire League in 1897, the clubs golden age was however in the 1920s. Re-formed after the end of the war the team started in the Wellingborough and District league in season 1920–21, winning the NFA junior cup. The team won the league at the first attempt together with the NFA senior cup, the league title was retained the following season and the county FAs premier competition, the Maunsell cup was also won, a unique cup treble unlikely ever again to be repeated. That same season saw the club draw at Football League third division north side Chesterfield, 4–4 in the FA Cup. The club were the highest scorers in the FA cup that year, in 1923–24 and 1926–27 the club were runners up in the league and in 1931 and 1933 were senior cup runners up. In 1934 the Maunsell cup was won for the second and to date the last time by a United Counties League side, northampton Town who had beaten First Division leaders Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup earlier in the season being beaten finalists. In 1994–95 the NFA junior cup was won for only the second time, the first team were runners up in the Division Two knock out cup in 1954 whilst the reserves won the division three cup in 1980. More recently the club beat a number of Premier Division sides in the league cup. Rushden Rangers were formed as a football club in 1978. In the short time that they were in existence before the merger they won the NFA lower junior cup as well as being Northants Combination league, founded by Steve Cavender in 1978 who was inspired by watching local lads playing a game of football at Melloway Park. He was General Secretary until 1990, the Rangers started by playing friendlies with only 3 teams coached by Bruce Ogden and Joe Payne. They had expanded to 5 teams by 1990 ranging in age from 11 to 15, players went on to Higham Youth Team at 16. Home games were played at Jubilee Park, Spencer Park and Higham, in 1994 Neil Gant offered the Hayden Road ground to Rushden Rangers when Rushden Town formed with Irthlingborough Diamonds to become Rushden and Diamonds Football Club. With assistance from the Stadia Improvement fund the Hayden road ground was brought up to the required standard, Rushden Rangers continued at youth level for one season before changing their name to Rushden & Higham United as well
Burton Park Wanderers F.C.
Burton Park Wanderers Football is a football club based in Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire, England. They are currently members of the United Counties League Division One, the club was formed in 1961 as Kettering Park Wanderers. They joined Division Two of the United Counties League in 1968, the club adopted their current name in 1973. After finishing second-from-bottom of Division One in 1977–78, they were relegated to Division Two, however, the division was disbanded two years later and they were returned to Division One. In 1988–89 they were Division One runners-up, earning promotion to the Premier Division, Two seasons later they finished bottom of the Premier Division and were relegated back to Division One. Best FA Vase performance, Second round 1974–75 Record attendance,253 vs Rothwell Town, May 1989 Official website
War Memorial Athletic Ground
The War Memorial Athletic Ground, often referred to as simply the War Memorial Ground, is a sports ground in the Amblecote region of Stourbridge, West Midlands, England. It plays host to cricket and football, being the home of Stourbridge Cricket Club and Stourbridge Football Club. Two ICC Trophy matches have been played at the War Memorial Ground, Bermuda v Papua New Guinea in 1979, the ground also hosted a match in the 1997 Triple Crown Tournament, between an England Cricket Board XI and Ireland. Worcestershire County Cricket Club played 61 first-class matches at the ground,60 between 1905 and 1962, and a one in 1981. All these games were in the County Championship, only three List A games have been played here, in 1969,1970 and 1982, again all involving Worcestershire. The county played Second XI cricket at the ground into the early 1990s, on this ground in 1911, Worcestershire lost to Lancashire by 372 runs, which as of the beginning of the 2009 season remains the countys largest ever defeat in terms of runs. C. The ground hosted League One team Walsall in the FA Cup 1st round on 7 November 2009, the match finished in a 0-1 loss for Stourbridge. It also hosted a replay between Stourbridge and Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup on 22 November 2011
The Lamb Ground
The Lamb Ground is a football stadium in the district of Kettlebrook, in Tamworth, Staffordshire, England and the home of Tamworth F. C. It is approximately half a mile south of Tamworth railway station, Tamworth have continued to play at the same site ever since, steadily improving the facilities as the Lambs progressed up the non-league football pyramid. The ground was named after the Lamb Inn, which stood for years at the entrance to what is now the grounds car park. The first known use of the site was as a pig farm at the turn of the 19th century, before Tamworth arrived at the Lamb Ground it is believed that Kettlebrook Oakfield F. C. used the ground. Gillingham were invited to play a friendly fixture to mark the official switch-on of the floodlights owing to the Gills being Tamworths first Football League opposition in the FA Cup. The Main Stand holds 518 while the terraced Shed is home to the Shed Choir which sometimes provide the team with vocal support, however this may have been a smoke screen whilst the team were seriously under performing to try and prevent fans unease at the situation. Club Information - the Lamb Ground