Big South Conference
The Big South Conference is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated with the NCAAs Division I. Originally a non-football conference, the Big South began sponsoring football in 2002 and its football teams are part of the Football Championship Subdivision. Charter members included Armstrong State, Augusta, Campbell University, Baptist College, Coastal Carolina University, Radford University, the expansion of membership occurred during the 1980s and 90s. In that same year, VMI also joined the conference for all sports. Presbyterian College joined the conference in 2007, moving up from Division II, gardner–Webb, which had been a football-only member since 2002, joined the conference for all sports on July 1,2008. Campbell rejoined the Big South for all sports except football in the 2011–12 athletic year, in 2014, following the departure of VMI, the conference returned to a single-division structure. On September 1,2015, Coastal Carolina announced they would leave the following the 2015–16 school year to transition to FBS-level football. On June 30,2016, the day before the joined the Sun Belt. This was the first time in history that a team won an NCAA championship in any sport. In September 2016, the Big South and the ASUN Conference announced a partnership that will effectively combine the two conferences in that sport. At the time of announcement, the only ASUN member that played scholarship football, the partnership will provide a guaranteed football home to the leagues current three non-scholarship football programs should they upgrade to scholarship status. In November 2016, Campbell announced that it would begin offering scholarships, UNA has won three Division II NCAA national championships in football and has won at least a share of the Gulf South Conference football championship for four consecutive seasons through 2016. Three months later, Liberty announced that it would begin a transition to FBS football in July 2017, presumably, the school will remain a Big South member in non-football sports, barring an invitation to an FBS conference in the interim. He also said the Big South Basketball Tournaments will be held at a single, the divisional setup was as follows, In mens and womens basketball, teams played the five other divisional opponents twice, one home and one away. They played teams outside of the division once each and this cut the number of conference games to 16, as opposed to 18 both before and after the realignment. Following the departure of VMI for the Southern Conference in 2014, the returned to a single-division structure. Augusta State was merged into Georgia Regents University in January 2013, the Big South sponsors championship competition in nine mens and ten womens NCAA sanctioned sports. Davidson has competed as a member in womens lacrosse
Conference League South
The Conference League South is a British rugby league division in the RFLs tier 4. It is the highest level of rugby league in the South of England. It is one of the leagues that replaced the now defunct Rugby League Conference, some RLC sides joined a newly formed National Conference League Division 3 for a single season and applied for full membership of the NCL the following season. Northampton Demons and St Albans Centurions were replaced with Oxford Cavaliers, Rugby League Conference Leagues National Conference League
The Southern Conference is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I. Southern Conference football teams compete in the Football Championship Subdivision, member institutions are located in the states of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Southern Conference ranks as the fifth-oldest major college conference in the United States. Among conferences currently in operation, the Big Ten and Missouri Valley are indisputably older, the Pac-12 Conference did not operate under its current charter until 1959, but claims the history of the Pacific Coast Conference, founded in 1915, as its own. The Southwest Conference was founded in 1914, but ceased operation in 1996 once the Big 12 Conference began play, the Southern Conference is considered one of the stronger football conferences in the Football Championship Subdivision and is considered a mid-major conference in basketball. In 2015, Furman defeated UCF 16–15 and The Citadel topped South Carolina 23–22 for their win over the Gamecocks in the past three meetings. The SoCon also frequently sees multiple teams selected to participate in the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship, talks of a new conference for southern athletics had started as early as fall of 1920. The conference was formed on February 25,1921 in Atlanta as fourteen member institutions split from the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, in 1922, six more universities – Florida, LSU, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tulane, and Vanderbilt joined the conference. The first year of competition for the conference was in 1922, the new rules banned freshman play. Later additions included Sewanee, Virginia Military Institute, and Duke, the SoCon is particularly notable for having spawned two other major conferences. In 1932, the 13 schools located south and west of the Appalachians all departed the SoCon to form the Southeastern Conference, in 1953, seven additional schools withdrew from the SoCon to form the Atlantic Coast Conference. The SoCon became the first league to hold a basketball tournament to decide a conference champion. Although first played in 1921, it did not become official until 1922, held at the Municipal Auditorium in Atlanta from February 24 – March 2,1922, the first meeting was won by North Carolina who defeated non-member Mercer in the Finals 40-25. The SoCon Basketball Tournament continues as the nations oldest conference tournament, the next-oldest tournament overall is the SEC Mens Basketball Tournament, founded in 1933, but that event was suspended after its 1952 edition and did not resume until 1979. The all-sports membership changed to 10 schools in 2014 following the departure of Appalachian State, Davidson, Elon, and Georgia Southern, plus the arrival of East Tennessee State, Mercer, the current football membership stands at nine. UNC Greensboro does not sponsor football, while ETSU, which relaunched its previously dormant football program in 2015, on January 9,2014, the SoCon and Atlantic Sun Conference announced a new alliance in lacrosse that took effect with the 2014–15 school year. Under its terms, sponsorship of mens lacrosse shifted from the ASUN to the SoCon, bellarmine, which had announced it would join the ASUN for mens lacrosse for the 2015 season, instead joined the SoCon. The most recent additions to the associate membership came with the start of the 2016–17 school year, Full members Full members Other Conference Other Conference Due to space limitations, one portion of Washington and Lees affiliation history is not indicated in the table
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west, the Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east, the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain in its centre and south, and includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight. England became a state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the worlds first industrialised nation, Englands terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north and in the southwest, the capital is London, which is the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the name England is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means land of the Angles. The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages, the Angles came from the Angeln peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea. The earliest recorded use of the term, as Engla londe, is in the ninth century translation into Old English of Bedes Ecclesiastical History of the English People. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars, it has been suggested that it derives from the shape of the Angeln peninsula, an angular shape. An alternative name for England is Albion, the name Albion originally referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus, specifically the 4th century BC De Mundo, in it are two very large islands called Britannia, these are Albion and Ierne. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, the word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins. Albion is now applied to England in a poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England, Lloegr, the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago, Modern humans are known to have inhabited the area during the Upper Paleolithic period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years
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
Promotion and relegation
In sports leagues, promotion and relegation is a process where teams are transferred between two divisions based on their performance for the completed season. In some leagues, playoffs or qualifying rounds are used to determine rankings. This process can continue through several levels of divisions, with teams being exchanged between levels 1 and 2, levels 2 and 3, levels 3 and 4, the number of teams exchanged between the divisions is almost always identical. Such variations will almost inevitably cause an effect through the lower divisions. Even in the absence of such circumstances, the pyramid-like nature of most European football league systems can still create knock-on effects at the regional level. The system is said to be the characteristic of the European form of professional sports league organization. Promotion and relegation have the effect of allowing the maintenance of a hierarchy of leagues and divisions and they also maintain the importance of games played by many low-ranked teams near the end of the season, which may be at risk of relegation. In contrast, a low-ranked US or Canadian teams final games serve little purpose, although not intrinsic to the system, problems can occur due to the differing monetary payouts and revenue-generating potential that different divisions provide to their clubs. For example, financial hardship has sometimes occurred in leagues where clubs do not reduce their wage bill once relegated, some leagues offer parachute payments to its relegated teams for the following year. The payouts are higher than the money received by some non-relegated teams and are designed to soften the financial hit that clubs take whilst dropping out of the Premier League. However, in many cases these parachute payments just serve to inflate the costs of competing for promotion among the lower division clubs as newly relegated teams retain a financial advantage. If these are not satisfied, a team may be promoted in their place. While the primary purpose of the system is to maintain competitive balance. On several occasions, the Italian Football Federation has relegated clubs found to have involved in match-fixing. This occurred most recently in 2006, when the initial champions Juventus were relegated to Serie B. An exception is the proposed UEFA Nations League, which will feature promotion and relegation across four levels, in tennis, the Davis Cup has promotion and relegation where each group uses a knockout tournament format in which first-round losers play off to avoid relegation. In the United States, Canada, and Australia, teams are not promoted or relegated. The USL set up two leagues, now known as the United Soccer League and the Premier Development League, although the system is now in place, it is not compulsory and is rarely used
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
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
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in mens domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world and it is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent womens tournament is held, the FA Womens Cup. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12, the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper, in the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those minnows who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely giant-killing victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have two designs and five actual cups, the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design. Winners also qualify for European football and a place in the FA Community Shield match, in 1863, the newly founded Football Association published the Laws of the Game of Association Football, unifying the various different rules in use before then. On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, Wanderers retained the trophy the following year. The modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, and did not resume until 1919–20. The 1922–23 competition saw the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, due to the outbreak of World War II, the competition was not played between the 1938–39 and 1945–46 editions. Having previously featured replays, the modern day practice of ensuring the semi-final and final matches finish on the day, was introduced from 2000 onwards. Redevelopment of Wembley saw the final played outside of England for the first time, the final returned to Wembley in 2007, followed by the semi-finals from 2008. The competition is open to any club down to Level 10 of the English football league system which meets the eligibility criteria, all clubs in the top four levels are automatically eligible. Clubs in the six levels are also eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and also 2006–07, all clubs entering the competition must also have a suitable stadium
The competition was instigated in 1969 to cater for those non-league clubs that paid their players and were therefore not eligible to enter the FA Amateur Cup. This covers the National League, the Southern League, Isthmian League, the final of the competition was held at the original Wembley Stadium from the tournaments instigation until the stadium closed in 2000. The final has been played at the new Wembley Stadium since its opening in 2007, the record for the most FA Trophy wins is shared by Woking and two defunct clubs, Scarborough and Telford United, with three victories each. The Trophy is currently held by FC Halifax Town who beat Grimsby Town F. C. in the 2016 final, the competition was created by the Football Association in 1969 to afford semi-professional teams an opportunity to compete for the chance to play at Wembley Stadium. The first winners of the competition were Macclesfield Town of the Northern Premier League, Northern Premier League clubs dominated the first decade of the competition, with Telford United the only Southern League team to break the northern clubs hold on the competition. In the early years of its existence the competition struggled to achieve the level of prestige as the long-established Amateur Cup. In 1974 the FA abolished the distinction between official professional and amateur status and discontinued the Amateur Cup, and the Trophy soon had 300 entrants and this figure was gradually reduced until by 1991 only around 120 clubs took part. Telford Uniteds win in 1989 made them the team to win the Trophy three times. Between 1990 and 2000 three more teams claimed multiple wins, as of 2001 the competition was sponsored by Umbro, in the 2007-08 season it was sponsored by Carlsberg. The competition is a tournament with pairings drawn at random. If a match is drawn, there is a replay, usually at the ground of the team played away from home for the first game. Drawn replays are now settled with extra time and penalty shootouts, originally the competition included as many qualifying rounds as were required to reduce the number of teams to 32. In 1999 the format was amended to match that of the FA Cup, with six rounds prior to the semi-final stage, albeit without qualifying rounds. Teams from the Football Conference received byes through the early rounds, as of 2008–09 the competition featured four qualifying rounds and four rounds proper before the semi-finals. The FA pays prize money to all teams win at least one match in the Trophy competition. In the 2014-15 season the prize for the 64 preliminary round winners was £2,500, the final was traditionally held at the original Wembley Stadium, but was moved to Villa Park during Wembleys redevelopment, and a final was also played at West Ham Uniteds Boleyn Ground. In 2007 the final moved to the new Wembley Stadium, Scarborough, Telford United, and Woking share the record for the most victories in the final. In 1985 Wealdstone became the first team to win the Non-League Double of FA Trophy, since then Colchester United in 1992 and Wycombe Wanderers in 1993 have equalled Wealdstones achievement
UEFA Europa League
The UEFA Europa League, previously called the UEFA Cup, is an annual football club competition organized by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues, previously called the UEFA Cup, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League since the 2009–10 season, following a change in format. For UEFA footballing records purposes, the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League are considered the same competition, in 1999, the UEFA Cup Winners Cup was abolished and merged with the UEFA Cup. For the 2004–05 competition a group stage was added prior to the knockout phase, the 2009 re-branding included a merge with the UEFA Intertoto Cup, producing an enlarged competition format, with an expanded group stage and changed qualifying criteria. The winner enters at least at the round, and will enter the group stage if the berth reserved for the Champions League title holders is not used. The title has been won by 27 different clubs,12 of which have won the more than once. The UEFA Cup was preceded by the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, which was a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971, the competition grew from 11 teams during the first cup to 64 teams by the last cup which was played in 1970–71. It had become so important on the European football scene that in the end it was taken over by UEFA, the UEFA Cup was first played in the 1971–72 season, with an all-English final of Wolverhampton Wanderers versus Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs taking the first honours. The title was retained by another English club, Liverpool in 1973, Borussia would win the competition in 1975 and 1979, and reach the final again in 1980. Liverpool won the competition for the time in 1976, beating Club Brugge in the final. During the 1980s, IFK Göteborg and Real Madrid won the competition twice each,1989 saw the commencement of the Italian clubs domination, when Maradonas Napoli beat Stuttgart. The 1990s started with two finals, and in 1992, Torino lost the final to Ajax on the away goals rule. Juventus won the competition for a time in 1993 and Internazionale kept the cup in Italy the following year. 1995 saw a third final, with Parma proving their consistency. The only final with no Italians during that decade was in 1996, Parma won the cup in 1999, which ended the Italian club era. Liverpool won the competition for the time in 2001 and Porto triumphed in the 2003 and 2011 tournaments. In 2004, the cup returned to Spain with Valencia being victorious, either side of Sevillas success, two Russian teams, CSKA Moscow in 2005 and Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2008, had their glory and yet another former Soviet club, Ukraines Shakhtar Donetsk, won in 2009. Atlético Madrid would themselves win twice in three seasons, in 2010 and 2012, the latter in another all-Spanish final, in 2013, Chelsea would become the first Champions League holders to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League the following year
Havant and Waterlooville F.C.
Havant & Waterlooville Football Club is an English football club based in Havant, Hampshire. The club participate in the Isthmian League Premier Division as of the 2016-17 season, the club formed in 1998 after a merger between Havant Town and Waterlooville. Nicknamed The Hawks, they play at West Leigh Park, in 1998 Havant Town and Waterlooville merged to play at Havant Towns West Leigh Park ground. In their first season as a team, Havant & Waterlooville won the Southern League Southern Division under the management of former Crystal Palace. There was also instant success in the FA Cup, a penalty defeat to Hayes was all that denied the Hawks an opportunity to visit league side Mansfield Town in the first round proper. After Billy Gilbert left Havant & Waterlooville, Mick Jenkins and Liam Daish were appointed joint managers in April 2000, Jenkins and Daish guided the Hawks to notable successes in the FA Cup where they reached the first round, the first of four occasions achieved by the club. In 2000–01, Havant & Waterlooville lost 2–1 at home to Southport of the Conference North, the 2002–03 season was also notable for the Hawks FA Trophy run when Havant & Waterlooville giant-killed Forest Green Rovers en route to the semi-final where Hawks lost 2–1 on aggregate to Tamworth. During a 5-year stay in the Southern League Premier Division from 1999-2000 to 2004-05, Havant & Waterloovilles best season came in 2001–02, in the 2003–04 season, the club struggled and this led to Jenkins and Daish being dismissed in January 2004. However, the club recovered and finished 12th in the Southern League Premier Division, Ian Baird took over the part-time managerial post at Havant & Waterlooville in November 2004. Hawks manager Ian Baird claimed that a crisis had forced him to field Taggart in the home game with Weymouth. In the 2006–07 season, the Hawks qualified for the promotion play-offs but were beaten in the semi-final by Braintree Town. The club met a Football League club in a match for the first time in the 2006–07 competition. Baird resigned as manager on 1 October 2007 to become manager of Eastleigh and was replaced by Shaun Gale, in the fourth round, they played Premier League Liverpool at Anfield and caused a sensation by leading twice before eventually losing 5–2. Havant & Waterlooville player Alfie Potter, on loan at the time from Peterborough United, was voted Player of the Round, 2008–09 did, however, see diverting runs in the FA Cup and in the FA Trophy. In 2009–10, Havant & Waterlooville made a run that almost got them to the play-offs. In July 2011, the played a once in a lifetime game against La Liga side Real Betis, losing 7–0. The 2011–12 season was a one for Havant & Waterlooville. Assistant manager Steve Johnson and stadium manager/fitness coach Adrian Aymes were placed in charge on a caretaker basis
National League North
The National League North, formerly Conference North, is a division of the National League in England, taking its place immediately below the top division National League. Along with the National League South, it is at Step 2 of the National League System and it consists of teams located in Northern England, Norfolk, the English Midlands and North Wales. From the start of the 2015–16 season, the league has been known as the National League North, as part of a sponsorship deal with Vanarama, the National League North is now known as the Vanarama National League North. The Conference North was introduced in 2004 as part of a restructuring of English non-League football. The champions are promoted to the National League. A second promotion place goes to the winners of play-offs involving the teams finishing in second to fifth place, the three bottom clubs are relegated to Step 3 leagues. Teams from this division, as well as from the National League South, for sponsorship reasons, the division was known as the Nationwide North from its formation in 2004 until 2007, when it was renamed the Blue Square North. In 2010 it was renamed the Blue Square Bet North, when Blue Square sponsorship ended in 2013, it was renamed the Skrill North until the 2014–15 season, when it was renamed the Vanarama North. A further name change followed in 2015, when the division was renamed the Vanarama National League North
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
Bath City F.C.
Bath City Football Club is a semi-professional association football club based in Bath, Somerset, England. The club participates in the National League South, the tier of English football. Formed in 1889 as Bath AFC, Bath Citys history is entirely in non-league football and they changed their name to Bath Railway in 1902 before settling on the name Bath City F. C. After many years playing in the echelons of non-League football they spent a decade in the Southern League after being relegated from the 1996–97 Football Conference. They were promoted to the Conference South by winning the Southern League in the 2006–07 season and they have reached the FA cup third round six times. In 2004 they lost in the FA Cup second round to Peterborough United, in 2009, City beat Football League Two side Grimsby Town in the FA Cup first round, only to lose to Forest Green Rovers in the second round. In 1889 Bath City were formed as Bath AFC and began to play at the Belvoir ground, in 1908 they commenced playing competitive league format football, joining the Western League Division Two. For the 1921–22 season they moved up to Southern League, English section, after the War they were forced to resume playing in the Southern League which they won in the 1959–60 season. A year later they were runners up in the same league, over the next thirteen years they were three times relegated into and again promoted from the Southern League Division one. In the 1977–78 season they won the Southern League title for a second time, for the next season they fell short of election to the Football League by a narrow margin so they became founder members of the Alliance Premier League, now the Conference National. They narrowly missed out on election to the Football League, in 1989 however they were relegated back to the Southern League but were promoted back next season. Here they remained until they were relegated once more to the Southern League in 1997 and they narrowly missed out on promotion to the Conference South in the season 2005–06 season finishing second in the Southern League and lost to Bedford Town. However the following season won promotion as winners of the Southern League in their second season under manager John Relish. They finished in 8th position in the Conference South in the 2007–08 season, in the same season they developed a local arrangement to establish a junior footballing set-up called Bath City Youth. This set-up is now being developed into an academy and in October 2008 manager John Relish moved aside from managerial duties to concentrate on creating this. He was replaced by his former assistant Adie Britton, however, ESPN did not play the extra time, instead cut back after the end of the match. In the 2011–12 season, Bath City had a run of bad results, therefore being relegated from the Conference National. They were the first football club in the top five divisions of England to be relegated and they are currently playing in the Conference South following this relegation
Billericay Town F.C.
Billericay Town Football Club is a semi-professional football club based in Billericay, Essex, England. They are currently members of the Isthmian League Premier Division and play at New Lodge and they are the second most successful club in FA Vase history, having won the competition on three occasions. Established as Billericay in 1880, the joined the Romford & District League in 1890. They also started playing in the Mid-Essex League, winning Division Two in 1912–13 and they remained in the Mid-Essex League until joining the Southern Essex Combination League in 1947. In 1946 they adopted their current name, in 1966 the club were founder members of the Essex Olympian League. The 1969–70 season saw them win the league and League Cup double, following their back-to-back titles, the club became founder members of the Essex Senior League in 1971, finishing as runners-up in its first season and winning the title in 1972–73. After finishing as runners-up again, the club won league titles in 1974–75. The latter season saw them reach the final of the FA Vase and beat Stamford 1–0 at Wembley. Although they only finished third in 1976–77, they retained the FA Vase, in 1977 the club switched to the Athenian League, which they won at the first attempt. The following season saw them move up to Division Two of the Isthmian League, they won at the first attempt. Billericay remained in the Premier Division until being relegated to Division One at the end of the 1985–86 season and this began a spell as a yo-yo club, as they were relegated to Division Two North at the end of the 1988–89 season. The 1997–98 season also saw them reach the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, in 2004–05 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup again, losing 1–0 at home to Stevenage Borough. They also finished as Premier Division runners-up, qualifying for the promotion play-offs, however, they were beaten 2–0 at home by Leyton in the semi-finals. In 2007–08 they qualified for the first round of the FA Cup again, in 2010–11 Billericay won the Essex Senior Cup for a second time, beating Aveley 2–0 in the final. The following season saw the win the Premier Division, earning promotion to the Conference South. However, they were relegated back to the Isthmian League the following season after finishing second-from-bottom of the Conference South, as of 2 March 2017 Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, Billericay Town played at Archer Hall on Laindon Road until moving to New Lodge in 1971
Chelmsford City F.C.
Chelmsford City Football Club is a football club based in the city of Chelmsford, Essex, England. They are currently members of the National League South and play at the Melbourne Stadium, Chelmsford Football Club was established in 1878 by members of the Chelmsford Lawn Tennis and Croquet club in order to give them something to do in the winter. The club won the Essex Senior Cup in 1892–93 and again in 1901–02, in 1895 they were founder members of the North Essex League, but left in 1900 to join the South Essex League. In 1903–04 the club entered a team into the newly-formed South East Anglian League. In 1908–09 they spent a season playing in the Eastern Division of the Spartan League, in 1912 Chelmsford were amongst the founder members of the Athenian League, although they also continued to play in the South Essex League for another season. In 1922 the club failed to be re-elected and dropped into the Middlesex County League, in 1923–24 they also entered a team into the Essex & Suffolk Border League. That season saw the win the Middlesex County League and finish second in the Border League. In the following season, Chelmsford won the East Anglian Cup, the club won the London League Premier Division title in 1930–31, before becoming founder members of the Eastern Counties League in 1935. Two years later left the ECL to become founder members of the Essex County League. In 1938, it was decided to form a club in order to join the Southern League. Chelmsford City was established in 1938 and took over Chelmsfords New Writtle Street ground and they joined the Southern League and made an immediate impact in the FA Cup, reaching the fourth round in its first season. In the fourth round they lost 6–0 at Birmingham City, at the end of the season the club applied to join the Football League, but received only one vote. The club were the Southern Leagues first champions when football resumed after World War II, Chelmsford won the league cup again in 1959–60 and the league title in 1967–68 and 1971–72. They continued to apply to join the Football League, making bids in 1960,1961,1962, the club remained in the top division of the Southern League until 1976–77, when they were relegated to Division One South. In 1977, City were one of six clubs to represent England in the Anglo-Italian Cup, after the formation of the Alliance Premier League they regained their top division status in the Southern League. The club were relegated again in 1987–88 but made a return to the Premier Division after winning Division One South the following season. Another relegation was experienced in 1996–97 and after an issue with the seating at the ground meant they were refused promotion in 1997–98, in 2004, Chelmsford transferred to the Premier Division of the Isthmian League and were champions in 2007–08, earning promotion to the Conference South. They reached the play-offs in the season but lost to Hampton & Richmond in the play-off semi-finals
Chippenham Town F.C.
Chippenham Town Football Club is a football club based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England. They are currently members of the Southern League Premier Division and play at Hardenhuish Park, the club was established in 1873. They joined the new Wiltshire League in 1901, and finished joint top of the table with Warminster Town and they joined Division Two of the Western League in 1904, but also continued to play in the Wiltshire League. The 1904–05 season saw them bottom of the Western League. At the end of the 1905–06 season the club withdrew from the Western League and they were runners-up again in 1912–13, 1921–22 and 1922–23, before winning the league in 1928–29. In 1930 Chippenham rejoined Division Two of the Western League, the league was reduced to a single division in 1939, and the club were runners-up when the league resumed in the 1945–46 season. The 1951–52 season saw them win the Western League for the first time and they were Western League runners-up again in 1954–55. However, they left the Western League at the end of the 1964–65 season, in 1968 the club joined the Premier Division of the Hellenic League, where they played until rejoining the Western League in 1973. When the league gained a second division in 1976, the club were relegated to the new Division One and they were Division One champions in 1980–81, earning promotion to the Premier Division. In 1999–2000 the club reached the final of the FA Vase, after finishing as runners-up in 2000–01, Chippenham were promoted to Division One West of the Southern League. Their first season in the division saw them finish as runners-up, in 2004–05 they were Premier Division runners-up, qualifying for the promotion play-offs. However, after beating Bedford Town 5–4 on penalties following a 2–2 draw in the semi-finals, the following season saw them reach the first round of the FA Cup for a second time, eventually losing 1–0 at Worcester City in a replay. They also qualified for the promotion again after finishing fourth. Another fourth-place finish in 2007–08 led to another campaign, this time ending with a 2–1 defeat to Halesowen Town in the semi-finals. In 2009–10 the club finished third, and after beating Hednesford Town 2–0 in the play-off semi-finals, the club moved to Hardenhuish Park in 1919, having previously played at at least four other grounds. A main stand was erected and subsequently added to on several occasions, a new clubhouse was opened in 1979 and floodlights were installed in 1986. Covered standing is provided behind one goal and along the side of the pitch to the main stand. This was built in 1993, replacing an earlier stand that had been damaged by storms, the pitch at Hardenhuish Park has a noticeable slope, downwards towards the Bristol Road end
Concord Rangers F.C.
Concord Rangers Football Club is a football club based in Canvey Island in Essex, England. The club currently compete in the National League South, the tier of English football. They are therefore quite possibly the only English football team to be named after a beach. At that time fixtures were played at Waterside Farm, on Canvey Island, the 1978–79 season saw Concord Rangers become the inaugural winners of the Essex Sunday Junior Trophy, defeating Bishops Park 4–0 in a game played at Tiptree United. It was not until 1985 that the club secured land in Thames Road, to develop the clubhouse. The Beach Boys reached the final in their first season in the Isthmian League Division One North. The Beach Boys were also winners of the Isthmian League Cup for 2012–13, 2014–15 was also another successful season for The Beach Boys, and included many firsts for the club. In April 2016 Concord retained the Essex Senior Cup, beating Heybridge Swifts 1–0 at Dagenham & Redbridge, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality
Dartford Football Club is an English association football club based in Dartford, Kent. The club participates in the National League South, the tier of English football. After finishing as champions of the Isthmian League Division One North in the 2007–08 season and they finished in 8th position in their first season. They were crowned champions of the Isthmian League Premier Division in their second season and that season they finished in 10th place, but once again gained promotion at the second attempt in 2011–12, by winning the play off final, after finishing second in the table. Since the 2012–13 season they have playing in the Conference Premier. Home matches are played at the environmentally friendly stadium, Princes Park. The club was formed in 1888 by members of the Dartford Working mens club and they have also reached the final of the FA Trophy once. Dartford Football Club was formed in 1888 by members of the Dartford Working Mens Club, the club soon was entering cup competitions, reaching the final of the Kent Senior Cup in 1894. Following this, Dartford were founder members of the Kent League for the 1894–95 season, Two seasons later, Dartford became founder members of the Southern League Division Two, winning the Championship at the first attempt. The club moved between the Southern and Kent Leagues several times over the seasons, dropping to the West Kent League in the 1900s. Around the same time the club found its first permanent home ground, Summers Meadow in Lowfield Street, in 1908–09 Dartford won the West Kent League and Cup double and rejoined the Kent League where they remained until the outbreak of the First World War. In 1913 Dartford undertook a tour of Norway culminating in a 6–1 win over a Norway XI. Darts continued their association with the Kent League, winning the cup in 1923–24. At the start of the 1930s the Dartford Board appointed the successful Kettering Town manager, Bill Collier, the Scot continued his pattern of success with Dartford and won trophies by the shoal during the decade leading up to the 1939–45 war. In county football Dartford won the Kent Senior Cup four times in five seasons, in addition Dartford gained a reputation nationally by becoming the first club outside the Football League to reach the FA Cup Third Round Proper in successive seasons. In 1935–36 Dartford lost to a star-studded Derby County by 3–2 at the Baseball Ground having at one time led by 2–0, leading player Fred Dell was transferred to West Ham United for a reported £2,000 immediately after the game. The following season saw Dartford lose 0–1 at home to Darlington at the same stage, for a decade and a half following the 1939–1945 war, Dartford had little to show for its efforts except for a sparkling win over Bromley in Kent Senior Cup in 1947. Included in the Dartford line-up that day was Ted Croker, later to become the Secretary of the Football Association, soon after this win Dartford transferred Riley Cullum and Fred Alexander to Charlton Athletic for £6,000, which wiped out the clubs debts entirely
Dulwich Hamlet F.C.
Dulwich Hamlet Football Club is a football club based in Dulwich, in the London Borough of Southwark in England. The club are members of the Premier Division of the Isthmian League. The club was formed in 1893, by Lorraine Pa Wilson, in 1907 they joined both the Isthmian League and the Spartan League, leaving the latter at the end of the 1907–08 season. In 1919–20 the club won its first Isthmian League title, winning the league on goal average against Nunhead and they also won the FA Amateur Cup, beating Tufnell Park 1–0 in the final at the Den. The club won the league again in 1925–26, and the FA Amateur Cup for a time in 1931–32 win a 7–1 win against Marine in the final. The following season the club won their league title. In 1933–34 they reached the Amateur Cup final again, but lost 2–1 to Leyton, the two clubs met in the final again in 1936–37, with Dulwich winning 2–0. In 1948–49 the club won the Isthmian League for a fourth time and they were promoted back to the Premier Division at the end of the 1991–92 season after finishing third in Division One. In 1998–99 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1948, after finishing bottom of the Premier Division in 2000–01, the club were relegated back to Division One. After finishing seventh in 2003–04, the club played off against Wealdstone for a place in the Premier Division after league re-organisation, in 2010–11 Dulwich finished fifth and entered the promotion play-offs, beating Bognor Regis Town 3–1 in the semi-finals before losing 4–3 to Leatherhead in the final. The following season the finished third, again qualifying for the promotion play-offs. After beating Folkestone Invicta 2–1 in the semi-finals, they lost the final 1–0 to Bognor Regis and they returned to the Premier Division after winning the Division One South title on the last day of the 2012–13 season with a 1–1 draw against Burgess Hill Town. In 2014–15 Dulwich finished fourth in the Premier Division, qualifying for the play-offs, however, they lost 2–1 at Margate in the semi-finals. The following season the club finished fifth, and reached the final after winning 1–0 at Bognor Regis Town in the semi-final. The club played at Woodwarde Road until 1895, when moved to College Farm. The following year moved to Sunray Avenue, where they remained until 1902. Between 1902 and 1912 they played at Freemans Ground on Champion Hill, before moving to an adjacent plot of land, the stadium was used for amateur international matches, including the 1948 Summer Olympics. In 1991 the stadium was demolished, as it was too run-down and dangerous to bring up to safety standards
Eastbourne Borough F.C.
Eastbourne Borough Football Club is an English football club based in Eastbourne, East Sussex. The club is a FA Chartered Standard Community club affiliated to the Sussex County Football Association and is a registered Community Interest Company, the club joined the Sussex County League in 1983 as a founding member of the new Division Three. Following two successive promotions in 1986/87 and 1987/88 under their manager, Pete Cherry, they played in Division One until the end of the 20th century. The club then experienced a rise through the divisions under Garry Wilson, the club currently participates in the National League South, the sixth tier of English football. They are known as The Sports after their previous name as Langney Sports, Eastbourne Borough play their home matches at Priory Lane in Langney. They were formed in 1964 as Langney F. C. naming themselves after the Langney district of Eastbourne in which the club continues to play its home games, on forming in 1964, Langney FC entered the Eastbourne & District Football League, competing in Division 2. Despite forming in 1964, Langney only affiliated with the Sussex FA in the Summer 1965, prior to the 1968/69 season there was a change of name to Langney Sports F. C. when the club affiliated to the Langney Community Association. At this time the club was playing on local recreation grounds before moving to Princes Park near the seafront, at the end of the season 1973/74, the club won promotion to the Premier Division of the Eastbourne & Hastings League. They relocated from the fields at Princes Park to their current home ground at Priory Lane. In 1986/87 Langney Sports achieved a treble by claiming the Third Division title, the Division 3 League Cup, the Sports followed this with a second successive promotion the next season to Division 1. In 1992, Langney reached the final of the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup, losing 0–1 to the team of Sussexs only professional club. In his first full season in 2000 they finished the season as Sussex County League Champions, in their second season they finished seventh and secured their first Sussex Senior Cup title in front of a record crowd, beating Lewes after extra-time in the final. The following season resulted in promotion to the Premier Division with Borough finishing second, at the end of the season they staged a defence of their Sussex Senior Cup title against Crawley Town in the final of the competition, losing 6–5 on penalties. A further promotion was almost earned immediately as the club finished fifth, however, they were beaten 2–1 by Altrincham in the play-off final at Stoke Citys Britannia Stadium, and remained in the Conference South. The next season they finished in the half of the table in 17th place. The 2007–08 season was one of Eastbourne Boroughs most memorable, from the start of the season until 1 January 2008 they were unbeaten at the top of the league, until losing to local rivals Lewes in front of 3,027 fans at Priory Lane. At the end of the season Eastbourne finished 2nd with 80 points while Lewes won with 89 points and they finished their first season in a comfortable 13th place with 60 points and a goal difference of −12. The season saw Eastbourne play live for the first time at Priory Lane in front of national TV cameras, which broadcast their match against Stevenage, Eastbourne also completed the 2008–09 season by winning the Sussex Senior Cup beating Brighton & Hove Albion Reserves 1–0
East Thurrock United F.C.
East Thurrock United Football Club is a football club based in Corringham, Essex, England. They are currently members of the National League South and play at Rookery Hill, the new club played in the Southern Essex Combination for the 1969–70 season and finished third in the league, before joining the reserve section of the Greater London League in 1970. They went on to win the division at the first attempt, the league merged with the Metropolitan League at the end of the season to form the Metropolitan–London League, with East Thurrock remaining in the reserve division. After winning the division in 1971–72, they moved up to the senior divisions and they also won this division at the first attempt and were promoted to Division One. After the league merged with the Spartan League to form the London Spartan League in 1975 and they remained in Division Two until restructuring saw them moved into the Premier Division in 1978. In 1979 the club switched to the Essex Senior League, in 1988–89 they won the League Cup, a feat they repeated in 1991–92, a season that also saw them finish third in the league, earning promotion to Division Three of the Isthmian League. In 1999–2000 they were Division Three champions, earning promotion to Division Two, after finishing as Eastern Division runners-up in the first season, they were promoted and moved back to the Isthmian League, joining its Premier Division. East Thurrock were relegated back to Division One North of the Isthmian League at the end of the 2007–08 season following a one-point deduction for fielding an ineligible player. They finished as runners-up in 2008–09, qualifying for the promotion play-offs, a fifth-place finish the 2009–10 saw the club qualify for the play-offs again, but they were again beaten 1–0 by Concord Rangers in the semi-finals. In 2010–11 the club won the division and were promoted to the Premier Division, in 2011–12 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history, losing 3–0 at home to Macclesfield Town. The following season saw them finish fifth in the Isthmian League Premier Division, however, they lost 1–0 to Lowestoft Town in the semi-finals. In 2014–15 East Thurrock reached the first round of the FA Cup again, in the following season they finished third in the Premier Division, again qualifying for the play-offs. After beating Tonbridge Angels 2–0 in the semi-finals, they defeated Dulwich Hamlet 3–1 in the final in front of a crowd of 1,661 to earn promotion to the National League South. During the clubs first season as members of the Southern Essex Combination, in 1969–70, in 1977 the club left the Billet Ground again, groundsharing at Tilbury until 1982, when they moved to the Thames Board Mill Ground. They remained at the new ground for two years. Still seeking their own ground, the bought land on the edge of Corringham Marshes and began building the Rookery Ground. The ground currently has a capacity of 3,000, of which 160 is seated and 1,000 covered. C, players Official website East Thurrock United F. C. on Twitter
Gloucester City A.F.C.
The club was established in 1883 as Gloucester, they became Gloucester City in 1902, but were briefly known as Gloucester YMCA from 1910 to 1925, before returning to their previous name. The club has competed in the Conference North since 2009, having been promoted from the Southern Premier League at the end of the 2008–09 season and it spent a record 70 years within the Southern Football League from 1939 until 2009. The club secured promotion after a Playoff final win against Farnborough, in July 2007, the club was considerably affected by the Gloucestershire floods with their Meadow Park stadium under eight feet of water. The floods have meant the club has been in exile away from Gloucester since 2007, the current team manager is Tim Harris. The club is affiliated to the Gloucestershire County FA, the club was formed on 5 March 1883 as Gloucester, but the first recorded match came during 1883–84 when a scratch team representing Cheltenham played a match against the new Gloucester side. Gloucesters first competitive game in October 1889 was a Gloucestershire FA Junior Challenge Cup 1st Round tie beating Clifton Association Reserves 10–0 at Buddings Field, the club became members of the Bristol and District League which subsequently became the Western League. During this era the club was noted as The Gloucestrians and The Citizens in local media, after the end of the First World War in 1918 most of the players who had been with City joined Gloucester YMCA. By 1925 they had assumed the name of Gloucester City once more and had become members of the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League. In 1939 the club played in the Southern Football League for the very first time, albeit in a wartime competition. After the war City rejoined the Southern League and went on to become the Leagues longest serving members. For three consecutive seasons, 1948–51, the reached the First Round of the FA Cup, each time losing to Football League opponents, Mansfield Town, Norwich City. It took until the 1955–56 season for Gloucester to taste their first success in the Southern League. A famous Southern League Cup final win against Yeovil Town in which City had lost the first leg 4–1, only to beat Yeovil 5–1 in the second leg, won the club their first major honour. In 1964 the club moved again, from Longlevens to the massive Horton Road stadium, closer to the centre of Gloucester. Although Gloucester City were promoted to the Southern Football League Premier Division in the 1968–69 season, in the 1981–82 season a sixth-place finish was enough to clinch a place in the reformed Premier Division. They were also runners-up in the League Cup, going down 1–2 to Wealdstone, despite Kim Casey scoring 40 goals, the club were relegated to the Midland Division in 1984–85, after 3 seasons in the Premier Division. In 1986 the club moved once more, this time to Meadow Park, the Horton Road ground became a housing estate which now boasts the names of City legends, Myers Road, Etheridge Place and Coltman Close amongst others. Former Aston Villa and Wales player Brian Godfrey was appointed manager in 1988, the next big achievement of the Godfrey years was the famous FA Cup run in 1989–90 which has still not been matched
Hampton & Richmond Borough F.C.
Hampton & Richmond Borough Football Club is an English football club based in the suburb of Hampton, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. They were founded in 1921 and formerly known as Hampton F. C. until 1999 when they changed their name in an attempt to draw a wider support base from around the borough and they currently compete in the National League South, the sixth tier of English football. The club has a support base of around 300 to 400 people. Hamptons early years were spent in the Kingston & District and the South West Middlesex Leagues, although twice winning the Kingston & District title in the early 1930s the club never managed to capture the South West Middlesex League title during their 26-year stay. In 1959, Hampton entered the football ranks as members of the Surrey Senior League. In 1964 they won the championship and stepped up into the Spartan League where they enjoyed seven seasons of unparalleled success, the club captured the Spartan League title four times in 1965,1966,1967 and 1970 as well as finishing runners-up in 1968. They never finished outside the top four places during their stay, in 1971 they were elected to the Second Division of the Athenian League. After narrowly missing promotion in their first season, Hampton finished runners-up to Ruislip Manor in 1973, by this time, though, the Beavers had already been elected to the newly formed Second Division of the Isthmian League. The club were to remain in Division Two of the Isthmian League until 1990, worse was to follow as the two regionalised Second Divisions were split in 1991 to form a Second and Third set-up. The Beavers found themselves one place below the line and were relegated to the Third Division for the 1991–92 season. Although missing automatic promotion by one place, the club was promoted at the Isthmian AGM to fill a vacancy in the Second Division, Hampton started 1998–99 in the Premier Division – now the top tier of Isthmian League football. In 1999–00, they became the first winners of the George Ruffell Memorial Shield and they remained in the Premier Division until 2002–03, which led to relegation and a return to Division One. In the summer of 2003, the club invited experienced manager Alan Devonshire, Alan signed as manager and had the task of winning promotion back to the Premier Division, this was achieved on the last day of his first season in charge with a 3–0 win at Leatherhead. On 28 April 2007, Hampton & Richmond Borough were promoted as champions of the league to the Conference South after a 4–2 victory over Slough Town. The crowd of nearly 1,100 witnessed an epic match in which Hampton led 2–1 until a late Slough goal looked to have given the championship to promotion rivals, Bromley. This would have forced Hampton into 2nd place, meaning that they would have had to compete in the competition for promotion. Hampton & Richmond Borough quickly established themselves in the Conference South in the tier of English football. In 2007–08 they finished in 3rd position in the league, reaching the final which was narrowly lost to Eastbourne Borough
Hemel Hempstead Town F.C.
Hemel Hempstead Town Football Club is an English semi-professional football club based in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. They currently compete in the National League South, the tier of English football. The club is affiliated to the Hertfordshire Football Association, the club was formed in 1885 as Apsley End F. C. and first played in the West Herts League, before joining the Herts County League in 1899 and competed until 1922. The club joined the Spartan League in 1922 and competed until 1952 when they joined the Delphian League, in 1955 the name was changed once again to Hemel Hempstead Town F. C. In 1962, with the dissolution of the Delphian League, the joined the Athenian League in its new Division Two. They were promoted twice in consecutive seasons to reach the Premier Division, in 1972 the club merged with Hemel Hempstead United, with the merged club reverting to being called simply Hemel Hempstead. In 1977 the Tudors joined the Isthmian League, where they were to play for over 25 years. They found success hard to come by in this league, even dropping to Division Three for one season, but since the arrival of new chairman Dave Boggins in 1997 their fortunes improved slightly. In 1997–98 the club won the Isthmian League Division Three title, followed by the Division Two title in 1999–2000, hemels first season in the Southern Premier was a disappointing one, as they finished fourth from bottom and were relegated. A long campaign took its toll as Hemel lost 3–1 in the semi-final to Team Bath, Hemel made the playoffs again in the 2008–09 season, going through a succession of managers in the process. Another fifth-place finish saw them pitted against Farnborough in the semi-final, Hemel had a poor 2009–10 season, eventually finishing in 19th position. They were spared relegation by virtue of clubs from further up the pyramid being reprieved, demoted or ceasing to exist, during pre-season Colin Payne was appointed manager as they prepared for another season in the Southern League Premier Division. In September 2011, due to a start to the season. Tommy Widdrington then left the club in March 2012, replaced by former Aylesbury management duo Mark Eaton, after finishing 19th, Mark and Alan left the club and were replaced by Dean Brennan and Stuart Maynard. On May 25, the Football Associations proposed constitution for the Southern League Premier Division indicated a reprieve for Hemel Hempstead Town and this was ratified at the Southern League AGM on June 16,2012, earning the Tudors a second reprieve in as many years. A turn of fortune followed in the 2012/13 season, with Dean Brennan and Stuart Maynard leading the Tudors to 4th place in the league, the clubs highest ever finish. Hemel beat Chesham United 2–0 in the playoff semi-final, before losing 5–4 in a penalty shootout to Gosport Borough in front of a home league crowd of 2,840. The season also saw Hemel beat Potters Bar 2–0 to lift the Hertfordshire FA Senior Challenge Cup, in June 2013, members of the Hertfordshire FA Competitions Committee voted Hemel Hempstead Town FC as the 2013 winners of the Sir Stanley Rous Memorial Trophy
Hungerford Town F.C.
Hungerford Town F. C. is a football club based in Hungerford, Berkshire, England. The club is affiliated with the Berks & Bucks Football Association and currently plays in the National League South, Hungerford Town was founded in 1886 initially playing friendlies as there was no local league or cup competitions available to join. The club joined the Hungerford League and then became founding members of the Newbury league in 1909, in their first season they won the Newbury Challenge cup, four seasons later they won the league and retained the league title in the 1913–14 season. After the First World War the club reformed in 1919 and went on to win the Newbury league again that season, after the second world war the club was playing in the Newbury & District League and also the Swindon & District League. At the start of the 1958–59 season the club joined the Hellenic Football League starting in the Premier Division, the club then spent seven seasons in the top division of the Hellenic league before being relegated to Division one at the end of the 1964–65 season. The club came back in style at the end of the 1970–71 season by winning Division one and the Hellenic league cup. The next seven seasons saw the club remain in the Hellenic Premier Division, during this period the club made its debut in the FA vase in the 1973–74 season, in the 1979–80 season, they reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup. In the 1981–82 season Jim Kelman saw the club clinch the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup at their final appearance. After the Berks and Bucks success the club spent the next 21 years in the Isthmian league in Division two. The club also made it to the Floodlit Cup final where they lost 2–3 after extra time to Marlow United. At the end of their first season in the Southern League Division One South & West, the club parted company with manager Alan Clark, and replaced him with Bobby Wilkinson from Kintbury Rangers. The club were promoted to the Southern League Premier division via the 2012–13 play-offs, Hungerford got into the play-offs in 2014/15 but were beaten by Truro City. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, players that have played/managed in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level. Charlie Austin Richie Byrne Darren Angell Jamie Gosling James Harper Club website
Oxford City F.C.
Oxford City Football Club is an English football club based in Marston, Oxford. They currently compete in the National League South, the tier of English football. The club were formed in 1882 and soon became the leading club in Oxfordshire, winning the FA Amateur Cup in 1906. In the latter half of the 20th century, the club went into decline, the club reached its lowest point in 1988 when they were evicted from their White House Ground by their landlords Brasenose College, who sold it off for housing. They returned to the Isthmian League in 1993 when they moved to their current ground. The club continued to climb through the divisions of that League during the 1990s and this rule change also means that Citys other FA Cup record – the six games needed before losing to Alvechurch in 1971–72 – will probably never be beaten. In 2005 the club were relegated back to the South Midlands League, in November 2006 Lyne resigned as manager to become the clubs Director of Football. He was succeeded by Justin Merritt as Player Manager with former Oxford United player Mike Ford as his assistant, Merritt subsequently stepped down in August 2009 and Ford took over as manager. On 3 May 2008, Oxford City were promoted from the Southern League Division One South, in their first season in the Premier Division they finished in 6th place, narrowly missing out on the playoffs. In 2011–12 Oxford City finished 2nd after narrowly missing out on the title and they won the playoff final against AFC Totton to gain promotion to Conference North for the first time in their history. The club enjoyed a successful first season in the Conference North, Mike Ford left the club shortly after the season ended. City are an FA Charter Standard Community Club and field more than 40 teams, with sides for men, women, boys, for 2015–16, they moved from Conference North to Conference South – the division was renamed National League South. Oxford City play their games at Marsh Lane, Marston, Oxford, Oxfordshire. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality
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
St Albans City F.C.
St Albans City Football Club is a football club based in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England. It was founded in 1908 and plays its matches at Clarence Park. The club is in the National League South, citys most famous match was on 22 November 1922 in a fourth round qualifying FA Cup match. Having been held by Dulwich Hamlet to a 1–1 draw at Clarence Park on 18 November, citys New Zealand-born goalkeeper W. Tennant did not appear, his place taken by Alf Fearn who was usually a half-back with the reserves. Dulwich put eight goals past him, the goal coming in near darkness at the end of extra time. What put the game in the books was that City scored seven times. His feat remains the highest tally by a player on the side of an FA Cup tie. Founded in April 1908, the period in the history of St Albans City Football Club came during the 1920s. In February 2002, with the club having made one visit to the High Court in London. Since that time the Saints have existed very successfully within their financial means although the rise into the Nationwide Conference has been far from smooth, midway through the following campaign City were rooted to the foot of the table and facing an immediate return to the Isthmian League. Football had been played at the Saints Clarence Park home for 14 years prior to the formation of the present day club. The original St Albans, which played home matches at three other venues within the old Roman stronghold, met its demise in 1904 having come into existence back in 1881. After a four-year lapse a senior club bearing the name of the city again in 1908 and during its formative years competed in the Herts County. A move to the Athenian League heralded the start of the Saints halcyon days as that championship was won twice in three years paving the way for election to the Isthmian League. St Albans City won the Isthmian at the first attempt and followed it with two further successes before the decade was out, City remained in the Isthmian League until 2003 but never again did the title return to Clarence Park. When an extra Division was added in 1973 St Albans, along with Corinthian Casuals, had the honour of being the first club to be relegated within the Isthmian League. When a second relegation followed 12 years later the club turned to its former player John Mitchell, whose semi-final goals took Fulham to the 1975 FA Cup final, Mitchell duly obliged with two promotions in three years. In 1998 the diseased tree was felled, along with the Saints five championship successes in eight years during the 1920s the club also enjoyed its greatest days in the Amateur Cup
Torquay United F.C.
Torquay United Football Club is a professional association football club based in Torquay, Devon, England. The club participates in the National League, the tier of English football. They are based at Plainmoor and are managed by player-manager. The original Torquay United was formed in 1899 by a group of school-leavers under the guidance of Sergeant-Major Edward Tomney, relations between the two Torquay clubs were poor, but in 1921 matters finally came to a head. From 1923 onwards the league was split into Eastern and Western halves, in 1925, the club battled through five qualifying rounds to reach the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in the clubs history. Captain Percy Mackrill lead the team through two 1–1 draws before a strong Reading side won the second replay 2–0 at Plainmoor. The club then went on to lose the Southern League Championship final against the Eastern Champions Brighton & Hove Albion Reserves 4–0, finally the town of Torquay had a professional league team and had joined Plymouth and Exeter in the football league at last. The side for that first game was, Millsom, Cook, Smith, Wellock, Wragge, Conner, Mackey, Turner, Jones, McGovern, a crowd of 11,625 watched a 1–1 draw with Torquays goal coming from Bert Turner. Throughout the 1930s Torquay struggled against financial problems, such as having to replace the roof when it was blown off in 1930. They also failed to finish higher than 10th in twelve seasons, in the last few seasons before league football was suspended during the Second World War, Torquay struggled in Division Three South, finishing 20th, 20th and 19th out of 22 teams. In 1939, Torquay qualified for the final of the Third Division South Cup, however, the 1939 final was never played due to the outbreak of the Second World War. When league football was resumed in 1946, United continued to struggle, with the change of colours came a change in fortunes starting with the clubs greatest ever FA Cup moment that very season. After defeating Cambridge United 4–0 at home and Blyth Spartans 1–3 away, Torquay were drawn against Leeds United, away, in the third round of the Cup. The Torquay United versus Huddersfield Town fourth round FA Cup game at Plainmoor will always live on in the memory of those who attended the match on 29 January 1955. Torquay lost 1–0 to the higher-placed Division One club, but the attendance of 21,908 remains a Club record. Following their FA Cup heroics, in the 1956–57 season Torquay just missed out on promotion to Division Two on goal average, the season had begun well – and by April, the possibility of a first promotion to Division Two was the talk of the town. A trip to Crystal Palace for the team and over 1,500 Torquay fans travelling on the last day of the season beckoned. However, after two seasons in the Third Division they were again relegated on the last day of the campaign, with a 4–2 away defeat at Barnsley
Truro City F.C.
Truro City Football Club is an English football club based in Truro, Cornwall. They currently play in the National League South, the tier of the English football league system. They are the highest ranked club from Cornwall, the club had reached the same level in 2011, following five promotions in six seasons. However, they were relegated from the Conference South at the end of the 2012–13 season after going into administration and they were founding members of the South Western League in 1951 and won the title five times in their history. Truro were FA Cup regulars throughout the 1950s, but subsequently they were sporadic entrants until a permanent return to the competition in the 2006–07 season and they won the FA Vase in 2006–07. Their current manager is Lee Hodges who replaced Steve Tully in 2016, in 1889 Truro City became one of the founding members of the Cornwall County Football Association. Later in 1889, they played their first game at Truro School against Penzance and they then switched to Tolgarrick for their future games. Six years later in 1895, they won their first trophy, in the 1930s Truro left Cornish football for a time, joining the Plymouth and District League, which they went on to win in 1936–37. However, as a result of this switch, they were barred from competing the Cornwall Senior Cup, although they were re-admitted again in 1938. They were founding members of the South Western League in 1951, however, they won the championship five times since, and were only out of the division for three seasons when they lost their ground due to road widening. In the 2005–06 season, they finished runners-up in the South Western League and were promoted to the Western League Division One and they were faced with the longest travelling mileage of any club at their level due to the prevalence of Wiltshire-based clubs in the Western League. Truro is currently the only Cornish club playing in the top ten levels of the English football league system, for the remainder of the season, Director of Football Chris Webb took charge, assisted by former boss Dave Newton. Heaney owned a company and despite a recent slump in the housing market has continued to attract many players from higher leagues. Despite his housing company having gone into liquidation owing £4. 5m, he categorically denied claims that his money was drying up, in May 2008 former Plymouth Argyle and Exeter City striker Sean McCarthy was appointed the new Truro manager and the club appointed Dave Newton as his assistant. On 7 December 2009 Sean McCarthy left the club by mutual consent following a 7–2 away defeat to Stourbridge, on 22 December 2009 Truro signed Mangotsfield United midfielder Kyle Tooze, for an undisclosed fee, thought to be in the region of £5,000. June 2010 saw the appointment of yet another manager when Lee Hodges was appointed, on 23 April 2011, Truro were promoted as champions to the Conference South for the 2011–12 season with one league game remaining after a 3–0 win at Banbury United. After the troubled 2012–13 relegation season in which City nearly went out of business and he was replaced in June 2013 by Steve Massey, returning for his third spell as manager, having been in the post previously between 1992–94 and 2005–06. Massey was sacked on 12 March 2014 with City struggling in 19th place in the Southern Premier, the following day, Steve Tully was appointed player-manager at least until the end of the season
Wealdstone Football Club is a football club based in Ruislip, west London, England. The club is affiliated to the Middlesex County Football Association and currently plays in the National League South, the team play in royal blue shirts, white shorts and royal blue and white socks, and are nicknamed The Stones or The Royals. The club appeared in the first televised match in 1946. They were also the first club to win the non-League double, the club was formed at the start of the 1899–1900 season. Their first game was a match on 7 October 1899 against Northwood. They joined Division Two of the Willesden & District League, and were promoted to Division One for the 1900–01 season after Division Two was scrapped, the club was reformed in time for the 1908–09 season, rejoining Division One of the Willesden & District League. In 1910 they moved to Belmont Road, and won Division One again in 1912–13, following World War I the club joined the London League and the Middlesex Senior League. They moved to the Lower Mead ground at the start of the 1922–23 season, the club had their record win on 13 October 1923, beating the 12th London Regiment 22–0 in an FA Amateur Cup game. In 1928–29 they switched again, this time joining the Athenian League. In 1929–30 the club won the Middlesex Senior Cup and the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup for the first time, during World War II the club continued to play, playing at Wembley Stadium in the final of the Middlesex Senior Red Cross Cup in 1943. The following year recorded their heaviest-ever defeat, losing 14–0 to Edgware Town in the London Senior Cup. In 1946 the BBC showed part of Wealdstones Athenian League match at Barnet, after beating Colchester, Wealdstone reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 1–0 to Port Vale. In 1951–52 the club won the Athenian League, and went on to win the Middlesex Senior Cup in 1959,1963 and 1964, in 1964 they switched to the Isthmian League. In 1965–66 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup again, losing 3–1 at Millwall, the following season saw Wealdstone entered at the first round of the FA Cup, losing 2–0 at home to Nuneaton Borough. The club joined the Division One North of the Southern League in 1971 and they were moved to Division One South the following season, and won the division in 1973–74, earning promotion to the Premier Division. In 1979 the club were members of the Alliance Premier League. In 1984–85 the club won the Alliance Premier League, and also went on to win the FA Trophy, however, a period of decline set in, after finishing tenth the following season, they finished 19th in 1986–87, and were relegated the season after. At the end of the 1990–91 season financial problems led to the club selling their Lower Mead ground, in 1993 they moved to the Warren, Yeadings ground
Welling United F.C.
Welling United Football Club is a professional association football club, based in Welling, Greater London, England. The clubs first team play in the National League South, the tier of English football. Welling United Football Club was founded in 1963 in Welling, Kent and they began as a youth team playing in the Eltham & District Sunday League on a park pitch from 1963–64 to 1970–71. From 1971–72 to 1974–75 they played in the Metropolitan-London League Intermediate/Reserves Division, in 1975–76 they played in the London Spartan League Reserve Division One. They gained senior status in the London Spartan League in 1976 at Butterfly Lane and they finished 6th in Division 2 in 1976–77 and were promoted to the Premier Division. In 1977 Welling moved to the Park View Road ground, which had belonged to the defunct Bexley United. They joined the Athenian League in 1978, in 1981 they progressed to the Southern Football League Southern Division. After just one season at this level the club found itself in the Southern League Premier Division after the league was re-organised, in 1985–86 they won the league title by 23 points and were promoted to the Football Conference. They also made one third round appearance, losing 1–0 at Park View Road to Blackburn Rovers, the Wings dropped out of the Conference when they were relegated on the last day of the season in 1999–2000 and returned to the Southern League. The first season at this level proved a struggle, and with the Wings rooted to the foot of the table for the first three months of the season Parker left the club by mutual consent, pennock left the club at the end of the 2006–07 season. His last game managing the Wings finished in a 1–1 draw at home to Hayes, pennock joined Stoke City in a coaching position under his former Gillingham manager, Tony Pulis. On 16 May 2007, Welling United appointed Neil Smith as the new first team manager, however, after only seven months in charge Smith parted company with the club on 7 January 2008. It was mutually agreed between the club and Smith that his reign as Wings boss would end, andy Ford was appointed the new manager of the Wings on 31 January 2008. Despite losing 6–2 to Cambridge City in his first game in charge, Ford guided the Wings to safety, Welling finished 7th in the Conference South in 2008/09 under the guidance of Ford. After a poor start to the 2009–10 season Ford resigned stating he didnt think he could achieve what he wanted on the current budget, Jamie Day was announced as the new player/manager in November 2009. On 12 August 2010, the club was served with a petition by HMRC. The Wings were given 14 weeks to pay the debt to the HMRC. During this period, in a Football Conference Hearing on 16 September 2010, resultantly an immediate deduction of 5 points was enforced on the club together with a suspended £5,000 fine
Weston-super-Mare Association Football Club is a semi-professional football club based in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England. Nicknamed The Seagulls, the club is affiliated to the Somerset County Football Association and currently competes in the National League South, the club was founded in 1887 but disbanded twice, the current club was established in 1948. Their claim to fame is that they have never relegated in their history. The teams best performance in the FA Cup came in 2003–04 when they reached the round of the competition. Weston-super-Mare has a modest fan base and a rivalry with fellow Somerset club Clevedon Town. However, the two clubs have not played in the league since Weston-super-Mare gained promotion to the Southern League Premier Division in 2003. Weston-super-Mare A. F. C. was formed in 1887, the teams first record of a competitive match being against near-neighbours Clevedon Town in a Medal Competition organised by the Somerset FA. In 1900 they joined Division two of the Western Football League but left two years. In 1910 they rejoined this league and played there until World War I, between the wars, the club played in the local Bristol and District Football League and then the Somerset County League but the club disbanded upon the outbreak of hostilities in 1939. The club reformed in 1948 and immediately rejoined the Western League, at this time the team played at the Great Ground in Locking Road, where initially there was no cover for spectators and the players had to change in a marquee. A season after the club joined rejoined the Western league they made their debut in the FA Cup in the 1949–50 season losing to Gloucester City in the qualifying round. The team remained in the Second Division until the league consolidated to a division in 1960. During this time moved to the Langford Road Ground. In 1989 John Ellener was appointed manager and led the club to the Western League championship in 1991–92, in their first Premier Division season they finished in 10th place, enough to clinch a place in the newly formed Conference South. The clubs most successful cup run came in the 2003–04 season, after defeating Dorchester Town, Chesham United and Welling United in the qualifying rounds, Weston secured a 1–0 away win against Farnborough Town to progress from the first round. They were awarded with a tie against Third Division side. In the same season, Weston would equal their best performance in the FA Trophy, in the 2006–07 season of the conference south the club looked they finished in 20th position and looked seemingly relegated. The 2007–08 season ended in similar fashion for Weston, a 20th-place finish meant the club was eligible for relegation, only to be spared by the enforced demotion of Cambridge City, who failed a ground inspection
Woking Football Club is a semi-professional association football club based in Woking, Surrey, England. Formed in 1889, the play at The Laithwaite Community Stadium and participates in the National League. Woking have won the FA Trophy a joint-record three times and finished 2015–16 season in 12th place, Woking are known as The Cards or The Cardinals. Woking Football Club, known as the Cards, was formed in 1889, the club joined the West Surrey League in 1895–96, winning the title by one point. However, within 21 years of being formed, the club was in danger of folding for financial reasons, the turning point came when, in January 1908, Woking played Bolton Wanderers in the First Round of the FA Cup, having made it through five qualifying rounds. Despite losing the away game 5–0, the club made it into the national news, Bolton Wanderers, impressed by the minnows they had defeated, travelled to Woking for a friendly match the following season, which kept the club solvent. In 1911 the club joined the Isthmian League, maintaining their place in the top division for 72 years and finishing as runners-up to Wycombe Wanderers in 1956–57. That achievement was eclipsed the following season when, in front of a 71,000 crowd, the club then went into decline, culminating in a first-ever relegation in 1982–83. By the end of the 1984–85 season the club had plunged to Division Two South of the Isthmian League and it was during that season that former player, Geoff Chapple, was appointed as manager. However, Chapelle was not able to save the club from relegation, the following season, the club just missed out on promotion at the first attempt. The next season saw the club part of FA Cup folklore. Entering the competition in the Fourth Qualifying Round, they beat three Conference sides to set up a Third Round tie away to West Bromwich Albion, recovering from being a goal behind, Woking triumphed 4–2, after a hat-trick from Tim Buzaglo. The club was drawn against Everton. The tie was originally going to be played at Woking, though the venue was switched to Evertons home ground, Woking narrowly lost the match 1–0 to a Kevin Sheedy goal. Promotion to the Conference was achieved in 1991–92, the Isthmian League title was clinched in early April, with seven games still to be played,18 points clear of nearest rivals, Enfield. The next season saw Woking finish the season in eighth position, the FA Trophy was won in 1994 when Runcorn were beaten at Wembley. Twelve months later Kidderminster Harriers were beaten as Woking became the club ever to win successive finals. Wembley was revisited in 1997 and the FA Trophy was won for the third time, the Cards also achieved five successive top five finishes in the Conference, including being runners-up in 1994–95 and 1995–96 when they finished below Stevenage
London /ˈlʌndən/ is the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south east of the island of Great Britain and it was founded by the Romans, who named it Londinium. Londons ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its 1. 12-square-mile medieval boundaries. London is a global city in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism. It is crowned as the worlds largest financial centre and has the fifth- or sixth-largest metropolitan area GDP in the world, London is a world cultural capital. It is the worlds most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the worlds largest city airport system measured by passenger traffic, London is the worlds leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. Londons universities form the largest concentration of education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted the modern Summer Olympic Games three times, London has a diverse range of people and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken in the region. Its estimated mid-2015 municipal population was 8,673,713, the largest of any city in the European Union, Londons urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census. The citys metropolitan area is the most populous in the EU with 13,879,757 inhabitants, the city-region therefore has a similar land area and population to that of the New York metropolitan area. London was the worlds most populous city from around 1831 to 1925, Other famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Pauls Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, and The Shard. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world, the etymology of London is uncertain. It is an ancient name, found in sources from the 2nd century and it is recorded c.121 as Londinium, which points to Romano-British origin, and hand-written Roman tablets recovered in the city originating from AD 65/70-80 include the word Londinio. The earliest attempted explanation, now disregarded, is attributed to Geoffrey of Monmouth in Historia Regum Britanniae and this had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had allegedly taken over the city and named it Kaerlud. From 1898, it was accepted that the name was of Celtic origin and meant place belonging to a man called *Londinos. The ultimate difficulty lies in reconciling the Latin form Londinium with the modern Welsh Llundain, which should demand a form *lōndinion, from earlier *loundiniom. The possibility cannot be ruled out that the Welsh name was borrowed back in from English at a later date, and thus cannot be used as a basis from which to reconstruct the original name. Until 1889, the name London officially applied only to the City of London, two recent discoveries indicate probable very early settlements near the Thames in the London area
Essex /ˈɛsᵻks/ is a county in England immediately north-east of London. It borders the counties of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent across the estuary of the River Thames to the south, the county town is Chelmsford, which is the only city in the county. Essex occupies the part of the old Kingdom of Essex, before this. As well as areas, the county also includes London Stansted Airport, the new towns of Basildon and Harlow, Lakeside Shopping Centre, the port of Tilbury. Originally recorded in AD527, Essex occupied territory to the north of the River Thames, incorporating all of what later became Middlesex and its territory was later restricted to lands east of the River Lea. In changes before the Norman conquest the East Saxons were subsumed into the Kingdom of England and, following the Norman conquest, Essex became a county. During the medieval period, much of the area was designated a Royal forest, including the county in a period to 1204. Gradually, the subject to forest law diminished, but at various times included the forests of Becontree, Chelmsford, Epping, Hatfield, Ongar. County-wide administration Essex County Council was formed in 1889, however County Boroughs of West Ham, Southend-on-Sea and East Ham formed part of the county but were unitary authorities. 12 boroughs and districts provide more localised services such as rubbish and recycling collections, leisure and planning, parish-level administration – changes A few Essex parishes have been transferred to other counties. Before 1889, small areas were transferred to Hertfordshire near Bishops Stortford, Essex became part of the East of England Government Office Region in 1994 and was statistically counted as part of that region from 1999, having previously been part of the South East England region. Two unitary authorities In 1998 the boroughs of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock were granted autonomy from the county of Essex after successful requests to become unitary authorities. Essex Police covers the county and the two unitary authorities. The county council chamber and main headquarters is at the County Hall in Chelmsford, before 1938 the council regularly met in London near Moorgate, which with significant parts closer to that point and the dominance of railways had been more convenient than any place in the county. It currently has 75 elected councillors, before 1965, the number of councillors reached over 100. The highest point of the county of Essex is Chrishall Common near the village of Langley, close to the Hertfordshire border, the pattern of settlement in the county is diverse. Epping Forest also acts as a barrier to the further spread of London. Part of the southeast of the county, already containing the population centres of Basildon, Southend and Thurrock, is within the Thames Gateway
Football in London
Football is the most popular sport, both in terms of participants and spectators, in London. Most London clubs are named after the district in which play or used to play. Fulham is Londons oldest club still playing professionally, having founded in 1879. Royal Arsenal were Londons first team to turn professional in 1891, Arsenal is Londons most successful team with 43 honours. Arsenal were the first and only London club to go an entire League season unbeaten, the only other club to achieve this feat are Preston North End who remained unbeaten across the 22 games of the inaugural season of the Football League in 1888–89. Arsenal have won The FA Cup for a joint record 12 times, Arsenal were the first London club to win the Football League First Division in the 1930–31 season and the Premier League in the 1997–98 season. Chelsea is the first and the only London club to win the UEFA Champions League after winning the 2012 tournament. On 15 May 2013, Chelsea won the UEFA Europa League to become one of four clubs, Chelsea is also the first and the only London club to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup. They became the runner-up of 2012 tournament after losing to Corinthians, Tottenham Hotspur were the first club in Britain to win a European trophy, winning the Cup Winners Cup in 1963. Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are Londons most successful teams, between them, theyve won a total of 97 titles and trophies. Wembley Stadium, Englands national stadium, is in London and it is the home venue of the England national football team and has traditionally hosted the FA Cup Final since 1923. The playing of ball games was first recorded in London by William FitzStephen around 1174-1183. He described the activities of London youths during the festival of Shrove Tuesday. After lunch all of the youth would go out into the fields to take part in a ball game. The students of school have their own ball, the workers from each city craft are also carrying their balls. The playing of some form of football in London has been documented since its creation in 1314. Early games were probably disorganised and violent, in the sixteenth century, the headmaster of St Pauls School Richard Mulcaster is credited with taking mob football and transforming it into organised and refereed team football. In 1581 he described in English his game of football, which included teams, referees, set positions