Tom Serry, Ashley Bowles and Jack Camm are amongst a trio of ex professionals who will take part
in the launch match of the UK Elite Squad. Ex Jamaican Youth International, Omar Thomas will also
The match vs a Leatherhead Club X1 will take place at their Fetcham Stadium on 15th September
and has been arranged by UKFF Executive Chairman, Adam Parry.
Tonight marks the 20th anniversary of the demise of Aldershot Football Club. Having been a
member of the Football League for 62 years, the club was declared officially out of business on the
25th March 1992 and had to resign from the League.
Yet 20 years on, Aldershot Town FC have risen from the ashes, and tonight take on Bristol Rovers
in what many might see as a standard midtable fixture.
In November of last year, a non-league football club made its first appearance at its new home
ground. This in itself is nothing truly remarkable. After all, football clubs relocating has been a
common enough sight over the last quarter of a century or so. For this particular club, though, the
move was a special one, bringing, as it did, to an end twelve years of asset-stripping, internecine
arguing and a battle to keep senior football alive in a borough on the periphery of London that had
become synonymous with one of the best known names in non-league football.
It was, as you will no doubt be aware by now, the twentieth anniversary of the start of the
Premier League next month, but what will likely be forgotten in the slew of retrospectives is the
fact that just three days after the behemoth which has come to eat English football in that
intervening two decades the Football League saw its last to date resignation during the season.
The end of season play-offs are both exhilarating and exhausting. For the clubs that finish in
places just below the automatic promotion places, everything comes down those two or three matches
at the end of the season and they come so quickly after the end of the normal league season that
the work that has gone into securing a place just above that dotted line can feel as if it has come
and gone all too quickly.
As this season winds towards its end, one small town in Suffolk's football club is continuing
its upward trajectory. Needham Market FC are in the play-off places in the Ryman League Division
One North, only sixteen years after they were still competing in the amateur Suffolk & Ipswich
League. Andy Ollerenshaw went to see what they're getting so right there at the
Just over ten years after their formation, Enfield Town return to a ground of their own at
The QE2 Stadium on Wednesday. The first match is a Middlesex Senior Cup tie against Harefield
United on Wednesday 9th November followed by a Ryman League Cup tie against AFC Sudbury on Monday
For our very last Non-League Day related story, David Bauckham travelled up to Middlesex for the
Ryman League Premier Division match between Wealdstone and Bury Town.
I was once asked by someone to explain this "football pyramid thing" that I kept banging on
about and it was only then, as a follower of non-League football for many years, that it dawned on
me that there are many football fans out there who have little or no idea that the Pyramid even
exists, let alone what it is all about.
It's Non-League Day tomorrow, but you already knew that, didn't you? The brain-child of Mike
Bayly occasionally of this parish and James Doe is celebrating its second annual event this
weekend, and the extent to which non-league football has embraced the idea has been refreshing, to
say the least.
Well, all of the leagues have finally started. The Isthmian League caught up with the rest and
started its competitive season this weekend, meaning that everyone has now started for the new
season, and this evening two of our four matches come from this league. First up, though, we're off
to Surrey for Chertsey Town's first match in Division One Central of the Southern League.
The story of how this evening's match between Ascot United and Wembley FC has come to be shown
live via the medium of Facebook thanks to the tournament's sponsors, Budweiser, has, it could well
be argued, had a positive effect for all concerned. The Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup and,
in turn, the tournament itself has received a shot of publicity for a stage of the competition that
usually receives next to none.
The non-league season the Isthmian League aside started yesterday, and we're delighted to be
able to bring you highlights of four matches this evening, one from the Blue Square Premier, two
from the Blue Square South and one from the Premier Division of the Southern League. The first
match is between Hayes & Yeading United and Alfreton Town.
As some of the regulars on this site will have been aware for some time now, we have been
writing up the pre-season on this site for several weeks now, with the intention of putting the
whole thing together as one downloadable PDF file. I'm delighted to be able to confirm that, with a
couple of hours left before the start of the Premier League and non-league seasons, it's
With the future of Supporters Direct still under threat, it is worth taking a moment to reflect
upon an anniversary that will most likely go unremarked upon elsewhere, but is still an anniversary
that has changed our perception of how football clubs can be run. Long before Chester FC or FC
United of Manchester, before even AFC Wimbledon were formed, the first club set up in protest at
the ownership of one individual took their first steps.
After a depressing few days, let's try and lighten the mood a little as Mark Murphy brings
us his memories of the former home of Kingstonian FC at Richmond Road.
I only saw the death throes of Isthmian League Kingstonian's Richmond Road ground. But it still
had āsomething.' And (sorry if this is "too much information") most of my dreams involving
Kingstonian games are still at Richmond Road, despite it hosting its last fixtures in January
ItĀ has beenĀ a wretched season for St Albans City. Twenty-five years at the sixth level of the
English pyramid -one of which, the 2006/07 season had been spent a division higher in the Blue
Square Premier came to a crashing halt this season in a fog of humiliation, as they were docked ten
points for financial irregularities and finished well adrift at the foot of the Blue Square
For men of a certain age, the name of Leatherhead FC makes the eyes mist over and the memories
come flooding back. The Tanners were in Division One of the Isthmian League (which was renamed the
Premier Division in 1977, following reorganisation) when they beat Colchester United and Brighton &
Hove Albion on the way to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup in 1975, where the BBC's Match Of The Day
cameras saw them steal a two goal lead against First Division Leicester City before losing by three
goals to two.
It's Northern League Day today, a chance to celebrate the second oldest football league in
the world. With this in mind, we have reached back into the archives for the story of a Northern
League club that came within a whisker of making the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, all the way back
in 1978 Blyth Spartans.
With barely a whimper, as quietly as a mouse, a football club died today at the High Court in
London. It might not matter that much to many people that Windsor & Eton Football Club should have
slipped from consciousness today, but it matters to some the couple of hundred or so people that
supported them, those that played for them, were amongst the backroom staff and the volunteers that
ran the club through well over a century of history, for example.
Hove, Aldrington, Portslade, Fishersgate, Southwick, Shoreham-by-Sea, Lancing. The train rumbles
westward allong the coast from Brighton for an unexpected treat, an FA Vase Third Round match
between Lancing, of the Sussex County League Division Two and Witham Town, of the Essex Senior
League. The FA Vase, as many of you will be aware, was first competed for in 1975, following the
FA's abolition of the formal distinction between professional amateur players.
"Rites of passage" tend to involve teenagers and revolve around love and/or sex, certainly in
the Hollywood films that I know about. Being a non-league football fan, I missed that particular
rite of passage completely, along with pretty much every other interesting rite of passage you
could think of.
There was always something inherently contradictory about Stan Flashman. He is, perhaps, bestĀ
remembered as the "King Of The Touts" (often with the prefix "Self-Styled" attached to it), but
when he craved respectability he would rebrand himself as a "Ticket Broker." Ultimately, though, he
himself stated that he didn't care what he was called as long as the money was right.
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE 0-5 CHELTENHAM TOWN
Saturday 18th February 2012
Football League 2
The London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Stadium
Today is the 35th birthday of the editor / big chief of All Roads Lead Somewhere and this was spent
in east London. It had been suggested around Christmas time about going out for the day with my
wife (Angela), mum (Christine) and her partner Dave but the question was where?
Over recent months, we have called upon regular followers of non-league football in order to guess
at which players might stand a chance of forging a career in the Football League, should they wish
to take the opportunity. First up was Michael Hudson; the proprietor of The Accidental Groundhopper
website running the rule over the Northern League.
As the Twohundredpercent summer interval continues, we take a look back at Wycombe
Wanderers' run to the semi-finals of the competition in 2001.
The FA Cup is a competition that throws up surprise results every season, but some records
remain and one that may never be broken is that no-one from the bottom two divisions of the
Football League has made The FA Cup final.
A few weeks ago, that Accidental Groundhopper, Michael Hudson pondered over which Northern League
players could make an impact higher up the pyramid. Now, for the second in our series, Barry from
the superb site, The Cold EndĀ assessesĀ the Isthmian League's finest, deploying its current
moniker The Ryman League throughout.
Maidstone United 2 Leiston 2 - Isthmian League, Premier Division
Maidstone is the county town of Kent, England, 32 miles south-east of London. The River Medway runs through the centre of the town, linking it with Rochester and the Thames Estuary. Historically, the river was a source and route for much of the town's trade as the centre of the agricultural county of Kent, known as the Garden of England.
I'm a fan of international football tournaments on the whole, regardless of quality (regular
readers may have spotted this long ago). And the 2012 "edition" of the African Cup of Nations
certainly put that philosophy to the test. Take out an extraordinary second round of group games
and the uplifting climax and you were left with a series of not very good football matches, spoiled
by wild shooting, woeful set-pieces, shocking referee's assistants, poor sportsmanship and crowds
which gave all the grounds the look of an Isthmian League matchday.
Congratulations to Chris Smalling who has been called up to the England squad for the first
time. After impressing for the U-21, Smalling is one of the eight defenders that Fabio Capello has
named in his squad for a friendly against France on Wednesday.
Two years ago he was playing for the Isthmian League side Maidstone United.