Monday, 27 June 2011


Many people often discuss which Step 3 (Step 2 prior to the creation of the Conference North and South divisions) league is the strongest. The cold end can help you with this argument about The Isthmian League Premier Division, The Southern League Premier Division and Northern Premier League Premier Division with the following information

A good start point is the 1986/87 season as this was when automatic promotion to the football league from the Conference was introduced.

SEASON   NPL                  ISTHMIAN             SOUTHERN 
1986-87  Macclesfield Town    Wycombe Wanderers    Fisher Athletic   
1987-88  Chorley              Yeovil Town          Aylesbury United 
1988–89  Barrow               Leytonstone/Ilford   Merthyr Tydfil 
1989–90  Colne Dynamoes*      Sutton United        Dover Athletic 
1990–91  Witton Albion        Redbridge Forest     Farnborough Town 
1991–92  Stalybridge Celtic   Woking               Bromsgrove Rovers 
1992–93  Southport            Chesham              Dover Athletic 
1993–94  Marine*              Stevenage Borough    Farnborough Town 
1994–95  Marine*              Enfield FC*          Hednesford Town 
1995–96  Bamber Bridge*       Hayes                Rushden and Diamonds 
1996–97  Leek Town            Yeovil Town          Gresley Rovers* 
1997–98  Barrow               Kingstonian          Forest Green Rovers 
1998–99  Altrincham           Sutton United        Nuneaton Borough 
1999-00  Leigh RMI            Dag and Red          Boston United 
2000–01  Stalybridge Celtic   Farnborough Town     Margate 
2001–02  Burton Albion        Gravesend and N      Kettering Town 
2002–03  Accrington Stanley   Aldershot Town       Tamworth 
2003–04  Hucknall Town*       Canvey Island        Crawley Town 
------------  Creation of Conference South and North Divisions ------------ 
2004–05  Hyde United          Yeading              Histon  
2005–06  Blyth Spartans       Braintree Town       Salisbury City 
2006–07  Burscough            Hampton and Rich     Bath City 
2007–08  Fleetwood Town       Chelmsford City      Kings Lynn 
2008–09  Eastwood Town        Dover Athletic       Corby Town 
2009–10  Guiseley             Dartford             Farnborough
2010–11  FC Halifax Town      Sutton United        Truro City 

2004-05  Workington           Eastleigh            Hednesford Town
2005-06  Farsley Celtic       Fisher Athletic      Bedford Town 
2006-07  AFC Telford United   Bromley              Maidenhead United 
2007-08  Gateshead            AFC Wimbledon        Team Bath
2008-09  Ilkeston Town        Staines Town         Gloucester City   
2009-10  Boston United        Boreham Wood         Nuneaton Town 
2010-11  Colwyn Bay           Tonbridge Angels     Salisbury City 

red denotes went to become a football league club
* denotes not promoted 
1989/90 - Gateshead promoted in place of Colne Dynamoes
1993/94 - No club promoted in place of Marine 
1994/95 - Morecambe promoted in place of Marine
          Slough Town promoted in place of Enfield
1995/96 - No club promoted in place of Bamber Bridge
1996/97 - Cheltenham Town promoted in place of Gresley Rovers 
2003/04 - No team promoted in place of Hucknall Town

Number of clubs who went into the football league since 1986/87
As you can see the since the advent of automatic promotion from the Conference it's the Isthmian League who are winners with a total of six clubs moving up to gain football league status. Both the Southern and Northern League's are on a total of four each although the Southern League counts Boston United and Rushden and Diamonds as the only clubs on the list to be promoted and then relegated from the football league.

The table also shows that since the formation of the Northern and Southern Conference divisions in 2004 it has become harder to gain promotion into the football league with a further division to negotiate. Only AFC Wimbledon have come from the new Step 3 since that time to gain promotion to the football league.

The introduction of two up/two down from League Two in 2002 has also strengthened the Conference league transforming it into a more professional league with a total of fourteen of the twenty-four clubs in the Blue Square Premier for 2011/12 being ex football league sides#.

Going back a decade to 2001/02 the total was just seven of twenty-two club division. This number included Northwich Victoria (members of the league from 1892-1894, Southport (1921 -1974) and Stalybridge Celtic (1921 - 1923).

# - includes the reformed Gateshead and Newport County

Yeovil Town have reached the highest position in the football league when in the 2006/07 season they finished in fifth position in League One and qualified for the Play-Off final at Wembley. The semi-final was was an amazing 5-4 aggregate victory over Nottingham Forest. Although mention must go to Wycombe Wanderers who have gone on to reach the Semi-Final of both the FA Cup and League Cup since joining the league in 1993.

Only Rushden and Diamonds (2002/03) and Yeovil Town (2003/04) have been winners of Division Three/League Two with Wycombe Wanderers, Dagenham & Redbridge, Macclesfield Town, Cheltenham Town and Stevenage Borough all going up via the play-offs or automatic promotion.


LEAGUE ONE          LEAGUE TWO           Blue Square North   ??????
Stevenage Borough   Accrington Stanley   Boston United       Rushden and Diamonds
Wycombe Wanderers   AFC Wimbledon
Yeovil Town         Aldershot Town       
                    Burton Albion 
                    Cheltenham Town 
                    Crawley Town 
                    Dag and Red 
                    Macclesfield Town                                   
The formation of AFC Wimbledon in 2002 and the fantastic story of their rise through the Combined Counties and Isthmian divisions and onto the Blue Square South and National divisions shows the dream of a club climbing up from the depths of the non-league to the football league is still alive.

What Stevenage Borough fan would of thought back in 1990 (they were relegated when finishing second bottom to Wolverton Town in the Isthmian League Division One) that in 2010/11 they would be playing Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic in the football league?

And what of the next twenty years??  Lowestoft Town v Ipswich Town, Fulham v Sutton United or Gillingham v Chatham Town anyone??


The 'Kent Blaxhill' Essex and Suffolk Border League Premier Division Champions of 2010/11 have been accepted into the Eastern Counties League for next season.

Brightlingsea Regent rejoin the league they left in the former guise of Brightlingsea United in 2002. In 2005 a merger with Regent Park Rangers created the new name for the club.

Regent won the title last season by winning an incredible 31 of the 34 league games played losing only one game and drawing two. They scored 111 goals and only let in 20 at the other end amassing a goal difference of +96!! The only league game the club lost was away to Gas Recreation on the 19th March which the home side and eventual runners-up won 4-1. Regent's superb league season included an 11-0 home win against a famous old non-league name in Harwich and Parkeston. Forward Terry Rymer scored a grand total of 46 goals in 41 league and cup matches last season attracting interest from club's higher up the pyramid. The good news for manager James Webster is that Rymer has committed to the club for next season.

The name of Brightlingsea last appeared in the FA Cup in 1994 when Canvey Island won 1-3 at North Road and in the FA Vase in 2001 with an unsuccessful trip to Bicester Town - the result being 2-0 to the home side. The club have never got past the preliminary rounds of the FA Cup with their best ever performance in the Vase being reaching the 2nd Round on three different occasions. The last being in 1989/90 when Stevenage Borough recorded a 0-2 victory in Essex. Look where they are now??

Brightlingsea United were members of the Essex Senior League from 1972 through to 1990 when after two successive title winning seasons the club moved on to the Eastern Counties League where, as stated above, they were members until 2002.

The Town will be represented in the Vase for the first time in over a decade as the club have applied to the FA to be included.

Situated between Colchester and Clacton-On-Sea at the mouth of the River Colne the Town does have a beach for all the Seaside lovers among the fans in the Eastern Counties League Division One for the 2011/12 season.

Regent start their pre-season friendlies with a short trip to play FC Clacton on the 12th July followed by trips to Wivenhoe Town, Halstead Town and Wormingford Wanderers amongst others.

A charity match has also been arranged between a Brightlingsea Regent XI and the Tottenham Legends side to be played at North Road on Saturday 30th July all in aid of Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

Regent are the only new name in the league for the coming season with no club's promoted or relegated from other leagues. The full constitution for the Eastern Counties League for 2011/12 is -


Brantham Athletic
Dereham Town
Diss Town
Ely City
Felixstowe & Walton United
FC Clacton
Great Yarmouth Town
Hadleigh United
Haverhill Rovers
Kirkley & Pakefield
Mildenhall Town
Newmarket Town
Norwich United
Stanway Rovers
Walsham le Willows
Wisbech Town
Wivenhoe Town
Woodbridge Town


Brightlingsea Regent
Cambridge University Press
Cornard United
Debenham LC
Downham Town
Fakenham Town
Godmanchester Rovers
Halstead Town
Ipswich Wanderers
Long Melford
March Town United
Saffron Walden Town
Stowmarket Town
Swaffham Town
Team Bury
Thetford Town
Whitton United 

The Great Yarmouth Town v Gorleston local derby matches will be hotly anticipated by fans on the Norfolk coast with the rival's last matches in Division One (2009/10) drawing crowds of 440 and 214.

Sunday, 26 June 2011


Here are the odds for the Blue Square Premier Division as they stand on at present -

Luton Town     11/4
Fleetwood Town  4/1
Darlington      9/1
York City       9/1
Newport County 10/1
Mansfield Town 11/1
Wrexham        12/1
Lincoln City   14/1
Grimsby Town   14/1
Kidderminster  25/1
Cambridge Utd  25/1
Stockport      28/1
Forest Green   40/1
Alfreton       40/1
AFC Telford    40/1
Kettering      66/1
Bath City      66/1
Gateshead      66/1
Ebbsfleet     100/1
Barrow        100/1
Braintree     150/1
Tamworth      150/1
Southport     150/1
Hayes & Yead  200/1

Luton          13/8
Fleetwood       9/4
Darlington      5/1
York City       5/1
Newport County 11/2
Mansfield       6/1
Lincoln City   13/2
Grimsby Town   13/2
Wrexham        13/2
Cambridge Utd  14/1
Kidderminster  14/1
Stockport      16/1
Forest Green   20/1
Alfreton       20/1
AFC Telford    20/1
Kettering      33/1
Bath City      33/1
Gateshead      33/1
Barrow         50/1
Ebbsfleet      50/1
Tamworth       80/1
Braintree      80/1
Hayes & Yead  100/1
It's no surprise that Luton Town are top in both lists at 11/4 to win the league and 13/8 to win promotion. Gary Brabin has strengthened his squad after narrowly losing to AFC Wimbledon in the play-off final and there is no doubt they will be right up the top of the league challenging throughout the season. The Hatters have a prestigious friendly arranged for Tuesday 2nd August when Italian side Parma visit Kenilworth Road.

Fleetwood Town are next up at 4/1 and 9/4. The Cod Army, who also lost to AFC Wimbledon in the play-offs, have made a raft of new and impressive signings for the new campaign. Striker Richard Brodie who won the league with Crawley Town last season has joined on a year long loan along with Keith Briggs (who captained Kidderminster Harriers last season), the prolific striker Andy Mangan (16 goals for Wrexham last season and top scorer in the Conference in 2009/10 when he bagged 26 for Forest Green Rovers) and central defender Rob Atkinson from Grimsby Town (he skippered the Mariners last season) amongst others.

Bottom of the pack are Hayes and Yeading at 200/1 for the title and 100/1 for promotion. The Middlesex club moved out of Church Road (which on a sad note has been demolished) at the end of last season and will ground share at Woking's Kingfield stadium for this season whilst the site of Yeading's old ground at The Warren is redeveloped into a new stadium for the club. They are reported to have the lowest of playing budgets amongst the BSP clubs for this season. They have appointed former Reading youth coach Nas Bashir as manager in place of the departing Gary Haylock.

The bookies rarely ever get in wrong so will it be The Cod Army and The Hatters competing for first place with Hayes and Yeading down the bottom fighting against relegation?? 

Friday, 24 June 2011


St Albans City, who will play in the Southern Premier League for the 2011/12 season, have announced two home friendly matches in their pre-season build up.

The Saints who appointed Dave Howell as their new boss as few weeks ago are due to entertain a side sent by Premier League new boys Queens Park Rangers and FC Gabala of Azerbaijan. Gabala are managed by none other than ex Arsenal legend Tony Adams and play in the Azerbaijan Premier League (or the Unibank Premyer Liqasi as it's known after it's main sponsor). The ex England international took over as boss last May and took his new club to a 7th placed finish in the table.

As well as players from Azerbaijan the team has a number of foreign players in the squad such as Deon Burton (ex of Charlton Athletic, Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County to name a few of his old clubs) and Steve Olfers (a dutch footballer ex of PSV Eindhoven, Aab, Sparta Rotterdam and FC Den Bosch amongst others). Terry Cooke is also in the squad, he started out with Manchester United from 1994 to 1997 and then went on to represent Sunderland, Birmingham City, Manchester City, Wigan Athletic, Sheffield Wednesday, Grimsby Town, Colorado Rapids and North Queensland before joining Adams at Gabala.  There are two Brazilians in Bruno Dos Anjos and Bruno Da Silva Barbosa alongwith Serbian Milan Antic, Romanian Razvan Tarlea, Former Guinea international Abdulkaber Kamara and Argentian Kristian Torres make up a very interesting international squad of players. 

The game against QPR is on Monday 18th July with a kick off time of 7.15pm and FC Gabala visit on Sunday 24th July with a 1pm kick off. Please check the club's website to confirm kick off times nearer the date if you fancy going.


Yesterday marked the tenth anniversary of the formation of Enfield Town FC.

For those not in the know the club was formed when the vast majority of members of the Enfield FC Supporters Trust voted to break away from the old club mainly down to the sale and destruction of Southbury Road in 1999 which in turn made one of non-league football's most famous names homeless.

Despite a task force being set up which worked with the local council to earmark three possible sights within the borough of Enfield where a new stadium could be built the Chairman failed to act on the findings and continued with a long term ground-share at Boreham Wood. This being roughly a 28 mile round trip for a home game from the historic and dearly loved Southbury Road stadium - which by 2001 had been demolished.

So the first supporter's formed and owned club has been around for a decade and the future looks bright with the move 'home' into the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Donkey Lane.

The success of the club has only been brought about by the numerous people who work so hard behind the scenes. Each and everyone of you deserves a massive thank you and great big pat on the back. Well done to everyone!!! 

Here's to the next ten years and who knows where the club maybe in 2021.

Thursday, 23 June 2011


Fisher FC, of the Safety Net Kent Premier League have announced a supporter consultation on the possible changing of the club's crest with the new proposed badge being a return to the 'angry fish' design that the original Fisher Athletic team had in the early 1900's and through the 1990's and 2000's. It also adds the name of Bermondsey to represent one of the main areas the club represents. Current voting by fans shows they are 87% behind the change.

The Fish who finished bottom of the table last season have recruited a new manager in Steve Firkins from Greenwich Borough this season. Borough finished in fourth position last campaign and did reach the final of the Kent Senior Trophy in 2010. Firkins, who hails from Bermondsey, is looking to finish in the top three in his first season in charge of the Fish. Check out the interview with their new boss on Fisher's website.

The Kent Premier League has a total of 16 member clubs for this season with Canterbury City and Cray Valley PM joining the division. Norton Sports have been renamed Woodstock Sports for the 2010/11 season following due to relocation to The WEM stadium in Woodstock Park, Sittingbourne.

The League's constitution will be -

Beckenham Town
Canterbury City
Cray Valley PM
Deal Town
Erith & Belverdere
Erith Town
Greenwich Borough
Herne Bay
Sevenoaks Town
Tunbridge Wells
VCD Athletic
Woodstock Sports

The football pyramid in Kent will see a new league from 2010/11, with the Step 6 Kent Invicta League formed, which will see promotion and relegation to and from the Kent Premier Leaugue. The new league will in turn bridge the gap between the Premier League and the Kent County League.

The constitution of the new league will be -

Ashford United
Bly Spartans
Bridon Ropes
Erith & Dartford Town
Hollands & Blair
Lewisham Borough Community
Lydd Town
Phoenix Sports
Seven Acre & Sidcup
Sutton Athletic
Woodstock Park

Ashford United is the new name for Ashford Town (Kent) who were due to play in the Ryman Division One (South) for the 2010/11 season but financial difficulties saw the club inactive for the last season. The newly named club start their pre-season off when a Gillingham XI visit on Saturday 2nd July. The match at The Homelands kicks off at 1pm.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011


What is the link between the FA Cup finals of 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1988 and one of the most famous and well known non-league clubs?? 

The connection is that some of the player's who took part in those finals (Graham Roberts, Peter Hucker, Graham Pearce, Steve Terry and Eric Young) all went on to wear the famous white and blue shirt of Enfield FC.

Roberts, who saw his career go full circle when arriving at Southbury Road (he had begun his career for non-league Weymouth and Dorchester Town) was player-manager in 1992 and 1993. Pearce also spent a period in the hot-seat in 1991 as player-manager prior to Roberts spell in charge. Peter Hucker made the keeper's shirt his own during in 1992 and 1993 with Steve Terry spending a number of season's with the E's after his transfer from Walton and Hersham. Former crazy gang member and Welsh International Eric Young played a handful of games for the E's (then managed by Gary Calder) in 1997.

Many other players who had successful football league careers turned out at Southbury Road with Paul Brush (West Ham United) and Martin Robinson (Tottenham Hotspur, Charlton Athletic, Gillingham, Southend United and Cambridge United) representing the E's under player-manager Peter Taylor (Tottenham Hotspur) in the 1990/91 Isthmian League season coming to mind. Taylor cut his managerial teeth in the rough and tumble of the non-league game spending four years at Dartford prior to his stint at Enfield FC.


Also playing for the E's at the time was the most famous of player's who made the opposite journey from non-league to the football league. Many a fan had thought that when The E's were relegated from the Conference, at the end of the 1989/90 season, Paul would get his move to a football league club after a  host of impressive displays (since making his debut in 1986) saw a large number of scouts visiting Southbury Road.

Credit to him though as he showed his loyalty and stayed for a further season helping his team to a second placed finish behind Redbridge Forest. A few more wins and a little more luck it would of seen Enfield climbing back to non-league's top table at the first attempt and who knows where the club would of gone from there. Furlong is one of a number of names to play for the club who went onto bigger and better things and this article will look to highlight some of those players.

He left the E's for Coventry City (then managed by Terry Butcher) in the summer of 1991 for a fee of £180,000. Only four goals from thirty-seven appearances and a change of manager to Don Howe saw a move down a league to Division Two and a transfer to Watford. The Hornet's were managed by Steve Perryman who was assisted by Peter Taylor at the time.

The move proved a good one and he was an instant hit with the fans at Vicarage Road scoring 37 times in 79 games between 1992 and 1994 prompting a pre Abramovich owned Chelsea (managed by Glenn Hoddle) to make a bid of £2.3 million in the summer of 1994. How times change as this was the record transfer at Stamford Bridge at the the time????

Furlong scored 17 goals in 59 starts and 26 substitute appearances for Chelsea and found it hard to nail down a regular first team place competing against the likes of Ruud Gullit, Mark Hughes and Gianluca Viali.

What a journey he had made from the Isthmian Premier Division in 1991 playing against Wivenhoe Town, Bognor Regis Town and Leyton-Wingate to rubbing shoulders alongside some of European football's best known names in the Premier League.

The lack of starts in West London prompted Trevor Francis, then manager of Birmingham City, to pay £1.5 million for Furlong in the summer of 1996. Dropping down a division proved a success with 56 goals scored in 127 starts and 29 substitute appearances for the blues.

Ian Holloway the manager of Queens Park Rangers snapped up the front man on a free transfer in the summer of 2002 (after a short loan spell). Furlong left St Andrews the year they reached the Premier League after 16 years outside the top flight. Rangers were then in Division Two and his goals helped them win promotion to the Championship in 2004. After 50 + goals and 150+ appearances for the Loftus Road side he transferred to Luton Town. At 38 years old many would of thought Furlong would hang his boots up but he continued and had stints at Kenilworth Road, Southend United and Barnet whom he left in 2010 thus ending his league career seeing him play well into his early 40's.

He continues in the non-league game at player-coach at Blue Square Premier Kettering Town. 16 appearances and 5 goals last season shows the now 42 year old is an excellent example to any aspiring footballer on how to stay physically fit. Is there any player still playing at a reasonable level of football who was made their debut in 1986 other than Paul??


"Johnny, Johnny Bailey, Johnny Bailey on the wing" - I still think that John Bailey was the best player I have seen playing for Enfield FC and Enfield Town FC since I began watching back in 1987. A true fans favourite during his time with the club he always showed 100% on the field and gave the Southbury Road fans some unforgettable and memorable moments. The best the cold end can recall is when then Isthmian Premier Division Enfield travelled to Conference side Kidderminster Harriers in 1993. The away support among the 1,280 fans present that day saw the E's win 1-3 through goals from Mark Keen, Paul Turner and Darren Collins. When one of the goals went in Bailey joined in the mass celebration by jumping in with the away fans on the Aggborough terraces.

John arrived at the E's in the summer of 1992 from Dagenham and in his first competitive game for his new club scored twice in the season opening 1-3 win over Windsor and Eton at Stag Meadow. He went to score 17 goals in 49 appearances over the 1992/93 season as well as set up for Collins, Britnell, Hobson and Hull amongst others as well as sweeping the board in the end of season club awards winning the player's player and supporter's player of the year awards.

In the summer of 1995 Bailey signed for then Division Two (now League One) AFC Bournemouth for a fee of £10,000. Manager, Mel Machin, got himself an absolute bargain as over the next four seasons he played 137 times for the South-Coast side scoring 13 times. If it wasn't for an injury picked up (which eventually caused him to retire from the professional game) towards the end of the 98/99 season there is doubt he would of played many more times in league football.

Bailey is the answer to a quiz question due to his time on the South Coast - he is the only player ever to score at Wembley Stadium for AFC Bournemouth............... in the 1998 Auto-Windscreens Final (which Grimsby Town won 2-1).


John Bailey wasn't the first player to move from Southbury Road to Dean Court as in 1986 Carl Richards signed for Harry Redknapp who was learning his managerial trade on the South Coast. He went onto to play for Birmingham City, Peterborough United and Blackpool before rejoining the E's (and Eddie McCluskey) in 1992 from Bloomfield Road. Alongside Graham Westley and Marc Salmon he played regularly in the second half of the 91/92 season and also featured for Graham Robert's E's side in 92/93 before retiring from the game.


Midfielder, Lee, began his career at Southbury Road before being snapped up by Norwich City in the summer of 1996. He played over 100 times for The Canaries before moving to Leicester City in 2001. The Foxes manager was Peter Taylor (he must like an ex-Enfield player - see Paul Furlong) who had given Marshall a cap when in charge of the England Under 21 side. After a short spell at Filbert Street he moved onto West Bromwich Albion and has the distinction for scoring The Baggies first goal in the Premier League which was a late consolation in a 1-3 home defeat to Leeds United. Under Gary Megson Marshall only had limited opportunities in the first team so it was in 2004 that he joined his old boss Taylor, who was then in charge of Hull City, on loan.

Due to a terrible leg break (both Tibula and Fibula) Marshall was forced to retire from the game in 2005 aged just 26 years old. Had it not been for this injury I'm sure he would still be playing in the professional game now. A combined transfer value of £1,350,00 is not bad for a player who started out in the Isthmian League.

There have been many more - such as Millwall legend Terry Hurlock who played for Enfield and Leytonstone & Ilford before moving into the professional game. The legend that is Robin Friday spent a short-spell playing for Enfield in 1973 before moving back to his former club Hayes (he had also represented Walthamstow Avenue for a shortwhile) and then going on to cult status with Reading and Cardiff City in the football league. Friday's wikipedia entry is a great read detailing his highly eventful life as is the book written by Paul McGuigan and Paolo Hewitt 'The Greatest Footballer you never saw - The Robin Friday Story'.

Andy Pape, Dave Howell and Paul Harding all transferred to Barnet with the later going onto Notts County prior to The Bee's promotion to the football league. He played 25 times in the top-flight for the Magpies before spending time at Southend United, Watford, Birmingham City and Cardiff City. Mark Bentley who via Aldershot Town, Gravesend & Northfleet and Dagenham & Redbridge went on to play league football for Southend United and Gillingham spending sometime in the Blue Square Premier with Cambridge United last season. Greg Heald (Peterborough United, Barnet, Leyton Orient and Rochdale), Paul Underwood (Rushden and Diamonds and Luton Town), Peter Hinds (Dundee United) and Martin Buglione (St Johnstone via a whole host of local non-league clubs) are a few on the long list of players to have graced the hallowed turf of Southbury Road and gone on to play for football league sides.

Not forgetting those like Peter Taylor and Graham Roberts mentioned in first part of this article who played in the non-league game after their successful league career. For me the player who sticks out in this category can only be John Burridge.

Despite only playing nine games for the E's he became a firm fans favourite on the Town End. He made his debut on the 5th February 1994 in the home league game versus Grays Athletic. His clean sheet helped Roberts and Borg managed Enfield to a 1-0 win. His run and thumbs up to the faithful at the end of the game brought a massive cheer. Over the nine games he played the E's they were unbeaten and he claimed a total of six clean sheets. All this from a 43 year old!!

Budgie played in the Bishop Auckland FA Trophy games and also in an 8-0 win over Wivenhoe Town at Southbury Road. The Cold End's overriding memory of his stay is of him sprinting towards the cheering and chanting Town End to take a penalty that had been given when the E's were some goals up in the second half against Wivenhoe only for Borg and Roberts to wave him back and allow it to be taken by an outfield player whose name escapes me. Budgie went on to appear for Aberdeen, Newcastle United, Dunfermline Athletic, Dumbarton, Falkirk, Manchester City, Notts County, Witton Albion, Darlington, Grimsby Town, Gateshead, Northampton Town, Queen of the South, Purfleet, Scarborough and Blyth Spartans where in 1997 he was player-manager and took the North East side back to his first league club - Blackpool - which the home side won 4-3. He has gone on to coach in Oman and the U.A.E. where he is credited for discovering current Wigan Athletic stopper Ali Al-Habsi.

He is in the hall of fame at Bloomfield Road and if the old Enfield FC had such a thing I think some people would argue he would be included somewhere despite only his brief spell in North London.

A more recent example of a player moving up to the league is Colchester United goalkeeper Mark Cousins who came on loan from Essex to Enfield Town in 2006 playing a number of times between the sticks for Jim Chandler's side. Also, Nathan Smith who has just transferred from Yeovil Town to Chesterfield. Smith, born in Enfield, played for Enfield FC (after ETFC had been formed) between 2005 to 2007 then via Waltham Forest and Potters Bar Town got his move into league football with the Somerset club. He made the move to The Spirites this summer.

To end none other than one of the most famous names from football's history, Len Shackleton, the Clown Prince of Soccer, played for Enfield in the Athenian League whilst on loan from Arsenal prior to the Second World War. He went on to play for Bradford Park Avenue, Newcastle United and Sunderland as well as being capped by England 5 times.

And the equally as famous Liverpool legend Alan Kennedy played a cameo roll in Enfield FC's last season in the GM Vauxhall Conference. He came to Southbury Road in November 1989 making a total of three appearances in the 4-2 home win against Chelthenham Town and then away at the Surrey Docks Stadium where Enfield lost against Fisher Athletic 1-0 in the Bob Lord Trophy Round 1 2nd Leg. His brief stay with the club ended on the 11th November when the E's lost away at Stafford Rangers.

With the advent of Enfield Town's forthcoming move into the Queen Elizabeth Stadium and Ram Ismail bringing through many promising players from the youth team into the reserve set-up it may not be too long before a player moves up to the football league like Paul Furlong did in 1991.

Hopefully, with the future of the game in the borough looking bright, that time will come sooner rather than later.

Monday, 20 June 2011


Here are some of the websites (some you may know and some you may not) that the cold end recommends as they consistently write and produce excellently written and interesting articles on the beautiful game. They may keep you entertained whilst we wait for the big league kick off in August -

THE OVAL LOG currently has a Copa America Special that is worth a read if your going to watch the games coming up

TWO HUNDRED PERCENT is one of the best football websites about. Consistently brilliant articles from the Premier League to non-league. Well worth all the plaudits it receives and highly recommended. There is currently an feature on 10 years of Enfield Town FC.

THE YOUTH RADAR - with the under 21 World Cup currently taking place this website is an excellent read. To find news of the latest hottest prospects read this site.

THE MANAGERIAL MERRY GO ROUND - another good site about Premier League football.

THE FALSE 9 - Premier League and World Football.

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL WEEKENDS - Award winning website. If you haven't logged on and read it yet it's well worth a read.

THE BALL IS ROUND - Another excellent website with many articles on non-league football.

THE REAL FA CUP - Contains many articles on Ryman League games.

THE TWO UNFORTUNATES - Friends of the cold end and an interesting read on the football league.

MODUS HOPPER RANDOM - A really good ground hopping blog. Graham Yapp's photographs and articles on his trip to the Faroe Islands deserve to be seen by as many people as possible.


LES ROSBIFS - Following the fortunes of English footballers in foreign lands

ODE TO THE WEE RED BOOK - A one-man attempt to challenge perceptions of Scottish Football.

HALF TIME ORANGE - Another good ground hopping blog featuring local non-league games.



FOOTBALL BLOG DIRECTORY - To finish with this website lists the many football blogs and sites available from around the world

Check out the cold end's 'THE BEST OF THE WEB' section to the left hand side for links to loads more impressive football blogs and websites. 

Sunday, 19 June 2011


The 2011/12 season for the Hertfordshire Senior County League gets underway on Saturday 13th August.

There are some new names in Division One with Martin Baker Rovers, Ware United, Wodson Seniors and Panshanger joining the league with Evergreen returning after withdrawing from the Premier Division prior to the start of last season.


Saturday 13th August
Premier Division
Baldock Town               v Sarratt 
Bovingdon                  v Codicote  
Chipperfield Corinthians   v Hinton  
Cuffley                    v Letchworth Garden City Eagles 
Goffs Oak                  v St Peters 
Metropolitan Police Bushey v Wormley Rovers 
Mill End Sports            v Buntingford Town 
Standon & Puckeridge       v Sandridge Rovers  

Division One
AFC Hatfield Town          v Bedmond S & S Club  
Belstone (Saturday)        v Bushey Rangers 
Croxley Guild              v AFC Hertford  
Knebworth                  v Evergreen 
London Colney Blues        v Panshanger  
Old Parmiterians           v Lemsford  
Ware United                v Kimpton Rovers  
Wodson Seniors             v Whitwell

Tuesday 16th August
Premier Division
Buntingford Town              v Standon & Puckeridge 
Letchworth Garden City Eagles v Baldock Town  
Sandridge Rovers              v Metropolitan Police Bushey  

Division One
Knebworth                     v Kimpton Rovers  
London Colney Blues           v Old Parmiterians  
Ware United                   v Wodson Seniors 
Whitwell                      v AFC Hatfield Town  

Wednesday 17th August
Premier Division
Sarratt        v Chipperfield Corinthians 
St Peters      v Bovingdon  
Wormley Rovers v Goffs Oak 

Division One 
AFC Hertford       v Hertford Heath  
Bedmond S & S Club v Belstone (Saturday)  
Evergreen          v Bushey Rangers  
Lemsford           v Panshanger 

Thursday 18th August
Premier Division
Codicote v Mill End Sports 
Hinton   v Cuffley 

Saturday 20th August
Premier Division
Baldock Town                  v St Peters  
Buntingford Town              v Chipperfield Corinthians 
Codicote                      v Sandridge Rovers 
Letchworth Garden City Eagles v Mill End Sports 
Metropolitan Police Bushey    v Goffs Oak  
Sarratt                       v Cuffley 
Standon & Puckeridge          v Hinton 
Wormley Rovers                v Bovingdon 

Division One
AFC Hertford        v Evergreen 
Hertford Heath      v AFC Hatfield Town 
Kimpton Rovers      v Belstone (Saturday) 
Knebworth           v Bushey Rangers  
Lemsford            v Old Parmiterians 
London Colney Blues v Croxley Guild  
Panshanger          v Bedmond S & S Club 
Ware United         v Whitwell 
In the Premier Division the four sides promoted play against each other on the opening day - Goffs Oak entertain St Peters along with Buntingford Town who travel to Mill End Sports. Last season's champions, Hinton, go to Chipperfield Corinthians in their season opener.

In the midweek fixtures the derby game at Pixmore stands out when Baldock Town (who have dropped the Letchworth from their name for this season following their move from the Herts FA County Ground at the end of last season) make the short journey to play Letchworth GC Eagles. There is also a Hertford derby when Hertford Heath play AFC Hertford at Hertingfordbury Park. The midweek list has a real local feel to it with Buntingford Town v Standon & Puckeridge, Ware United v Wodson Seniors, Wormley Rovers v Goffs Oak and Lemsford v Panshanger all to be considered derby games. Another local game sees Hinton continue their title defence with a home game (scheduled to be played at Cockfoster's Chalk Lane) against Cuffley.

Saturday, 18 June 2011


Here is an updated list of currently arranged pre-season friendlies for the Ryman Division One (North) clubs. As always please check with clubs before travelling for confirmation of venue and kick off time etc.

The first match takes place in just over week on Wednesday 6th July when Maldon and Tiptree welcome a Colchester United XI. Where did the summer break go???

Then on Saturday 9th July Heybridge Swifts travel to Hatfield Peveral (of the Essex and Suffolk Border Football League) for a first team and reserve team double header game and Waltham Forest are due to play a Billericay Town side at Wadham Lodge as stated on The Stags website. Although this game is not listed on the Ryman Premier Division side's site.

Tue 12th July - Long Melford 
Sat 16th July - Witham Town 
Sat 23rd July - Fakenham Town 
Sat 29th July - Halstead Town 
Sat 2nd Aug   - FC Clacton
Fri 5th Aug   - Bury Town 
Tue 9th Aug   - Felixstowe and Walton United 
Sat 13th Aug  - Lowestoft Town 

Tue 19th July - Takeley 
Sat 23rd July - Barking 
Tue 26th July - BARKINGSIDE 6.45pm 
Sat 30th July - DARTFORD 
Mon 1st Aug   - Aveley 
Sat 6th Aug   - GODALMING TOWN 
Tue 9th Aug   - HENDON 
Sat 13th Aug  - HARROW BOROUGH 

Sat 23rd July - Erith Town
Sat 6th Aug   - WELLING UNITED 
Sat 13th Aug  - FAVERSHAM TOWN 

Tue 19th July - Broxbourne Borough 
Sat 23rd July - Lowestoft Town 
Tue 26th July - Hertford Town 
Sat 30th July - Daventry Town 
Sat 30th July - Cockfosters 
Sat 6th Aug   - Chalfont St Peter 
Tue 9th Aug   - North Greenford United 
Sat 13th Aug  - Wealdstone 

Tue 19th July - BARKINGSIDE @ The Academy 
Sat 23rd July - AFC ESSEX @ The Academy
Tue 26th July - AFC HORNCHURCH 
Fri 29th July - Concord Rangers 
Sat 30th July - Haringey Borough
Tue 2nd Aug   - Ramsgate 
Tue 9th Aug   - Canvey Island 
Sat 13th Aug  - Walton Casuals

Tue 12th July - SOUTHEND UNITED 
Sat 16th July - BILLERICAY TOWN 
Sat 23rd July - AFC HORNCHURCH 
Tue 2nd Aug   - Hullbride Sports 
Wed 10th Aug  - WEST HAM XI 

Tue 26th July - LEYTON ORIENT 
Sat 30th July - AFC HORNCHURCH 
Sat 6th Aug   - THURROCK 
Sat 13th Aug  - HENDON 

Sat 9th July  - Hatfield Peveral (Res and First Team)
Sat 16th July - CANVEY ISLAND
Tue 26th July - Witham Town 
Sat 30th July - FC Clacton
Tue 2nd Aug   - Stanway Rovers
Sat 6th Aug   - WOKING
Tue 9th Aug   - AFC HORNCHURCH

Sat 23rd July - Frenford Senior @ Fairlop
Wed 27th July - Barkingside     @ Laindon 
Sat 30th July - Goffs Oak       @ Wadham Lodge 
Wed 3rd Aug   - Eton Manor      @ Capershots, Waltham Abbey
Sat 6th Aug   - Wadham Lodge 

Sat 16th July - Ipswich Athletic 
Sat 30th July - LOWESTOFT TOWN 
Tue 2nd Aug   - Hadleigh United 

Sat 16th July - AFC HORNCHURCH 
Sat 23rd July - Witham Town 
Tue 26th July - BILLERICAY TOWN 
Sat 30th July - Southend Manor 
Tue 2nd Aug   - Burnham Ramblers
Sat 6th Aug   - VCD Athletic 
Tue 9th Aug   - CONCORD RANGERS 
Sat 13th Aug  - Worthing FC 

Tue 12th July - Stowmarket Town 
Thu 14th July - Thetford Town 
Sat 16th July - DEREHAM TOWN 
Tue 19th July - Haverhill Rovers 
Sat 23rd July - FC CLACTON 
Wed 27th July - IPSWICH TOWN XI  
Sat 30th July - Hitchin Town 
Tue 2nd Aug   - WROXHAM 
Sat 6th Aug   - DISS TOWN 
Tue 9th Aug   - Lowestoft Town 
Sat 13th Aug  - Concord Rovers 

Sat 16th July - Haringey Borough
Tue 19th July - Kentish Town
Tue 26th July - BOREHAM WOOD 
Sat 30th July - HADLEY
Tue 2nd Aug   - LEVERSTOCK GREEN (Herts Charity Cup)
Sat 6th Aug   - ST ALBANS CITY
Sat 13th Aug  - Burgess Hill

Sat 16th July - Basildon United 
Tue 19th July - Barking 
Sat 23rd July - Stambridge Utd 
Tue 26th July - Broxbourne Borough 
Sat 30th July - Hertford Town 
Tue 2nd Aug   - Sawbridgeworth Town 
Sat 6th Aug   - Runwell Hospital 
Sat 13th Aug  - White Ensign 

Sat 23rd July - East Thurrock United 
Tue 26th July - Barking 
Thu 28th July - THURROCK
Sat 30th July - Felixstowe & Walton United (Res and First Team)
Sat 6th Aug   - Southend Manor    * ROMFORD XI*
Sat 6th Aug   - FC CLACTON        * ROMFORD XI*
Tue 9th Aug   - Aveley 
Sat 13th Aug  - Hythe Town 

Tue 12th July - Holbeach United 
Sat 16th July - Wisbech Town  
Tue 19th July - Kings Lynn Town 
Sat 23rd July - Hadleigh United  
Tue 26th July - Lakenheath 6.45pm 
Fri 29th July - Yaxley  
Tue 2nd Aug   - Deeping Rangers 
Sat 23rd July - WELLING UNITED
Tue 26th July - DARTFORD 
Sat 30th July - Ramsgate
Tue 2nd Aug   - SITTINGBOURNE 
Tue 9th Aug   - HOLLAND & BLAIR
Thu 11th Aug  - Phoenix Sports 6.30pm
Sat 13th Aug  - Canvey Island 

Sat 16th July - THURROCK 
Tue 2nd Aug   - Southend Manor 
Wed 3rd Aug   - Mountnessing 
Sat 6th Aug   - Barkingside @ Laindon 
Sat 13th Aug  - RAMSGATE 

Sat 16th July - Wodson Park 
Tue 19th July - Hoddesdon Town 
Sat 23rd July - London Lions 
Sat 30th July - Sawbridgeworth Town 

Sat 9th July  - Billericay Town @ Wadham Lodge
Sat 16th July - St Neots Town   @ Wadham Lodge 
Sat 23rd July - Barkingside  
Tue 26th July - Wembley  
Sat 30th July - Hillingdon Borough  

Sat 16th July - Goffs Oak       @ Wadham Lodge 
Tue 19th July - HISTON
Fri 22nd July - AVELEY 
Tue 26th July - Hadley
Tue 2nd Aug   - Haverhill Rovers 
Sat 6th Aug   - Hertford Town 
Tue 9th Aug   - St Margaretsbury 
Sat 13th Aug  - HARROW BOROUGH

Thursday, 16 June 2011


The constitution for the 2011/12 Essex Senior League has been announced as follows -

Basildon United
Bethnal Green United
Burnham Ramblers
Bowers & Pitsea
Eton Manor
Enfield 1893
Haringey and Waltham Development FC
Hullbridge Sports
London Apsa
Sawbridgeworth Town
Southend Manor
Sporting Bengal United
Witham Town

As you can see the League will be made up of 18 teams. One new team joins in Sporting Bengal United, who move from the Kent League. They share the Mile End Stadium with Bethnal Green United.
Another new name appears as Mauritius Sports Association have been renamed "Haringey and Waltham Development FC".
The new league season starts on Saturday 6th August. 
In addition a new reserve section has been formed, of which, the following teams will be members of (including the reserve sides of a number of Ryman League sides) - 
Bowers and Pitsea
Burnham Ramblers
Grays Athletic
Great Wakering Rovers
Hullbridge Sports
Sawbridgeworth Town
Waltham Abbey

The ProKit UK Essex Olympian League have also announced it's constitution for the forthcoming season kicking off on Saturday 20th August.


Buckhurst Hill   Aldborough Athletic Broomfield           Basildon Town 
Canning Town     Benfleet            Burnham Ramblers Res Catholic United 
Frenford Senior  Bishops Stortford S Castle United        Chingford Athletic 
Galleywood       Epping              Forest Glade         Debden Sports 
Hannakins Farm   Herongate Athletic  Leigh Ramblers       Newham United 
Harold Hill      Lakeside            Leytonstone United   Old Barkabbeyans 
Harold Wood Ath  Old Chelmsfordians  Old Southendian      Ramsden
Hutton           Ongar Town          Roydon               Shenfield A.F.C. 
Kelvedon Hatch   Runwell Hospital    Ryan F.C.            Stambridge United 
M & B Club       Sandon Royals       Springfield          Toby 
Manford Way      Southminster St. L  Sungate              Writtle 
Rayleigh Town    Thurrock Res        Upminster 
Westhamians      Wadham Lodge 
White Ensign 
New clubs (all placed in Division Three) are Chingford Athletic (joining from the Ilford & District League, they were Champions last season), Old Barkabbeyans (champions of the Romford and District League), Stambridge United (Southend Borough Combination) and Toby (Essex Business Houses League)

Mountnessing Boca have been renamed Harold Hill.


Here is a list of some of the pre-season friendlies that have been arranged involving Spartan South Midland League teams. Please note to contact the club or look at their website before deciding to travel as with all pre-season games they are liable to change and some games are played at different venues -

Saturday 9th July
Crawley Green v Slough Town
Kentish Town v Bowers & Pitsea
Metropolitan Police (Bushey) v Hertford Town
Wingate & Finchley v Cockfosters

Tuesday 12th July

Codicote v St Margaretsbury
Wembley FC v Hertford Town

Thursday 14th July

Aylesbury FC v Risborough Rangers
St Margaretsbury v Cuffley
Winslow United v Aylesbury United

Friday 15th July

Leverstock Green v Hemel Hempstead Town (6.30pm)

Saturday 16th July

Amersham Town v AFC Dunstable
Ampthill Town v St Margaretsbury
Aylesbury United v Oxford City Nomads (at Bisham Abbey)
Boreham Wood v Cockfosters
Broxbourne Borough v Wingate & Finchley
Cranfield United v Rushden & Higham (at Cranfield College)
Hanwell Town v Chalfont St Peter (at British Airways Ground, Cranford)
Haringey Borough v Potters Bar Town
Herne Bay v Hertford Town
Kentish Town v Wealdstone
Langford v Luton XI
Metropolitan Police (Bushey) v Harefield United
Standon & Puckeridge v Royston Town
Whitley Bay v Hoddesdon Town
Wodson Park v Waltham Abbey

Tuesday 19th July

Bedfont Sports v Cockfosters
Broxbourne Borough v Enfield Town
Buntingford Town v St Margaretsbury
Hanwell Town v Northwood (at Bisham Abbey)
Haringey Borough v Enfield 1893
Hertford Heath v Hertford Town
Hoddesdon Town v Waltham Abbey
Kentish Town v Potters Bar Town
Kings Langley v Harefield United
Metropolitan Police (Bushey) v Leverstock Green (6.30pm)
St Neots Town v Langford
Stony Stratford Town v Aylesbury United

Saturday 23rd July

AFC Dunstable v MK Dons
Aston Clinton v Berkhamsted Reserves
Berkhamsted v Northwood
Brockenhurst v Hanwell Town
Buckingham Town v Buckingham Athletic
Harefield United v Hemel Hempstead Town
Haringey Borough v Wingate & Finchley
Langford v Newport Pagnell Town
London Lions v Waltham Abbey
Metropolitan Police (Bushey) v Cockfosters
Northampton Spencer v Leverstock Green
Ramsgate v Hertford Town
Royston Town v Godmanchester Rovers (Royston Heath)
Standon & Puckeridge v Hertford Town
Stotfold v Diss Town
Sun Postal Sports v St Margaretsbury
Thame United v Aylesbury United
Tring Athletic v Slough Town

Monday 25th July

Tring Athletic v Hemel Hempstead Town (Herts Charity Cup)
Tuesday 26th July

AFC Dunstable v Northwood
Aylesbury United v Leighton Town
Bedfont Sports v Hanwell Town
Broxbourne Borough v Redbridge
Cheshunt v Welwyn Garden City (7.00pm)
Cockfosters v North Greenford United
Dunstable Town v Aylesbury FC
Harefield Utd v Slough Town
Hertford Town v Enfield Town
Kings Langley v Berkhamsted Reserves
Langford v Baldock Town
Metropolitan Police (Bushey) v St Margaretsbury
Royston Town v St Albans City
Stotfold v Hitchin Town

Thursday 28th July

Leverstock Green v Crawley Green (6.30pm)
Wootton Blue Cross v Cranfield United

Saturday 30th July

AFC Kempston Rovers v AFC Dunstable
Berkhamsted v Wingate & Finchley
Broxbourne Borough v Chesham United
Buckingham Town v Amersham Town
Cockfosters v Enfield Town
Hanwell Town v Southall
Haringey Borough v Grays Athletic
Hertford Heath Reserves v Welwyn Garden City Reserves (1.00pm)
Hertford Heath v Welwyn Garden City
Hertford Town v Redbridge
Kent Athletic v Cranfiel United
Kentish Town v North Greenford United
Langford v Cogenhoe United
Moneyfields FC (Portsmouth) v Harefield United
Newport Pagnell Town v Aylesbury United
Royston Town v Cheshunt
Tring Athletic v Wealdstone
Tring Corinthians v Beaconsfield SYCOB Reserves (12.00)

Tuesday 2nd August

Berkhamsted v Beaconsfield SYCOB
Cockfosters v St Margaretsbury
Cranfield United v Sileby Rangers
Harefield United v North Greenford United
Langford v Barton Rovers
Potters Bar Town v Leverstock Green (Herts Charity Cup)
Potton United v Stotfold
Royston Town v Cambridge City
Takeley v Hertford Town
Wodson Park v Welwyn Garden City (Herts Senior Charity Shield)

Wednesday 3 August

Aylesbury United v Stevenage Borough XI

Saturday 6 August

Berkhamsted v London Lions (Herts Senior Charity Shield)
Bovingdon v Tring Corinthians
Cockfosters v Hemel Hempstead Town
Cranfield United v Old Bradwell United
Hanwell Town v AFC Hayes
Harefield United v Padbury United
Hertford Town v Ware
Hillingdon Borough v Taplow United
Holbeach United v Stotfold
Leverstock Green v Wingate & Finchley
London Lions v Harefield United
Mountnessing Boca v Langford

Tuesday 9th August

Broxbourne Borough V&E v Wodson Park or Welwyn Garden City (Herts Senior Charity Shield)
Cockfosters v AFC Hayes
Haringey Borough v New Salamis
Leverstock Green v Padbury United (6.30pm)
Northampton Spencer v Cranfield United
Winslow United v Hertford Town

The game that stands out is Hoddesdon Town's long trip North to play FA Vase winner's Whitley Bay on Saturday 16th July.


The cold end has already featured Walthamstow Avenue in this section with their game at Leytonstone in the very same year as this game where Millwall, then of Division Three (South), welcomed The Avenue to The Den. The programme describes the visitors as 'one of London's crack amateur clubs and doughty cup fighters' The VOICE OF MILLWALL goes on 'Injuries prevent us from fielding our recognised League XI and in consequence we are below strength. Avenue will be all out to lower our colours, and will contest every inch of ground'

There is also a section on 'new players' which states 'the management are out and about in the quest of players. Despite the low state of the kitty, offers have been made outside the range of "chicken feed". There have been disappointments-the search goes on'

Listed in the Millwall line-up for the game in the programme are George Hazlett (who played over 100 games for The Lions in the 1950's). The Glasgow born outside right started his career with Celtic in 1946 and Centre forward Johnny Summers who scored 41 times in just 91 games for the Lions between 1954 and 1956 going on to play for Charlton Athletic in the First Division. Sadly, at the age of just 34 in 1962, Summers died after losing his battle with Cancer.

The London Challenge Cup was organised by the London FA and was first contested in 1908 until it was disbanded in 1974. Most of the full time professional clubs got their name on the trophy including Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotpsur.

It was resurrected in 1990 and lasted for a further 10 years before being disbanded once more. It was mainly non-league clubs who contested for the trophy in the 90's with Leyton Orient the only league side to win in 1993 (when they beat Barnet 3-2).

The last final was contested between Uxbridge and Dulwich Hamlet in 2000 when after a 2-2 draw it was Uxbridge who won 25-24 (!!!!) on kicks from the penalty spot.

The cold end can't find a list of winners of the competition from 1908 through to 1974 anywhere on the web so can't confirm who won this game unfortunately.


Aveley have been reprived from relegation out of the Ryman Premier Division following the problems at Rushden and Diamonds meaning Soham Town Rangers have been moved from the Southern League Central Division -

AFC Sudbury
Brentwood Town
Chatham Town - Moved from Division One (South)
Enfield Town
Grays Athletic
Great Wakering Rovers
Harlow Town
Heybridge Swifts
Leiston - Promoted from Eastern Counties League
Maldon and Tiptree
Needham Market
Potters Bar Town
Soham Town Rangers - Moved from the Southern League Central Division
Thamesmead Town
Waltham Abbey
Waltham Forest

So, the Ryman Division One (North) now has 21 teams for the 2011/12 season.

Since being crowned Eastern Counties League champions in 2008 they have finished 15th,11th and 18th at Step 4 of the non-league pyramid. They play in Julius Martin Lane in the Town and were managed by Ian Benjamin who had a succesful professional career with a host of clubs between 1979 and 1996 (spending time at Sheffield Utd, West Bromwich Albion, Notts County, Peterborough Utd, Cambridge Utd, Chester City, Exeter City, Southend United, Luton Town, Brentford, and Wigan Athletic) until the end of last season. He has been replaced by Andy Furnell who previously spent 7 years at Rovers, He joins as player-manager from Wisbech Town (where he was top scorer last season) after being recommended by outgoing boss Benjamin.
One of their joint players of the year was Deakan Napier who has left the club recently but will still face Enfield Town next season as he has signed for Needham Market. Napier is a goal-scoring midfielder (24 goals in 94 appearances for the club) who signed in 2009 from Kershaw Cambridge side Cottenham United. It looks like he is a possible replacement for the outgoing Craig Parker at Needham.

Fans of Enfield FC will remember travelling to Soham Town Rangers in 1999 in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup where the E's recorded a 1-3 win. Enfield Town went to Soham again in 2005 in the Preliminary Round and won 1-2.

517 people saw Jim Chandler's E's side win in 1999 thanks to a brace from Lee Protheroe and one goal from Richard Dunwell.

254 people saw Town managed by Chandler win in 2005 thanks to goals from Dean Green and Richard Howard.

Rushden and Diamonds have yet to announce if they will appeal the decision made to remove them from the Blue Sqaure Premier but with Bishops Stortford appealing the decision of placing them in the Blue Square North there may still be another twist in the make up of the division for next season.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


                              P  W  D L   GF GA Pts  09/10    08/09     07/08
1 Leiston                     42 29 8  5  97 39  95   3rd      7th       9th  
2 Dereham Town                42 25 9  8  88 42  84   10th     4th       4th
3 Wroxham                     42 24 8  10 85 52  80   8th      5th       3rd
4 Wisbech Town                42 21 13 8  77 49  76   11th     16th      12th
5 Mildenhall Town             42 22 7  13 66 50  73   6th      11th      5th
6 Norwich United              42 20 10 12 85 49  70   15th     19th      15th
7 Stanway Rovers              42 18 13 11 83 52  67   5th      9th       7th
8 Haverhill Rovers            42 18 11 13 58 55  65   12th     21st*     10th
9 Hadleigh United             42 18 9  15 83 72  63   18th     2nd (D1)  5th (D1)
10 Woodbridge Town            42 18 8  16 70 84  62   19th*    18th      17th
11 CRC                        42 15 12 15 73 59  57   2nd      2nd       13th
12 Kirkley & Pakefield        42 16 9  17 59 62  57   4th      6th       6th
13 Brantham Athletic          42 15 6  21 86 79  51   3rd (D1) 8th (D1)  1st (#)
14 Great Yarmouth Town        42 13 12 17 73 80  51   1st (D1) 5th (D1)  11th (D1)
15 Ely City                   42 13 10 19 58 62  49   9th      14th      2nd (D1) 
16 FC Clacton                 42 13 10 19 57 71  49   2nd (D1) 7th (D1)  10th (D1)
17 Walsham-le-Willows         42 9  19 14 65 72  46   13th     10th      16th
18 Felixstowe & Walton United 42 11 11 20 55 84  44   7th      12th      8th
19 Newmarket Town             42 10 11 21 45 89  41   16th     1st (D1)  21st
20 Wivenhoe Town              42 6  14 22 48 76  32   20th*    17th      22nd (@)     
21 Histon Reserves            42 7  10 25 50 132 30   17th     13th      19th
22 Debenham LC                42 7  8  27 56 107 29   14th     3rd (D1)  9th (D1)   

* denotes finished in relegation places but not relegated 
# denotes title winners in the Suffolk and Ipswich League. Brantham Athletic won the league by just one goal to near neighbour's Capel Plough. Both teams let in 27 goals but it was Brantham who scored 64 to Capel's 63 who celebrated. 
@ denotes Ryman Division North 
Leiston become the latest team to move up from the Eastern Counties League after Lowestoft Town and Needham Market have made successful transitions to the Ryman League in the last few seasons.

How well The Trawlerboys and The Marketmen have performed show what a strong step five league the Eastern Counties Premier Division is. You can add to them Bury Town and AFC Sudbury whom have moved up and been successful over the last few years. Soham Town Rangers have also made themselves at home at Step 4 in the Zamaretto Central Division since being champions in 2007/08.

Another pointer is that Hadleigh United (in finishing 9th this season) are the highest placed team promoted from Division One over the last three seasons. Next below them is this season's 13th placed Brantham Athletic who moved up from the Suffolk and Ipswich League in 2007/08 and gained that respectable finish in their first season back in the Premier Division since 1995. Will the club located on the Suffolk/Essex border finish higher next season?? Their highest finish was in 1982/83 when they finished fourth.

Dereham Town were front runners for a while but that was only down to the amount of games in hand Leiston had due to their fantastic FA Cup and Vase runs. The Victory Road club will no doubt be up the top and challenging in the Ryman Division One (North) next season. The cold end has already written about Leiston here.

Dereham Town had their best league season in their history in finishing runners-up. They joined the ECL in the 1998/99 season after winning the Anglian Combination. They were the only side to do the double over the title winners recording a 0-1 win at Leiston on Saturday 16th April and a 2-0 home win on the final day of the season - Saturday 30th April. The Magpies also lifted the Norfolk Senior Cup at Carrow Road on Friday 13th May beating United Counties League side Kings Lynn Town in front of 1,356 people. This result shows how strong Dereham Town are at present as KLT reached the Vase semi-finals and ran big spending St Neots Town close in the race for the UCL championship.

Wroxham, who dominated the Premier Division in the 1990's winning the title no less than six times, and again in 2006/07, finished in third place with Wisbech Town gaining 4th spot. The cold end expects The Fenman (as Wisbech Town are known) and The Yachtsmen (Wroxham) to be right up the top of the league for the 2011/12 season. Wisbech moved into a new stadium in 2010 (The Tom Woods Beer Fenland Stadium) and have gradually moved up the league over the past few seasons. Could 2012 be the year they move back up to Step 4 of the non-league ladder having last played at that level in 2001/02 when they were relegated from the Southern League Eastern Division. They also had the highest average crowd in the division (235) and the highest crowd of the season (405 v Wroxham - 21st August 2010) .
Wisbech Town - Will they be title contenders in 2010/11?
Following Wisbech were Mildenhall Town (5th), Norwich United (6th) and Stanway Rovers (7th). Former Stowmarket and Woodbridge manager Chistian Appleford had a good first season in charge of The Hall and will look to improve next season. Norwich United (known as The Planters) had their best ever season in finishing in sixth place, their previous best finish came in 1992/93 when they finished 8th. Rovers have been one of the most consistent clubs in the division since promotion from the first division in 2006 finishing 16th, 7th, 9th, 5th and 7th.

Haverhill Rovers, another club to recently move to a new ground in 2011, finished in eighth place. They have been members of the league since 1964.

Down at the bottom of the division it was Debenham LC (the LC stands for "Leisure Centre" which apparently will be dropped for the forthcoming season). The Hornets, in their first season at Premier Division level finished a respectable 14th place last year, but with only seven league games won out of forty two they finished bottom of the table this season just behind the reserve side of Histon FC. Debenham were only formed in 1991 (as Debenham Angels) and have made a rapid rise through Division's Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One and the senior division of The Suffolk & Ipswich League prior to promotion to the ECL in 2005. Long serving manager Mel Aldis has left the hot-seat at The Leisure Centre and has been replaced by Rob Allum who had previously spent three seasons in charge of Suffolk and Ipswich side Framlingham Town.

Finishing just above the relegation zone are Wivenhoe Town who have struggled since being relegated from the Ryman Division One (North) in 2008. There then being a comfortable 9 point gap to Newmarket Town.

Premier Division Top Five Goalscorers - 2010/11
                                  GAMES  GOALS
Ollie Mann      Brantham Athletic  35    41 
John Sands      Mildenhall Town    37    31 
Danny Beaumont  Dereham Town       42    27 
Ben Newson      Stanway Rovers     40    22 
Josh Mayhew     Hadleigh United    36    20 

Glancing at the top goalscorers in the Premier Division for last season shows that Ollie Mann of 13th placed Brantham Athletic ran away with the title with 41 goals in just 35 league games. As this article shows the 21 year old ex Ipswich Town youth tean player is one of the league's hottest prospects attracting bids of £10,000 from several unnamed non-league clubs. Numerous football league scouts have watched him and he has also played a trial game for John Still's Dagenham and Redbridge. If anybody knows a good player at this level it would be the Dagger's boss. His 41 goal tally included five hat-tricks!

In the runner-up position was 24 year old John Sands (ex of Cambridge City, Ely City and Lakenheath) of Mildenhall Town. Dereham Town will miss the goals of Danny Beaumont (third place) next season as he has signed for UCL side Kings Lynn Town.

Ben Newson who scored 22 goals for Stanway Rovers is the twin brother of Needham Market's Sam Newson. Sam joined the Marketmen from Rovers last summer after topping the scoring charts in the league last season.

Another name to remember for the future is Hadleigh United's Josh Mayhew. The target man scored 17 goals for struggling Woodbridge Town in season 2009/10 and continued his good from for his new club this season. He is only 20 years old and hopefully has a big future in the game.

Premier Division Top Crowd Statistics - 2010/11

405 - Wisbech Town v Wroxham             - Saturday 21st August
337 - Woodbridge Town v Haverhill Rovers - Saturday 9th October

24 - Histon Res v Kirkley & Pakefield     - Wednesday 13th April 
32 - Great Yarmouth Town v Histon Res     - Saturday 11th December 

235 - Wisbech Town 
55  - Histon Res 
Some random facts about the Premier Division Season 2010/11 -

* Walsham-Le-Willows were king of the draws notching up 19 out of the their 42 league games. The most they drew in a row was five in August and September including a 4-4 home draw against Newmarket Town.

* Leiston only lost two games away from home which were the final two games of the season when the league title was wrapped up. They lost to Kirkley and Pakefield and Dereham Town.

* The title winner's lost three home games. On the opening day of the season Wisbech Town won 1-3 at Victory Road but then an incredible run of 36 games unbeaten saw them crowned champions. CRC and Dereham Town then recorded victories at Victory Road along with a 1-1 draw at Wivenhoe Town and the two away defeats detailed above.

* Fan's of Wivenhoe Town and Felixstowe and Walton United only had three victories each to celebrate at home. At Dellwood Avenue wins against Great Yarmouth Town (5-2), Histon Res (4-2) and Debenham LC (6-2) were recorded over the season. Supporters at Broad Lane saw wins against Debenham LC (2-1), Histon Res (2-1) and Norwich United (4-1). The Dragon's wins all came quite early in the season meaning they are now on a home winless run of 13 games.

* It was a bad year for both Histon's first team (relegated from the Blue Square Premier) and their reserve side who conceded the most goals in the division. Their net was breached 132 times in 42 games with just three cleans sheets recorded in those games. Two games away from home finished 8-0 at Kirkley and Pakefield and FC Clacton.

The new season kicks off on Saturday 13th August with the question being which team will possibly be the next Lowestoft Town, Needham Market or Leiston???  The league (including Division One) has a very lively discussion board/forum which can be found here.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


The list of teams to be playing in the Ryman League Division One (North) for the 2011/12 season has changed with Enfield FC 1893's promotion from the Essex Senior League not going ahead due to their Goldsdown Road ground not being granted the necessary grading. Their website reports that once the club are in receipt of the grading report they will make a decision on where they go from there. So, for now, it appears the Ryman League Enfield derby won't take place next season.


Replacing 1893 are Ware who have been moved back into the League set-up after they were placed in the Southern League (Central) Division. Replacing Tony Faulkner at Wodson Park is 38 year old former Tottenham Hotspur, Millwall and Wycombe Wanderer's player Stuart Nethercott. He is no stranger to the Ryman League and non-league having been in charge at Maldon Town in 2008 and 2009 as well as being Assistant Manager for a short while at Welling United. He also played for Heybridge Swifts, Woking and Wivenhoe Town after leaving Wycombe. 


Elsewhere in Enfield Town's league several clubs have been building for the 2011/12 season. New Gray's manager Hakan Hayerttin has been busy by making a number of impressive signings. Speedy winger Joao Carlos who spent last season with Brentwood Town and Blue Square South Thurrock joins along with Kenny Beaney who returns to Grays after spells with Bromley, Aveley and Thurrock. The two player's that stand out for the cold end are Kris Newby and Joe Sweeney. Newby's 27 goals helped East Thurrock United to the league title last season along with Sweeney who signs after a fine season of goal-scoring for Maldon and Tiptree. Expect Grays to be amongst the goals next season!!

Maldon and Tiptree have themselves made signings with Lee Tonrow (who impressed for Redbridge last season) and Dave Collins joining from Brentwood Town. Making the opposite journey that Sweeney made to Grays Athletic is winger Jason Fontaine.


Needham Market goal-machine Craig Parker has made the move up to Blue Square South Chelmsford City. The Cold End says good luck to Craig, after all the hardwork (112 goals in 176 games) he put in for the Marketmen he deserves his chance to shine at a higher level. Let's hope the move works out and midfielder Parker is amongst the goals for The Clarets next season.


Finally, new Redbridge boss Terry Spillane has signed a number of players from his former club Stansted. Joining their old boss at Oakside are Lewis Dark (centre midfield), Tommy Spillane (left back), Billy Sendall (centre back), Aaron Best (right back), John Bricknell (forward/midfielder), James May (goalkeeper), Vinnie Durrant (midfielder/winger) and Ryan Murray (striker). Leaving The Motormen is Tom Stephen, a player who put in a host of impressive performances last season. He moves up to the Ryman Premier Division by joining East Thurrock United.

Monday, 6 June 2011


Saturday 25th October 1986 saw Chingford Town travel South to Mayfield Road in Thornton Heath to play Wandsworth and Norwood FC in the London Spartan League Division One.

For the 1986/87 season the division featured Thamesmead, Walthamstow Trojans, Bromley Athletic and Royal Arsenal amongst others.

Wandsworth and Norwood FC had only just been established in the summer of 1986 following a merger of the two named clubs. They are nowadays known as Croydon Athletic having been renamed in 1990. Their visitors are a name not so well known in the non-league game with a brief stint in the Southern League between 1948 and 1950 their most famous achievement. The Spartan league had seen several clubs with the Town's name members with just Chingford, Town, Wanderers and United all competing and interlinked during the 70's 80's and 90's at various stages. Chingford competed between 1977 to 1983, Chingford Town from 1983 to 1987 & 1991 to 1994 & 1995 to 1997, Chingford United for just one season 1994 to 1995 and Chingford Wanderers 1991 to 1992.

The London Spartan League at the time had a Premier Division which fed into the Isthmian League Division Two (North or South Division) meaning this Division One game was at Step 6 level football with the equivalent in today's pyramid being the Spartan South Midlands Division One.

The programme cost 30p and consists of 24 pages (12 are written material and 12 are adverts).W&N were riding high and 2nd in the table with Chingford in 7th place of 15 teams. The home side's only defeat had come away at BROB Barnet (2-1) with Chingford winning 4 and losing 3 of their games up to that date.

Their is a player profile for Paul Stretford who was known as 'Budgie' due to his constant banter on the pitch and had played for Tranmere Rovers and Stockport County along with Oswestry and Prescot Cables previously. He was playing in first season down South having moved from Manchester.

I am unaware of the score in this game but can tell you W&N finished 4th and Chingford Town 10th in the final league table placings.

Where are they now??  Croydon Athletic finished 21st of 22 teams in the Ryman Premier Division last season and will play in the Ryman Division One (South) for the 2011/12 campaign. Chingford Town reformed in the Summer of 2008 and competed in the GA Roberts Enfield Alliance League, they were expelled in accordance with league rules for failing to fulfill sufficient fixtures mid-way through last season.


Here is a date to mark in your diary -

A charity football match and fundraiser day for the Deanus family has been organised for Sunday 26th June 2011.

Past players from Del and Steve's time at Edgware Town FC will play a football match against past and present players side from Met Police Bushey, who are staging the game. They'll be drinks and a raffle after the match and a chance to catch up with some old and new friends.

The day starts at around 2pm at the Metropolitan Police sports club in Bushey which is on Aldenham Road, WD23 2TR.

Friday, 3 June 2011



Many pundits write about changing the football pyramid to help the struggling Football League clubs. To merge League One and League Two to form a League One North and League One South is one idea that has been suggested over the past few seasons. Surely this would be a good idea as take Leyton Orient, for example, instead of facing trips to Hartlepool, Oldham Athletic and Tranmere Rovers they would play Barnet, Aldershot and Southend United in a new League One South set-up. No disrespect to the Northern based clubs but I'm sure The O's travelling support would prefer shorter trips on the road. Vice-Versa the three teams I've mentioned from the current League One would probably prefer to play Bradford, Rotherham and Port Vale in a new set up. The positives are there to see with lower travelling costs, less overnight stays and many more travelling fans to name but a few.

The cold end is essentially a non-league blog so I won't go into the above too much but concentrate on the current situation of promotion and relegation between Step 4 of the non-league level (Enfield Town's current level) and Step 5 (Essex Senior, Eastern Counties and Spartan Premier level)

At present there are 14 champion clubs from Step 5 leagues that could take up 12 promotion places meaning that 2 clubs currently miss out. There are no play-offs meaning league's can become somewhat stagnant if a club runs away with a league championship.

So the first part of the problem is that we need to find a way of only 12 league title winners booking their place at Step 4 so 2 champion clubs don't miss out. The solution is merge two of the leagues to then have only 12 leagues at Step 5.

In the cold end's new pyramid I would merge the Essex Senior League and Kent Football League to form a new Essex & Kent Senior Football League. If this would of happened at the end of the 2010/11 season I would taken the top nine in each division (minus the champions who were promoted) to create the Premier Divison and the sides underneath them to create the First Division.

The new (hypothetical) Essex & Kent Senior Football League for 2011/12

Premier Division       First Division 

Barking                Barkingside                 
Burnham Ramblers       Basildon United 
Bethnal Green United   Beckenham Town 
Erith & Belvedere      Bowers & Pitsea 
Erith Town             Clapton 
Eton Manor             Corinthian 
Greenwich Borough      Deal Town 
Herne Bay              Fisher Athletic 
Hullbridge Sports      Holmesdale 
Norton Sports          London APSA
Sevenoaks              Lordswood 
Southend Manor         Mauritius Sports 
Stansted               Sawbridgeworth  
Tunbridge Wells        Sporting Bengal United 
VCD Athletic           Takeley 
Witham Town
(16 CLUBS)             (15 CLUBS) 
This would leave us with 13 leagues so to merge the Eastern Counties League and United Counties League would be the next change. The same idea would be to split the two old Premier Divisions into a Premier Division and Division One by taking the bottom and top half teams as I have done in the above example. The old Division One's would become Division Two (West) to cover the old UCL clubs and Division Two (East) the old ECL clubs.

The downside of this idea would see some clubs travelling increase but there are more pros than cons in my opinion. It would increase interest and give us more competitive leagues.

To help progressive clubs who want to climb the pyramid I would introduce play-offs at Step 5. This would produce a further 12 winning clubs who would play off one more match against their neighbouring league to see who goes up. There would be a straight 3 down from Step 4 leagues. Confused - Here is an example from this year's Spartan South Midlands Premier Division and United Counties Premier Division -

SSMFL                            UCL 
Champions - Chalfont St Peter    Champions - St Neots Town 
Play-Offs                        Play-Offs                        
2. Tring Athletic                2. Kings Lynn Town 
3. Royston Town                  3. Newport Pagnell Town  
4. Leverstock Green              4. Long Buckby 
5. Colney Heath                  5. Wellingborough Town  

So again hypothetically speaking say Royston Town and Kings Lynn Town qualify from the play-offs of their respective leagues to face each other in a big play-off game whereby the winners get promotion 
Likewise the play off winners from all the other Step 5 leagues would face a further play-off against their neighbouring league's representative. It obviously would mean more football but I'm sure the clubs wouldn't mind playing an extra two or three games to gain that all elusive promotion and in turn it would generate more fans through the turnstiles in the race for the play-offs.

So, there we have it the cold end's idea to sort out promotion and relelgation between Step 5 and Step 4 of the non-league pyramid. Just an idea............What do you think???