The Fleet had spent eight seasons in the Blue Square South division up until their relegation at the end of last season. They finished in the relegation zone for 2010/11 as well but were lucky enough to escape with a reprieve rewarded following the demise of Rushden and Diamonds from the Blue Square Premier. They also received a reprieve at the end of 2008/09 when they finished in the drop zone but were saved as Team Bath folded and left the division.
Their best season at BSS level came in 2004/05 when under long serving manager Colin McBride they finished in 3rd position and lost in the play-off semi-final to Eastbourne Borough.
Formed as Purfleet in 1985 they joined the Essex Senior League in 1986 and then the Isthmian League in 1988. The club changed their named to Thurrock FC in 2003.
Ex Barnet, Grays Athletic, Gillingham, Stevenage Borough manager Mark Stimson has taken over in the hot-seat during the summer. He was last at Kettering Town in the Blue Square Premier where he was in charge from September to January 2012.
Stimson will once again team up with midfielder Stuart Thurgood at Ship Lane for 2012/13. They tasted lots of success together in their time with Grays Athletic. Thurgood, born in Enfield, played for Thurrock in the Conference South last season.
BIGGEST HOME LEAGUE CROWD OF 2011/12 - 729 versus Chelmsford City
FACT ABOUT THE TOWN -
The Circus Tavern, which hosted the PDC World Darts Championship from 1994 through to 2007, is still one of the places to go in the local area with boxing nights held regularly amongst other events and party nights. On Friday 14th September an evening of Championship darts takes place featuring Adrian Lewis, Raymond Van Barneveld, Bobby George, Wayne Mardle and Keith Deller amongst others.
FACT ABOUT THE CLUB -
The club's first competitive game came in the Essex Senior League Reserve Division where they spent their first season in 1985/86. Canvey Island Reserves were beaten 3-0 on 24th August 1985.
It's safe to say that Wealdstone and the old Enfield FC had an eventful rivalry in the 1980's when they both competed in and won Non-League's top division prior to when promotion to the football league was brought in. Since The Stones left non-league's top table in 1988 it's been a roller coaster of a ride of ups and downs for the club. Their ground, Lower Mead, was sold to a supermarket and subsequently demolished with a near two decade period of ground sharing at Watford, Yeading, Edgware Town and Northwood.
In 1995 the club requested to be moved from the Southern League to the Isthmian League to help with increasing travelling costs. The FA agreed but insisted on the club joining at the league's lowest level being the then Division Three which was effectively a drop of two steps from the Southern League Southern Division they had been playing in.
Following plans to build a new home at Canons Park in Harrow the project ended due to various reported financial and building problems. Happily the Stones found a new home in 2008 when they moved into Grosvenor Vale which had been the home of Ruislip Manor. They remain here to date and have made extensive improvements since being at the stadium. The Vale is approximately four and half miles from the club's spiritual home in Wealdstone.
Last season was Wealdstone's most successful for a number of years as they reached the play-off semi-finals and the FA Trophy semi-finals. Gordon Bartlett has been manager since 1995 and is assisted by Leo Morris whom was Captain of Yeading (then managed by Bartlett) in the 1990 FA Vase final.
In their glory FA Trophy run they beat Tooting and Mitcham United, Margate (after a replay), Banbury United (after a replay), Uxbridge, Barrow, Dartford (after a replay) and Cambridge United only to be narrowly beaten 3-1 on aggregate in the semi-final with Newport County.
Up front they have the Ryman Premier Division golden boot winner for 2011/12 in Richard Jolly. Jolly was with The Stones between 2003 and 2006 whereby he scored over 100+ goals and rejoined from Sutton United in the summer of 2011 after spending sometime on loan during the 2010/11 season. The goal machine scored 48 league and cup goals last season. He has recently announced he will spend one more season playing before hanging up his boots in 2013.
Bartlett has also recently signed goalkeeper Rikki Banks whom started his career with Crystal Palace and has also played for Worthing, Lewes and Eastbourne Borough. Banks will provide cover for the currently injured Jonathan North who is scheduled to return in December 2012. North suffered a clean break to both his tibia and fibula in a match with Canvey Island back in March.
Aside from one season in 2003/04 when The Stones played against the old Enfield FC, then based in Boreham Wood, in the Isthmian League Division One (North) football between the two Middlesex towns has been avoided in league competition since the 1987/88 GM Vauxhall Conference season.
Enfield Town have played Wealdstone on two competitive occasions since we were formed in 2001. On Tuesday 9th May 2002 Jim Chandler's Essex Senior League Enfield Town capped an end to a wonderful first season by beating Wealdstone (then of Isthmian League Division One) in the Middlesex Charity Cup final at Brook House. Town won 4-3 on penalties with ex Enfield FC hero Martin St Hiliare scoring the winning kick. A decent crowd of 459 people saw this game.
Then last season Wealdstone visited The Queen Elizabeth II Stadium on Tuesday 6th December 2011 and ran out 0-6 winners in a Middlesex Senior Cup 2nd Round game. Town manager Steve Newing fielded a much changed side from the one that had played against Grays Athletic in the league the previous Saturday with only Dave Kendall remaining in the starting XI. The Stones were very impressive with Brit Assombalonga and Connor Smith (both on loan from Watford) standing out. This was a much more low key affair than the 2002 game with only 137 people watching. Match highlights are below.
Assombalonga scored 6 times in 11 games in his loan spell for The Stones and went onto spend a month with Blue Square Premier Braintree Town where he scored five times in five games before being recalled to Vicarage Road. Assombalonga made his debut for The Hornets in their game on the 17th March 2012 with Coventry City. The striker, who turns 20 in December, has a big future in the game.
So instead of The Town End v The Elmslie End or Southbury Road v Lower Mead from the 1980's it's The Vale v The Queen Elizabeth II Stadium for 2012/13. The games are bound to attract decent crowds with many fans from both sides recalling the matches that took place in the 1980s between The Stones and the old Enfield FC.
BIGGEST HOME LEAGUE CROWD OF 2011/12 - 876 v Harrow Borough
FACT ABOUT THE CLUB -
Marvin Sordell (born in Harrow), who recently joined Bolton Wanderers from Watford, spent some time on loan with The Stones in 2008. Sordell is also in Stuart Pearce's Great Britain Olympic squad.
FACT ABOUT THE TOWN -
The famous "Weald Stone" marking the boundary between the parish of Harrow and Harrow Weald is located outside The Weald Stone Inn public house (formerly The Red Lion). It is made from Sarsen Stone and records show it went missing between 1549 and 1834 when it was thought to be buried. It is located on the High Road at the junction with Long Elmes.
Formed in 1945 (as Whitehawk and Manor Farm Old Boys) and another trip to the seaside for 2012/13. Whitehawk is a suburb to the East of Brighton. The Enclosed Ground is a short walk from the delights of Brighton Marina Village which itself is a longer walk along the sea-front from the main town centre and Pier.
The club spent 1945 until 2010 in the Sussex County League when after a succession of near misses (from 2002/03 to 08/09 - 2nd, 8th, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, 12th) at the top of Division One The Hawks won the league title and with it promotion to the Ryman Division One (South).
In their debut season they qualified for the play-offs and lost at home to Leatherhead before last season they won the title by 2 points from runner's up Bognor Regis Town. The margin would of been 5 points as The Hawks had 3 points deducted from their eventual total.
The club did have permission to move to Brighton & Hove Albion's former ground at The Withdean Stadium whilst their own ground is revamped but a change of plans has seen them develop the ground whilst still playing there. The club are very ambitious with talk of promotion to the Conference and maybe even beyond being the aim for them.
Darren Freeman is the manager who made over 100+ appearances in the football league for Gillingham, Fulham, Brentford and Brighton & HA. He is assisted by Ross Standen (whom has been at the club for over two decades) and Paul Dollner.
BIGGEST HOME LEAGUE CROWD FOR 2011/12 - 326 v Bognor Regis Town
FACT ABOUT THE CLUB -
1,896 people saw Whitehawk lift the 2012 Sussex Senior Cup at The Amex Stadium with a 2-1 victory over Crawley Down.
FACT ABOUT THE AREA -
If we get a Summer time game (or winter as it's open all year round) at Whitehawk you could (if your brave enough) take a tent with you and arrange to pitch it in The Sheepcote Valley Caravan Club Site. The reviews on ukcampsite.co.uk all seem to be very good with an average rating of 8/10. August/September and maybe March/April in a tent would be nice but in December it might be slightly too cold!!
WINGATE AND FINCHLEY
Another club well known to Enfield Town fans following our games with them in the Ryman Division One (North) up until their promotion at the end of the 2010/11 season. The most famous match being Town's 2-3 victory in the 2010 play-off semi-final at The Harry Abraham's Stadium. The Wingate fans, players and officials reaction to the defeat in wishing Enfield Town all the best won them many friends and much admiration from the travelling fans that night.
Clearly manager David Norman drew the positives from the defeat and made up for it in 2011 when our neighbours defeated Harlow Town and Brentwood Town in the play-offs to achieve promotion up to the Ryman Premier Division.
Gained a very respectable 13th placed finish last season after Norman kept the faith with the majority of the squad which had gained promotion from Division One (North).
Wingate and Finchley were formed in 1991 when the two clubs merged. Finchley were struggling at the bottom of Division Two (North) of the Isthmian League with Wingate playing in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division after a spell in the Herts Senior County League from 1984 through to 1989.
Wingate FC had lost their ground at Hall Lane in Hendon in 1972 which saw the club formed in 1946 drop into junior football for a number of seasons. A merger and a move East to Leyton to form Leyton-Wingate brought the club back to senior football in 1975 with Leyton dropping the Wingate from their name in 1992.
The new club stayed for four seasons in the Spartan League and joined the Isthmian League in 1995.
BIGGEST HOME LEAGUE CROWD FOR 2011/12 - 285 v Horsham
FACT ABOUT THE CLUB -
Wingate FC came about in 1946 when Major Harry Sadow, Frank Davis,
George Hyams and Asher Rebak formed a Jewish Football Club believing the field of
play was a ground of battling the ignorance of anti-Semitism. The club was named
after General Orde C. Wingate who oversaw the
creation of the Israeli Army during the Second World War.
FACT ABOUT THE AREA -
Finchley Borough had four twin towns (Finchley now falls under the London Borough of Barnet whom still maintain links with the towns) one of which is Mountclair, USA. The town is located in the Essex County of the state of New Jersey. Cult TV show The Sopranos used the town to film many scenes and it also boasts the uniquely named 'Yoggi Berra Stadium' which is home to minor-league baseball team The New Jersey Jackals.