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Woking

Kingfield Stadium Founded 1889 The Cards

Woking created plenty of non league history in the nineties during their most successful spell. The ball started to roll when they famously reached the F.A Cup fourth round stages beating West Bromwich Albion on the way in 1991. Two years later the Cards reached Wembley, the first of three occasions in four years. Woking won the F.A Trophy and retained the silverware the following season. Simultaneously, the Cards came close to reaching the Football League by twice finishing runners up in the Conference Premier in consecutive campaigns. The Kingfield Stadium came the F.A Trophy’s new home once more in 1997 as the club set a record number of trophy triumphs. A temporary stay in the Conference South ended just two years ago and two mid table finishes followed.

wokingfcLast Season

Conference Premier: 9th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

FA Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: Winners

Top Scorer: Scott Rendell

Average Attendance: 1601

Woking struggled at the beginning of the season winning just three times in their opening 17 fixtures. The Cards were in the relegation zone and wondering if they would return to the Conference South. Jack Marriott was signed on loan from Ipswich Town and it was then when everything clicked. The 19 year old teamed up perfectly with top scorer Scott Rendell with the duo scoring 24 goals in 21 matches between them. The Cards made steady progress up the Conference Premier table winning six consecutive games in March and April. On their travels the Surrey side went out to attack recording the second highest number of goals scored away from home. A top ten finish was questionable in the early stages of the campaign but shrewd loan signings made sure of an improvement from the previous season.

The Manager – Garry Hill

Three and half years have gone since Garry Hill was appointed the Woking manager. He led them to a Conference South playoff semi final before winning the title and promotion to the Conference Premier. Two respectable finishes in the top non league division and Hill’s work at the Kingfield Stadium has been impressive. In non league circles Hill has built up plenty of experience with Heybridge Swifts and St Albans City before winning the Isthmian Premier League with Dagenham and Redbridge, in his first season there. The Daggers continued to improve and after a playoff final defeat to Doncaster Rovers at Wembley, Hill resigned the followed campaign. Staying in Essex, he spent a short spell with Hornchurch before the club entered administration. More financial club difficulties followed in Hill’s next two roles, firstly at Weymouth who he guided to the Conference Premier then at Rushden and Diamonds. At least stability has returned to Hill’s managerial career with the Cards.

The Summer

Having spent a loan spell at Woking before, Keiran Murtagh rejoins the Cards. The midfielder made over 50 appearances for the Surrey club scoring ten times and was part of the Conference South winning team.James Clarke has moved from troubled Salisbury City, the central defender has nearly been ever present for the Whites over the last two seasons. Theo Lewis has followed Clarke from the Wiltshire club, Lewis was also part of the Conference South promotion winning team with Salisbury City. In goal, Jake Cole has experience over 100 appearances at Plymouth Argyle in the Football League, he has been signed by Hill. Joey jones turns his loan deal into a permanent one, he scored twice for Woking in 12 games. George Frith, Brett Johnson and Anthony McNamee have all been released by the club.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Dartford 5 Woking 1 – Conference Premier – 18 February 2014

Dartford’s best performance of the season happened after falling behind early on to a Scott Rendell goal. A minute on loan striker Alex Wall equalised and then the visitors had Joey Jones dismissed. The Darts cashed in on the extra man advantage with four more goals from Wall, a brace from Max Cornhill and a last minute fifth by Lee Noble.

Woking 3 Dartford 0 – Conference Premier – 12 November 2013

Dartford collapsed as quick as a second innings display by England. With the scores level at 0-0 and just under half hour to go, Woking scored three times in fifteen minutes. On loan and on his debut, Jack Marriott opened his goalscoring account, Scott Rendell doubled the lead and Joe McNerney made it three.

Next Meetings

Tuesday 12 August 2014 at Kingfield Stadium

Saturday 24 January 2015 at Princes Park

League Performance Last Ten Years

woking last ten years

Best Performances

2nd Conference Premier (1994/95 & 1995/96) F.A Cup 4th Round (1990/91) F.A Trophy Winners (1993/94, 1994/95 & 1996/97)

Welling United

Park View Road Founded 1963 The Wings

Thirteen years without competing in the Conference Premier and Welling United weren’t overwhelmed at all. Two years ago they lost out in the playoff final and showed the character to win the Conference South the following season. Last time the Wings enjoyed a spell at the top of non league football they did so for 14 consecutive campaigns. In comparison to most of the clubs they compete with, Welling United remain part time and are one of the youngest clubs. In the late eighties the Kent side enjoyed cup runs and decent league finishes. Now with the majority of Conference Premier teams professionalised, Welling United’s achievements like a few others in the division have not gone unnoticed.

wellingLast Season

Conference Premier: 16th

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

FA Trophy: 3rd Round

County Cup: 1st Round

Top Scorer: Ross Lafayette

Average Attendance: 807

A confidence boosting win against Grimsby Town early on in the season then a 4-2 victory over Woking gave the Wings the belief they needed. In September, Welling United hit form with three consecutive wins taking up seventh spot. Results may have been inconsistent but let’s not forget that the Kent side were aiming for safety in the first place. Mission was easily accomplished with games to spare and so as results tailed off towards the end of the campaign Welling United fell down the league table. Away from the Conference Premier a decent F.A Cup run added some gloss to their finish, the Wings beat Conference Premier champions Luton Town 2-1 in round one before going out to Plymouth Argyle. Ross Lafayette top scored for the second season running at Park View Road and his performances earned him a move this summer. The only real blip last term was a defeat to basement boys Hyde, the only team to lose to the Greater Manchester club.

The Manager – Jamie Day

Once gain Jamie Day, for the fifth season running has improved Welling United’s final league position. The former Dartford midfielder started out as an Arsenal youth team midfielder before moving to Park View Road. Three years with the Wings from 2004 ended when he crossed the Thames to represent Grays Athletic. Whilst with Dartford he was part of the 2008/09 Isthmian Premier League winning side, however he left with most of the season to play seeing his opportunity with Welling United. Day’s second spell with the Wings saw him continue to play and manage the squad where he has been successful. Since 2009, the 34 year old has taken the Kent club from ninth in the Conference South to the Conference Premier. One playoff defeat in the final two years ago denied Day his first honours, he only had to wait another season as he guided Welling United to the Conference South title with an unbeaten home record.

The Summer

Jamie Day has continued hos policy of bringing in young players keen to impress. Chris Bush played 42 times for struggling Hereford United last term and is one of many defenders moving to Park View Road, the 22 year old had been tracked by Day over the last three of four seasons. Callum McNaughton is the same age as Bush and the centre back joins from Conference South side Bishop’s Stortford. Continuing with the Bishop’s Stortford connection, Rod young spent time on loan at Woodside Park and moves to Welling United from Norwich City. Jamal Fyfield made 79 league appearances for York and was part of the team that won the FA Trophy and promotion back to the Football League in 2011/12. The limited playing time with Grimsby Town last term was a key reason to join Welling United over the summer. Ben Jefford was released by Port Vale and becomes another memeber of Jamie Day’s squad whilst Charlie Gorman comes in from Eastbourne Borough. Their will also be a new look strike force following the departure of top scorer Ross Lafayette to Luton Town. Charlie Penny arrives from Millwall having spent time on loan at Isthmian Premier champions Wealdstone. Kieron St Aimie has plenty of non league experience at the age of just 25, but has never been able to remain at any of his former clubs in the long term.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Welling United 1 Dartford 1 – Conference Premier – 10 January 2014

Dartford finally put behind them their ten game losing streak when Jim Stevenson scored his first goal for the Darts. The midfielder’s tenth minute strike was cancelled out by Ross Lafayette’s penalty just eight minutes later. At least the away point stopped the horrific run and avoiding a new club record being set.

Dartford 1 Welling United 2 – Conference Premier – 26 December 2013

An away win for the Wings condemned Dartford to their tenth straight defeat which equalled a club record. Lee Burns gave the hosts a lead with half hour played but the Darts capitulated with fifteen minutes remaining. First, Ross Lafayette equalised and with ten minutes left on the clock Kurtis Guthrie grabbed the winner.

Welling United 2 Dartford 3 – Kent Senior Cup First Round – 25 February 2014

Two late goals made sure Dartford progressed to the second round of the County Cup competition. Mohamed Eisa opened the scoring and the scores were even when Loick Pires made it one each. Dartford went back in front courtesy of Alex Woodyard then extended the lead when Brima Daramy made it three. Loui Fazakerley scored a consolation in an entertaining cup tie.

Next Meetings

Tuesday 30 September 2014 at Park View Road

Tuesday November 2014 at Princes Park

League Performance Last Ten Years

welling united last ten years

Best Performances

6th Conference Premier (1989/90) F.A Cup 4th Round (1988/89) F.A Trophy Quarter Final (1988/89 & 2006/07)

Torquay United

Plainmoor Founded 1899 The Gulls

Last time it took two attempts to return back to the Football League for the Devonshire club and in that short period they reached the F.A Trophy final. Torquay United have had recent experience of relegation to the Conference Premier prior their five year stay in the League Two. A second trip to Wembley followed the next season when they reached the playoff final beating Cambridge United to win their place back to the Football League. The Gulls have spent the majority of their history in the bottom two tiers of English football after election way back in 1927.

tufc

Last Season

League Two: 24th

F.A Cup: 1st Round

Leaue Cup: 1st Round

County Cup: Quarter Final

Top Scorer: Jordan Chapell

Average Attendance: 2970

A campaign to forget ended with Torquay United finishing at the foot of the Football League. A lack of goals meant top scorer Jordan Chapell won the clubs golden boot with a total of just five and the Devonshire club recording one of the worst attack forces. Only twice the Gulls won back to back matches throughout the league campaign and from the beginning of March never moved off the bottom of the table. Alan Knill start the season as manager and lasted until 2 January 2014 when he was sacked leaving the Gulls in 23rd. The club went for a familiar face as Knill’s replacement but someone with no managerial experience. Results didn’t improve and the poor home record continued, from March to May Torquay United failed to score in four consecutive matches at Plainmoor equalling a club record. Failure to net in their first home game in the Conference Premier will increase the barren spell.

The Manager – Chris Hargreaves

In a playing career that just kept on going, Hargreaves finally hung up his boots four years ago at the age of 38. For his first managerial role, the former midfielder returned to Torquay United where he made over 100 appearances in three years. It all started at the end of the eighties when he played for Grimsby Town and was involved in their climb from the old Division Four to what is now the Championship. Spells at Hull City, Hereford United and rivals Plymouth Argyle followed taking his career throguh to the millennium. In 2000, Hargreaves joined Northampton Town where he made over 150 appearances and won Player of the Year. After turning out for Brentford, the 42 year old started his first spell with Oxford United and suffered relegation to the Conference Premier in 2006. Torquay United picked the midfielder up after they too were relegated to the Conference Premier, Hargreaves helped them up with the first goal in a playoff final win against Cambridge United.

The Summer

He may have played for Devonshire rivals Plymouth Argyle but Luke Young has switched allegiances over the summer. The 21 year old midfielder was one match shy of a century for Argyle. Louis Briscoe who won the Conference Premier two years ago with Mansfield Town joins from the Stags. Goalkeeper, Jordan Seabright replaces Michael Poke who has moved to Portsmouth. Seabright turned out for Dagenham and Redbridge last term making only four starts. Ryan Bowman has been captured from York City, the youngster top scored with Hereford United two years ago to earn his move to the Football League. Determined to make a name for himself, Toby Ajala has been used to going out on loan most recently at Welling United. Having already spent time on loan at Plainmoor, Angus MacDonald has joined the club from Salisbury City.

Moving out of Plainmoor to the side relegated out of the Football League with Torquay United, Lee Mansell joins Bristol Rovers. The 31 year old made an excellent 389 appearances for the Gulls over an eight year period. Hargreaves has bid farewell to another of the old guard releasing club legend Kevin Nicholson after seven years and more than 300 appearances. Damon Lathrope moves to Aldershot Town, Danny Stevens released and Joss Labadie joins Dagenham and Redbridge. Shaun Cooper’s contract was cancelled by mutual consent over the summer.

Next Meetings

Saturday 23 August 2014 at Princes Park

Saturday 4 April 2015 at Plainmoor

League Performance Last Ten Years

torquay last ten years

Best Performances

2nd Division Three South (1956/57) F.A Cup 4th Round (on seven occasions) F.A Trophy Runners Up (2007/08)

Southport

Haig Avenue Founded 1881 The Sandgrounders

Southport’s latest spell in the Conference Premier has mainly seen them finish in the lower region of the league. A former Football League club voted out in 1978, the Merseyside club has only spent four season’s in the Conference North and the other sixteen in the Premier over the last twenty years. The Sandgrounders in that time have faced two relegations but have managed to return on each occasion. Since promotion in as champions in 2010 Southport did manage a seventh place finish in their second campaign back, a vast improvement who were reprieved a year before due to the demise of Rushden and Diamonds. The Merseysiders haven’t managed to repeat that performance but will begin their fifth consecutive term in the Conference Premier.

sfcLast Season

Conference Premier: 18th

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Semi Final

Top Scorer: Dan Hattersley

Average Attendance: 1049

Southport’s home form was enough to keep the club up, the eighth best record in the league. On their travels it was a completely different story with just a solitary victory, only bottom club Hyde had a worse set of results. A run of three wins in 24 matches saw the end of Alan Wright’s spell as manager. The former Aston Villa defender was unable to push the club into a safer position and a relegation battle ensued for the best part of the campaign. Southport opted for experience and so former Accrington Stanley boss John Coleman came in to keep the side afloat. It took a while for Coleman to get his side to gel, picking up one league win in his first nine Conference Premier matches. In February and March the Sandgrounders found form confirmed survival on Easter Monday in front of a home crowd. As the summer started Coleman decided to move on leaving chairman Charlie Clapham looking for a new leader from the dugout.

The Manager – Martin Foyle

Last season wasn’t pleasant for Foyle at financially stricken Hereford United. Not only did the Bulls struggle on and off the pitch, Foyle was left unpaid and issued a winding up petition against his former employers. The only honour, on a personal level was January’s Manager of the Month. Appointed after relegation to non league, when the troubles began he guided the Bulls to a sixth place finish.  The former Port Vale striker has managed the Valiants as well as standing in at Wrexham five years ago. Foyle also took York City to Wembley in 2009′s F.A Trophy and again in the 2010 playoff final, on both occasions the Minstermen were beaten. Spells at Bristol Rovers and Northwich Victoria has added to Foyle’s experience off the field to go with his 20 years of life on the pitch. As a player, the 51 year old scored over 150 goals in the Football League for Aldershot Town, Oxford United and Port Vale.

The Summer
England C goalkeeper Daniel Lloyd-Weston signs from Foyle’s previous club Hereford and 26 year old midfielder Stephen Brogan arrives from Forest Green Rovers. Brogan started his career at Rotherham United making 76 appearances before suffering a broken leg. Forward Richard Brodie completes a  permanent deal with the Sandgrounders after a loan spell last term. Centre half Luke Foster arrives from Lincoln City and midfielder Scott Kay signs from Macclesfield Town. Dom Collins, another ex Hereford United player will also begin a new start at Haig Avenue. Danny Hurst who was transfer listed due to work comitments has dropped a division to play for Stockport County.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Southport 3 Dartford 0 – Conference Premier – 1 March 2014

Southport pulled away from the threat of relegation with a comfortable home win. Top scorer for the Sandgrounders Danny Hattersley opened the scoring. Debutant, Jason Walker doubled the hosts lead and Osayaman Osawe who was so affective throughout made it three.

Dartford 1 Southport 0 – Conference Premier – 28 September 2013

An Adam Birchall winner with just over half an hour gone was enough for victory, the striker put Lee Noble’s corner into the net. Southport’s Jamie Milligan struck the woodwork before Birchall’s goal and Max Cornhill came close for the Darts second. Dartford’s single goal triumph was the fourth of the season.

Next Meetings

Saturday 15 November 2014 at Princes Park

Saturday 21 March 2015 at Haig Avenue

League Performance Last Ten Years

southport last ten yearsBest Performances

4th Division Three North (1924/25 & 1938/39) F.A Cup Quarter Final (1930/31) F.A Trophy Runners Up (1997/98)

Nuneaton Town

Liberty Way Founded 1889 Boro

Since promotion to the Conference Premier, Nuneaton Town will start their third consecutive season at this level. Five years ago the club suffered a double relegation as Nuneaton Borough liquidated. When the curtain came down on Nuneaton Borough the club were playing in the Conference North and ended their last campaign in seventh. Still known as the Boro, the Warwickshire club returned courtesy of three playoff promotions. In the eighties they achieved back to back runners up spots losing out on the league title to Maidstone United and Wealdstone.  After two successful season’s back in the Conference Premier, Nuneaton Town will be hoping to continue with their steady progress.

ntfcLast Season

Conference Premier: 13th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

Top Scorer: Louis Moult

Average Attendance: 1209

Nuneaton Town started the campaign of with a nine match unbeaten run, their best ever start to a Conference Premier season under any guise. Their superb start left them top of the table against the odds and much of the success was down to a prolific strike partnership. Andy Brown and Louis Moult scored 13 of the teams 17 after the first ten matches. Up until March, Nuneaton Town were playoff contenders and it was no coincidence that when Kevin Wilkin left for Wrexham the Boro ran out of steam. It was Wilkin that took the Warwickshire club up the non league pyramid having been employed by Nuneaton Town from 2004. The new boss arrived with three games remaining and a respectable finish was welcomed at Liberty Way. A good season by all means and performances of players like Gareth Dean, James Armson, James Belshaw and Louis Moult were recognised with call ups to the England C squad.

The Manager – Brian Reid

The Scotsman is about to start his first campaign as a boss in England having gained managerial experience with Ayr United and out in the Philippines. A former defender, Reid spent most of his playing career north of the border at the likes of Greenock Morton, sparingly at Glasgow Rangers, Dunfermline Athletic, Falkirk and Queen of the South. Ending his career at Ayr United he continued with the Ayrshire club as a manager winning promotion in the playoffs to the First Division. Relegation followed the year after but the same fate repeated itself once more. In January 2013, Reid moved  East to the Philippines to take charge of Global FC, the Southeat Asian side got him noticed and so a stint as the under 23 international team manager was his reward. Following Wilkin’s departure, Reid was appointed boss at Liberty Way taking charge of the final three games of the campaign. No goals in his first two matches ended with his first victory on the final day against Dartford

The Summer

Alfreton Town will be pleased to see the back of Brian Reid who has raided the Reds for three summer signings. Full back Connor Franklin returns to Liberty Way via the Impact Arena. Franklin left Boro when they were demoted two divisions and has also played for Hinckley United. Ben Starosta was Reid’s first summer signing and the pair have worked together before at Global FC where Starosta was captain. The Polish under 20 international has gained experience with Brentford and Bradford City. Anton Brown is the third former Alfreton Town player to have joined Boro and will team up with his former colleagues. Midfielder Jack Dyer has sealed a two year deal and Jorrin John, who has played in the Thailand Premier League has also signed. Former Coventry City academy midfielder Ryan Quinn will also be playing at Liberty Way.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Nuneaton Town 3 Dartford 1 – Conference Premier – 26 April 2014

Pride was all Dartford could play for after relegation had already been confirmed before the final day of the season. On loan Rory McAuley scored for the Darts after 17 minutes. Nuneaton Town’s Louis Moult finished his campaign in style hitting a hat trick to finish top scorer for the Boro, and ended the season with five goals against Dartford.

Dartford 1 Nuneaton Town 2 – Conference Premier – 14 September 2013

The visitors were fast out of the block leaving their hosts far behind. Louis Moult’s brace after just eight minutes played was enough for Nuneaton Town to take all three points. Elliot Bradbrook pulled a goal back in the first half but the second half failed to produce any more goal action.

Next Meetings

Saturday 27 September 2014 at Princes Park

Saturday 11 April 2015 at Liberty Way

League Performance Last Five Years

nuneaton last 5 yrs

Best Performances

2nd Conference Premier (1983/84 & 1984/85) F.A Cup 3rd Round (1949/50, 1966/67 & 2005/06) F.A Trophy Quarter Final (1976/77, 1979/80 & 1986/87)

Macclesfield Town

Moss Rose Founded 1874 The Silkmen

Rumours on the terraces last term was that Macclesfield Town were in a spot of financial trouble and their status was in jeopardy. Although it turned out to be Salisbury City and Hereford United, the Silkmen announced at the start of 2013/14 money was needed to keep afloat. The Cheshire club have a fine non league pedigree and when they won a place in the Football League they fully deserved it. Two times Conference Premier and F.A Trophy winners, the Silkmen enjoyed fifteen years in mainly in League Two. They did win promotion to the next level in 1998/99 reaching their highest position yet finishing bottom of the division. Macclesfield Town have now had their debts paid off and with a sustainable club may well be over relegation two years ago.

mtfcLast Season

Conference Premier: 15th

F.A Cup: 3rd Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Semi Final

Top Scorer: Scott Boden

Average Attendance: 1512

It was almost a repeat of the previous season for Macclesfield Town when they grabbed F.A Cup headlines yet again. A third round tie against Sheffield Wednesday was the club’s highlight and they forced the Championship side to a replay. In the league the Cheshire club could thank a pair of decent strikers. Scott Boden may have top scored but it was Connor Jennings impressing the Conference Premier. The pair netted more than half of the goals Macclesfield Town scored with Boden getting 18 and Jennings scoring 14 in just 16 appearances whilst on loan. With no wins in the first nine fixtures, supporters became concerned until Jennings started to find the net  and the Silkmen began climb up the league. Towards the end of the campaign and knowingly safe from any further damage, the Cheshire club slipped back down the standings to complete a tough league season but a fantastic cup season.

The Manager – John Askey

Truly a one club man at senior level, John Askey spent his youth at Port Vale before making his Macclesfield Town debut as a player in 1984. When he began his career at Moss Rose he was just filling in for the club who were short of players, 698 appearances later he hung up his playing boots with legendary status guaranteed. In 1986/87 he won the Northern Premier League and the Conference Premier title was added to his honours in 1994/95. The F.A Trophy success a year later ended in disappointment as Askey was ruled out through injury for the final.  His first spell in charge of the Silkmen came over ten years ago when David Moss was sacked. The former striker started off well but results slipped away and he was replaced by Brian Horton. Last summer Askey returned and this time he managed to survive a full season in charge. At 49 years old the Macclesfield Town boss will get his first summer break to shape a squad that can compete in the Conference Premier.

The Summer

Signings over the summer break came later than expected with debts still owing. Once cleared, Askey was able to bring back striker Waide Fairhurst for his third spell with the club. Adrian Moke has moved from Stockport County up a division to join the Silkmen, he was also part of the York City squad which won promotion back to the Football League in 2011.

Key players have departed and out goes top scorer from last season Scott Boden, he will replace Lee Gregory at FC Halifax Town. Newly promoted to League One, Fleetwood Town have signed Danny Andrew for an undisclosed fee, the ever present full back last season picked up the Players Of the Year award at the Moss Rose. Winger Jack Mackreth made over 90 appearances for the Silkmen and joins Grimsby Town,

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Dartford 2 Macclesfield Town 1 – Conference Premier – 29 March 2014

For a successive season the Darts beat Macclesfield Town at Princes Park and showed character to come from behind. Paul Turnbull’s stunning volley put the visitors in front and at half time Tony Burman had a few stern words. Whatever the boss said worked because Danny Harris equalised two minutes after the restart and Max Cornhill scored the winner.

Macclesfield Town 3 Dartford 1 – Conference Premier – 16 November 2013

Where Dartford capitulated Macclesfield Town took full advantage. With just of an hour played the Darts held a one goal lead thanks to Matthew Godden first half penalty. Then within the space of four minutes the Silkmen were 3-1 up all starting with Scott Boden’s 66th minute equaliser. Connor Jennings grabbed a brace to continue his goalscoring form and win the match for the hosts.

Next Meetings

Saturday 11 October 2014 at Princes Park

Saturday 18 April 2015 at Moss Rose

League Performance Last Ten Years

macclesfield last ten years

Best Performances

24th League One (1998/99) F.A Cup 4th Round (2012/13) F.A Trophy Winners (1969/70 & 1995/96)

Lincoln City

Sincil Bank Founded 1884 The Imps

The total number of years Lincoln City have completed in the Conference Premier league is just four. In their last spell they returned to the Football League at the first time of asking and reached the last eight of the F.A Trophy. During their current spell life has been far less rosy recording the clubs lowest ever finish in 2011/12, however each campaign has seen minimal improvement. The Imps have played the most seasons in the Football League without ever reaching the top division totalling 104 campaigns. The red shirts of Lincoln City will see the return of their glory days, over the summer the club decided to revert back to the traditional Imp.Lincoln_city_badge

Last Season

Conference Premier: 14th

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Round

Top Scorer: Ben Tomlinson

Average Attendance: 2354

In their first season back the Imps finished 17th, the campaign after that they finished 16th and last term up two spots to 14th. At Sincil Bank they were solid at the back with the fourth best home defence in the league, at the other end they scored just 30 on their own soil. Away from home, the balance tipped the other way with the Imps boasting the fourth best attack yet they conceded too many. Up until the end of September, Lincoln City were cruising along nicely keeping in touch with the playoff spots and then the wheels fells off. One win in 14 attempts picking up just eight points saw the Imps looking cautiously over their shoulder. In the final three months of the campaign form picked up again, so much so had they started the season at the beginning of February they would have finished fifth. In the end their was nothing unusual about where Lincoln City finished in the Conference Premier.

The Manager – Gary Simpson

A former England C manager, Simpson has only managed three clubs with one as player manager. When he came towards the end of his playing career he had a brief spell leading Gainsborough Trinity on and off the field. Simpson never returned to a managers post again until seven years later. During that time he worked closely with the late Keith Alexander at Boston United, Ilkeston Town, Northwich Victoria, Lincoln City, Peterborough United, Macclesfield Town and Bury. In fact, Simpson already had a spell at Sincil Bank back in 2003/04 when he was caretaker manager for 11 games stepping in for Alexander. It took tragic circumstances for Simpson to make his first foray into first team management when Alexander passed away in March 2010, whilst at Macclesfield Town. So close was his ties to his employer he wore two yellow socks as a tribute to his friend. In February, the 53 year old was appointed boss at Sincil Bankand for the first time spend pre season with the club.

The Summer

Lincoln City will have an attacking look to their midfield after signing Southport’s Karl Ledsham, the 26 year old spent four years with the Sandgrounders. Frenchman, Tony Diagne has signed a two year contract with the Imps. He previously spent a loan spell at Sincil Bank from Macclesfield Town before joining Morecambe in League Two. Simpson looked towards the Conference South to sign Sahr Kabba from Havant and Waterlooville, the striker scored 19 times for the Hawks. Released by Stevanage in the summer, Jordan Burrow agreed a two year deal to play at Sincil Bank, the youngster made 20 appearances last term.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Lincoln City 0 Dartford 0 – Conference Premier – 5 April 2014

Having been beaten by the Imps twice last season and again almost eight months prior this meeting, the Darts finally got a point. At the time the away point was vital putting Dartford within a point from safety. Loanee Jim Stevenson was the closest Dartford came to turning their draw into a much needed victory.

Dartford 1 Lincoln City 2 – Conference Premier – 31 August 2013

Controversial refereeing decisions made an impact back in August but a slow Dartford start didn’t help either. Ben Tomlinson and Andrew Boyce had the Imps two up at half time. Elliot Bradbrook pulled a goal back then in stoppage time referee Lee Swabey waved away a handball shout even though Tony Burman claims Swabey admitted to seeing the incident.

Next Meetings

Saturday 22 November 2014 at Sincil Bank

Saturday 24 April 2015 at Princes Park

League Performance Last Ten Years

lincoln last 10 yrsBest Performances

5th Old Division Two (1901/02) F.A Cup 5th Round (1886/87) F.A Trophy Quarter Final (1987/88)

Kidderminster Harriers

Aggborough Founded 1886 Harriers

A year ago Harriers come mighty close to a return to the Football League losing out on the final day of the season. This campaign will mark ten years since relegation after a taste of League Two, which they sustained for five seasons. In the mid nineties the club incredibly reached the fifth round of the F.A Cup as a semi professional outfit losing to West Ham United. A feat they almost repeated last term albeit as a professional side. The former F.A Trophy winners found last season tough going through three managers and over the summer Kidderminster Harriers had to be bailed out by their fans over ‘unexpected financial challenges’.

KHFCLast Season

Conference Premier: 7th

F.A Cup: 4th Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Quarter Final

Top Scorer: Michael Gash

Average Attendance: 2035

Like the season before Harriers looked stronger towards the end of the campaign, although they were nowhere near to repeating the incredible 25 wins from 29 during 2012/13. Even still, considering the changes of management and the slow start a seventh place finish wasn’t too bad, but the highs of the previous season set the bar higher. Steve Burr led the Harriers up until January and was replaced by Andy Thorn who lasted just two months. Decent home form was cancelled out by below average away performances, but if their is one place they made their name it was in the F.A Cup. After scraping through qualifying by beating Bradford Park Avenue in a replay, the Harriers went on to beat Sutton United 4-1, Newport County 4-2 and Peterborough United on their own patch 3-2 in a replay. The lowest ranked team in round four went to Premier League side Sunderland narrowly losing 1-0.

The Manager – Gary Whild

Four years ago Whild was employed by former Kidderminster Harriers boss Steve Burr. Familiar with the local non league scene he had previously worked under current Harriers chairman Ken Rae whilst at Redditch United. Replacing Andy Thorn last term to become Kidderminster Harriers third boss over the campaign, Whild was promoted from within the club. He enjoyed success with Stourport Swifts as a manager and is highly rated by his chairman. As a player Whild played for Moor Green and Stratford Town and his knowledge of the lower leagues means unearthed some decent players such as Jamille Matt and Matty Blair. The objective when arriving at Aggborough was to “finish the season strongly but, equally as importantly,  carry momentum forward into the start of a new season”. Half of that job has been achieved with his side losing just twice in the final 16 games. Now for the first full campaign and a chance to finish his objective.

The Summer

Full back Jared Hodgkiss will be at Aggborough having joined from Forest Green Rovers, the 27 year old captained Rovers and made almost 170 appearances for the club. Ghanain winger Ahmed Obeng has been added to the Harriers squad joining from Northern Premier League side Rushall Olympic. Reece Styche signs a two year deal adding to the Harriers striker options, the former Forest Green Rovers man spent time with Wycombe Wanderers and is a Gibraltan international. Craig Reid became Whild’s first summer signing leaving Stevenage for the Harriers. In goal, Jasbir Singh will give Danny Lewis competition after returning to Aggborough after four years, the goalkeeper has been signed from Solihull Moors.

Whild will miss striker Anthony Malbon who scored 35 times over 107 appearances for the club. The 22 year old will team up with former Harrier, Keith Briggs at Stalybridge Celtic. Mickey Demetriou makes the step up to League Two signing for Shrewsbury Town, 24 year-old England C international is to sign for the Shrews on a two-year deal. After four years at Aggborough, Lee Vaughan leaves the Worcestershire club moving into League two with Cheltenham Town, the defender made 178 appearances for Harriers.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Kidderminster Harriers 1 Dartford 2 – Conference Premier – 21 January 2014

Two early goals ended Dartford’s three month run without a league win and completed a rare double. Max Cornhill headed in a Alex Woodyard cross with three minutes played. On loan striker Andy Pugh followed up a rebound from the on loan Alex Wall to make it two. Michael Gash pulled a goal back for the hosts but the deficit was too much.

Dartford 3 Kidderminster Harriers 0 – Conference Premier – 21 September 2013

The Darts ended a four match winless streak in style beating the Harriers at home. Jason Prior was the first on the score sheet when he scored for close range. Elliot Bradbrook doubled the lead just after half time and Danny Harris put the icing on the cake with an hour played.

Next Meetings

Saturday 16 September 2014 at Aggborough

Sunday 4 January 2015 at Princes Park

League Performance Last Ten Years

kidderminster last 10 yrs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Performances

10th League Two (2001/02) F.A Cup 5th Round (1993/94) F.A Trophy Winners (1986/87)

Grimsby Town

Blundell Park Founded 1878 The Mariners

Over the past two season’s Grimsby Town have come close to returning to the Football League which they exited four years ago. The Mariners spent most of their history in the second tier of the footballing pyramid. After the new millennium their demise was gradual but alarming to what is now one of the biggest fan bases in non league. Successive fourth place finishes have ended in playoff misery whilst cup competitions have seen the club come close to glory. Grimsby Town should be amongst the contenders for the forthcoming term but will be desperate to go one step further.

gtfcLast Season

Conference Premier: 4th

F.A Cup: 3rd Round

F.A Trophy: Semi Final

Top Scorer: Ross Hannah

Average Attendance: 3568

The Mariners continued where they left off from their previous campaign reaching the playoffs, a couple of decent cup runs and a strong defence. It’s hardly suprising when Grimsby Town managed to keep the majority of the squad together. In September, one half of the management team departed when rob Scott wass suspended. After a 5-2 home win against Dartford the Mariners found the right gear. In the final two months of the campaign, Grimsby Town’s success in the cups took their toll in the league when they played 16 Conference Premier matches in the final two months. Despite the promising results on the field the Mariners ended the campaign in more disappointment. F.A Trophy finalists the year before, this time they reached the last four and once again lost in the semi final of the playoffs. In the F.A Cup the Lincolnshire club reached the third round beating local rivals Scunthorpe United in the first round.

The Manager – Paul Hurst

Where their was two there is now one man in charge at Blundell Park. Hurst began life in management with Ilkeston Town alongside Rob Scott. The pair won promotion to the Conference North triumphing in the Northern Premier League playoff final. Five years ago the duo switched allegiances to Boston United visiting the playoff once more taking the Lincolnshire club to the Conference North. For the last time the partnership moved and this time they ended up at Blundell Park. It wasn’t until last term that Hurst took sole charge and so he will embark on his first full season without Scott. The transition has been seem less with the Mariners continuing to perform and challenge for promotion. The former defender built up a decent lower league career with Rotherham United where his loyalty can be commended having played for the Millers for 15 years. Whilst with the Yorkshire club, Hurst racked up over 400 appearances winning the Football League Trophy in 1995/96.

The Summer

Grimsby Town may have been beaten in the playoff semi-final against Gateshead but the relationship between the two sides hasn’t suffered. Carl Magnay joins the Mariners from the Heed, the versatile defender made 67 appearances for the north east club over two seasons. Moving the other way, Alex Rodman will plat at the International Stadium next term. Hurst has swooped for rated midfielder Jack Mackreth who played 86 times for Macclesfield Town, the 22 year old scored seven goals for the Silkmen. A double signing from Southport will bolster the squad, DR Congo international defender Aristote Nsiala and midfielder Scott Brown have signed deals. Nathan Arnold, formerly of Cambridge United and Alfreton Town has agreed a season long loan, the midfielder who can play up front had a trial with the Mariners when Mike Newell was in charge.

Blundell Park will bid farewell to a number of players including Andi Thanoj who broke into the senior ranks with the club. Sam Hatton moves south to start a new challenge at Aldershot Town and 2011/12’s top scorer for the mariners, Liam Hearn makes the step up to League Two with Mansfield Town.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 0 – Conference Premier – 10 April 2014

A Max Cornhill header with fifteen minutes to go gave the Darts a massive three points. A minute before the winning goal Grimsby Town were reduced to ten men when Jamal Fyfield received a second caution. Victory for the Darts put them a point away from safety with four games to go.

Grimsby Town 5 Dartford 2 – Conference Premier – 24 September 2013

The Darts tried to repeat the triumph from the previous season and took the lead through Danny Harris half way through the first half. By half time the hosts were 3-1 with goals from Pat McLaughlin, Shaun Pearson and Lenell John-Lewis. Lee Noble got Dartford back in the match but two late strikes by Scott Kerr and Craig Disley finished off the visitors.

Next Meetings

Saturday 4 October 2014 at Princes Park

Saturday 1 November 2014 at Blundell Park

League Performance Last Ten Years

grimsby last 10 years

Best Performances

5th Old Division One (1934/35) F.A Cup Semi Final (1935/36 & 1938/39) F.A Trophy Runners Up (2012/13)

Gateshead

Gateshead International Stadium Founded 1889 The Heed

Reaching Wembley for the first time in their history and coming within ninety minutes of returning to the Football League, Gateshead are showing positive signs. Off the field they are still hoping to move to a new stadium if they can find a new site for the development. The Heed have got plenty of history and the former Football League side, who exited the old Division Four back in 1960 have been on a long journey back. Liquidation, name changes and promotions have been all part of the roller coaster the club find themselves on. A new stadium may well attract larger support and could be the catalyst for Gateshead’s return to the Football League but after last season they may not need a new home.

Last Seasongfc

Conference Premier: 3rd

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: 3rd Round

Top Scorer: James Marwood

Average Attendance: 885

Four straight defeats to open a campaign is never ideal, a draw and a win later and manager Anth Smith left the Tynesiders. The circumstances in which Smith left with the news leaking on social media was the last negative news for the Heed. Gateshead employed a man with know how, a man that git his squad to gel and time their run to become the form side as the playoffs arrived. Six wins from seven in late September to the end of October moved the Heed into the top half. By mid January the Tynesiders reached fourth. Ending this term on 12 matches unbeaten secured the clubs highest ever non league finish. In the playoffs, Gateshead defeated Grimsby Town 4-2 on aggregate to reach Wembley for the first time in their history. However with one obstacle remaining, Cambridge United returned to the Football League at Gateshead’s expense.

The Manager – Gary Mills

That man with the know how was Gary Mills who propelled Gateshead up the Conference Premier table into fourth. A hugely experienced footballing pedigree, Mills played for Nottingham Forest winning the European Cup in 1980 and Leicester City where he made 200 appearances. After spending non league life on the field with six clubs, the 52 year old is familiar with the scene outside the Football League. As a manager, Mills has won the Southern League Midland Division with Grantham in 1997/98, Conference North with Tamworth in 2008/09, Conference Premier playoffs with York City in 2011/12 and in the same season lifted the F.A Trophy. His individual honours as a boss include the Conference North Manager of the Year when he won the title with Tamworth and last season’s National Game Awards Manager of the Year. Mills has certainly moved Gateshead in the right direction and will be hoping to repeat the success he had with York City to take the Heed back into the Football League.

The Summer

Former record-breaking goalscorer Jon Shaw returns to Gateshead from champions Luton Town, the 30 year old scored 56 goals in 96 appearances whilst at Gateshead. Also arriving from the Hatters will be JJ O’Donnell who spent the second half of last season on loan at the International Stadium. Mills raided his former club York City in bringing in Michael Rankine and Tom Allan. Rankine scored the winner which took Hereford United outside of the relegation zone last term but his efforts turned out to be in vain. Right back Andrai Jones had limited opportunities at Barnsley and joins the Heed. One player Mills has worked with before is Alex Rodman whilst at York City and Tamworth, the midfielder signs for Mills again having spent last term with Grimsby Town.

Eleven players were not offered new contracts including strikers Adam Boyes and Richard Brodie. After making 77 appearances for the Heed, Carl Magnay leaves. Liam Hatch, veteran striker Jack Lester and Colin Larkin are others included in the departures list.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Dartford 0 Gateshead 1 – Conference Premier – 23 November 2013

Double defeat and a double blank for the Darts as they completed 180 minutes without scoring against the Heed. This time the deficit was half of the previous fixture despite ten men Dartford coming close to earning a point. Lee Noble was red carded in the second half and a last minute James Brown header sent the Tynesiders home with three points.

Gateshead 2 Dartford 0 – Conference Premier – 5 October 2013

The Heed dominated for long periods of this encounter and took the lead when James Marwood converted Craig Baxter’s cross. Rob Ramshaw scored Gateshead’s second with a header from close range as the Darts struggled to get to grips with their opponents.

Next Meetings

Saturday 13 September 2014 at the Gateshead International Stadium

Saturday 21 February 2014 at Princes Park

League Performance Last Ten Years

gateshead 10 years

Best Performances

6th Division Two (1921/22) F.A Cup Quarter Final (1952/53) F.A Trophy Semi Final (2010/11)