Western League


Behind the Programme

image-1

Bristol City Reserves v Mangotsfield United
1984-85

Mangotsfield United turned up for this Premier Division fixture at Ashton Gate containing a young Nick Tanner who went on to play 107 times for Bristol Rovers before a £20,000 transfer to Liverpool where he made 59 appearances before a back injury forced him into retirement.

Mangotsfield who later left the Western League in 1999/00 to join the Southern League finished the 84/85 season in 8th position whilst Bristol City finished in 3rd behind Bideford and champions Saltash United.

image-2

Trowbridge Town v Welton Rovers
FA Cup 3rd Q Round 1966/67

Southern League Trowbridge Town who had already accounted for Melksham Town 4-0 and Stonehouse by 5-0 in the two previous rounds now faced a difficult home match against the current Western League champions Welton Rovers.

Welton who was facing their third Wiltshire team in a row in the FA Cup after seeing off Devizes Town 2-0 and Chippenham Town by 4-0 now had Trowbridge Town in their sights. The Frome Road ground however proved no obstacle for Welton as they easily defeated their higher league opponents by 3-0.

Welton went on to defeat Fareham Town at West Clewes by 4-1 in the 4th Qualifying Round before travelling to face Football League Division Three side Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic in the First Round Proper.

It was here that the journey ended as Welton went down by 3-0. However Welton went on to win the Western League for the third consecutive season.

image-1

Southern Football League Vs Western Football League
1979/80

This short lived OCS (Office Cleaning Services) Inter League Cup was in its second season and the first season that the Western League had taken part. Having beaten the Isthmian League 2-1 at Frome Town FC in the previous round they now faced the Southern League in the Semi Final on Sunday 20th January 1980.

The match played at Watling Street the then home of Dartford FC was to be unrewarding as the Western League went out on penalties.

image-1

Western League Cup Final
1983

The Western Football League Cup final at the end of the 1982/83 season was played at the home of Dawlish in a match which saw Frome Town take on Plymouth Argyle Reserves.

Frome having defeated Saltash United 2-0 in the semi final whilst Plymouth had beaten Bristol City Reserves 1-0 easily dispatched Plymouth by 3-0 to take the trophy back home to Somerset.

That season also saw the Frome Town manager Steve D'Arcy, take the newly created Manager of the Season award.

image-5

Les Phillips Cup Final
Tiverton Town v Taunton Town, 13th May 1998

In front of a crowd of 1,189 at Yeovil Town the Challenge Cup Final for this season pitted the top two finishers in the league against each other. Tiverton who had finished the league season on top without losing a match raced into a 2-0 half time lead with goals from Dave Leonard and Kevin Smith. Martin Parker pulled a goal back with a penalty in the 65th minute for Taunton but Kevin Smith increased Tiverton's lead with his second to make it 3-1 before Tony Lynch scored in injury time for Taunton to make the final score 3-2 to Tiverton. Not only did Martyn Rogers Tiverton complete the double that season but they also won the FA Vase by defeating Northern League Tow Law Town 1-0 at Wembley Stadium to make a unique treble.

image-6

Minehead v Stonehouse: Division 2
1955/56 season

The 1955/56 season saw the small Gloucestershire town of Stonehouse finish in fifth position some 11 points away from champions Torquay United Reserves. Minehead however ended up in seventh position, just three points behind Stonehouse.

In the programme there is mention in the Supporters Notes that a benefit dance was being held for their player Johnny Govier after the game. The dance was to take place at the Regal Ballroom, Minehead where you can dance to Alf Reed and his music. Govier is named as the number five in the programme team line up.

image-7

Exeter City v Barnstaple Town
FA Cup 1st Round Proper 1959-60

A poor league season was in store for Barnstaple as they finished the season 5th from bottom in the top flight of the Western League, however their FA Cup run this season was a complete different story. Having received a walkover against Newquay in the 1st Qualifying Round they then hammered Wadebridge Town 9-1 at home in the 2nd. An all Devon affair in the 3rd Round with rivals Bideford saw them draw 1-1 at home before winning the away replay 5-1. The last Qualifying Round pitted Barum at home to Trowbridge Town where a 1-0 victory saw them into the First Round Proper. Drawn against 4th Division Exeter City their run finally came to an end as they went down 0-4 at St James Park.

image-8

Poole Town Res v Andover
Western League Division 1: 27th October 1962

The 1962/63 season kicked off with Andover playing their first season in the Western League after being accepted into membership at the AGM. Andover who was in a mid table position behind Poole at the time of this match must have had their eyes on the following weeks fixture as the Walled Meadow outfit had an FA Cup First Round match at home to Gillingham to contend with which they eventually lost by 0-1. When the season finished a creditable 4th place finish was in Store for Andover whilst Poole held on to their mid table position.

image-9

Bridgwater Town v Glastonbury
Western League, 16th November 1968

The current Western League Champions Bridgwater Town took on Glastonbury in this fixture. Both clubs were fancied for the title but both clubs faltered towards the end of the season and finished 3rd and 4th respectively behind Bideford and new Champions Taunton Town. Bridgwater first joined the league in season 1949/50 and now ply their trade in the Southern League whilst Glastonbury who had to wait to the following season to claim the Championship now play in the Somerset County League.

image-10

Team Bath v Mansfield Town
FA Cup 1st Round Proper, 16th November 2002

Team Bath nicknamed the Scholars joined the Western League for season 2000/01 playing their matches at the Bath University Sports Ground. In 2002/03 the club entered the FA Cup for the first time and embarked on a seven match run and ended up playing Football League side Mansfield Town live on Sky Sports TV.

The Preliminary Round saw them travel to Barnstaple Town whom they dispatched 4-0. Fellow Western League side Backwell United were then beaten 3-1 at home and Wessex League Bemerton Heath Harlequins suffered a 6-1 defeat at the University. The 3rd Qualifying Round saw them drawn away to Southern Premier league Newport County who were no match as the Scholars went through by 3-0. The 4th Qualifying Round saw them pitted away to Isthmian League side Horsham which ended up in a scoreless 0-0 draw. The replay back at the university saw a bumper crowd of over 1,500 who witnessed a 1-1 draw after extra time but it was Team Bath who went through by 4-2 on penalties.

The 1st Round Proper match against Mansfield attracted a crowd of 5,469 due to the extra seating that was in demand and a Saturday lunchtime TV audience. Mansfield raced into a 3-0 half time lead but goals from Carl Heiniger and Caleb Kamara-Taylor pulled the home side back into the game but it was Mansfield who progressed in the end with a 4-2 victory.

After winning the Western League at the end of the season Team Bath left for pastures new in the Southern League, however they still remain the only university team to reach the FA Cup Rounds Proper since Oxford University lost to Clapham Rovers in the 1882 final at the Kennington Oval.

image-11

Chippenham United v Bristol Rovers Colts
19th August 1950

Chippenham United joined the league for season 1948/49 winning the Second Division title at their first attempt. A season of solidarity followed before embarking on the 1950/51 season. Playing at the Firs which have now been covered by a housing estate they ended the season in fourth place, one place below local rivals Chippenham Town whilst Bristol Rovers Colts ended their season sixth from bottom. At the end of the 1959/60 season Chippenham United found themselves back in the bottom division where they resigned from the league. The club lasted a couple more seasons playing local football before they finally folded in 1962.

image-12

Devizes Town v Glastonbury
26th October 1968

Playing in their second season in the league Devizes Town were looking for a much better finish than their previous one when the club finished second to bottom. At this time the league ran with only one division with 19 member clubs.

Come the end of the season Devizes ended up finishing just below half way but some 19 points ahead of bottom club Yeovil Town Reserves whilst Glastonbury finished in fourth place in a league won by Taunton Town.

image-13

Chippenham Town v Exmouth Town
Les Phillips Cup Final 2001

The 2000/01 seasons Les Phillips Cup Final was played at the Sports Ground, the home of Bideford FC between Chippenham Town, the current holders and Exmouth Town.

Both clubs had started the competition with home ties in the Preliminary Round with Chippenham defeating Warminster Town 2-0 whilst Exmouth defeated Bath City Reserves 4-1. The First Round saw both clubs face tricky away ties with Chippenham 2-0 victors at Hallen and Exmouth 1-0 at Larkhall Athletic. The Second Round saw Chippenham defeat Yeovil Town Reserves at home by 3-2 whilst a Devon derby saw Exmouth beat Ilfracombe by 6-5. In the Quarter Finals Exmouth needed penalties over Dawlish in another Devon derby by 7-6 after the match had ended 1-1. Meanwhile at Hardenhuish Park Chippenham overcome Bridport by 3-2. In the Semi Finals Bideford went down 2-1 to Chippenham and Welton Rovers went out by 2-0 to Exmouth.

The Final itself went the way of the Wiltshire side as they defeated their Devon counterparts by 1-0 with a Dave Bright goal in the last minute.

image-14

Mangotsfield United v Clitheroe
FA Vase Semi-Final 1995/96

So near yet so far as Western League Mangotsfield United's ten match unbeaten run in the FA Vase ended in the 11th match away in Lancashire to Clitheroe of the North West Counties League.

Mangotsfield's run started with a 3-0 home win over Truro City and followed it up with a 5-2 victory away to Godalming & Guildford. A 0-0 draw away at Hungerford Town was followed with a 5-1 replay win. Paulton Rovers was then easily dispatched in the 4th round away by 3-0 and the 5th round saw Wivenhoe Town dispatched by 3-0 after a 2-2 draw. The Quarter Final saw Mangotsfield travel to Raunds Town and after a 2-2 draw the replay was won by 1-0. The first leg of the semi final against Clitheroe was played at home and a 1-0 win saw the Mango's dreaming of Wembley however the dream was cut short as Clitheroe booked their Wembley place with a 2-0 win in the second leg with an aggregate score of 2-1. In the Final Clitheroe eventually lost to Brigg Town by 3-0.

image-15

Tilbury v Frome Town
FA Amateur Cup 1st Round 1951/52

In the 1951/52 FA Amateur Cup Frome Town scored an incredible 39 goals in 9 ties. Kicking off their campaign in the Extra Preliminary Round was a 5-0 win away at Warminster Town. The Preliminary Round saw them have a home tie against Pewsey Vale which they won by 4-2. The following round saw them travel to face Purton who they dispatched by 9-0 they then followed this up with a 2-0 win away at Calne & Harris United. The 3rd Qualifying Round saw Welton Rovers travel to Badgers Hill who were soundly beaten 7-1. Another home tie in the last qualifying round saw visitors Gosport Borough Athletic travel back to the south coast of Hampshire with a 8-1 defeat. The First Round Proper saw the Robins travel to the River Thames docklands to face Corinthian League Tilbury. A 1-1 draw saw Frome take Tilbury back to Somerset for the replay which also ended in a 1-1 stalemate. As in those days a neutral venue was sought by the FA and they decided on Southbury Road the home of Isthmian League Enfield. Frome protested as the north London venue was much closer to their opponents' home than that of Frome's however this fell on deaf ears and Tilbury eventually won the tie by 5-2. Tibury's run was ended in the Quarter Finals to the eventual winners Walthamstowe Avenue.

image-16

Bath City v Wells City
FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round, 1952/53

Both clubs started their FA Cup adventure in the 1st Qualifying Round which saw Bath City travel to Paulton Rovers and inflict a 7-2 defeat on the home club. Wells City progressed with a 3-1 home replay win over Chippenham United after the first match in Wiltshire finished all square at 2-2. Both clubs then met in the next round at Twerton Park whereupon goals from Boyd (2) and Smythe sealed a 3-0 win for the Southern League club. Bath then went on to beat Glastonbury 3-0, Trowbridge Town 3-0, Southend United 3-1 before going out away to Football League Division Three North Grimsby Town by 0-1.

image-17

Yeovil & Petters United v Plymouth Argyle Reserves
Western League Division One, 1926/27

The 1926/27 season the Western League operated with two divisions with Division One being the top. Out of the 12 teams sprinkled with lots of Football League reserve sides the title was won by Bristol City Reserves whilst Plymouth finished in third position on goal average over Lovells Athletic. Yeovil & Petters United later to become Yeovil Town finished 6th from bottom above both Swindon Town Reserves and Bath City. The following season Plymouth Argyle Reserves won the Championship.

image-18

AFC Bournemouth Reserves v Tiverton Town
Western League Premier Division, 1979/80

AFC Bournemouth spent just two seasons in the league, joining Division One in season 1978/79 where they ended up as champions and the last being the following season 1979/80 where a runners-up place behind Barnstaple Town was achieved. The club then resigned from the league. Amongst the names on the team sheet playing for AFC Bournemouth on the day v Tiverton Town was Nigel Spackman who later went on to make a name for himself at Chelsea, Liverpool, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield United and Glasgow Rangers.

image-19

Street v Hoffman Athletic
Western League Division Two, 1956/57

Hoffman Athletic who hailed from the small Gloucestershire town of Stonehouse joined the league in 1946 after the Hoffman Bearings Company relocated from Chelmsford in 1938, the club stayed in the league until the end of season 1958/59 never venturing outside of the bottom division. Strangely around this time the town of Stonehouse boasted two teams in the Western League. The 1956/57 season was a struggle for both Street and Hoffman Athletic as both finished 6th and 7th from the bottom of the table. Browsing through the Street programme notes written by the Chairman AG Winter there is mention of an incident in the previous home match Vs Radstock Town where one of the match officials was allegedly struck on the back of the head and that the matter is currently being investigated by the Somerset FA. There is also a reminder that Street FC will be holding a Jumble Sale at the Crispin Hall where numerous pairs of Clarks Shoes will be able to be purchased at great bargains.