Category: Non-League

The Strange Case of the Bedford Town Walkout

At all levels of the game, postponing a scheduled football match can have broad ramifications. It can be bad enough at the top end of the professional game, where  broadcasters may find themselves without a match at short notice and thousands of spectators will almost certainly be inconvenienced and may need to be refunded the cost of admission. At the other end of the scale, in the non-league game, the effects can be even more pronounced. Match day revenues are critical to the very survival of most clubs, and even the likely lowered attendance brought about by postponing a...

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Il Calcio Dilettantistico: The Non-League Anglo-Italian Cup

The Anglo-Italian Cup had a pretty chequered history, and for ten years it was played between non-league clubs. Here’s Mike Bayly with a brief history.  In the pantheon of defunct football competitions, the Anglo-Italian cup polarises opinion like few others. An arbitrary tournament that endured low crowds and media indifference, it also offered smaller English sides the chance to play competitive European matches and experience the novelty of a continental atmosphere. Originally instituted for professional members, the concept was at its most intriguing between 1976 and 1986 when relaunched for non-League clubs, producing a raft of improbable encounters whose...

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Merthyr Town & A Matter of Trust

Life, as the popular twenty-first century vernacular would have it, comes at you fast. Over the course of the seven years since the club’s reformation following the collapse of its predecessor, Merthyr Town FC have looked like a model of steady improvement in the shark-infested waters of the non-league game, an environment in which the vast majority of clubs live a hand to mouth existence and financial insecurity is never that far away. Since joining Division One of the Western League in 2011, the club’s ascent had been solid, with three promotions lifting it to the Premier Division of...

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Dover Athletic: Top Of The Pile, For Now

It’s tight at the top of the National League at the moment. With eighteen games of the season played, there are just six points between the very top of the table and Hartlepool United, down in twelfth place, and realistically anyone down to Eastleigh, who are in eighteenth place but are just eleven points off the top of the table, could realistically consider themselves to have some chance of getting to the top of the table by the New Year with the right wind behind them. At present, though, it is a slightly surprising name at the top of the...

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Kettering Town: Poppies At The Gates Of A New Dawn

There are some familiar faces at the top of the Southern League Premier Division this season, all of whom have had their brushes with extinction in recent years. Leading the way at the moment are Slough Town, with King’s Lynn Town, Weymouth, Kettering Town and Hereford currently occupying the play-off positions. Two of these five clubs –  King’s Lynn Town and Hereford – are phoenix clubs formed from the smoking ashes of predecessors that crashed and burned. A further two – Kettering Town and Slough Town – lost their grounds are still seeking a home of their own and...

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