billsportsmaps.com

November 29, 2016

2016-17 FA Cup 2nd Round – map and attendance list./+ Stourbridge FC, the lowest-placed club still alive in the tournament.

Filed under: >2016-17 FA Cup — admin @ 1:55 pm

2016-17_fa-cup_2nd-round_location-map_40-clubs_w-current-attendances-in-leagues_w-fixtures_post_b_.gif
2016-17 FA Cup 2nd Round map and attendance list




Links…
-The competition…FA Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
-2nd Round: fixtures/teams… (us.soccerway.com/national/england/fa-cup).
-BBC’s page on the FA Cup…FA Cup (bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup).
-2016-17 FA Cup 2nd Round Tie-by-Tie Preview (facupfactfile.wordpress.com).
-FA Cup second round: Early reunions and second chances among stories to watch (compiled by Tom Garry on 2 December 2016 at bbc.com/football).

By Bill Turianski on 29 November 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

Schedule for 2016-17 FA Cup…
2016-17_fa-cup_schedule_d_.gif

The map…
The map shows the 40 clubs who have qualified for the 2016-17 FA Cup Second Round Proper. There are 12 Non-League teams still alive, as well as 28 teams from the lower two divisions of the Football League (Leagues One and Two). Also on the map page is the 2nd Round fixture list, and there is a list of the 40 clubs’ current home league average attendances.

The lowest-placed club to qualify for the 2016-17 FA Cup 2nd Round is Stourbridge FC
Stourbridge are in the Northern Premier League (which is a 7th-level league); they currently are in 10th place. Stourbridge FC are drawing 778 per game, which is the highest crowd-size in the league. Stourbridge is in the Black Country region of the West Midlands, just southwest of Dudley, and 18 km (11 mi) W of central Birmingham (as the crow flies). As it says at Stourbridge’s Wikipedia page,…”Historically a part of Worcestershire, Stourbridge was a centre of glass making, and today includes the suburbs of Amblecote, Lye, Norton, Oldswinford, Pedmore, Wollaston, Wollescote and Wordsley.” Stourbridge has a population of around 63,000 {2011 figure}.

Owing to the town’s traditional association with the glass-making and cut-glass industries, the football team is known as the Glassboys. They wear red-and-white vertically-striped jerseys. Stourbridge have played at the War Memorial Athletic Ground for over 120 years (since 1890). (The War Memorial Athletic Ground is sometimes referred to as Amblecoat, for the region in Stourbridge that the ground is located in.) It is a dual-sport facility: Stourbridge FC ground-share with the Stourbridge Cricket Club. So the pitch features just three sides of small-stands-or-terracing, with the one long side open to accommodate the cricket playing-field. The main stand is very small and features a small central section that is a barn-style roof. Here is a nice groundhoppers-type article, from 2013, which features Stourbridge’s ground [scroll all the way to the end of the post to see the Stourbridge section], 20 Glorious Non-League Grounds (peterrmiles.wordpress.com).

The manager of Stourbridge FC is Gary Hackett, who is Stourbridge-born and has been on the coaching staff at Stourbridge since 2003. Gary Hackett is a former Winger who had a long career at Bomsgrove Rovers, Shrewsbury Town, Aberdeen (in Scotland), West Bromwich Albion, Peterborough United, Chester City, and Halesowen Town, retiring from the playing field in 1997. Gary Hacket has been at the helm at Stourbridge for 11 years now. In the early 2000s, Jon Ford and Gary Hackett had been the co-managers at nearby Bomsgrove Rovers. The two moved over to Stourbridge FC in 2003. Hackett took over as full-time manager of Stoursbridge in 2005, with Ford taking the assistant manager job (Ford decided to step down owing to work and family commitments). The two have remained in those capacities ever since, ushering in Stourbridge’s best decade ever. In that time, the Glassboys have won two promotions (up to the 7th level) and have qualified for the FA Cup 5 times in 8 years, including 4 FA Cup 2nd Round appearances, two of which as the lowest-placed team still alive in the competition.

Stourbridge have had a recent history of FA Cup success…
Stourbridge FC have been around since 1876, but had never made it to the FA Cup 1st Round in over a century of trying, until the 2009-10 season. And then making it to the 2nd Round four times in less than a decade…well that is a pretty impressive accomplishment for a club that has never been above the 7th division. Stourbridge’s second FA Cup 1st Round appearance, in 2011-12, saw them beat Football League mainstays Plymouth Argyle (in the re-play) to make it to the 2nd Round. The re-play at home v Plymouth, and the 2nd Round match at home v Stevenage were both televised. Then Stourbridge also made it to the 2nd Round in 2013-14, when they beat 7th-level-side Biggleswade Town. Then in 2015-16, Stourbridge beat then-5th-division-side and local rivals Kidderminster Harriers in the 4th Qualifying Round, and then beat 5th-division-side Dover Athletic, away, in the 1st Round, to again advance to the 2nd Round. And then this season [2016-17], Stourbridge once again advanced to the 2nd Round when they beat 9th-level-side Westfields (in the re-play).

Now, in the 2016-17 FA Cup 2nd Round, Stourbridge have gotten a decent match-up – at home versus 3rd-division-side Northampton Town (who are in 17th place in League One currently). As the FA Cup Factfile site says…”Stourbridge fans and players can take heart in the knowledge that The Cobblers hold the record of most FA Cup 2nd Round exits with 30.”…{excerpt from 2016-17 FA Cup 2nd Round Tie-by-Tie Preview (facupfactfile.wordpress.com)}. I think a draw or even a giant-killing upset is definitely feasible at Stourbridges’ War Memorial Athletic Ground [on Sunday the 4th of December 2016]. Especially because Northampton Town’s top priority is to avoid being relegated right back to the 4th division, yet have lost the 4 straight League One games leading up to this Cup-match on Sunday. The match is sold out {see this, from the official Stourbridge FC site.}

Televised matches for 2016-17 FA Cup 2nd Round…
In my opinion, the Stourbridge-v-Northampton match should have been chosen as one of the live televised games, but it wasn’t. That being said, there is a very enticing match being televised live…Curzon Ashton v AFC Wimbledon. 6th-level/National League North side Curzon Ashton are from the eastern part of Greater Manchester, in the foothills of the Pennines just south of Oldham (and 10 km E of Manchester). At their relatively-new Tameside Stadium in Ashton-under-Lyme (which opened in 2005), Curzon Ashton will host AFC Wimbledon, the world-renowned supporter-owned club from South London (who are now in the 3rd division, and have been playing well, and sit 7th, just below the play-off places). {To whet your appetite for the match, here is a Curzon Ashton/Tameside Stadium groundhopping-post, from 2012, from the excellent Gibbos92 site, here.} That Curzon Ashton/AFC Wimbledon match is on the Sunday the 4th. Also being televised live for the 2nd Round is the Friday the 2nd game: Macclesfield Town v Oxford United, as well as the Monday the 5th game: Lincoln City v Oldham Athletic. {Here is a nice Macclesfield Town/Moss Rose groundhopping-post, from 2013 from the great Groundhopping.se site, here; here is a nice Lincoln City/Sincil Bank groundhopping-post from, from 2016, from the Groundhopping with Ryan blog, here.}

Below: the War Memorial Athletic Ground, home of Stourbridge FC…
stourbridge-fc_war-memorial-athletic-ground_gary-hackett_c_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Stourbridge home kit, illustration from en.wikipedia.org. Stourbridge town centre, photo by Stephen McKay at commons.wikimedia.org. Photo of entrance to ground, photo unattributed at warmemorials.myfastforum.org. Photo of main stand, photo by europlan-online.de. Game-action shot of main stand, photo by richardl1967 at stadiumsandcities.wordpress.com. Shot of manager Gary Hackett, photo by Kevin Quigley via dailymail.co.uk/football.

____
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of Greater Manchester, by Nilfanion (using Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater Manchester UK relief location map.jpg.
-Photo of Curzon Ashton badge, photo from ebay.com.
-Current average attendance figures from Soccerway.com.
-Current average attendance for lower Non-League club (7th Level), at non-league-matters.co.uk.

November 23, 2016

NCAA Division I Hockey: the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC): attendance map (2015-16 regular season), with arena capacities, percent-capacities & NCAA D1-hockey titles listed./+Chart of all-time D1-hockey titles-&-Frozen-Four-appearances.

Filed under: Hockey,NCAA, ice hockey,NCAA, ice- NCHC — admin @ 10:42 pm

ncaa_ice-hockey_nchc-conference_attendance-map_2015-16_8-teams_post_d_.gif
NCAA Division I Hockey: the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC): attendance map (2015-16 regular season), with arena capacities & percent-capacities



By Bill Turianski on 23 November 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-Teams in NCHC, etc…National Collegiate Hockey Conference (en.wikipedia.org).
-NCHC page at USCHO.com.
-My recent post of D1-hockey (map with all 60 teams & 2015-16 attendance.

Conference-maps for NCAA Division I (aka D1) men’s ice hockey
(Note: already-posted D1-hockey conference maps are linked-to, below.)
I am making a location-map for each of the 6 D1-hockey conferences, which are…
Atlantic Hockey Association (11 teams/est. 1998-99/ zero titles).
Big Ten Conference hockey (6 teams [7-teams in 2017-18]/est. 2013-14/ 23 titles won amongst its six teams).
∙ECAC Hockey (12 teams/est. 1961-62/ 7 titles won amongst its twelve teams).
∙Hockey East Association (12 teams [11 teams in 2017-18]/est. 1984-85/ 13 titles won amongst its twelve teams).
National Collegiate Hockey Conference (aka NCHC) (8 teams/est. 2013-14/ 18 titles won amongst its eight teams).
Western Collegiate Hockey Association (aka WCHA) (10 teams/est. 1951-52/ 8 titles won amongst its ten teams).

The map-page here shows the eight-team National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) + a chart of all-time D1-hockey titles-&-Frozen-Four-appearances…
The NCHC has teams spread through 6 states: 2 teams from Colorado (Denver and Colorado College [of Colorado Springs, CO), 2 teams from Minnesota (Minnesota-Duluth and St. Cloud), 1 team from North Dakota (North Dakota [of Grand Forks, ND]), 1 team from Michigan (Western Michigan [of Kalamazoo, MI]), 1 team from Ohio (Miami of Ohio [of Oxford, OH]), and 1 team from Nebraska (Omaha). In 2013, Miami of Ohio and Western Michigan left the now-defunct CCHA to join the newly-formed NCHC. Also in 2013, 6 others joined the newly-formed NCHC – Denver, Colorado College, Minnesota-Duluth, North Dakota, Omaha, and St. Cloud. Those 6 teams came from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). The WCHA still exists, but is vastly different from what it was before 2013 – the WCHA now has a vast spread of teams in Alaska, Alabama, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio {see WCHA former-members and WCHA timeline}.

The NCHC team the North Dakota Fighting Hawks were champions in D1-hockey in 2016…
{See this recent illustration I made for 2015-16 North Dakota: D1-hockey champions.} As to the all-time records, Michigan (now of Big Ten hockey) has the most D1-hockey titles, but the Wolverines have not won a hockey title in eighteen years (last in 1998). Meanwhile, with North Dakota winning the title last season, North Dakota has moved past Denver up to second-most D1-hockey titles, with 8. The NCHC team the Denver Pioneers won the last of their 7 D-1 hockey titles in 2004 and 2005. There are 2 other NCHC teams which have won D1-hockey titles…the Colorado College Tigers, and the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. Colorado College has won 2 D1-hockey titles (albeit both were won over a half century ago, in 1950 and 1957). Minnesota-Duluth won their sole D1-hockey title 6 seasons ago, in 2011.

North Dakota has 22 Frozen Four appearances, which is tied for 4th-best (with Boston University). (The D1-hockey team with the most Frozen Four appearances is the Hockey East team the Boston College Eagles, with 25 Frozen Four appearances.) Another NCHC team is high on the list of Frozen Four appearances – the Denver Pioneers, with 15 (6th-best). To round out the Frozen Four appearances of NCHC teams, the Colorado College Tigers have 10 (last in 2005), and 3 others have one each: the Miami RedHawks (in 2005), the St. Cloud State Huskies (in 2013), and the Omaha Mavericks (in 2015). An indication of the power of the NCHC is that in the 3 seasons it has existed, it has produced 5 of the last 12 Frozen Four qualifiers, with North Dakota qualifying for 3 straight Frozen Fours (2014-16), and with Denver (last season) and Omaha (two seasons ago) also making it to the Frozen Four since the NCHC began operating in 2013-14. So the NCHC is brand new, and it already is basically one of the elite D1-hockey conferences.

NCHC teams draw pretty well too…
Every NCHC team draws above 75 percent-capacity. And 4 of the 8 NCHC teams draw crowds that place them in the top 6 of D1-hockey…#1-best-drawing-team North Dakota Fighting Hawks (drawing 11.6-K, at an impressive 100.5 percent-capacity), #4-best-drawing-team Omaha Mavericks (6.9-K, at 87.6 percent-capacity), #5-best-drawing-team Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (6.1-K, at a solid 92.6 percent-capacity), and #6-best-drawing-team Colorado College Tigers (6.1-K, at 83.2 percent-capacity). Colorado College’s attendance numbers are even more respectable than it first appears, once you realize that there actually is another D1-hockey team in their home-city of Colorado Springs – Air Force Academy (of the Atlantic Conference).
___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-Thanks to AMK1211 for blank map of USA, ‘File:Blank US Map with borders.svg”>File:Blank US Map with borders.svg‘ (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Thanks to Two Hearted River at en.wikipedia.org/[each teams' page at Wikipedia], for small segments of jersey illustrations of several teams (Wisconsin, Minnesota-Duluth, Cornell, Maine, Minnesota State, Vermont, Yale, UMass, Western Michigan, Canisius College, American International), such as at File:ECAC-Uniform-Cornell.png.
-Thanks to USCHO site for attendance data, Men’s Division I Hockey Attendance: 2015-2016 (uscho.com).

November 15, 2016

NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey – 2015-16 average attendance map of all 60 teams in D1-hockey (with arena capacities & percent capacities).

ncaa_ice-hockey_attendance-map_2015-16_60-teams_post_b_.gif
NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey – 2015-16 average attendance map of all 60 teams in Division I (with arena capacities & percent capacities)



By Bill Turianski on 15 November 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-D1 Men’s Hockey coverage…uscho.com.
-Teams, etc…College ice hockey/Division I (en.wikipedia.org).

-Conference-maps for NCAA Division I (aka D1) men’s ice hockey
(Note: already-posted D1-hockey conference maps are linked-to, below.)
I am making a location-map for each of the 6 D1-hockey conferences, which are…
Atlantic Hockey Association (11 teams/est. 1998-99/ zero titles).
Big Ten Conference hockey (6 teams [7-teams in 2017-18]/est. 2013-14/ 23 titles won amongst its six teams).
ECAC Hockey (12 teams/est. 1961-62/ 7 titles won amongst its twelve teams).
∙Hockey East Association (12 teams [11 teams in 2017-18]/est. 1984-85/ 13 titles won amongst its twelve teams).
National Collegiate Hockey Conference (aka NCHC) (8 teams/est. 2013-14/ 18 titles won amongst its eight teams).
Western Collegiate Hockey Association (aka WCHA) (10 teams/est. 1951-52/ 8 titles won amongst its ten teams).

Here is a list of all D1-hockey teams (14 teams) which drew above 90 percent-capacity in 2015-16…
Team [location], percent-capacity, average attendance, (D-1 attendance-rank).
Penn State Nittany Lions [of University Park, PA], 105.4% at 6,093 per game (#7 in attendance).
Quinnipiac Bobcats [of Hamden, Greater New Haven, CT], 105.2% at 3,247 per game (#27 in attendance).
North Dakota Fighting Hawks [of Grand Forks, ND], 100.5%, at 11,675 per game (#1-best attendance).
Mercyhurst Lakers [of Erie, PA], 98.7%, at 1,283 per game (#54 in attendance).
Minnesota Golden Gophers [of Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN], 98.5% (#2 in attendance.
Providence Friars [of Providence, RI], 98.3%, at 2,980 per game (#29 in attendance).
Yale Bulldogs [of New Haven, CT], 97.1%, at 3,385 per game (#23 in attendance).
Vermont Catamounts [of Burlington, VT], 95.7%, at 3,860 per game (#21 in attendance).
Notre Dame Fighting Irish [of Notre Dame, IN], 94.6%, at 4,749 per game (#16 in attendance).
Cornell Big Red [of Ithaca, NY], 94.3%, at 4,022 per game (#19 in attendance).
Michigan Wolverines [of Ann Arbor, MI], 94.1%, at 5,457 per game (#10 in attendance).
UMass-Lowell River Hawks [of Lowell, Greater Boston, MA], 93.2%, at 5,592 per game, at 6,111 per game (#5 in attendance).
Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs [of Duluth, MN], 92.6%, at 6,111 per game (#5 in attendance).
Merrimack College Warriors [of North Andover, Greater Boston, MA], 92.5, at 2,359 per game (#39 in attendance).

Division I NCAA hockey was instituted in 1948.
(Division I NCAA hockey titles, 1948 to 2015-16/ 69 titles.)
The inclusion of Penn State as a D1-hockey team (who debuted in 2012-13), led to the 2011-2013-era realignment in D1-hockey. The shakeup in D1-hockey conferences occurred in much the same way (and in nearly the same time-period) as the recent realignments in NCAA D1-football and in NCAA D1-basketball. After the dust had settled in D1-hockey, there was 6 conferences instead of 5, and one conference was dissolved – the Central Collegiate Hockey Associaition (CCHA). (The CCHA existed as a D1-hockey conference from 1973-2013.) (Note: there is one D1-hockey team that is currently an Independent, newcomers Arizona State.)

Since 2013-14, there are two new conferences in D1-hockey:
Big Ten Conference hockey,
National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC).

    The highest-drawing NCAA college hockey team & the 2016 NCAA Division I champions:
    The University of North Dakota (of Grand Forks, ND
    ).

-From USA Today.com from April 10, 2016, North Dakota beats Quinnipiac 5-1 to capture NCAA hockey title (usatoday.com).
-From the official UND site, Ralph Englestad Arena (article, with photos, at undsports.com).
University of North Dakota hockey team – 2016 Division I champions…
north-dakota_fighting-hawks_hockey_2016-div1-champs_2016-best-attendance_ralph-engelstad-arena_grand-forks-nd_d_.gif

Photo and Image credits above -
Aerial view of Grand Forks [video image] from Smithsonian via gettyimages.com/video/view-of-grand-forks-town-square-and-red-river-grand-stock-footage. Shot of exterior of Ralph Englestad Arena at twilight, photo by undsports.com. Aerial shot, photo by Northern Technologies, LLC at ntigeo.com/projects/project-example-two-2 [Ralph Englestad Arena]. Interior shot of full crowd at the Ralph, photo by undsports.com. Game-action shot of 2016 Final, photo unattributed at fox61.com [New Haven, CT]. 4 game-action shots of 2016 Final, photos by UNDsports.com at undsports.com/PhotoAlbum [2016 Final]. Drake Caggiula slapping teammates gloves, photo by Tampa Bay Times at live.tampabay.com/Event/Live_blog_2016_Frozen_Four_in_Tampa. North Dakota players getting the trophy, photo by Elsa/Getty Images via chicagotribune.com/sports/college.

__
Thanks to all at the following links…
-Thanks to AMK1211 for blank map of USA, ‘File:Blank US Map with borders.svg”>File:Blank US Map with borders.svg‘ (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Thanks to Two Hearted River at en.wikipedia.org/[each teams' page at Wikipedia], for small segments of jersey illustrations of several teams (Wisconsin, Minnesota-Duluth, Cornell, Maine, Minnesota State, Vermont, Yale, UMass, Western Michigan, Canisius College, American International), such as at File:ECAC-Uniform-Cornell.png.
-Thanks to USCHO site for attendance data, Men’s Division I Hockey Attendance: 2015-2016 (uscho.com).

November 1, 2016

2016-17 FA Cup 1st Round – map and attendance list./+ the 3 FA Cup 1st Round first-timers (Merstham FC, Stamford AFC, Westfields FC).

Filed under: >2016-17 FA Cup — admin @ 3:07 pm

Note: to see the most-current post for the 2016-17 FA Cup, click on the following…Category:>2016-17 FA Cup.
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2016-17_fa-cup_1st-round_location-map_80-clubs_w-current-attendances-in-leagues_w-fixtures_post_e_.gif
2016-17 FA Cup, First Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances





Links…
-The competition…FA Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
-First Round: fixtures/teams…2016-17 FA Cup/First Round Proper (soccerway.com/national/england/fa-cup).
-Preview, from FA Cup Factfile…FA Cup 2016-17 1st Round ‘Proper’ tie-by-tie preview (facupfactfile.wordpress.com).
-BBC’s page on the FA Cup…FA Cup (bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup).

-From the Guardian/football…FA Cup first round: the minnows’ stories, from Westfields to Merstham (Interviews by Alan Smith and Paul MacInnes at theguardian.com/football/blog).

By Bill Turianski on 1 November 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
The map (click on image at the top of this post) shows all 80 clubs who have qualified for the 2016-17 FA Cup First Round Proper. Also on the map page is the 1st Round fixture list, and there is a list of the 80 clubs’ current home league average attendances.

There were 736 clubs accepted into this season’s tournament. The 44 clubs from the Premier League (the 1st division) and the Football League Championship (the 2nd division) will join the competition in the 3rd Round (played in early January). The 1st Round and the 2nd Round are contested between all the clubs from the two lower leagues of the Football League (48 teams) – League One (3rd division) and League Two (4th division) – plus the 32 Non-League clubs who qualified through the preliminary and qualifying rounds (6 rounds). After those 6 qualifying rounds were played this season, the lowest placed club still alive, and into the 2016-17 1st Round, is the 9th-level-side Westfields FC of Hereford (see Westfields section further below). As well as the Westfields section, further below there are also sections on the other two clubs making their FA Cup 1st Round debuts: the 8th-level side Stamford AFC of south Lincolnshire, and the 7th-level side Merstham FC of Surrey. (Note: two other clubs which were the result of club-mergers – Solihull Moors and Spennymoor Town – are making their 1st Round debuts, but in both cases one of the pre-merger-clubs had qualified for the 1st Round in the past [Spennymoor Town (est. 2005), as Evenwood United in 1956-57; Solihull Moors (est. 2007), as both Solihull Borough in 1992-93 and in 1997-98, and as Moor Green in 2002-03].)

This is the 136th FA Cup competition. The FA Cup is the oldest association football competition in the world. The FA Cup was first played in the 1871-72 season. This year’s competition [2016-17] will be the 136th edition of the tournament. Current Cup Holders are Manchester United, who beat Crystal Palace 2-1 (aet), at Wembley Stadium on 21 May 2016. That put Manchester United back with Arsenal at the top of the all-time FA Cup title-winners’ list – both have won 12 FA Cup titles {List of FA Cupfinals/Results by team (en.wikipedia.org)}.

Schedule for 2016-17 FA Cup…
2016-17_fa-cup_schedule_d_.gif

    The 3 clubs which are making their FA Cup 1st Round debuts in 2016-17:
    Merstham FC (of Surrey), Stamford AFC (of south Lincolnshire) and Westfields FC (of Hereford)…
    Merstham FC.

Est. 1892.
Ground: Moatside, Merstham, Surrey. Capacity: 2,000. Opened 1921.
Manager: Hayden Bird.

Merstham is a small village in Surrey of around 8,000, near Redhill, and located 28 km (17 mi) S of central London. Merstahm FC are a 7th-division club that wear old-gold (aka pale orange) and black colours. Their nickname is the Moatsiders, after their ground, Moatside.

Five years after their founding in 1892, Merstham FC were a founder-member of the Redhill and District League in 1897. In the early 1920s, Mertham FC moved into their present-day location just south-east of the village centre. It took a couple decades to finally win their first league-title, and Merstham ended up winning 5 titles in the Redhill and District League (1927, 1935, 1936, 1950, 1951). By the spring of 1951, the the club felt they could take a step up, and they applied to the Surrey Intermediate League, and in 1952-53 Merstham were admitted into the Eastern Section of the Surrey Intermediate League. Merstham promptly won the title at the first try (1953), but were unable to win the league for the next eleven seasons. Nevertheless, after 12 seasons in the Surrey Intermediate East, Merstham was admitted into the Surrey Senior League in 1964. They won one title in their 14 years there, in 1972-73. In 1978 they joined the London Spartan League, but only finished as good as in third place (in the first two of their six seasons there). Also at that point in time, Merstham made their debut in the FA Cup in 1978-79, losing to Hendon in the First Qualifying round.

Then, as it says at the official Merstham FC site’s history page …”By the 1984/85 season Merstham had decided that the travelling involved in the Spartan League was proving too much on the club’s resources and they applied to join the Combined Counties League, partly reformed from the Surrey Senior League. This new league encompassed teams from Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire and Middlesex. 1984 also saw the completion of the new clubhouse replacing the portable shelter that had been in use since 1975.”…{excerpt from mersthamfc.co.uk/mfchistory}.

Merstham remained in the Combined Counties League for over two decades, up to 2007-08, when they finally won promotion to the Isthmian League South (an 8th level league). Seven seasons later, Merstham won promotion to the Isthmian Premier Division (in the 7th level), by winning the 2014-15 Isthmian South play-offs. Merstham had finished fourth that season, then beat Faversham Town 5-4 aggregate in the semifinals, and then the Moatsiders beat Folkestone Invicta 0-3 in the final at Folkestone, Kent. Then last season [2015-16], Merstham had a decent showing in their first-ever season in the 7th level, finishing in 10th place and drawing 201 per game {median-crowd size in the Isthmian Premier last season was 261 per game; see this}. This season, their second in the 7th tier, sees Merstham currently in 17th place, with an average gate of 195 {see Isthmian table and attendances here (nonleaguematters.co.uk)}.

To qualify for the 2016-17 FA Cup 1st Round, Merstahm beat 6th-division side Ebbsfleet United (of Kent) 2-1, in front of 664 at Moatside, on Saturday 15 October 2016 [in a 4th Qualifying round match] (see photos from that game below). Triple their average crowd showed up at the Moatside for the match. Merstham fell behind in the 10th minute, then equalized in the 26th on a nice curling 25-yard strike by the Merstham squad captain, MF Tom Kavanagh. The winner came just before the half on a goal by Merstham FW Charlie Penny, who scored at close range after an Xavier Vidal free kick found its way into the box.

Then, in the FA Cup 1st Round draw, Merstham drew a very plum tie – at home, versus 3rd-division side Oxford United. Then it was announced that the Mertham/Oxford match at Moatside would be televised live {see this, FA Cup live TV date on BT Sport for Merstham FC vs Oxford United (getsurrey.co.uk)}. So the Moatsiders of Merstham will play at their humble home-ground, versus a former First-Division team – a team 4 divisions above them, on national television, on Saturday 5 October 2016. That means a £67,500 windfall for Merstham {see this from the Mirror.co.uk/football, which also mentions the other televised matches}. The Merstham v Oxford United match is sold out.

merstham-fc_moatside_2016-17_fa-cup_1st-round_cup-debut_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Street-view of Mertham village centre, photo by Peter Trimming at geograph.org.uk. Interior shot of ground, photo by Merstham FC at facebook.com/MersthamFC. 7 photos of 4th Qualifying round match [Merstham 2-1 Ebbsfleet Utd on 15 Oct 2016], photos by Donna Prior at surreymirror.co.uk/photos-fa-cup-fourth-qualifying-round-merstham-2-v-1-ebbsfleet-united.

    Stamford AFC.

Est. 1896.
Ground: Zeeco Stadium, Stamford, Lincolnshire. Capacity: 2,000 (250 seated). Opened December 2014.
Manager: Graham Drury.

Stamford AFC are an 8th-level club, currently [2016-17] playing in the Northern Premier League Division One South. As of 1 November 2016, Stamford are in 19th place in the 22-team Northern League D1-South. But, due to their FA Cup-run this season, Stamford have played about 4 or 5 less games than most other teams in their league, and that has contributed to their lower-table position {here is the 2016-17 Northern Premier League Division One South table (with attendances)}. Stamford are currently drawing 284 per game, which is second-best in the league (AFC Rushden & Diamonds draw best in the league at 454; median average attendance in the league is 169 per game).

Stamford AFC drew over 4 times more than their league-average for their 4th Qualifying Round match, on 15 October versus 5th-division-side Wrexham (of North Wales). Stamford drew 1,264 and played a strong second half to come back from a 0-1 deficit and equalize the game (on a penalty converted by Lee Beeson), and send it to a re-play. This in what, before the game, the PA announcer called Stamford’s biggest game in its history. From the official Stamford AFC site, {here is a gallery from that match, 2016/17 : Stamford AFC v Wrexham AFC (15.10.16)}.

Then, three days later, in the re-play, played at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham, North Wales on Tuesday 18 October, Stamford beat Wrexham 2-3 in aet, with Jake Duffy’s extra-time free kick the winner {you can see that nicely curled shot at the following link [scroll down there half-way], Stamford AFC reach FA Cup 1st round for first time in 120-year history (by Stefan Pidluznyj at lincolnshirereporter.co.uk)}. Stamford had bested a team 3 levels and 73 league-places higher than them. And so Stamford AFC qualified for the FA Cup 1st Round for the first time in the club’s 120-year history. {See this article, FA Cup: Wrexham 2-3 Stamford (bbc.com/football).}

Stamford AFC are from the small market town of Stamford, Lincolnshire, which has a population of around 19,000. Stamford is 167 km (104 mi) N of London by road, and Stamford is 50 km (31 mi) E of the city of Leicester by road. Stamford is situated on the River Welland (which flows eastward, into the Wash). Stamford is located in the far south-western edge of Lincolnshire, right next to the very small county (smallest in England) of Rutland, which is just north and west of Stamford. (Stamford is so close to and so linked to the two-town county of Rutland that a prominent local paper there is called the Rutland and Stamford Mercury.) To the south-west of Stamford is Northamptonshire, and to the south-east of Stamford is Cambridgeshire and the city of Peterborough.

Stamford is a picturesque little town. Owing to its many well-preserved 17th and 18th century honey-stone houses and stone streets, its beautiful streets and vistas, its good schools, its nice shops and its fast-and-extensive rail service (55 minutes to London), Stamford was in fact rated by the Sunday Times as the best town to live in, in all of England {see this from 2013; also see this 2013 article on how nice Stamford is, from the Guardian, here}.

Stamford AFC wear red, and are nicknamed the Daniels, after the heaviest man in England, Daniel Lambert (1770-1809), who was the gaol-keeper in Stamford, and who weighed over 50 stone (700 lb; 320 kg), and, after becoming the heaviest authenticated person up to that point in recorded history, became something of a celebrity in London and in nearby Leicester, in the early 1800s.

Stamford AFC had played for 100 years at the Kettering Road ground near the town centre. They now play at the relatively brand-new Zeeco Stadium at the Stamford Sports Centre, which is just beyond the last houses on the south side of town. The stadium, which opened in December 2014, has a 2,000 capacity (250 seated). (Zeeco is a company involved in refining, petrochemical production, power/steam, and bio-gas industries.) As it says in this article from the Rutland and Stamford Mercury.co.uk, “the ground is part of a £5.5m development at the Borderville site which also includes a sports centre, classrooms and artificial pitches. The Daniels have teamed up with New College Stamford and Burghley Estates on the development.”

For the 1st Round, Stamford have been given a draw away to 4th-division-side Hartlepool United, at their Victoria Road ground up in County Durham. Here is an article from the Hartlepool Mail.co.uk, Who are Hartlepool United’s FA Cup opponents Stamford AFC?.


stamford-afc_zecco-stadium_stamford-lincolnshire_i_.gif

Photo and Image credits above –
Photo of Stamford viewed over the Meadows, photo by Old Phthg at picturescolourlibrary.co.uk. Photo of cobblestone street in Stamford, photo by Travelpix via thesundaytimes.co.uk. Photo of a street in Stamford town centre, photo by lincolnshire.org. Aerial shot of Zeeco Stadium, photo by lk2.co.uk/projects. Screenshot of Zeeco Stadium, partially completed and 4 months prior to opening (August 2014), image from 0:16 video uploaded by Stampy72 at Zeeco Stadium – 15th August (youtube.com). Shot of 2016-17 FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round match (Stamford 2-2 Wrexham, on 15 October 2015), photo by Chris P at groundhoppersdiary.blogspot.com/2016/10/stamford-afc-zeeco-stadium. Shot of goal scored by Stamford, photo by Jake Whiteley at Stamford AFC official site pitchero.com/clubs/stamfordafc/news/photos-daniels-v-wrexham-afc.

    Westfields FC.

Est. 1966.
Ground: allpay.park (at Widemarsh Common), Hereford, Herefordshire. Capacity: 2,000 (216 seated). Opened December 2003.
Manager: Sean Edwards.

Westfields FC are a 9th-level club in the Midland Football Alliance. Westfields are the lowest-placed team in the 2016-17 FA Cup 1st Round. Westfields currently [1 Nov 2016] are in 3rd place in the Midland Premier, despite playing much less games than most other teams in the league (owing to their 6-game-long FA Cup-run this season); {here is the 2016-17 Alliance Premier Division table (with attendances)}. Their current average home attendance is 194, which is the largest crowd-size in the Midland Football Alliance Premier Division (the median-crowd-size in the 22-team league, currently, is 81 per game). Westfields drew almost four times their home-crowd-average for their 4th Qualifying Round match, when 741 were on hand to see Westfields beat 7th-division-side Leiston (of Suffolk), 2-1 (see two paragraphs below, and see photos in the illustration further below).

Westfields wear claret and sky blue. Inspired by England’s triumph in the 1966 World Cup, Westfields FC were formed in November 1966, by some local teenagers who played friendlies on Widemarsh Common nearby the city centre of Hereford. One of the youths who founded the club was Andy Morris; he is still involved with the club and is now its chief executive. Westfields first played in the Hereford Sunday League. In 1975, the club moved from Widemarsh Common to the sports ground of Thorn Lighting on the Rotherwas Industrial Estate, in south-east Hereford. In their 12th year, in 1978, Westfields joined the West Midlands Regional League [present-day 12th level]. In 1983, they were promoted to the 1st Division of the West Midlands Regional League. And four years later in 1987, they were promoted to the Premier Division of the West Midlands Regional League. Sixteen years later, in 2003, Westfields won promotion to the Midland Football Alliance [which is in the present-day 9th level]. That same year, in December 2003, Westfields moved back to Widemarsh Common in the heart of Hereford, in a purpose-built ground (cost: £250,000). For sponsorship purposes, the name of the ground is allpay.park, after allpay.net, a Hereford-based cashless-payment firm.

On 15 October 2016, after defeating 7th-division side Leiston in the 2016-17 FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, Westfields FC qualified for the FA Cup 1st Round for the first time in the 60-year-old club’s history. Of course, Westfields had the good fortune of drawing 5 consecutive home matches in the preliminary rounds (Westfields 16/17 FA Cup-run listed below, along with their steadily-increasing home attendances). And that luck has carried on to the First Round Proper, as Westfields got a rather winnable home match versus 6th-division side Curzon Ashton (of Greater Manchester). {2016-17 FA Cup 1st Round draw, here: FA Cup first-round draw: Westfields ‘quietly confident’.}

As a 9th-division side, Westfields had to enter the FA Cup right at the start of the competition, on 6 August 2016.
In other words, to qualify for the 2016-17 FA Cup 1st Round, Westfields went the maximum 6 preliminary/qualifying rounds…
-In the Extra Preliminary Round, Westfields beat Stourport Swifts away, 3-4.
-In the Preliminary Round, Westfields beat Tivdale 5-1 at Widemarsh Common (attendance, 96).
-In the 1st Qualifying Round, Westfields beat St Ives Town 4-0 at Widemarsh Common (attendance, 190).
-In the 2nd Qualifying Round, Westfields beat Highgate United 4-2 at Widemarsh Common (attendance, 239).
-In the 3rd Qualifying Round, Westfields beat Walton Casuals 4-0 at Widemarsh Common (attendance, 349).
-And then in the 4th Qualifying Round, Westfields beat Leiston 2-1 at Widemarsh Common (attendance, 741) {see photos and captions further below}.
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Photo and Image credits above – Street-level exterior shot of allpay.park, photo by moravianfootball.blogspot.com via soccerway.com. 3 interior shots of ground, photos by Antti’s Football Scarves at saturday3.com/showmg.php?id=allpay.park_westfields_fc_12.03.2011. Photo of 4th Qualifying Round match at allpay.stadium by Jan Kruger/The FA via Getty Images via theguardian.com/football. 5 photos from 4th Qualifying Round match, photos by James Maggs at Westfields beat Leiston 2-1 in the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round (herefordtimes.com).
____
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of Greater Manchester, by Nilfanion (using Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater Manchester UK relief location map.jpg.
-Photo of Curzon Ashton badge, photo from ebay.com.
-Current average attendance figures from Soccerway.com.
-Current average attendance for lower Non-League clubs (7th and 8th and 9th Levels), at non-league-matters.co.uk.
-Thanks to the official site of Merstham FC, for club history info, at mersthamfc.co.uk/mfchistory.
-Thanks to the official site of Westfields FC, for FA Cup qualifying rounds info, westfieldsfc.com.
-Thanks to the official site of Stamford AFC, for the match-photo and for general information.
-Thanks to Donnaa Prior at the Surrey Mirror, for match-photos of Merstham’s Cup-qualifying win, PHOTOS: Merstham beat Ebbsfleet United to qualify for the FA Cup first round proper.
-Thanks to James Maggs at the Hereford Times, for match-photos of Westfield’s Cup-qualifying win, Westfields beat Leiston 2-1 in the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round [with pictures].

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