April 30, 2012

England, Non-League Football/6th Level, 2011-12 – Conference South: the 1 promoted club – Woking FC – and the 4 play-off clubs.

Filed under: 2011-12 English Football,Eng-6th level — admin @ 7:29 am

2011-12 Conference South, Top of the Table

Conference South (aka Blue Square South) site,
From, from 28 April 2012, ‘Saturday’s Blue Square Bet South Wrap – Chelmsford missed out on the play-offs with a 3-2 defeat to champions Woking on Saturday, while Maidenhead were relegated despite claiming a three-point haul‘.

Conference South and Conference South play-offs begin Wednesday 2 May, fixtures.
Conference South Play Offs:
Dartford FC v. Basingstoke Town FC.
Welling United FC v. Sutton United FC.

Semi Finals,
First Leg – 2nd May 2012
Sutton United v Welling United. Kick Off 19:45
Basingstoke Town v Dartford. Kick Off 19:45

Second Leg – 6th May 2012
Welling United v Sutton United. Kick Off 15:00
Dartford v Basingstoke Town. Kick Off 1500

Play Off Promotion Final,
Sunday 13th May 2012 at the the highest placed Club.

The map page shows the top 5 finishers in the 2011-12 Conference South – the one automatically promoted club (Woking FC) and the four play off clubs (Dartford FC, Welling United FC, Sutton United FC, and Basingstoke Town FC). Photos of each club’s ground are shown at the far left, next to each club’s profile box. The profile box includes the basic club info plus highest league placement by the club, 2011-12 kits, and 2011-12 home kit badge. At the center of the map page is a location-map of the 5 clubs. At the upper right is attendance data (from home league matches) from the last 2 seasons for the 5 clubs (2011-12 average attendance, 2010-11 average attendance, and numerical change from 11/12 gates versus 10/11 gates).

After 3 seasons in the Conference South, Woking FC won promotion back to the Conference National, on 14 April 2012, with a 1-0 victory at Maidenhead United. 7 days later, in their next home match, in front of a crowd of 4,064 at the Kingfield Stadium, Woking and their supporters celebrated their 2011-12 Blue Square South title (see link to video below).

From, ‘VIDEO: Party time for Woking FC’s title triumph‘.

In the photo below, Woking teammates congratulate forward Giuseppe ‘Gez’ Sole, after scoring (on 21 April 2012). Sole is a 24-year-old former Woking youth academy player, who went on to lead Woking FC in scoring in 2007-08 (as a 19/20-year old) with 14 league goals [in the Conference], and then led Woking in scoring again in 2009-10 [in the Conference South]. Sole had loan spells at Newport County and Dorchester Town, before signing with Conference South side Havant and Waterlooville in 2010. Sole was brought back to Woking in the summer of 2011 by recently-hired manager Garry Hill. Gez Sole started the 2011-12 season out on loan to Basingstoke Town, and after coming back to Woking in January 2012, scored 19 goals in 20 league games, and set a club recored with goals scored in 9 strraight games.
Photo credit above – David Holmes at

Woking FC are from Woking, Surrey, which is 37 km. (23 miles) SW of London, and has a population of around 62,000 {2010 figure}. Woking, nicknamed the Cards (or Cardinals), have a 17-season history in the 5th Level/Conference National (from 1992-93 to 2008-09). Around fifteen years ago Woking had a big push for promotion that fell short – Woking finished in 2nd place for two consecutive seasons (1994-95 and 1995-96), back in the era when there was only one promotion-spot in the Conference (the 2nd promotion-spot, via the 4-team play-offs, was instituted for the Conference in 2002-03). In 1994-95, Woking finished 5 points behind Macclesfield Town. And in 1995-96, Woking finished 8 points behind Stevenage Borough (but Stevenage Borough were denied a promotion to the Football League because they did not meet Football League ground requirements, so nobody went up to the Football League that season).

Woking were relegated from the Conference National following the 2008-09 season, after finishing in 21st place. The next season, their first in the Conference South, Woking saw their gates dwindle from 1.7K to 1.3 K, and finished in 5th, then lost in the play offs final to Bath City in May 2010. Midway through the next season [2010-11], manager Gaham Baker was sacked after claiming the fans were expecting too much of the team. In January, 2011, former Rushden & Diamonds manager Gary Hill stepped in. For 2010-11, the Cards saw their attendance fall again, to 1,167 per game, and again they finished in 5th, and again they lost in the play offs, this time to Farnborough in the 1st round.

Now in Hill’s first full season with the club, he has ably guided Woking to a successful promotion campaign.

Woking’s Kingfield Stadium is unusual in that one of the goal-end stands – the Leslie Gosden Stand – is a modern roofed stand that completely towers over the other stands. So three quarters of the ground look definitely like a Non-League ground, while the Leslie Gosden Stand would not look out of place in League One. Woking draw very decent-sized crowds for a club with no League history. In their last season in the Conference National, in 2008-09, they had the 9th-best attendance in the 5th Level at 1,727 per game. This season, the Cards’ for-real-this-time promotion-run drew back many disaffected fans there in west Surrey, and the club pulled an average of 1,833 per game through the turnstiles. This figure was best in both Conference South and in Conference North by a considerable margin of over 400 per game (the second highest drawing club in the 6th Level in 2011-12 were FC Halifax Town at 1,422 per game).

Photo credits for the map page -
Woking/Kingfield Stadium – Salmonboy at

Dartford/Princes Park –’s Eye satellite view. Awards 2007.

Welling United/Park View Road –’s Eye satellite StephenHarris at

Sutton United/Borough Sports Ground, Gander Green Lane –’s Eye satellite view. Chris Hayes Photography at

Basingstoke Town/The Camrose –

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘2011–12 Football Conference‘.

Thanks to, for Conference South attendances.
Thanks to, for 2010-11 Sutton United attendance (in Isthmian League, here).

Thanks to David Holmes at for the photo from 21 April.
Thanks to Salmonboy at for the nice panorama image of Kingfield Stadium,

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