April 25, 2013

England: Conference South: 2012-13 Location-map with final attendance figures for top 5 finishers, including champions Welling United FC, and the 4 play-off clubs (Salisbury City, Dover Athletic, Eastleigh, Chelmsford City) / With photos of the 5 clubs’ grounds.

Filed under: 2012-13 English football,Eng-6th level,Football Stadia — admin @ 9:09 pm .gif
England: Conference South: map with 2013 champions Welling United FC, and the 4 play-off clubs

2012-13 Conference North & Conference South Play-offs – Fixtures, Results (

The Conference South is one of 3 leagues in the (Non-League) Football Conference. It is a 6th Level league, and its sister league is the Conference North. Both were instituted in 2004-05. The 22-team Conference North and the 22-team Conference South are the highest regional leagues in the English football pyramid – promotion is to the 5th level and the Conference National (which is the lowest-level national league in the English football ladder, and the highest level in the Non-League pyramid). 2 clubs each from Conference North and from Conference South are promoted each season – one automatic promotion (1st place) and the play-offs winner. The play-offs are comprised of the 4 clubs which finished in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th places. The play-offs final in both Conference North and Conference South are played at the ground of the finalists with the better regular-season finishes.

    Promoted to Conference National for 2013-14 – Welling United.

Welling United are nicknamed the Wings and from south-east London in the District of Welling, which is in the London Borough of Bexley, near the Kent border. Before the railroads, Welling was a village on the main road from London to Kent, and legend has it that the town got its name because once you had traveled from London into the town, you were ‘Well in’ to Kent {see this article from from June 2012}. Bexley is around 18 km. (or 12 miles) southeast of the City of London, and about 5 kilometres east of the District of Charlton, where Charlton Athletic’s ground, The Valley, is located, and where the founder of Welling United FC, Sydney Hobbins, played football about 6 decades ago. Welling United were formed in 1963 by former Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Sydney Hobbins – Welling were formed as a youth team for Hobbins’ two sons. A senior team was later organized, and the club began playing in Saturday leagues in the early 1970s, playing in Eltham in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, in south-east London.

In 1977, Welling United moved a few kilometres east to Welling, Borough of Bexley, and into Park View Road (this after the ground’s former tenant, Bexley United, had folded, in 1976). In 1978, Welling United joined the now-defunct Athenian League. In 1981, Welling United progressed to the Southern League’s second division. The Southern League’s 1982 re-organization saw Welling United progress further, with a credible 3rd place finish in the new Southern League Premier League in 1982-83. The Southern League Premier was a 6th Level league then [it is now a 7th Level league]. Three years later in 1985-86, Welling United won promotion to the Conference (the 5th Level).

Welling United would play 14 seasons in the Conference, but finished only twice above 11th place (with their highest-ever finish being 6th place in the 1989-90 Conference). Wellling United were relegated from the 5th Level in 1999-2000.

Back in the Southern League, Welling were one of the 44 Non-League clubs who earned placement in the newly-instituted 6th Level, which comprised Conference North and Conference South, in 2004-05. Welling have been in Conference South for all 9 seasons that the league has played (2004-05 to 2012-13).

Recent history of Welling United
Recent history of Welling United saw then-30-year-old Bexley native and current player/manager MF Jamie Day’s appointment as the first team manager in November 2009. In August 2010, the club was threatened with being liquidated, as Welling were served with a winding-up petition by HRMC. The club escaped primarily thanks to funds raised by supporters. Here is an excerpt from en.wikipedia’s page on ‘Welling United F.C.‘…{excerpt}…’The Wings were given 14 weeks to pay the outstanding debt to the HMRC, and thanks almost entirely to the supporters were able to raise £60,000 to clear all monies owed. During this period, in a Football Conference Hearing on 16 September 2010, Welling United admitted to a misconduct charge in connection with the outstanding HMRC debt. Resultantly an immediate deduction of 5 points was enforced on the club together with a suspended £5,000 fine.’…{end of excerpt}.

In 2010-11, despite a 5-point deduction and a transfer embargo, Jamie Day’s Welling United finished in 6th place, missing out on the play-offs by one point. In 2011-12, Welling improved to 3rd and made it all the way to the Conference South Play-offs Final, but fell to nearby Kent-based club Dartford FC 0-1, at Darford’s Princes Park on 13 May 2012.

On 22 April, 2013, after a season-long run of 21 undefeated games at home, fourth-year player/manager Jamie Day’s Welling United all but mathematically clinched promotion to the 5th Level Conference National with a 1-1 draw versus Boreham Wood. Here is an article on that from, by Robin Cottle, ‘Welling United clinch first league title for 27 years‘ (

The following day, Monday the 23rd, Salisbury’s failure to win at Sutton clinched it for the Wings, and so in August 2013, Welling United will be back in the 5th Level for the first time since the spring of 2000. The final match this season on Saturday 27 April 2013 versus play-offs qualifier Eastleigh will be a formality, and a time for a bit of celebration for the Wings’ faithful. That 60 thousand pounds that Welling supporters contributed 3 years ago to save the club from liquidation has now paid dividends, and Welling are back in the top tier of Non-League football for the first time in 14 years. Back when Welling were in the Conference circa the late 1990s, very few clubs in the 5th Level then were full-time professionals. That situation had changed drastically in the decade-and-a-half since, and now the lions’ share of clubs in the Conference National are full-time pro squads (around 70 to 80 percent of the clubs are full-time pro in the Conference these days). There is no word yet on whether Welling United will turn from a part-time squad to a full-time squad. But chances are the club will remain semi-pro seeing as how the Wings were hard-pressed to pull in more than 600 per game in 2012-13. In other words, if Welling stay semi-pro, they will have their work cut out for them next season.

Photo and Image credits above –
Illustration of Welling United 2012-13 kits from ‘Welling United‘ (
Action Photo of player/manager Jamie Day from
Action Photo of FW Ross Lafayette by Keith Gillard at via

    The 4 Play-Off Teams in 2012-13 Conference South…

Play-offs: Salisbury v. Chelmsford, and Dover v. Eastleigh.

Salisbury City FC.
Photo and Image credits above –
Salisbury City F.C.‘ (

Dover Athletic FC.
Photo and Image credits above -
Dover Athletic F.C.’ (
Empics via
Aerial photo by Geoff Hall at

Eastleigh FC.
Photo and Image credits above -
Eastleigh F.C.‘ (
PA at

Chelmsford City FC.
Photo and Image credits above –
Chelmsford City F.C.‘ (

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘2012–13 Football Conference‘.
Thanks to for attendance data,–s/20122013/north/.
Thanks to the Welling United official site,

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