Staffs County League 2013-14 fans’ guide

The Staffordshire County League sits at step seven of the non league pyramid, along with a host of other county leagues. However, it is classed in the 7A category, the highest classification of step seven.

In general the clubs charge £2 for entrance in the top division, although some let you in for free. All the venues, while often basic, have good facilities, refreshments (even real ale at Norton and Redgate Clayton) and railed pitches. Some come with great views too. It’s superb value for money and a great way to support grass roots and local football. The Staffs County League feeds into the North West Counties League.

It comprises three divisions.

SCSL Map

Blue – Premier
Red- Div 1
Green- Div 2

Premier Division

This season the Premier division will start again with 17 teams. Departing are Hanley Town (promoted to the North West Counties League), Stretton and Biddulph Town (both resigned). Stone Dominoes resigned shortly before the end of last season. Incoming are Uttoxeter Town and Hilton Harriers (promoted in first and second) and AFC Leek Town and AFC Hanley Town (pseudo reserve teams, newly formed).

With the inclusion of the two promotees, Uttoxeter and Hilton, the top division has spread out a lot wider. Last season, weirdly, it was far more geographically compact than the first or second divisions. Hilton Harriers are one of only two teams outside Staffordshire in the top flight – the other being Alsager.

There are now seven teams in the top flight that are effectively the reserves of teams higher up the pyramid. There is a limit of five reserves teams for a step seven league, which is why AFC Hanley and AFC Leek Town are newly formed entities and technically teams in their own right rather than reserves.

This leaves ten teams left which are not reserves. The more established stalwarts of the division – Abbey Hulton United, Ball Haye Green, Florence, Redgate Clayton and Wolstanton United. Then there’s the teams who have come up in recent years – Audley, Cheadle Town and Keele University. Finally there are the two promoted clubs – Uttoxeter Town and Hilton Harriers.

Division One

In division one Bradeley and Vodafone Stoke folded, leaving the Bradeley Football Development Centre and, stranger still, the Milton United ground with no teams from the SCL playing there this season. (Despite the fact that Miton United have reformed with teams in both div one and two!)

Promoted were Silverdale Athletic, Hall Heath (the prison side, in their first season), Stapenhill  and Norton FC (2nd reserves)

No teams left the league through relegation from the Premier or relegation to the second.

Leaving the league through promotion were winners Uttoxeter Town and runners up Hilton Harriers.

Newly formed teams entering the league in this division are Knypersley Victoria and Milton United. You could say Knypersley Vics have replaced Biddulph Town, who resigned from the Premier, and they will be playing their home games at the floodlit Tunstall Road ground. The Biddulph club has come full circle in recent years. A stalwart of the Midland Alliance, they changed their name from Knypersley Victoria to Biddulph Victoria, who then folded and were replaced with Biddulph Town. Now we are back again to Knypersley Victoria – I hope they kept all the old signs.

Similarly you could say Milton United are the new Vodafone Stoke although they will not be residing at their old eponymous ground off Leek Road, but playing off Millrise Road at the Hardman Football Centre.

Division Two

In the second division, three teams resigned –Florence Reserves, Biddulph Town Reserves and FC Vibromax. Leaving the division, via promotion, were Silverdale Athletic, Hall Heath, Stapenhill and Norton (reserves).
Two brand new clubs are starting this season, in LA Holditch, playing at the Holditch Miners Welfare club in Chesterton, and Longton Adderley Green (or Longton AG for short) playing at Longton Rugby club, near the Britannia Stadium.
Two more sides are new to the division, the reserves of the newly formed Milton United and the new Uttoxeter reserves side.
The final three sides are not new but have returned to the SCL from other leagues– they are Stone Old Alleynians, Leek CSOB reserves (who will be playing at Westwood College rather than Leek Town’s Harrison Park, which is where the first team play in the North West Counties) and Featherstone (another prison side, along with Hall Heath), who will be hoping to play with conviction.

Grounds

There’s a few ground changes and unexpected ground shares for this season:

  • Uttoxeter Town will still be playing at Oldfields Sports Complex in Uttoxeter despite rumours of a share with Rocester Town.
  • Uttoxeter Town reserves won’t be sharing with their first team – they’re playing at St George’s Park in Needwood in Burton.
  • Longton FC (in their second year) will play at Knypersley Victoria – at the other end of the city!
  • Longton AG will play at Longton Rugby Club
  • Re-formed Milton United will not be returning to their eponymous ground, used by now defunct Vodafone last year, but will be at the Hardman Centre a few hundred yards down Millrise Road
  • Milton’s reserves won’t be at the village ground either – they’re at the Malthouse Fields in Cellarhead, former home to Longton Harriers
  • AFC Leek are sharing with Ball Haye Green
  • Leek CSOB are at Westwood College
  • Silverdale Athletic are at the Shamblers venue, near junction 15 of the M6
  • Bradwell FC will be playing in Crewe at Willaston White Star FC, inWillaston
  • MMU Cheshire and Sandbach United will be sharing at the Sandbach Community Football Centre
  • Cheadle Towns 1 and 2 and Cheadle SMU will all be playing at Thorley Road, Cheadle

Floodlights  and Programmes

Ignoring reserve teams and pseudo reserve teams, who share with their higher-up-the-pyramid first team, venues that have floodlights are:

Premier:              Ball Haye Green
Division One:     None
Division Two:     None

Teams who at the time of going to press will be issuing programmes next season are:

Premier:              Cheadle Town (50/50 depending on photocopier), Norton (hopefully), Uttoxeter Town and Wolstanton United
Division One:     Brereton Social
Division Two:     Cheadle Town reserves (50/50 depending on photocopier)

All details are correct as of 12th July 2013, but should you find any inaccuracies please let me know. Also if you can fill in the missing pictures I would be much obliged also.

Premier, One and Two division clubs in alphabetical order:

Abbey Hulton United
Founded: 1947
Ground: Birches Head Road, Abbey Hulton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST2 8DD (North East of Stoke-on-Trent)
Fully railed ground but no stands or terracing. It does have a good raised bank on one long side for elevated views.
Programme: no
Entrance £2

Abbey Hulton United Birchees Head Road (1)

AFC Hanley Town
Founded: 1966
Ground: Abbey Lane, Bucknall, Stoke-on-Trent ST2 8AU (Shared with Hanley Town, NWCL One), in the North East of Stoke-on-Trent
Fully railed ground, one stand. Shortly to have floodlights and seats due to first team moving up to the North West Counties league
Programme: no
Entrance £2 (£1 concession)

Hanley Town Abbey Lane (12)

AFC Leek Town
Founded: 2012
Ground: Ball Haye Green Sports & Social, Leek ST13 6BH (Shared with Ball Haye Green, SCSL Premier), in Leek
Fully railed ground with one covered long stand, with benches and chairs. Floodlights
Programme: no
Entrance: u/k

Ball Haye Green Apr 2009 001

Alsager Town
Founded: 1968
Ground: Law Training Stadium, Wood Park, Alsager ST7 2DP (Shared with Alsager Town, NWCL Premier), in Alsager
Seated stand, covered terrace and floodlights
Programme: no
Entrance: u/k

100_5312

Audley
Founded: 1895
Ground: Town Fields, Old Road, Bignall End, ST7 8QH
Railed pitch, two small bus shelters stands either side of dug outs, no floodlights
Programme: no
Entrance: u/k

100_7461

Ball Haye Green
Founded: 1880
Ground: Ball Haye Green Sports & Social, Leek ST13 8BH
Fully railed ground with one covered long stand, with benches and chairs. Floodlights
Programme: No
Entrance: £2 (including entry to half time raffle)

Ball Haye Green Apr 2009 001

Cheadle Town
Founded: 1948
Ground: Thorley Drive, Cheadle, Staffordshire. ST10 1SA
Railed pitch, no stands, no floodlights
Programme: Yes
Entrance: no

??????????????????????????

 

Eccleshall AFC
Founded: 1983
Ground: Pershall Park, Chester Road, Pershall, Staffordshire ST21 6NE (shared with Eccleshall, NWCL One)
Seated stand, covered terrace and floodlights
Programme: no
Entrance: u/k

Pershall Park 11

Florence
Founded: 1995
Ground: Florence Sports & Social, Lightwood Road, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST3 4JS
Railed pitch, small stand, no floodlights
Programme: no
Entrance: u/k
???????????????????????????????

Hilton Harriers
Founded: 1998
Ground: The Mease, Hilton, Derbyshire, DE65 5LS
Railed pitch, small stand, no floodlights
Programme: no
Entrance: free
(Pic courtesy of Pat Brunning)

Hilton Harriers

Keele University
Founded: 1950
Ground: Sports Centre, Keele University, ST5 5BD
Railed pitch, no stand, no floodlights, grass banking behind goal
Programme: no
Entrance: free

Keele Uni FC (2)

Kidsgrove Athletic
Founded: 1952
Ground: The Seddon Stadium, Hollinwood Road, Kidsgrove, ST7 1DQ (shared with Kidsgrove Athletic, Evostik One South)
Stands and seating on all four sides, floodlights
Programme: no
Entrance: £2 (£1 concessions)

Kidsgrove Ath Seddon Stadium 2

Newcastle Town
Founded: 1964
Ground: The Aspire Stadium, Buckmaster Road, Clayton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 3BX (shared with Newcastle Town, Evostik One South)
Stand and covered terrace around velodrome, floodlights
Programme: no
Entrance: £2 (£1 concessions)
Other: Sky TV in clubhouse

Newcastle Town Lyme Valley Stadium 7

Norton United
Founded: 1970
Ground: The Autonet Insurance Stadium, Community Drive, Smallthorne, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 1QF (shared with Norton United, NWCL Premier)
Covered seating and two terrace stands, floodlights
Programme: yes (depending on secretary’s time)
Entrance: £2 (£1 concessions)

100_6022

Redgate Clayton
Founded: 1969
Ground: Clayton Community Centre, Northwood Lane, Clayton
Fully railed pitch, no  stands, no floodlights
Programme: no
Entrance: u/k

100_7079

Uttoxeter Town
Founded: 1983
Ground: Oldfields Sports Ground, Springfield Road, Uttoxeter,ST14  7JX
Seated stand, terrace cover, floodlights
Programme: Yes, £1
Entrance: free
??????????????????????????

Wolstanton United
Founded: 1946
Ground: Bradwell Community Centre, Riceyman Road, Bradwell, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 8LD
Fully railed pitch, some banking, no floodlights
Programme: yes (photocopier permitting)
Entrance: £2 (includes programme and half time raffle draw)
Other: refreshments in community room
Ground Improvements: Small area of hard standing and small cover for 2013/14 season

Wolstanton United (5)

Division One

Abbey Hulton United

Founded: 1947
Ground: Birches Head Road, Abbey Hulton, ST2 8DD
Programme: No

Abbey Hulton United Birchees Head Road (1)

Ashbourne FC

Founded:
Ground: Ashbourne Recreation Ground, Cockayne Avenue, Ashbourne    DE6 1EJ
Programme: No

Betley FC

Founded: 1975
Ground: South Cheshire College, Danebank Avenue, Crewe, CW2 8AB
Programme: No

Bradwell FC

Founded: 2000
Ground: Willaston White Star FC, Tricketts Lane, Willaston, Crewe, CW5 6PX
Programme: No
(Pic courtesy of Pat Brunning)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Brereton Social FC

Founded: 1899
Ground: Red Lion Ground, Armitage Lane, Brereton, Rugeley
Programme: Yes

Cheadle SMU

Founded: 2009
Ground: Thorley Drive, Cheadle ST10 1SA
Programme: No

??????????????????????????

Congleton Athletic

Founded: 1978
Ground: Back Lane Playing Fields, Back Lane, Congleton, CW12 4RB
Programme: No

Foley

Founded: 1947
Ground: Whitcombe Road, Meir , ST3 6NU
Programme: No

 Foley FC Whitcombe Road (22)

Hall Heath FC

Founded: 2012
Ground: HMP Stoke Heath, Warrant Road, Stoke Heath, Market Drayton Shropshire, TF9 2JL
Programme: No

Knypersley Victoria

Founded: 2013
Ground: Knypersley Sports & Social, Tunstall Road,ST8 6JP
Programme: No

Main Stand

Milton United

Founded: 2013
Ground: Hardman Centre Millrise Road, Milton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST2 7DN
Programme: No

20140505_182114

MMU Cheshire

Founded: 1960
Ground: Sandbach Community Football Centre, Hind Heath Road, Sandbach Cheshire, CW11 3LZ
Programme: No

20130812_1826362a

 

Norton United

Founded: 2011
Ground: Norton C.C. & M.W. Institute, Community Drive, Smallthorne, ST6 1QF
Programme: No

100_6022

Redgate Clayton

Founded: 1969
Ground: Northwood Lane, Clayton, Newcastle. ST5 4BN
Programme: No

100_7079

Sandbach United

Founded: 2004
Ground: Sandbach Community Football Centre, Hind Heath Road, Sandbach Cheshire, CW11 3LZ
Programme: No

20130812_1826362a

Silverdale Athletic

Founded: 1980
Ground: North Staffs Sports Club (Shamblers), Whisper Lane,Butterton, Newcastle-u-Lyme, ST5 4EB
Programme: No

manor-inne-fc-shamblers-fc-1

Stapenhill FC

Founded: 1947
Ground: Maple Grove, Stapenhill, Burton-on-Trent, DE15 9NN
Programme: No

Division Two

Betley FC

Founded: 1975
Ground: South Cheshire College, Danebank Avenue, Crewe, CW2 8AB
Programme: No

Cheadle Town FC

Founded: 1996
Ground: Thorley Drive, Cheadle ST10 1SA
Programme: Yes

??????????????????????????

Featherstone FC

Founded: 1968
Ground: HMP Featherstone, New Road, Featherstone Near Wolverhampton, WV10 7PU
Programme: No

Hawkins Sports FC

Founded: 1968
Ground: Hawkins Sports Club, Coppice Lane, Cheslyn Hay, WS6 7EY
Programme: No

Hilton Harriers Athletic

Founded: 1998
Ground: The Mease Pavilion The Mease,, Hilton Derbyshire, DE65 5LS
Programme: No

Hilton Harriers

LA Holditch

Founded: 2013
Ground: Holditch Miners Welfare Club, London Road, Chesterton, Newcastle-u-Lyme,  ST5 7PT
Programme: No

Leek CSOB

Founded: 1945
Ground: Westwood Park College, Westwood Drive, Leek, ST13 8NP
Programme: No

Longton Adderley Green

Founded: 2013
Ground: Longton Rugby Club, Stanley Matthews Way Trentham Lakes, Trentham, Stoke-on-trent, ST4 8GR
Programme: No

(PIC courtesy of Steve Hardy)

Longton AG3 2013

Longton FC

Founded: 2012
Ground: Knypersley Sports & Social, Tunstall Road,ST8 6JP
Programme: No

Main Stand

Milton United

Founded: 2013
Ground: Malthouse Fields. Leek Road, Cellarhead, ST3 5BF
Programme: No

Stone Old Alleynians

Founded: 1962
Ground: Wellbeing Park, Yarnfield Lane, Yarnfield, ST15 0NF
Programme: No

Stone Dominoes (1)

Tunstall Town

Founded: 1949
Ground: Sandyford Cricket Club, Shelford Road, Stoke-on-Trent
Programme: No

20131109_1351442

Uttoxeter Town

Founded: 2013
Ground: Georges Park, Newborough Road Needwood, Burton, DE13 9PD
Programme: No

(PIC courtesy of Steve Hardy)

St Georges Park5 2013

Whittington FC

Founded: 1981
Ground: Ravenhill Park, Main Road, Brereton, Rugeley,   Staffs
Programme: No

Whittington Beacon Park2

Contributions
Thanks to Pat Brunning and Steve Hardy for contributing some photos I was missing
(Pat – Cheadle Town, Hilton Harriers, Uttoxeter Town and Bradwell; Steve – Longton AG, Uttoxeter Town Res and Whittington).
Thanks to Dennis Vickers (club secretary for Norton United) for a sneak preview of the Staffs County Handbook 2013-14 and a photo of Uttoxeter Town

Links
Staffs County League Official Website

Advertisements

About thegroundhog

I live underground, occasionally popping up at non-league and Welsh grounds. I live on a diet of insects, small rodents, nil-nils and post and pre-match angst.
This entry was posted in Travelog and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Staffs County League 2013-14 fans’ guide

  1. Drawoh says:

    Great to see this report. Particularly interested to see the reasoning behind the use of AFC in the names of the “new” Hanley Town and Leek Town teams.
    Just one thing, though. Vodkat withdrew sponsorship of NWCFL some three or four years ago, so it is no longer known as the Vodkat League.
    I shall certainly make great use of this report of the coming season!

    Well done!

  2. Drawoh says:

    I wish I’d saved a copy of this item when I first saw it yesterday. It’s now lost details of the individual grounds beyond those of the first three in the Premier Division. Any chance that the full item can be resurrected?

    • thegroundhog says:

      I just noticed before you commented. I don’t know what’s happened but I’ll try to get it back. I hope I can as it took ages!

    • thegroundhog says:

      All restored – Thank God!! You can restore previous editions. I’ve no idea how it all disappeared. By the way, thank you for your comments. I’m glad you appreciate it.
      When I look for other teams to go to (such as the Cheshire League) I always wish there was some kind of overview that I could look up the grounds on.

  3. thegroundhog says:

    Reblogged this on the groundhog and commented:

    As it’s had several updates I’m reblogging it

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s