Staffs County League Guide 2016-17

Welcome to the sixth edition of the Staffs County League fans’ guide. There are far less changes this year than in previous years and the league structure stays the same. This is still only provisional and may be subject to some late changes. There are still a few photos missing of certain grounds – I would be grateful for any photo contributions. Also, any inaccuracies please let me know so I can correct.

The Groundhog

***********************************************************************

The Staffordshire County League sits at step seven of the non league pyramid. It is classed in the 7A category, the highest classification of step seven.

List of Clubs

Staffs County Teams 2016-17

Map of the Clubs in the Staffordshire County League

Blue – Premier, Red– Div 1, Green– Div 2 North, Yellow– Div 2 South

Staffs County map 2016-17

Summary of Divisional changes

Premier Division

In the Premier League, Uttoxeter Town depart again for the Midland League, after a year of convalescense in the Staffs County. This comes, despite a sixth place finish. Leek Town Reserves and Kidsgrove Athletic Reserves are not entering teams this year. Promoted from the First Division are Ashbourne and Walsall Phoenix, finishing second and third respectively, behind Shenstone Pathfinder. Ashbourne’s venue for this year has been confirmed as Rocester FC, as their Cockayne Avenue ground is not be up to the standards of the Premier. Newcastle Town Reserves appear again after a year out.

Obviously, the First Division now lose Ashbourne and Walsall Phoenix. Eastwood Hanley and Penkridge are promoted, winning Division Two North and South respectively. Whittington are relegated. Audley were demoted from the Premier, as they finished in 14th. Longton Area have had their annual name change. This season they are Staffordshire LA. Foley have become Foley Meir.

Division Two North increases its size to 13 teams. Only Eastwood Hanley depart, as champions. Coming in are new teams, Foley Meir Reserves, Milton United Reserves and new team Staffordshire Moorlands.

Division Two South goes down to just ten teams. Eastfield, Real Medina and Wolves Sporting U21s leave. Penkridge leave as Champions. Coming in are Red Star Alma, transferring from the Midlands and Walsall Phoenix Reserves.

Key Facts for 2016-17

  • The only newly formed side this year is Staffordshire Moorlands FC,
    who will be playing at Birchall Playing Fields, on Cheadle Road in Leek.
  • Eastwood Hanley are still sharing at the Hardman Development Centre in Milton,although look out for their friendlies, which may be played at their old
    Trentmill Road ground. Work is still going on to try to move back to their old
    ground permanently.
  • Bizarrely, the new side from last year, Hardman Development FC, named after where they played, will now be using Longton Rugby Club as their venue
    rather than their name.They have also recently become just HDFC.
  • Staffordshire LA (known as Longton Area last year), will now be
    playing at Newcastle-under-Lyme College at the Gordon Banks Sports Centre.
  • The Premier division is down to just four reserve sides now – Alsager Town, Eccleshall, Hanley Town and Newcastle Town.
  • Keele University now have lights. Milton United are installing lights,and have plans to join the NWCL in the not too distant future.
  • Tunstall Town are sharing with Knypersley Victoria, not playing at Sandyford Cricket Club
  • Goldenhill Wanderers are at Sandyford Cricket Club
  • Stone Old Alleynians Reserves and Stone Dominoes, while playing at the
    Yarnfields complex, will be using a non floodlit satellite pitch.

————————————————————————–

Floodlights and Programmes

Premier Division

Lights
Due to ground share with >step 6 team:
Alsager Town, Ashbourne, Eccleshall Town, Hanley Town,Newcastle Town.
In own right:
Ball Haye Green, Knypersley Victoria, Leek CSOB

Programmes – Wolstanton United (historically just for Saturday matches)

First Division

Lights –
Due to ground share with >step 6 team:
Wolverhampton Sporting Community U21s
In own right:
Keele University, Milton United (pending)

Programmes Penkridge

Second Division North

Lights Due to ground share with first team:
Keele University Reserves, Leek CSOB Reserves, Tunstall Town (@ Knypersley Victoria),
Milton United (pending)
In own right:
None

Programmes: None

Second Division South

Lights – Due to ground share with first team:
Brereton Social U21s
In own right:
Acorn Albion

Programmes: Stone Old Alleynians Reserves

Groundhopping

Premier Division

Florence is my favourite, with a non atcost/arena stand and nice views.
Knpersley Victoria (who played at step five for a long time), have lights, stand and
terracing. One side is shared with the cricket pitch.
Ball Haye Green also have lights, stand and terracing.
Leek CSOB has lights but no structures to date.
Wolstanton United have installed cover now.
Abbey Hulton United has elevation.
The Cheadles’ venue has some elevation and good views.

All the others are quite basic with the perimeter bar, although I believe Silverdale Athletic may be about to or have installed a stand.

Other Divisions

Foley Meir is the pick of the bunch in the other divisions. Their Whitcombe Road venue
has a non atcost/arena stand, elevation and good views.
Keele University now have lights and their ground is a bowl around a running track,
offering great vantage points and panorama shots.
Audley is a nice ground with two small stands.
MMU are sharing at Sandbach which will have lights and stands, but they may be
playing on a satellite pitch, so check before setting out.
Goldenhill Wanderers’ venue is a cricket ground with some open seating, but so far from
the pitch, not practical to watch from. However, nice quirky venue.
Acorn Albion play at the St Georges Park multi pitch venue in
Barton-under-Needwood. They play on a floodlit pitch.

————————————————————————-

List of clubs by division

Premier Division

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.
more photosAbbey Hulton United Birchees Head Road (1)

Alsager Town Reserves
Founded: 1968
Ground: Law Training Stadium, Wood Park, Alsager ST7 2DP (Shared with Alsager Town, NWCL Premier).
Seated stand, covered terrace and floodlights.
more photos…100_5312

Ashbourne FC
Founded: 1954
Ground: Hillsfield, Rocester.
more photos…
Side

Ball Haye Green
Founded: 1880
Ground: Ball Haye Green Sports & Social, Leek ST13 6BH
Fully railed ground with one covered long stand, with benches and chairs.
more photos…

Ball Haye Green Apr 2009 001

Cheadle South Moorlands United
Founded: 2009
Ground: Thorley Drive, Cheadle ST10 1SA
Railed pitch, no stands, no floodlights, nice venue though.
more photos…

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

Cheadle Town
Founded: 1948
Ground: Thorley Drive, Cheadle, Staffordshire. ST10 1SA
Railed pitch, no stands, no floodlights, nice venue though.
more photos…

??????????????????????????  

Eccleshall AFC Reserves
Founded: 1983
Ground: Pershall Park, Chester Road, Pershall, Staffordshire ST21 6NE (shared with Eccleshall, NWCL One)
Seated stand, covered terrace and floodlights.
more photos…

Pershall Park 11

Florence
Founded: 1995
Ground: Florence Sports & Social, Lightwood Road, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST3 4JS Railed pitch, small stand, no floodlights
more photos…

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

Hanley Town Reserves
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 – two stands, one Atcost at near side and bus shelter style cover on opposite side. Floodlights.
more photos…Hanley Town Abbey Lane (12)

Hilton Harriers
Founded: 1998
Ground: The Mease, Hilton, Derbyshire, DE65 5LS
(Pic courtesy of Jamie Atkinson)
HILTON HARRIERS

Knypersley Victoria
Founded: 2013
Ground: Knypersley Sports & Social, Tunstall Road,ST8 6JP
Small stand behind goal, thin terrace along side, ground shared with cricket club. Floodlights.
more photos…

Main Stand

Leek County School Old Boys (CSOB)
Founded 1945
Ground: Pointon Park, Felthouse Lane, Cheddleton, Staffordshire, ST13 7BT
Great new venue, railed pitch no stand as yet, floodlights
more photos…

DSC01912

Newcastle Town Reserves
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
more photos…

Newcastle Town Lyme Valley Stadium 7

Redgate Clayton
Founded: 1969
Ground: Clayton Community Centre, Northwood Lane, Clayton, ST5 4BN.
Fully railed pitch, no  stands, no floodlights.
more photos…
100_7079

Silverdale Athletic
Founded: 1980
Ground: Kents Lane Football Ground, Sutton Lane, Sutton Avenue, Newcastle-u-Lyme, ST5 6TA
Part railed pitch, nice new clubhouse, looks like more development is imminent.
more photos…

Silverdale Athletic (2)

Walsall Phoenix
Founded: 1897
Ground: Aldridge Stick & Wicket Club, Aldridge, Walsall, WS9 8NH

Wolstanton United
Founded: 1946
Ground: Bradwell Community Centre, Riceyman Road, Bradwell, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 8LD Fully railed pitch, some banking, no floodlights.
Small area of hard standing and small cover
more photos…Wolstanton United (5)

Division One

Abbey Hulton United Reserves
Founded: 1947
Ground: Birches Head Road, Abbey Hulton, ST2 8DD
more photos…Abbey Hulton United Birchees Head Road (1)

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
more photos…100_7461

Cheadle Town Reserves
Founded: 1948
Ground: Thorley Drive, Cheadle, Staffordshire. ST10 1SA
Railed pitch, no stands, no floodlights
more photos…

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

Eastwood Hanley
Founded: 2013
Ground: Hardman Centre Millrise Road, Milton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST2 7BN

Milton United (3)

Foley Meir
Founded: 1947
Ground: Whitcombe Road, Meir , ST3 6NU
One of the best grounds in the Staffs County League, small quirky stand in the corner, raised banks and good views.
more photos…Foley FC Whitcombe Road (22)

Hawkins Sports FC
Founded: 1968
Ground: Hawkins Sports Club, Coppice Lane, Cheslyn Hay, WS6 7EY

Keele University
Founded: 1950
Ground: Sports Centre, Keele University, ST5 5BD Railed pitch, floodlights, no stand, grass banking behind goal.
more photos…

Keele Uni FC (2)

Market Drayton Tigers
Founded: 1975
Ground: Greenfields Sports Ground, Greenfield Lane, Market Drayton, TF9 3SL (adjoining pitch next to Market Drayton Town’s ground)

Milton United

Founded: 2013
Ground: Hardman Centre Millrise Road, Milton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST2 7DN
more photos…

20140505_182114

MMU Cheshire
Founded: 1960
Ground: Sandbach United FC, Hind Heath, Sandbach, Cheshire, CW11 3LZ
Check with the club which pitch they will play on. Photo is of the main pitch of Sandbach United

Sandbach United (5)

Penkridge FC
Founded: 2015
Ground: Monkton Recreation Centre, Pinfold Lane, Penkridge, Stafford, ST19 5QP

Redgate Clayton Reserves
Founded: 1969
Ground: Northwood Lane, Clayton, Newcastle. ST5 4BN
100_7079

Staffordshire LA
Founded: 2013
Ground: Longton Rugby Club, Stanley Matthews Way Trentham Lakes,Trentham, Stoke-on-trent, ST4 8GR
(PIC courtesy of Steve Hardy)

Longton AG3 2013

Stone Dominoes
Founded: 1987
Ground: Wellbeing Park, Yarnfield Lane, Yarnfield, ST15 0NF

Stone Dominoes (1)

Wolverhampton Sporting Community U21s
Founded: 2001
Ground: Great Wryley FC, Hazel Lane, Great Wyrley, WS6 6AA

Division Two North

AFC Alsager
Founded: 2012
Ground: MMU Dunnocksfold Road, Alsager, Stoke-on-Trent ST7 2TH

AFC Alsager

Audley Reserves
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
more photos…100_7461

Chesterton AFC
Founded: 2015
Ground: Red Street Community Centre, Talke Road, Newcastle-u- Lyme, ST57AH

Congleton Rovers
Founded: 2004
Ground: Congleton High School, Box Lane, Congleton, CW12 4NS

Foley Meir Reserves
Founded: 1947
Ground: Whitcombe Road, Meir , ST3 6NU
One of the best grounds in the Staffs County League, small quirky stand in the corner, raised banks and good views.
more photos…Foley FC Whitcombe Road (22)

Goldenhill Wanderers
Founded: 2015 (originally 1887)
Ground: Sandyford Cricket Club, Shelford Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 5LA.
more photos…

20131109_1351442

HD FC
Founded: 2015
Ground: Longton Rugby Club, Stanley Matthews Way Trentham Lakes,Trentham, Stoke-on-trent, ST4 8GR
(PIC courtesy of Steve Hardy)

Longton AG3 2013

Keele University Reserves
Founded: 1950
Ground: Sports Centre, Keele University, ST5 5BD Railed pitch, floodlights, no stand, grass banking behind goal.
more photos…

Keele Uni FC (2)

Leek County School Old Boys (CSOB) Reserves
Founded: 1945
Ground: Pointon Park, Cheddleton, Staffordshire, ST13 7BT
Great new venue, railed pitch no stand as yet, floodlightsDSC01912

Milton United
Founded: 2013
Ground: Hardman Centre Millrise Road, Milton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST2 7DN
more photos…

20140505_182114

Norton FC
Founded: 2015
Ground: Community Drive, Smallthorne, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 1QF
Covered seating and two stands plus terracing, floodlights.
more photos…100_6022

Staffordshire Moorlands
Founded: 2016
Ground: Birchall Playing Fields Cheadle Road, Leek, ST13 5RE

Tunstall Town
Founded: 1949
Ground: Knypersley Sports & Social, Tunstall Road,ST8 6JP
Small stand behind goal, thin terrace along side, ground shared with cricket club. Floodlights.

Main Stand
Division Two South

Acorn Albion FC
Founded: 2012
Ground: St Georges Park, Newborough Road Needwood, Burton, DE13 9PDSt Georges Park5 2013

Barton United Reserves
Founded: 1950
Ground: Holland Sports Club, Efflinch Lane, Barton under Needwood, DE13 8ET

Brereton Social U21

Founded: 1899
Ground: Red Lion Ground, Armitage Lane, Brereton, Rugeley
Great ground, small stand fully railed and elevated views.
Brereton Social (24)

Cannock United
Founded: 2014
Ground: Norton Canes Community Centre, Brownhills Road, Norton Canes WS11 9SF

Hilton Harriers Athletic Reserves
Founded: 1998
Ground: The Mease Pavilion The Mease,, Hilton Derbyshire, DE65 5LS
(pic courtesy of Jamie Atkinson)
HILTON HARRIERS

Red Star Alma
Founded: 2010
Ground: Garringtons, Bentley Road South, Darlaston, WS10 8LN

Shenstone Pathfinder Reserves
Founded: 1968
Ground: Shenstone Pavillion Club, Birmingham Road, Shenstone, Staffordshire, WS14 0JR

Stone Old Alleynians Reserves
Founded: 1962
Ground: Wellbeing Park, Yarnfield Lane, Yarnfield, ST15 0NF

Stone Dominoes (1)

Walsall Phoenix Reserves
Founded: 1897
Ground: Aldridge Stick & Wicket Club, Aldridge, Walsall, WS9 8NH

Whittington FC
Founded: 1981
Ground: Beacon Park, Greenhough Road, Lichfield, WS13 7AW or
Whittington Barracks, Chester Road, Lichfield, WS14 9PY

Whittington Beacon Park2

Contributions

Thanks to Jamie Atkinson and Steve Hardy for contributing some photos I was missing (Jamie- Hilton Harriers; Steve Hardy – Staffs LA (Longton Rugby Club)

Thanks to Dennis Vickers (club secretary for Norton United) for the Staffs County Handbook 2016-17

Links Staffs County League Official Website

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About thegroundhog

I live underground, occasionally popping up at non league grounds. I live on a diet of insects, small rodents, 0-0s and post and pre match angst.
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9 Responses to Staffs County League Guide 2016-17

  1. Mark Wood says:

    Another excellent and invaluable guide to the SCSL, great work. I managed to tick off a few more grounds in this league towards the end of last season – including a first visit to Audley’s Town Fields ground. They have made some improvements to the ground since your visit. The two “bus shelter” type stands are still there but have now been fitted with very solid wooden benches to sit on. However, the gap between the two stands has been filled in by the construction of a very tidy brand new stand which has rows of metal seats in it. The seats are the kind of street furniture you see in town centres and reminded me of the bench seating at the new bus station in Hanley. Rather impressive I thought. May be worth a return visit.

    • thegroundhog says:

      Thanks as ever for your comments much appreciated. Audley progress is good to hear about. Shame they were demoted. I’m sure I’ll catch up with you at a game in the near future.

  2. Steve says:

    This is a very useful guide, many thanks. I believe that there are at least 2 venue changes to note. Norton apparently have been removed from Norton United’s old ground at Community Drive and Stoke City Women’s team now having exclusive use of that ground. I understand Norton now play at Michelin. Tunstall Town I understand are playing in Burton at Stanley Matthew Academy. Many thanks

    • Mark Wood says:

      I can confirm that Norton AFC played their first home game at the Michelin Sports Centre, Rosetree Avenue, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 6NL (it was against Tunstall Town actually).

      Tunstall Town played their first ‘home’ league game and are scheduled to play their second at the OSSMA in Blurton (not Burton). OSSMA = Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy, Beaconsfield Drive, Blurton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST3 3JD (academy as in a school BTW). However, these early Saturday games can be disrupted by cricket fixtures at Knypersley Vics, who have not yet played at home this season.

      Not sure if either of these have been confirmed as a permanent change of venue by the league yet.

    • thegroundhog says:

      Thanks Steve,
      That’s useful info. I’d heard about Stoke’s women’s side using Norton. I’ll see if Mark can confirm their new venues before changing, but thanks again – these updates help to make it accurate.

      • Mark Wood says:

        Hi again I have managed to gather together quite a bit of info for you! First of all there is an error in the Summary of Divisional Changes. Ashbourne and Walsall Phoenix finished behind First Division champions Redgate Clayton Res not Shenstone Pathifinder Res as stated here.

        Premier Division changes = Cheadle SMU resigned from the league after playing 5 games. Hilton Harriers should be Hilton Harriers Athletic. There is no stand at Silverdale. I believe Abbey Hulton have applied for promotion to Step 6.

        Division 1 = Hawkins Sports resigned from the league on 28th October. Penkridge play at Wolgarston High School, Cannock Road, Penkridge, ST19 5RX. The floodlit 3G pitch at Keele has a small seated stand with approx. 40 seats. The un-floodlit grass pitch at Keele is apparently still being used for some fixtures when the 3G is unavailable or when both the 1st and Reserves are at home.

        Div. 2 North = Norton AFC are now called Norton Athletic FC and have a rather funky new club emblem with a city skyline on it. As far as I am aware they are playing at one of the many pitches down at the Michelin Sports Centre/Stoke City’s training ground but I don’t know which and they have played a lot of away fixtures so far this season. I can definitely confirm that Tunstall Town’s groundshare at Knypersley ended last season and they are now playing all home games at The OSSMA in Blurton. This may be a full-size floodlit 3G pitch as advertised as for hire on the school website. They have a team packed with the likes of Matt Haddrell and Ashley Woolliscroft and look likely to win Division 2 North.

        Div. 2 South = Barton United Reserves do not seem to be running this year and have played no fixtures and were not included in the cup draws (still listed in the league table on the league website though!). Shenstone Pathfinder’s first team resigned from the WMRL and their reserve team changed their name to just Pathfinder FC. It seems some of the first team players are playing for Pathfinder FC as they have won every league game they have played! They are still based at the Shenstone Pathfinder ground.

        Ashbourne FC don’t normally issue programmes, but did for their Derbyshire Senior Cup ties (I think it may be a competition rule that they must). Worth remembering for the future.

  3. thegroundhog says:

    Mark, This is great info, thanks a lot. How did you come by this information? I’ll have to consult with you when compiling my 17-18 guide. It’s good news about Abbey Hulton – I’d noticed some ground improvements but had no idea they had ambitions for step 6. I take it floodlights will be going up shortly? Milton United have bought floodlights. They’re currently raising the money to install them. They too have ambitions for the NWCL, but not next year. Didn’t know about Tunstall either, funny that big Matt is there and unusual to see them not bottom.
    Keep hitting me with the facts, they’re invaluable, and I’ll try to get round to updating the post.
    I was at MDTFC before Christmas to see a Grice brace seal the 3 points – surprised not to see you there.
    Bye for now
    David

    • Mark Wood says:

      The main source of info is the twitter accounts/facebook pages/websites of the clubs themselves. The “Find A Club” section on the Staffs FA website can be useful for ground addresses and in particular postcodes!

      I can’t remember why I didn’t go to Market Drayton – probably had something festive to do instead. NWCFL have confirmed they have received two applications from Step 7 clubs Abbey Hulton and Wythenshawe Town – there are some photos on the abbey hulton facebook page showing some of the improvements they’ve made but no details about floodlights yet.

      I can also confirm that Tunstall do play on the floodlit 3G pitch at the school. Steve Hardy went to watch Staffordshire LA at the weekend and they no longer play on the 3G cage at Newcastle College but have switched to playing at Dimensions Leisure Centre, Scotia Road, Burslem, ST6 4ET. A hopper went to watch Congleton Rovers recently and was very impressed with the facilities at Congleton High School. Rovers are playing on the floodlit 4G pitch which is in a cage but has a perimeter fence allowing spectator access on all four sides and a 150 seat Atcost stand – named the Daniel Sturridge Stand! There are some excellent photos of the ground on the website of Congleton High School. Pretty impressive for Step 9.

      I don’t know if you have heard but for some reason Dennis Vickers has been replaced as the webmaster for the Staffs County Senior League website. I don’t know who the new person doing it is. The twitter account and facebook page are now unofficial “fan” sites maintained by Dennis and reliant on the clubs passing info on to him.

      • Mark Wood says:

        First bit of news for the 2017-18 Seaon = HDFC will move from Longton Rugby Club to Norton United’s old ground in Community Drive, Smallthorne. Club will change name to NDFC (Norton Development FC).

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