Spennymoor Town FC


Spennymoor United A.F.C were formed in 1904. As part of the Northern League the team won the league title 6 times. However the club was dissolved in 2005 due to financial problems. 

The club was reborn in 2005 as Spennymoor Town Football Club, merging with Evenwood Town FC and playing at the Brewery Field ground in Spennymoor.

Brewery Frield - home of Spennymoor Town FC

Spennymoor Town Football Club is an English football club based in Spennymoor, England and are currently playing in the Northern Premier League Premier Division in the English football league system. The club began playing in the Northern League in 1931–32 as Evenwood Town, reaching the 1st round of the FA Cup in the 1956–57 season. In 2005, the club merged with Spennymoor United, who earlier that year folded and collectively changed their name to Spennymoor Town.

Spennymoor United

Spennymoor United had a lot of success over the years. Most notable was their success in the 1977-1978 season, where they reached the Semi-Final of the FA Trophy, where they lost to Leatherhead 2-0 away in the 1st leg and won 2-1 at home in the 2nd Leg, losing 3-2 on aggregate. That year, Spennymoor United also won the Northern League for the fifth time in the space of 10 years. The following year, Spennymoor only reached the 2nd Round of The FA Trophy.

During the 1990-1991 season, Spennymoor joined the Northern Counties East League Premier Division and in the 1992-1993 season were champions, only on goal difference. The following season, they were runners up of the Northern Premier League Division One and were promoted to the Premier Division. However, in the turn of the new millennium, with financial troubles resulting in losing 35 out of their 44 fixtures, they were relegated for the first time in their history. In the 2002-2003 season, they were promoted back to the Premier Division as runners up after losing the title on goal difference. The following season, the clubhouse was burnt down on Christmas Day 2003 from an arson attack and the club had lost their main source of income.

Things only went from bad to worse from then on. In the 2004-2005 season, they were deducted 24 points after failing to fulfil the fixture list due to not being able to field a side. During that season, manager Graeme Clarke resigned after losing 5-1 to Gateshead on 25 March 2005 (Good Friday), followed soon by Secretary Thomas Metcalfe for supposed health reasons. The club resigned from the league after 33 games that season and later folded, which caused controversy over the unfulfilled fixtures.

History

Spennymoor United was reborn under the name of Spennymoor Town, after a merger with Evenwood, who were on the verge of folding in the same year. Out of the gloom, people were working hard and managed to get the club together for the start of 2005–06. Headed by Alan Murray the fans rallied round and formed an independent supporters group, initially with the aim of running the club themselves. Both groups submitted their bids with the local council, but after a meeting held at the Penny Gill pub in Spennymoor, it was agreed to stand down and let Alan Murray’s plan go ahead. The application proceeded with the name change to Spennymoor Town, the club were accepted into the Northern League Division Two.

Northern League (2005-2014)

Division Two (2005-2007)

On Saturday 13 August 2005, the first league game as Spennymoor Town was to be played at home against Darlington R.A, which was met with a major attraction from the town. The official attendance for that first game was 511 people, in which the newly formed Spennymoor Town were victorious with a 3-2 win. The following Tuesday, The Moors carried on their winning ways, beating Guisborough 3-1. In the first four home games under the new name, one of those including The F.A Cup Preliminary Round, the club attracted over 1300 people to The Brewery Field.

In their first season, the club got off to a good start under then manager Ken Houlahan. In January 2006, Houlahan left his post as manager to become Director of Football and Justin Perry was appointed Player-Manager, finishing the season in a respectable 8th position. But things behind the scenes were not good, a rift between the club and the fans grew, as did the rift between the committee and the chairman. Business man Alan Murray was replaced as Chairman in his absence during a board meeting. During the summer of 2006 the situation came to a head and resulted in the entire committee resigning their posts, taking all but four players with them. The club was taken over by Chairman Alan Murray, with Alan Courtney returning as Vice Chairman. The club also tried to change its name back to Spennymoor United before the 2006–07 season. However, the FA rejected the proposal.

In June 2006, a management team of Jamie Pollock and Moors favourite Jason Ainsley was put in place. Together they put together a strong squad of players. After a slow start, consisting of 6 away games out of the first seven, and a high number of draws, the squad went from strength to strength. They went unbeaten in the league from November, until 7 April 2007, where they travelled to Penrith. Backed by a travelling support of over 150 fans, if they won and Seaham lost, they would be champions. At half time, the news came through that Seaham were losing 3–1. Spennymoor's place was booked as champions when Tom Jones netted an 87th-minute winner.

During the summer of 2007, then Manager Jamie Pollock left the club, stating "he wanted to concentrate on getting his coaching badges and pursue his career at a higher level" and moors favourite Jason Ainsley was swiftly given the position of first team manager. Yet another crisis hit the club during this summer when the council evicted the club from its home of 103 years. However, after a lot of good work by individuals of the football club, in particular the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary Jonathan Le Poidevin, a new 25-year lease was agreed on 25 September 2007, securing the future of the club.

Division One (2007-2014)

Spennymoor’s first season back in the 1st Division of the Northern League resulted in them finishing in a mid table position. They also had a few memorable cup games, defeating higher league opposition in Garforth Town and Brigg Town. They narrowly missed out on a Durham Challenge Cup final appearance against Sunderland, losing the semi-final to a 120th-minute winner 1–0 at Gateshead. In the 2008-09 season, the club chairman resigned but Spennymoor battled against the odds and finished 4th in the league on goal difference below Newcastle Benfield, Consett and Whitley Bay. Also notable in this season, Spennymoor reached the 5th Round of the FA Vase, losing 2-0 away to Bideford A.F.C.

The 2009–10 season was a huge success, with the arrival of former Aston Villa player Bradley Groves as Club Chairman with former England, Newcastle and West Ham United Striker Paul Kitson as President. This led to Spennymoor being crowned Northern Football League Division One Champions with 100 points, at the time being only the third team to ever do so and a feat that was surpassed the season after by winning the league with 103 points. Despite winning the league in three consecutive seasons (2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12), the club did not apply for promotion as they wanted to be financially stable before they took the next step up. Although an application for promotion was subsequently made after their runners-up position in 2012-13 to Darlington 1883 (again breaking the 100 point mark), the club was not deemed by the FA worthy enough of an offer of promotion. At the beginning of the season, then Assistant Manager Brian Atkinson joined Martin Gray at Darlington 1883 and Gavin Fell took the position of Assistant Manager. Gav helped Whitley Bay towards 3 consecutive FA Vase victories and also spent a year at Blyth Spartans before joining the Moors. Also in this season, Spennymoor reached the final of the FA Vase for the first time and beat Tunbridge Wells F.C. 2-1 in front of 16,000 people, followed by a victory parade around the town the following Monday. Along with the cup runs and the loss of winter games due to the bad weather, the season was eventually extended into the middle of May as the club played over 80 games if pre season friendlies are included.

In the 2013-2014 season, Spennymoor Town started off retaining the JR Cleator Cup, as the league champions Darlington declined the invitation to compete. Spennymoor also made their 3rd consecutive appearance in the Durham Challenge Cup final and ultimately lost 2-1 against a strong Shildon side thanks to a last minute Shildon goal. This year Spennymoor won the league for the 4th time in 5 years, beating strong promotion rivals Celtic Nation F.C. by 5 points and finishing the season unbeaten at home in league matches.

The NPL 1st Division North (2014 – present)

The club had applied for promotion into the pyramid during the 2013-2014 season and played their first competitive game outside of the Northern League away to Padiham F.C. on 16 August 2014, winning 2-0.

Spennymoor also had a good run in the FA Cup, reaching the 4th Qualifying Round, beating Tadcaster Albion A.F.C., Bishop Auckland F.C., Dunston UTS F.C. and Ashton United F.C. and finally losing in a replay against AFC Telford United. In the first match, Spennymoor were winning 2-0 by the 90th minute, but Telford scored two goals in injury time to secure the replay. In the replay, Spennymoor were beaten 3-0 to secure Telford's place in the 1st Round against Basingstoke Town F.C.

Spennymoor recorded their 250th win as Spennymoor Town at home versus Kendal Town on 16 December 2014. On 23 December 2014, then Assistant Manager Gavin Fell left his post after 2 and a half years with the club and was replaced by ex Gateshead and West Auckland manager Anthony Smith. Spennymoor finished their first season in the NPL Division One North in 5th place on 77 points and but lost 3-2 against Darlington 1883 in the play off Semi-Final.

In 2016, Spennymoor claimed the runners-up spot in Division One North and entered the Play-Offs for the second season in succession. Spennymoor saw off Burscough in the Semi-Final to set up a Final against Northwich Victoria at Brewery Field with Spennymoor winning the game 2-0 in front of 1,129 fans thus sealing promotion for the second time in three years and guaranteeing them a place at Step 3 for the first time since Spennymoor United was dissolved in 2005.

Stadium

Throughout Spennymoor United's history, their home venue was The Brewery Field. They started using The Brewery Field when the club was formed in 1904 and took over use of it from Tudhoe Rugby Club. The ground itself used to belong to 'Tower Brewery', which was located on King Street, hence the name 'The Brewery Field'. The ground is located near the bottom of Spennymoor, on Wood Vue off Durham Road.

After the merger with Evenwood Town, Spennymoor Town were granted the lease from the town council and decided to carry on using The Brewery Field for their home games. Most notably to the fans, the sign over the Wood Vue entrance had the 'United A.F.C' removed and left with just 'Spennymoor'. In late 2012 and early 2013, a lot of upgrades were made to the ground, including brand new floodlights, manufactured by local company Thorn Lighting to replace the old ones, which had been at the ground for over 40 years. Other improvements were made, such as a tunnel for the players leading into the home and away dressing rooms and new dugouts on the far side of the pitch, as well as new terracing and access for disabled fans. New work is planned to rebuild the old clubhouse that was burnt down on Christmas Day 2003.

Spennymoor Town's biggest attendance at Brewery Field came in February 2013 when 2,670 fans turned out for a Northern Football League Division One game against Championship rivals Darlington 1883.

Supporters and Rivalries

The club consists mostly of those who supported Spennymoor United and new supporters who have been attracted to the club over time. Supporters of Spennymoor Town are drawn in from all over the North East and have fans located all over the world who follow the action through the Facebook and Twitter pages. The Moors were the biggest supported club in the Northern league in the 2013-2014 season. The average home crowd for the 2013-2014 season is 430.

Spennymoor's local rivals are considered to be Bishop Auckland, one of the oldest members of the Northern League, who currently play at Heritage Park.

Text from Wikipedia, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (accessed: 09/10/2016).
Visit the page: Spennymoor Town F.C. for references and further details. You can contribute to this article on Wikipedia.
from http://www.spennymoortownfc...
Spennymoor Town Football Club
- Official Website of the club. "...Spennymoor Town FC was born in the summer of 2005 following the demise of both UniBond Premier Division club Spennymoor United AFC and Northern League ...

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Simon Cotterill

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