Spennymoor Town

Address

Address:
The Brewery Field Wood Vue Spennymoor Co Durham DL16 6JN
Directions:
Standing:
4000
Telephone:
01388 827248
Website:

Contacts

Chief Executive:
Bradley Groves
Secretary/Match Secretary:
David Leitch spennysec@gmail.com
Manager:
Jason Ainsley

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History

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 Second Division club Evenwood Town FC.

The club was originally formed in 1904, chiefly at the instigation of local councillor and businessman Thomas Grant, who negotiated use of the Brewery Field, used previously by Tudhoe Rugby Club. Spennymoor United were six times Northern League Champions, four times winners of the old North Eastern League, on 16 occasions Durham Challenge Cup holders.

They've times reached the FA Cup first round 18 times, the second twice in 1937 at West Brom in front of a 23,000 crowd. Spennymoor have since faced Wigan Athletic, Tranmere Rovers, Chesterfield & Rotherham United in the same competition. Spennymoor United also reached the semi-finals of the F.A.Trophy in 1978 (the first North East and the only Northern League side to do so), Won the Northern League Cup five times, JR Cleator Cup, Northern Counties East Premier Division and the UniBond League Cup.=

The Moors social club was burned to the ground in an arson attack on Christmas Day 2003 and from then on the club had no income and, despite the appointment of a new chairman, things got worse. In 2005 the club could not fulfil their fixtures and Spennymoor United AFC were removed from the UniBond League and the club sadly went out of existence after 101 years of senior soccer.

Out of the gloom, people were working hard to get the club back on track and the supporters formed an independent group with the intention of putting a club together as a supporters trust. Evenwood Town, who were also having great difficulties, had ambitions to move to the Brewery Field and both groups submitted their plans to the local council. Following an historic meeting at the Penny Gill in Spennymoor the supporters agreed to stand down and let the Evenwood proposal proceed. The Northern League and FA approved the plan; that Evenwood Town would take the name of Spennymoor Town FC Ltd and play at the Brewery Field in United’s colours of Black & White stripes in the ANL division 2. Since then the FA have twice declined permission to rename the club Spennymoor United.

The first season saw the club finish 8th in the Northern League 2nd Division; meanwhile following the return of Jamie Pollock as Manager in 2006, Spennymoor blew apart the 2nd division clinching the title with record points and winning their last 17 games and being unbeaten for 6 months of the season. The 2009-10 season saw 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. Manager Jason Ainsley brought a number of new players to the club which saw the Moors top the table from October and win the Northern League Championship by a clear 13 points and become only the third club in the league’s history to hit the 100 point mark.

The 2012-13 season proved to be the most successful in the club’s short history, despite only being runners up in the league to a runaway Darlington side; the Moors enjoyed success at Wembley Stadium in the FA Vase, won the League Cup, retained the Cleator Cup and were also runners up in the Durham Challenge Cup. It was in the FA Vase however that the club were to make history. Other than the 1st round away to Bridlington and a trip to Guernsey in the semi-final, in all of the other rounds we actually got home ties playing Newcastle Benfield, Billingham Synthonia, Lordswood, Bemerton Heath Harlequins and Gornal Athletic respectively.

The first leg of the semi-final was a daunting task both on the pitch and off it, logistically. Having explored every avenue we eventually chartered our own flight to carry 39 players and staff and 39 supporters. The second leg was a tense affair with the game being scheduled for 5:30 to allow the game to be shown back in Guernsey. Shildon had already suffered a defeat to Tunbridge Wells in the other semi-final so we knew it wasn’t to be an all North East Final. It was Stephenson who finally broke the deadlock with the only goal of the game in front of a 1700 strong crowd who went into raptures at the goal and the final whistle. We were finally going to Wembley for the very first time.

The Town Council really got behind the club for the Wembley trip and donated the use of a vacant high street shop for the duration of the build-up. Selling Wembley merchandise and bus tickets it was a bustling enterprise and whenever we took delivery of the black & white shirts there were queues the length of the high street. Eventually we filled 24 busses of supporters for the trip with many more travelling independently. Some 5000 supporters out sang the 12000 from Tunbridge Wells. They also looked magnificent decked out in the black & white. The noise when Graydon smashed in the second goal to win the game was deafening. With Daniel Moore breaking his ankle weeks before the game, he and Chris Mason the captain on the day lifted the trophy in the Royal Box together.

The bank holiday Monday after the Final saw the Moors back in League action on the morning but after a quick wash and brush up it was back on with the suits for an open top bus tour of the town followed by a civic reception. Nobody could have predicted the turn out by the townsfolk that day. Everywhere there were banners, flags and scarves and the whole of the town virtually came to a standstill when the bus reached the town hall. Totally unprecedented scenes greeted the players and officials that day and it was nothing short of magnificent to see the town get behind the team in such a way.

The league form was starting to suffer at this point and while it was still mathematically possible to catch Darlington in reality it was a bridge too far. The club took the opportunity to play a few of the U17 Academy players to give some of the first team a break and they slotted in to the team very well which bodes well for the future.
The 2013 – 14 started where we left off with the club retaining the Cleator Cup against Whitley Bay, with the league champions Darlington declining the invitation to compete.

The defence of the FA Vase started with a falter with a nil all draw away to Winsford, though the return tie saw a seven nil victory at the Brewery Field. Bridlington and Causeway were the next two teams to fall to the Moors but in the 5th round we suffered another home defeat to Newcastle Benfield to end this year’s run. The defeat however spurred the team on to a 23 game unbeaten run to finally overhaul the points total set by Celtic Nation when the club clinched the league title for the fourth time in five years topping the 100 points mark again.

The club are now looking forward to starting life in the Evo-Stik Division One in the 2014 - 15 season with the first phase of the club’s ambition to achieve 3 promotions in 5 years complete. At the start of the 2014 - 15 season, the first in the Evo-Stik league, the club chairman Brad Groves set out the targets for the year. These were to have a good run in the FA Cup and FA Trophy and to reach the playoffs.

The season saw some excellent victories both home and away and the club were well in contention towards the end of the season, but then a run of bad results saw the title hopes slip away leaving the club in the fifth and final playoff place. The playoff game against Darlington has been hailed by many of the 1987 crowd as the game of the season in a fiercely competitive game which swung backwards and forwards. Spennymoor were 2 – 1 up with 5 minutes to go and if Kallum Griffiths shot from 40 yards had hit the net rather than the bar then Darlington would have been struggling to recover. As it turned out, two Darlington substitutes made the difference with two very late goals to seal the victory.

Moors started the 2015 - 16 season with a tough away game against league newcomers Glossop and would go on to face them in two FA Trophy games just a few weeks later. The Trophy run saw the Moors face Evesham and then Stourbridge two very long treks which eventually saw the club losing out to the Evo-Stik Premier side. Following a heavy defeat on Boxing day at home to Farsley a change of the management team followed by a few new signings saw the Moors go on a fantastic 21 game unbeaten league run which lasted until the middle of April when we came up against Northwich.

The run and a 9-point deduction for Northwich for fielding an ineligible player was enough to secure second place in the league and ensured home advantage for both the semi and subsequent final of the playoffs. The semi-final was played in almost white out conditions with a late April snow storm hitting the Brewery Field. However, the Moors came through with a 3-1 victory over Burscough and to face Northwich Victoria on 30th April following their victory over Glossop NE. Having lost to Northwich only 2 weeks previously the game shaped up to be a nervy affair but with Gavin Cogdon scoring in what turned out to be his last game in a Moors shirt the promotion to the premier division was sealed.

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