2003–04 Football Conference

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Since its inception in 1979, The Football Conference has formed the fifth-highest level of the overall English Football League System.

Contents

The 2003–04 Football Conference season was the 25th season of the Football Conference and the last consisting of a single division. The top team and the winner of the play-offs were promoted to Football League Two, while this season only one team was relegated.

A total of 22 teams contest the division, including 17 sides from last season, two relegated from the Football League Two and winners of Northern Premier League, Southern Football League and Isthmian League.

Promotion and relegation

Teams promoted from Northern Premier League

Teams promoted from Southern Football League

Teams promoted from Isthmian League

Teams relegated from Third Division

Overview

All teams participating were professional, except for Aldershot Town, who were part-timers. In fact, Aldershot's performance exceeded everyone's expectations.

Chester City clinched the league title and won promotion to Football League Two.

Shrewsbury Town also earned promotion to League Two following their 3–0 play-off win on penalties after a 1–1 draw with Aldershot Town.

No clubs were relegated on the basis of their performances, due to Margate being demoted, Telford folding and the winners and runners-up of the Unibond League not meeting the criteria for a place in the Football Conference.

Shrewsbury Town had the highest attendance, 84,150 in all, with an average of 4,007. Margate and Leigh RMI had the least spectators with 11,905 and 11,881, respectively, with an average of 567 and 566, respectively.

The total number of attendance was 880,220, yielding an average of 1905 per game, which was the all-time record for the Football Conference. [1]

The regular season began on 9 August 2003, and ended on 24 April 2004.

Final league table

Conference National
Season2003–04 [1] [2]
Champions Chester City (1st Football Conference title)
Promoted Chester City,
Shrewsbury Town
Relegated to Conference North/Conference South Margate (South)
Folded Telford United
Promoted for the next season Canvey Island,
Crawley Town
Matches played462
Goals scored1,343 (2.91 per match)
Top goalscorer Daryl Clare (Chester City), 29
Biggest home win HerefordHalifax 7–1 (25 November 2003)
Gravesend & NorthfleetMorecambe 6–0 (28 February 2004)
Biggest away win Dagenham & RedbridgeHereford 0–9 (27 February 2004)
Highest scoring Dagenham & RedbridgeHereford 0–9 (27 February 2004)
Longest winning run?
Longest unbeaten run Chester City, 18 matches (26 Aug – 6 Dec)
Longest losing run?
Highest attendance Exeter City v Accrington Stanley, 8,256 (24 Apr)
Lowest attendance Margate v Forest Green Rovers, 255 (4 April 2003)
Average attendance1,905 (+ 18% compared to the previous season)
2004–05
PosTeamPldHWHDHLHGFHGAAWADALAGFAGAGDPtsPromotion or relegation
1 Chester City 421641451811734016+5192 Football Conference Champions, promoted to League Two
2 Hereford United 421434422014436124+5991Participated in play-offs
3 Shrewsbury Town 42136238147862928+2574Promoted to League Two through play-offs
Relegated from The Football League
4 Barnet 42116430178853029+1471Participated in play-offs
5 Aldershot Town [lower-alpha 1] 42126340248494043+1370
6 Exeter City 42107433249573833+1469Relegated from The Football League
7 Morecambe 421443432563122341067
8 Stevenage Borough 42105629228492930+663
9 Woking 42109240235792529+1361
10 Accrington Stanley [lower-alpha 1] 421335463121092230+758
11 Gravesend & Northfleet 4276834357953531+357
12 Telford United 42103828285792123255Folded following this season
13 Dagenham & Redbridge 42831030347682930554
14 Burton Albion 427410302983102730251 [lower-alpha 2]
15 Scarborough 42894322546111929351
16 Margate 42821130326782632851Relegated [lower-alpha 3]
17 Tamworth [lower-alpha 1] 429663230441317381949
18 Forest Green Rovers 426873236641126442248
19 Halifax Town 429482826341415392244
20 Farnborough Town 427683134331522402139
21 Leigh RMI 4246112644321620535129
22 Northwich Victoria 4228111538231615425023
Source: [1] [3]
Notes:
  1. 1 2 3 New club in the Conference
  2. Burton Albion deducted 1 point for breach of rules.
  3. Margate were relegated due to ground concerns. They were placed in Conference South.

Note: Hednesford Town (Southern Football League Premier Division) were the FA Trophy winners

Locations

Greater London UK location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Locations of the Football Conference London teams 2003–2004

Results

Home \ Away ACC ALD BAR BRT CHE D&R EXE FAR FGR GRN HAL HER LEI MAR MOR NOR SCA SHR STB TAM TEL WOK
Accrington Stanley 4–22–03–10–22–31–23–14–13–32–12–04–13–21–02–21–00–12–13–01–53–3
Aldershot 2–11–13–11–12–12–12–03–02–23–11–22–00–22–24–31–21–12–01–13–12–1
Barnet 0–02–12–10–02–42–30–25–01–04–11–12–13–12–11–00–00–1 0–0 1–02–00–0
Burton Albion 1–11–42–31–10–13–41–02–33–02–24–13–20–10–10–12–00–11–1 0–1 2–12–0
Chester City 3–34–21–03–12–13–23–21–02–22–00–05–03–02–14–01–02–11–21–00–02–1
Dagenham & Redbridge 0–12–35–20–20–00–21–05–20–40–10–91–24–01–32–01–05–01–20–01–11–0
Exeter City 3–22–11–12–02–11–11–12–20–11–10–13–21–14–02–00–03–21–03–20–31–2
Farnborough Town 1–14–01–12–11–22–21–21–31–21–00–51–11–12–42–01–21–32–03–32–11–0
Forest Green Rovers 2–13–11–11–12–11–32–51–11–21–21–72–21–21–20–04–01–13–12–10–02–2
Gravesend & Northfleet 0–01–31–11–20–41–23–22–01–11–02–53–12–16–02–21–10–32–32–01–22–2
Halifax Town 1–11–21–21–40–33–02–02–00–11–01–22–10–11–05–31–00–02–11–21–12–2
Hereford United 1–04–32–01–22–11–11–12–05–13–37–10–12–13–01–02–12–11–00–12–10–1
Leigh RMI 1–22–21–40–12–62–11–10–21–21–21–10–54–23–11–01–42–21–31–11–10–1
Margate 3–11–20–11–21–23–30–13–02–01–32–01–32–01–13–10–20–21–43–21–01–2
Morecambe 1–02–01–32–10–13–20–33–24–02–22–02–21–03–33–02–13–32–14–01–02–1
Northwich Victoria 3–31–11–11–20–40–11–11–10–40–00–11–50–10–31–11–10–21–21–01–01–4
Scarborough 2–11–02–21–22–20–02–32–12–22–01–03–34–10–11–01–01–12–20–11–12–2
Shrewsbury Town 0–01–20–11–00–02–12–23–02–01–12–04–13–11–12–03–14–13–13–1 0–0 1–0
Stevenage Borough 2–10–1 1–2 1–00–00–22–23–22–12–21–00–24–02–10–11–02–22–03–10–11–1
Tamworth 1–13–32–0 1–1 1–52–02–12–11–01–32–01–34–31–12–32–10–01–11–20–12–0
Telford United 1–02–51–22–20–21–02–02–40–21–12–10–35–01–12–10–12–1 1–0 0–22–01–0
Woking 2–22–22–21–01–20–01–03–21–13–22–20–12–00–04–13–02–13–31–14–03–1

Play-offs

The Conference National play-offs determined the second team that would be promoted to Football League Two. The teams placed second through fifth qualified for the play-offs. The semi-finals were played in a two-leg, home and away format, while the final was played as one leg.

 SemifinalsFinal at Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent
16 May 2004
           
2nd Hereford United 101 (2) 
5th Aldershot Town (pen.)101 (4) 
  3rd Shrewsbury Town (pen.)1 (3)
  5th Aldershot Town 1 (0)
3rd Shrewsbury Town (pen.)112 (5)
4th Barnet 202 (3) 

Top scorers in order of league goals

RankPlayerClubLeaguePlay-offs FA Cup LDV FA Trophy Total
1 Daryl Clare Chester City 29010030
2 Steve Guinan Hereford United 25031029
= David McNiven Leigh RMI 25000126
4 Giuliano Grazioli Barnet 24020026
5 Roscoe D'Sane Aldershot 21120327
6 Sean Devine Exeter City 20020325
= Paul Mullin Accrington Stanley 20030124
= Darryn Stamp Chester City 20000020
9 Tim Sills Aldershot 18010221
10 Anthony Elding Stevenage Borough 17020019
= Lutel James Accrington Stanley 17010018
= Danny Carlton Morecambe 17000017
13 Mark Cooper Tamworth 15000015
14 David Brown Hereford United 14002016
= Mark Quayle Scarborough 14010015

Source: [1]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2004–2005. Glenda Rollin & Jack Rollin (eds.), Headline, 2004.
  2. Soccerbase
  3. "England 2003–04". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 18 November 2010.