Grays Athletic F.C.

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Grays Athletic
Grays Athletic F.C. logo.png
Full nameGrays Athletic Football Club
Nickname(s)The Gravelmen, The Ath, The Blues
Founded1890
GroundParkside, Aveley
Capacity3,500 (424 seated) [1]
ChairmanSteve Skinner
ManagerJim Cooper
League Isthmian League North Division
2020–21 Isthmian League North Division (season curtailed)

Grays Athletic Football Club is a football club based in Grays, Essex, England. They are currently members of the Isthmian League North Division and play at Parkside in nearby Aveley.

Contents

History

The club was established as Grays Juniors in 1890, [2] before merging with former Southern League club Grays United to form Grays Athletic. [3] The newly formed club joined the Grays & District League, later joining Division Two B of the South Essex League in 1908. They were runners-up in their first season in the division and won it in their second season, earning promotion to Division One for the 1909–10 season. [4] The club were founder members of the Athenian League in 1912, [5] but the league closed down in 1914 due to World War I and Grays transferred to the Premier Division (Amateur) of the London League. [6] They won the division in their first season, with the reserves also winning Division One. [6] The league was suspended at the end of the 1914–15 season, with Grays rejoining in the Premier Division when it restarted in 1919–20.

Grays were Premier Division runners-up in 1920–21, before winning the division in 1921–22. In 1924 the club joined the Kent League but after two seasons in mid-table, [7] they returned to the London League in 1926. The return was a success as the club were Premier Division champions in 1926–27 and runners-up in the next two seasons, before winning the title again in 1929–30. [6] [8] After finishing as runners-up in 1930–31, the club spent most of the 1930s in mid-table, [8] although they won the league's Challenge Cup in 1936–37. [9]

After World War II Grays were founder members of the Corinthian League, and were its inaugural champions and League Cup winners in 1945–46. [5] [10] They were league runners-up in 1951–52, and the following season saw them qualify for the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 5–0 at home to Llanelli. [5] They were league runners-up again in 1954–55 and 1956–57, before rejoining the Athenian League in 1958. When the league gained two more divisions in 1963, the club were placed in the Premier Division, where they remained until being relegated to Division One at the end of the 1971–72 season, in which they had finished bottom of the table. [5] In 1977 the league was reorganised into a single division, and the club were runners-up in 1982–83. [5]

In 1983 Grays transferred to Division Two of the Isthmian League. League reorganisation saw them placed in Division Two South in 1984 and they went on to win the division at the first attempt, earning promotion to Division One. [5] In 1987–88 they were Division One runners-up, resulting in promotion to the Premier Division. [5] In 1988–89 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for a second time, losing 2–0 at Bath City. [5] They remained in the Premier Division until being relegated back to Division One at the end of the 1996–97 season. In 1999–2000 the club were Division One runners-up, earning promotion back to the Premier Division. In 2000–01 another appearance in the FA Cup first round saw them play Football League opposition for the first time, losing 4–0 at Reading. [5]

A sixth-place finish in 2003–04 resulted in Grays being placed in the new Conference South for the 2004–05 season. They went on to win the new division in its first season, earning promotion to the Conference National. [5] The season also saw them reach the final of the FA Trophy, in which they beat Hucknall Town 6–5 on penalties after a 1–1 draw at Villa Park. [5] In their first season in the Conference National the club finished third, qualifying for the promotion play-offs. However, they lost 5–4 on aggregate to Halifax Town. [11] They also reached the second round of the FA Cup, beating York City 3–0 at Bootham Crescent before losing 3–0 at Mansfield Town, as well as retaining the FA Trophy with a 2–0 win over Woking in the final. [5] The club's league form subsequently faded and after narrowly avoiding relegation in 2006–07 and 2008–09, they finished bottom of the Conference National in 2009–10 and resigned from the Football Conference.

Grays were initially rejected by the Isthmian League and were lined up to play in the Essex Senior League. However, an appeal to the Football Association saw them placed in Division One North of the Isthmian League. [12] A fifth-place finish in 2011–12 saw them qualify for the play-offs, in which Enfield Town defeated them 3–1 on penalties after a 2–2 draw in the semi-final. [5] However, the club were Division One North champions the following season with a club record 102 points, earning promotion back to the Premier Division. [5] In August 2016 the club became community-owned. [13] They went on to finish bottom of the Premier Division in the 2016–17 and were relegated back to the (renamed) North Division.

Season-by-season

SeasonDivisionPositionTop league goalscorerNotes
2003–04 Isthmian League Premier Division6 Freddy Eastwood, 28
2004–05 Conference South 1 Leroy Griffiths, 19Champions
2005–06 Conference National 3 Michael Kightly, 15
2006–07 Conference National 19 Aaron McLean, 13
2007–08 Conference National 10 Danny Kedwell, 13
2008–09 Conference National 19 Andy Pugh, 7
2009–10 Conference National 23 Jamie Slabber, 4 Relegated
2010–11 Isthmian League Division One North10Alex Osborn, 17
2011–12 Isthmian League Division One North5 Joao Carlos, 10Lost in play-off semi-final.
2012–13 Isthmian League Division One North1Jack West, 17Champions
2013–14 Isthmian League Premier Division14 Joao Carlos, 20
2014–15 Isthmian League Premier Division6 Freddie Ladapo, 14
2015–16 Isthmian League Premier Division15Dumebi Dumaka, 19
2016–17 Isthmian League Premier Division24Kieran Bishop, 12 Relegated
2017–18 Isthmian League North Division16Kieran Bishop, 24
2018–19 Isthmian League North Division7Mitch Hahn, 9
2019–20 Isthmian League North Division Joao Carlos, 14Season abandoned in March due to COVID-19 pandemic.
2020–21 Isthmian League North DivisionJoseph Agunbiade, 2Season abandoned in November due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Ground

The club initially played at the Hoppit Ground in Little Thurrock. [14] In 1906 they moved to the New Recreation Ground, playing there until 2010. After the ground was sold to developers, the club groundshared with East Thurrock United at their Rookery Hill ground in Corringham. [12]

During the 2012–13 season the club played at Rush Green Stadium in Rush Green, sharing the ground with West Ham United's reserves who played in the Professional Development League. [15] The following season, West Ham pulled out of the deal in June and Grays moved to Aveley's Mill Field ground. When Aveley moved to Parkside in 2017, Grays became tenants at the new ground. [1]

Honours

Records

See also

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The 2006–07 season was the 92nd season of the Isthmian League, which is an English football competition featuring semi-professional and amateur clubs from London, East and South East England. Also, it was the first season for newly created divisions One North and One South.

The 2007–08 season was the 93rd season of the Isthmian League, which is an English football competition featuring semi-professional and amateur clubs from London, East and South East England.

The 2012–13 season was the 98th season of the Isthmian League, which is an English football competition featuring semi-professional and amateur clubs from London, East and South East England.

The 2013–14 season was the 99th season of the Isthmian League, which is an English football competition featuring semi-professional and amateur clubs from London, East and South East England. The season saw all three divisions increase from 22 to 24 clubs. The regular season started on 10 August 2013 and finished on 26 April 2014 with the play-off semi-finals scheduled for the week beginning 28 April 2014 and the three finals scheduled for 3–5 May 2014. The fixture list was released during the week beginning 15 July 2013.

The 2014–15 season was the 100th season of the Isthmian League, which is an English football competition featuring semi-professional and amateur clubs from London, East and South East England.

The 2015–16 season is the 101st season of the Isthmian League, which is an English football competition featuring semi-professional and amateur clubs from London, East and South East England. Also, it is the tenth season for the current incarnations of the Division One North and Division One South.

The 2016–17 season was the 102nd season of the Isthmian League, which is an English football competition featuring semi-professional and amateur clubs from London, East and South East England. Also, it was the eleventh season for the current incarnations of Division One North and Division One South. The league constitution was announced on 12 May 2016 and concluded on 1 May 2017.

The 2017–18 season was the 103rd season of the Isthmian League, which is an English football competition featuring semi-professional and amateur clubs from London, East and South East England. It was also the twelfth season for the current incarnations of the Premier, North and South Divisions, the last to have two regional divisions, and the first as the Bostik League following a sponsorship deal with Bostik.

May & Baker F.C. Association football club in England

May & Baker Eastbrook Community Football Club is a football club based in Dagenham, Greater London, England. They are currently members of the Eastern Counties League Division One South and play at Parkside, Aveley, where they share with Aveley.

References

  1. 1 2 "Parklife for Millers", Groundtastic, Autumn 2017, issue 90, pp46–49
  2. Grays look for positive headlines BBC Sport, 26 November 2008
  3. George H. Watts (2006) The Place I Love Best, p14
  4. Season 1909/10 Barking F.C.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Grays Athletic at the Football Club History Database
  6. 1 2 3 London League 1910–1928 Non-League Matters
  7. The 'original' Kent League 1922–1939 Non-League Matters
  8. 1 2 London League 1928–1950 Non-League Matters
  9. 1 2 3 4 Honours Grays Athletic F.C.
  10. History Grays Athletic F.C.
  11. 2005–06 Football Conference Football Club History Database
  12. 1 2 Grays Athletic win Ryman League appeal BBC Sport, 18 June 2010
  13. Grays Ath celebrate after raising thousands through community share [ permanent dead link ] Your Thurrock, 2 August 2016
  14. Grays Athletic Pyramid Passion
  15. Grays Athletic v West Ham United XI Grays Athletic F.C.
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 Mike Williams & Tony Williams (2016) Non-League Club Directory 2017, Tony Williams Publications, p326 ISBN   978-1869833695

Coordinates: 51°30′13″N0°15′41″E / 51.503494°N 0.26130885°E / 51.503494; 0.26130885