1897–98 Southern Football League

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The 1897–98 season was the fourth in the history of the Southern League. Southampton won the Division One championship for the second successive season. Bristol City applied for election to Division Two of the Football League. However, they were not elected.

Division One[edit]

Southern Football League Division One
Season 1897–98
Champions Southampton (2nd title)
Promoted none
Relegated Northfleet
Wolverton L&NWR
Matches played 132
Goals scored 507 (3.84 per match)

A total of 12 teams contest the division, including eleven sides from previous season and one new team.

Newly elected team:

  • Bristol City
Pos Club P W D L GF GA GAv1 Pts2 Notes
1 Southampton 22 18 1 3 53 18 2.94 37
2 Bristol City 22 13 7 2 67 33 2.03 33
3 Tottenham Hotspur 22 12 4 6 52 31 1.68 28
4 Chatham Town 22 12 4 6 50 34 1.47 28
5 Reading 22 8 7 7 39 31 1.26 23
6 New Brompton 22 9 4 9 37 37 1 22
7 Sheppey United 22 10 1 11 40 49 0.82 21
8 Gravesend United 22 7 6 9 28 39 0.72 20
9 Millwall Athletic 22 8 2 12 48 45 1.07 18
10 Swindon Town 22 7 2 13 36 48 0.75 16
11 Northfleet 22 4 3 15 29 60 0.48 11 Relegation test matches
12 Wolverton L&NWR 22 3 1 18 28 82 0.34 7

1 The system of using goal average to separate two teams tied on points was used up until the 1976-77 season.

2 The points system: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for losing.

Division Two[edit]

Southern Football League Division Two
Season 1897–98
Champions Royal Artillery
Promoted Royal Artillery
Warmley
Relegated Dartford (resigned)
RETB Chatham (resigned)
Matches played 132
Goals scored 652 (4.94 per match)

A total of 12 teams contest the division, including ten sides from previous season and two new teams.

Newly elected teams:

  • Royal Artillery
  • St Albans
Pos Club P W D L GF GA GAv1 Pts2 Notes
1 Royal Artillery 22 19 1 2 75 22 3.41 39 Promotion test matches
2 Warmley 22 19 0 3 108 15 7.2 38
3 West Herts 22 11 6 5 50 48 1.04 28 Merged with Watford St Mary's to form Watford
4 Uxbridge 22 11 2 9 39 57 0.68 24
5 St Albans 22 9 5 8 47 41 1.15 23
6 Dartford 22 11 0 11 68 55 1.24 22 Left to join Kent League at end of season
7 Southall 22 8 2 12 49 61 0.8 18
8 Chesham 22 8 2 12 38 48 0.79 18
9 Old St.Stephen's 22 7 2 13 47 66 0.71 16 Changed name to Shepherd's Bush at end of season
10 Wycombe Wanderers 22 7 2 13 37 55 0.67 16
11 Maidenhead 22 4 4 14 27 81 0.33 12
12 RETB Chatham 22 4 2 16 26 62 0.42 10 Left to join Kent League at end of season

1 The system of using goal average to separate two teams tied on points was used up until the 1976-77 season.

2 The points system: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for losing.

Promotion-relegation test matches[edit]

Unlike previous seasons in which individual test matches had been played between clubs, this season saw the bottom two clubs in Division One and the top two clubs in Division two play in a four-club round robin, with the top two retaining or earning a place in Division One. Both Division Two clubs were promoted after the matches, with Northfleet leaving the league after the season ended.[1]

Pos Club P W D L GF GA GAv1 Pts2 Notes
1 Royal Artillery 4 3 1 0 8 4 2 7 Promoted
2 Warmley 4 2 1 1 14 7 2 5
3 Northfleet 4 1 0 3 6 11 0.55 2 Relegated
4 Wolverton L&NWR 4 0 2 2 5 11 0.45 2

1 The system of using goal average to separate two teams tied on points was used up until the 1976-77 season.

2 The points system: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for losing.

Football League elections[edit]

Only one Southern League club, Bristol City, applied for election to Division Two of the Football League. However, they were not elected.[2] Although Darwen were initially voted out of the league, a decision was made to expand the League by four clubs, and they were readmitted, along with New Brighton Tower, Glossop North End and Barnsley.

Club League Votes
Lincoln City Football League 21
Burslem Port Vale Midland League 18
Loughborough Town Football League 16
Darwen Football League 16
New Brighton Tower Lancashire League
Nelson Lancashire League
Bristol City Southern League

References[edit]

  1. ^ Northfleet at the Football Club History Database
  2. ^ A history of admission to the Football League

External links[edit]