1996–97 Southern Football League

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The 1996–97 Southern Football League season saw Gresley Rovers win the Premier Division.[1] However, as their ground failed to meet the required standard, second-placed Cheltenham Town were promoted to the Football Conference instead. Baldock Town, Chelmsford City and Newport were relegated to the Midland and Southern Divisions, whilst Sudbury Town (who had finished in thirteenth place) resigned from the league and dropped into the Eastern Counties League due to financial problems.

Tamworth, Forest Green Rovers, Rothwell Town and St Leonards Stamcroft (in their first season in the Southern League) were promoted to the Premier Division, the former two as champions of their divisions. Meanwhile, Midland Division club Dudley Town resigned from the league at the end of the season and did not compete in any competitions the following season. Leicester United folded during the season, and Buckingham Town were relegated to the United Counties League.

Tables[edit]

Premier Division[edit]

The Premier Division featured four new clubs:

  • Ashford Town (promoted from the Southern Division)
  • King's Lynn (promoted from the Midland Division)
  • Nuneaton Borough (promoted from the Midland Division)
  • Sittingbourne (promoted from the Southern Division)
Pos Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts Notes
1 Gresley Rovers 42 25 10 7 75 40 35 85
2 Cheltenham Town 42 21 11 10 76 44 32 74 Promoted to the Football Conference
3 Gloucester City 42 21 10 11 81 56 25 73
4 Halesowen Town 42 21 10 11 77 54 23 73
5 King's Lynn 42 20 8 14 65 61 4 68
6 Burton Albion 42 18 12 12 70 53 17 66
7 Nuneaton Borough 42 19 9 14 61 52 9 66
8 Sittingbourne 42 19 7 16 76 65 11 64
9 Merthyr Tydfil 42 17 9 16 69 61 8 60
10 Worcester City 42 15 14 13 52 50 2 59
11 Atherstone United 42 15 13 14 46 47 −1 58
12 Salisbury City 42 15 13 14 57 66 −9 58
13 Sudbury Town 42 16 7 19 72 72 0 55 Dropped into Eastern Counties League
14 Gravesend & Northfleet 42 16 7 19 63 73 −10 55 Transferred to Isthmian League
15 Dorchester Town 42 14 9 19 62 66 −4 51
16 Hastings Town 42 12 15 15 49 60 −11 51
17 Crawley Town 42 13 8 21 49 67 −18 47
18 Cambridge City 42 11 13 18 57 65 −8 46
19 Ashford Town 42 9 18 15 53 79 −26 45
20 Baldock Town 42 11 8 23 52 90 −38 41 Relegated to Midland and Southern Divisions
21 Newport 42 9 13 20 40 60 −20 40
22 Chelmsford City 42 6 14 22 49 70 −21 32

Midland Division[edit]

The Midland Division featured five new clubs:

  • Ilkeston Town (relegated from the Premier Division)
  • Raunds Town (promoted from the United Counties League)
  • Shepshed Dynamo (promoted from the Midland Alliance)
  • Stafford Rangers (relegated from the Premier Division)
  • VS Rugby (relegated from the Premier Division)
Pos Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts Notes
1 Tamworth 40 30 7 3 90 28 62 97 Promoted to Premier Division
2 Rothwell Town 40 20 11 9 82 54 28 71
3 Ilkeston Town 40 19 13 8 76 50 26 70
4 Grantham Town 40 22 4 14 65 46 19 70
5 Bedworth United 40 18 11 11 77 41 36 65
6 Solihull Borough 40 19 8 13 84 62 22 65
7 Bilston Town 40 18 10 12 74 57 17 64
8 Moor Green 40 18 7 15 88 68 20 61
9 Stafford Rangers 40 17 9 14 68 62 6 60
10 Raunds Town 40 16 11 13 61 65 −4 59
11 Racing Club Warwick 40 16 10 14 70 72 −2 58
12 Shepshed Dynamo 40 14 12 14 64 65 −1 54
13 Redditch United 40 15 8 17 56 59 −3 53
14 Paget Rangers 40 13 9 18 42 55 −13 48
15 Dudley Town 40 12 10 18 69 89 −20 46 Resigned from League at end of season
16 Hinckley Town 40 11 11 18 39 63 −24 44 Merged with Hinckley Athletic to form Hinckley United at end of season
17 Stourbridge 40 10 9 21 61 81 −20 39
18 Evesham United 40 9 12 19 55 77 −22 39
19 VS Rugby 40 9 9 22 49 81 −32 36
20 Corby Town 40 8 8 24 49 88 −39 32
21 Sutton Coldfield Town 40 7 9 24 29 85 −56 30
22 Leicester United 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Folded mid-season, record expunged

Southern Division[edit]

The Southern Division featured four new clubs

Pos Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts Notes
1 Forest Green Rovers 42 27 10 5 87 40 47 91 Promoted to Premier Division
2 St.Leonards Stamcroft 42 26 9 7 94 48 46 87
3 Havant Town 42 23 10 9 81 49 32 79
4 Weston-super-Mare 42 21 13 8 82 43 39 76
5 Margate 42 21 9 12 70 47 23 72
6 Witney Town 42 20 11 11 71 42 29 71
7 Weymouth 42 20 10 12 82 51 31 70
8 Tonbridge Angels 42 17 15 10 56 44 12 66
9 Newport IOW 42 15 15 12 73 58 15 60
10 Fisher Athletic 42 18 6 18 77 77 0 60
11 Clevedon Town 42 17 9 16 75 76 −1 60
12 Fareham Town 42 14 12 16 53 69 −16 54
13 Bashley 42 15 8 19 73 84 −11 53
14 Dartford 42 14 10 18 59 64 −5 52
15 Waterlooville 42 14 9 19 58 67 −9 51
16 Cirencester Town 42 12 12 18 50 68 −18 48
17 Cinderford Town 42 13 7 22 64 76 −12 46
18 Trowbridge Town 42 11 11 20 50 61 −11 44
19 Yate Town 42 12 8 22 55 87 −32 44
20 Fleet Town 42 12 6 24 47 91 −44 42
21 Erith & Belvedere 42 9 10 23 60 95 −35 37
22 Buckingham Town 42 2 8 32 27 107 −80 14 Relegated to United Counties League

References[edit]