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.

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[edit]

Teams promoted from 2002–03 Northern Premier League

Teams promoted from 2002–03 Southern Football League

Teams promoted from 2002–03 Isthmian League

Teams relegated from 2002–03 Football League Third Division

Overview[edit]

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[edit]

Conference National
Season 2003–04[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 played 462
Goals scored 1343 (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 attendance 1,905 (+ 18% compared to the previous season)
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GD Pts Notes
1 Chester City 42 16 4 1 45 18 11 7 3 40 16 85 34 +51 92
2 Hereford United 42 14 3 4 42 20 14 4 3 61 24 103 44 + 59 91
3 Shrewsbury Town 42 13 6 2 38 14 7 8 6 29 28 67 42 + 25 74
4 Barnet 42 11 6 4 30 17 8 8 5 30 29 60 46 + 14 71
5 Aldershot Town 42 12 6 3 40 24 8 4 9 40 43 80 67 + 13 70
6 Exeter City 42 10 7 4 33 24 9 5 7 38 33 71 57 + 14 69
7 Morecambe 42 14 4 3 43 25 6 3 12 23 41 66 66 ± 0 67
8 Stevenage Borough 42 10 5 6 29 22 8 4 9 29 30 58 52 + 6 63
9 Woking 42 10 9 2 40 23 5 7 9 25 29 65 52 + 13 61
10 Accrington Stanley 42 13 3 5 46 31 2 10 9 22 30 68 61 + 7 58
11 Gravesend & Northfleet 42 7 6 8 34 35 7 9 5 35 31 69 66 + 3 57
12 Telford United 42 10 3 8 28 28 5 7 9 21 23 49 51 – 2 55 [notes 1]
13 Dagenham & Redbridge 42 8 3 10 30 34 7 6 8 29 30 59 64 – 5 54
14 Burton Albion 42 7 4 10 30 29 8 3 10 27 30 57 59 – 2 51 [notes 2]
15 Scarborough 42 8 9 4 32 25 4 6 11 19 29 51 54 – 3 51
16 Margate 42 8 2 11 30 32 6 7 8 26 32 56 64 – 8 51 [notes 3]
17 Tamworth 42 9 6 6 32 30 4 4 13 17 38 49 68 – 19 49
18 Forest Green Rovers 42 6 8 7 32 36 6 4 11 26 44 58 80 – 22 48
19 Halifax Town 42 9 4 8 28 26 3 4 14 15 39 43 65 – 22 44
20 Farnborough Town 42 7 6 8 31 34 3 3 15 22 40 53 74 – 21 39
21 Leigh RMI 42 4 6 11 26 44 3 2 16 20 53 46 97 – 51 29
22 Northwich Victoria 42 2 8 11 15 38 2 3 16 15 42 30 80 – 50 23
  • Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points
  • Points scored: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw.
  • Source:[1][3]
  1. ^ Following this season Telford United folded.
  2. ^ Burton Albion deducted 1 point for breach of rules.
  3. ^ Margate were relegated due to ground concerns. They were placed in Conference South.
Key
Football Conference Champions, promoted to League Two
Promoted to League Two through play-offs
Participated in play-offs
FA Trophy winners, Hednesford Town (Southern Football League Premier Division)
Conference League Cup winners, competition not held
Relegated from the The Football League, see also Shrewsbury Town
New club in the Conference; see also Aldershot Town
Relegated to Conference South
Folded

Locations[edit]

Locations of the Football Conference London teams 2003–2004

Results[edit]

Home \ Away[1] 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 4–2 2–0 3–1 0–2 2–3 1–2 3–1 4–1 3–3 2–1 2–0 4–1 3–2 1–0 2–2 1–0 0–1 2–1 3–0 1–5 3–3
Aldershot 2–1 1–1 3–1 1–1 2–1 2–1 2–0 3–0 2–2 3–1 1–2 2–0 0–2 2–2 4–3 1–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–1
Barnet 0–0 2–1 2–1 0–0 2–4 2–3 0–2 5–0 1–0 4–1 1–1 2–1 3–1 2–1 1–0 0–0 0–1 0–0 1–0 2–0 0–0
Burton Albion 1–1 1–4 2–3 1–1 0–1 3–4 1–0 2–3 3–0 2–2 4–1 3–2 0–1 0–1 0–1 2–0 0–1 1–1 0–1 2–1 2–0
Chester City 3–3 4–2 1–0 3–1 2–1 3–2 3–2 1–0 2–2 2–0 0–0 5–0 3–0 2–1 4–0 1–0 2–1 1–2 1–0 0–0 2–1
Dagenham & Redbridge 0–1 2–3 5–2 0–2 0–0 0–2 1–0 5–2 0–4 0–1 0–9 1–2 4–0 1–3 2–0 1–0 5–0 1–2 0–0 1–1 1–0
Exeter City 3–2 2–1 1–1 2–0 2–1 1–1 1–1 2–2 0–1 1–1 0–1 3–2 1–1 4–0 2–0 0–0 3–2 1–0 3–2 0–3 1–2
Farnborough Town 1–1 4–0 1–1 2–1 1–2 2–2 1–2 1–3 1–2 1–0 0–5 1–1 1–1 2–4 2–0 1–2 1–3 2–0 3–3 2–1 1–0
Forest Green Rovers 2–1 3–1 1–1 1–1 2–1 1–3 2–5 1–1 1–2 1–2 1–7 2–2 1–2 1–2 0–0 4–0 1–1 3–1 2–1 0–0 2–2
Gravesend & Northfleet 0–0 1–3 1–1 1–2 0–4 1–2 3–2 2–0 1–1 1–0 2–5 3–1 2–1 6–0 2–2 1–1 0–3 2–3 2–0 1–2 2–2
Halifax Town 1–1 1–2 1–2 1–4 0–3 3–0 2–0 2–0 0–1 1–0 1–2 2–1 0–1 1–0 5–3 1–0 0–0 2–1 1–2 1–1 2–2
Hereford United 1–0 4–3 2–0 1–2 2–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 5–1 3–3 7–1 0–1 2–1 3–0 1–0 2–1 2–1 1–0 0–1 2–1 0–1
Leigh RMI 1–2 2–2 1–4 0–1 2–6 2–1 1–1 0–2 1–2 1–2 1–1 0–5 4–2 3–1 1–0 1–4 2–2 1–3 1–1 1–1 0–1
Margate 3–1 1–2 0–1 1–2 1–2 3–3 0–1 3–0 2–0 1–3 2–0 1–3 2–0 1–1 3–1 0–2 0–2 1–4 3–2 1–0 1–2
Morecambe 1–0 2–0 1–3 2–1 0–1 3–2 0–3 3–2 4–0 2–2 2–0 2–2 1–0 3–3 3–0 2–1 3–3 2–1 4–0 1–0 2–1
Northwich Victoria 3–3 1–1 1–1 1–2 0–4 0–1 1–1 1–1 0–4 0–0 0–1 1–5 0–1 0–3 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–2 1–0 1–0 1–4
Scarborough 2–1 1–0 2–2 1–2 2–2 0–0 2–3 2–1 2–2 2–0 1–0 3–3 4–1 0–1 1–0 1–0 1–1 2–2 0–1 1–1 2–2
Shrewsbury Town 0–0 1–2 0–1 1–0 0–0 2–1 2–2 3–0 2–0 1–1 2–0 4–1 3–1 1–1 2–0 3–1 4–1 3–1 3–1 0–0 1–0
Stevenage Borough 2–1 0–1 1–2 1–0 0–0 0–2 2–2 3–2 2–1 2–2 1–0 0–2 4–0 2–1 0–1 1–0 2–2 2–0 3–1 0–1 1–1
Tamworth 1–1 3–3 2–0 1–1 1–5 2–0 2–1 2–1 1–0 1–3 2–0 1–3 4–3 1–1 2–3 2–1 0–0 1–1 1–2 0–1 2–0
Telford United 1–0 2–5 1–2 2–2 0–2 1–0 2–0 2–4 0–2 1–1 2–1 0–3 5–0 1–1 2–1 0–1 2–1 1–0 0–2 2–0 1–0
Woking 2–2 2–2 2–2 1–0 1–2 0–0 1–0 3–2 1–1 3–2 2–2 0–1 2–0 0–0 4–1 3–0 2–1 3–3 1–1 4–0 3–1

Source: [1] Soccerbase; Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2004–2003
^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
Colours: Purple = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Play-offs[edit]

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.

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

Top scorers in order of league goals[edit]

Rank Player Club League Play-offs FA Cup LDV FA Trophy Total
1 Daryl Clare Chester City 29 0 1 0 0 30
2 Steve Guinan Hereford United 25 0 3 1 0 29
= David McNiven Leigh RMI 25 0 0 0 1 26
4 Giuliano Grazioli Barnet 24 0 2 0 0 26
5 Roscoe D'Sane Aldershot 21 1 2 0 3 27
6 Sean Devine Exeter City 20 0 2 0 3 25
= Paul Mullin Accrington Stanley 20 0 3 0 1 24
= Darryn Stamp Chester City 20 0 0 0 0 20
9 Tim Sills Aldershot 18 0 1 0 2 21
10 Anthony Elding Stevenage Borough 17 0 2 0 0 19
= Lutel James Accrington Stanley 17 0 1 0 0 18
= Danny Carlton Morecambe 17 0 0 0 0 17
13 Mark Cooper Tamworth 15 0 0 0 0 15
14 David Brown Hereford United 14 0 0 2 0 16
= Mark Quayle Scarborough 14 0 1 0 0 15

Source:[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d 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. 

External links[edit]