Southern Combination Football League

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Southern Combination Football League
SouthernCombinationLeague.png
Founded2015–present
1920–2015 (as Sussex County League)
CountryEngland
Divisions3 – first teams
2 – U23 Divisions
3 – U18 Divisions
Number of teams53 (plus Under 23 and Under 18 teams)
Level on pyramidLevels 9–11
Feeder toIsthmian League Division One South
Relegation toEast Sussex Football League
Mid-Sussex Football League
West Sussex Football League
Domestic cup(s)FA Cup
FA Vase
Sussex Senior Challenge Cup
League cup(s)The Peter Bentley League Cup
Division One Challenge Cup
Division Two Challenge Cup
The Reserve Section Challenge Cup
Current championsChichester City (Premier Division)
Alfold (Division One)
Rustington (Division Two)
(2018–19)
Most championshipsHorsham
Peacehaven & Telscombe
and Worthing (8 titles)
WebsiteOfficial
2019–20 Southern Combination Football League

The Macron Southern Combination Football League is a football league broadly covering the counties of East Sussex, West Sussex and southeastern Surrey, England. The league consists of eight divisions – three for first teams (Premier Division, Division One and Division Two), two for Under 23 teams (East Division and West Division) and three for Under 18 teams (East Division, Central Division and West Division).

History[edit]

The area covered by the Sussex County League is coloured in dark blue.

Formed in 1920 as the Sussex County Football League,[1] started with just one league with 12 teams. By the end of the 1929–30 season, six of the original twelve teams remained, having played in every campaign since the competition began. The league saw regular changes in members between 1921 and 1928 and saw 23 different clubs taking part. The league closed down during the Second World War and the league ran two competition sections in the 1945–46 season, an Eastern division with eight teams and a Western division with 9 teams. The winners of each competition played in a play-off for a champion. A normal single league practice resumed in 1946 with 14 clubs now playing.

A new division was created in 1952 when Division Two was instituted. Division One remained with 14 teams and Division Two with 12 teams. By 1958 the two leagues had 16 teams each. The 1962–63 season was abandoned due to the atrocious weather conditions, with some clubs playing over 20 games and others with only 13 or 14 games played, an emergency competition was played in a group stage style format with knock-out stages to the final. The 1970's saw the league membership decline.

In 1983 a third division was added for intermediate level teams looking for an easy entry into the football league pyramid system, also a 3 points for a win system was introduced. Divisions One and Two keeping with 16 teams each, Division Three started with 13 teams, increasing to 15 two seasons later. Some long term clubs experienced harder times and dropped into Division Two. A "Two Up Two Down" system of promotion and relegation was applied throughout the period but occasionally affected with departures from the league itself. Division One increased to 18 teams for the 1988–89 season and 20 teams for the 1993–94 season, along with Division One increasing to 18 teams in the same season. Division Three increased to 16 teams in 2000.

The league changed its name to the Southern Combination Football League for the start of the 2015–16 season[2], keeping the acronym SCFL also attracting teams just across the Sussex border in the event of the FA moving teams across leagues. Also at the same time renamed the divisions to Premier Division, Division One and Division Two. Division Two still keeping its intermediate status. Also, for the 2015–16 season the league added two U21s divisions, one in the East, and one in the West, these two leagues consisting of 7 teams each.

The Reserve leagues were discontinued, and the U21 divisions replaced by Under 23's, and Under 18's at the end of the 2017–18 season.

The first team divisions – Premier, One and Two, sit at Steps 5, 6 and 7 of the English football league system, below the lower divisions of the Isthmian League and the Southern League. The reserve divisions are not part of the league system.

Sponsorship[edit]

In the past, Unijet, Rich City and Matthew Clark sponsored the Sussex County Football League. But between 2004 and 2014 the league was without a sponsor. Macron Store (Hastings) signed a 4-year deal beginning 2014/15 season resulting in the official name being changed to "The Macron Sussex County League" and then to current "The Macron Southern Combination Football League". As of 2020 Macron Store still continue to sponsor the league.

Period Sponsor Brand
1990–2000 Unijet Unijet Sussex County League
2000–2001 No Sponsor Sussex County League
2001–2002 Rich City Rich City Sussex County League
2002–2004 Matthew Clark Matthew Clark Sussex County League
2004–2014 No Sponsor Sussex County League
2014–2015 Macron Macron Store Sussex County Football League
2015– Macron Store Southern Combination Football League

Current clubs[edit]

Champions[edit]

1920–1939[edit]

The league originally consisted of a single section of 12 clubs, and had reached a stable membership of 14 clubs when it was abandoned on the outbreak of World War II.

Season Champions
1920–21 Worthing
1921–22 Worthing
1922–23 Vernon Athletic
1923–24 Corps of Signals
1924–25 Corps of Signals
1925–26 Southwick
1926–27 Worthing
1927–28 Southwick
1928–29 Worthing
1929–30 Southwick
1930–31 Worthing
1931–32 Horsham
1932–33 Horsham
1933–34 Worthing
1934–35 Horsham
1935–36 Horsham
1936–37 Horsham
1937–38 Horsham
1938–39 Worthing

1939–1940[edit]

During the Second World War an emergency competition was played. The league operated two region divisions, East and West, with the winners of each playing in a play-off

Season Eastern Western Play-off Winners
1939–40 Hastings & St Leonards Worthing Worthing

1945–1946[edit]

For the first post-War season, the league also operated two regional divisions, East and West, with the winners of each facing each other in a play-off.

Season Eastern Western Play-off Winners
1945–46 Haywards Heath Worthing Haywards Heath

1946–1952[edit]

After a single split format, the league reverted to a single division for the next six seasons.

Season Champions
1946–47 Horsham
1947–48 Southwick
1948–49 Bognor Regis
1949–50 Haywards Heath
1950–51 Haywards Heath
1951–52 Shoreham

1952–1983[edit]

A second division was instituted in 1952. A two-division format continued for over 30 years, the only deviation being in the 1962–63 season when the unusually harsh winter weather made the league impossible to finish. The normal league competitions were abandoned and a set of emergency competitions were played for in the second half of the season.

Season Division One Division Two
1952–53 Shoreham Wigmore Athletic
1953–54 Newhaven Hove White Rovers
1954–55 Eastbourne United Three Bridges United
1955–56 Eastbourne United Rye United
1956–57 Bexhill Town Athletic A P V Athletic
1957–58 Arundel Lancing
1958–59 Arundel Sidley United
1959–60 Chichester City Old Varndeanians
1960–61 Chichester City Hastings Rangers
1961–62 Whitehawk Shoreham
1962–63 Normal competitions abandoned - Emergency Competition played
1963–64 Whitehawk Selsey
1964–65 Lewes Sidley United
1965–66 Bexhill Town Athletic Horsham Y M C A
1966–67 Bexhill Town Athletic Wadhurst
1967–68 Chichester City Whitehawk
1968–69 Southwick Ringmer
1969–70 Haywards Heath Lancing
1970–71 Ringmer Bognor Regis Town
1971–72 Bognor Regis Town Newhaven
1972–73 Chichester City Portfield
1973–74 Newhaven Wigmore Athletic
1974–75 Southwick Burgess Hill Town
1975–76 Burgess Hill Town Selsey
1976–77 Eastbourne Town Shoreham
1977–78 Shoreham Steyning
1978–79 Peacehaven & Telscombe Pagham
1979–80 Chichester City Hastings Town
1980–81 Pagham Whitehawk
1981–82 Peacehaven & Telscombe Wick
1982–83 Peacehaven & Telscombe Horsham Y M C A

1983–2015[edit]

After a two division format had proved sufficient for over 30 years, a third division was added in 1983. While the top two divisions were for clubs holding senior status with the Sussex FA, the new Division Three was for clubs of intermediate status.

Season Division One Division Two Division Three
1983–84 Whitehawk Portfield East Preston
1984–85 Steyning Town Shoreham Oakwood
1985–86 Steyning Town Wick Seaford Town
1986–87 Arundel Pagham Langney Sports
1987–88 Pagham Langney Sports Midway
1988–89 Pagham Seaford Town Saltdean United
1989–90 Wick Bexhill Town Worthing United
1990–91 Littlehampton Town Newhaven Ifield
1991–92 Peacehaven & Telscombe Portfield Hassocks
1992–93 Peacehaven & Telscombe Crowborough Athletic Withdean
1993–94 Wick Shoreham Bosham
1994–95 Peacehaven & Telscombe Mile Oak Midhurst & Easebourne
1995–96 Peacehaven & Telscombe Saltdean United Ifield
1996–97 Burgess Hill Town Littlehampton Town Sidlesham
1997–98 Burgess Hill Town East Preston Lingfield
1998–99 Burgess Hill Town Sidley United Oving Social Club
1999–2000 Langney Sports Sidlesham Bosham
2000–01 Sidley United Southwick Rye United
2001–02 Burgess Hill Town Rye & Iden United Pease Pottage Village
2002–03 Burgess Hill Town Rye & Iden United Midhurst & Easebourne
2003–04 Chichester City United Littlehampton Town Crowborough Athletic
2004–05 Horsham Y M C A Crowborough Athletic Storrington
2005–06 Horsham Y M C A Oakwood Peacehaven & Telscombe
2006–07 Eastbourne Town Pagham Rustington
2007–08 Crowborough Athletic East Grinstead Town Loxwood
2008–09 Eastbourne United Association Peacehaven & Telscombe Clymping
2009–10 Whitehawk Rye United Bosham
2010–11 Crawley Down A.F.C. Uckfield Dorking Wanderers
2011–12 Three Bridges East Preston Newhaven
2012–13 Peacehaven & Telscombe Littlehampton Town Sidlesham
2013–14 East Preston Eastbourne United Association Langney Wanderers
2014–15 Littlehampton Town Worthing United Southwick

2015–present[edit]

In 2015, the Sussex County Football League was re-branded to the Southern Combination Football League, keeping the acronym SCFL. The divisions were renamed to Premier Division, Division One and Division Two, Division Two clubs still holding intermediate status.

Season Premier Division Division One Division Two
2015–16 Horsham Haywards Heath Town AFC Varndeanians
2016–17 Shoreham Saltdean United Bosham
2017–18 Haywards Heath Town Little Common Rustington
2018–19 Chichester City Alfold Rustington

[edit]

Since the league's formation, the following clubs have won promotion to higher levels of the English football league system.

Season Club Position Promoted to
1984–85 Hastings Town 9th Southern League Southern Division
1999–2000 Langney Sports 1st Southern League Eastern Division
2002–03 Burgess Hill Town 1st Southern League Eastern Division
2005–06 Horsham YMCA 1st Isthmian League Division One South
2006–07 Eastbourne Town 1st Isthmian League Division One South
2007–08 Crowborough Athletic 1st Isthmian League Division One South
2008–09 Horsham YMCA 3rd Isthmian League Division One South
2009–10 Whitehawk 1st Isthmian League Division One South
2010–11 Crawley Down 1st Isthmian League Division One South
2011–12 Three Bridges 1st Isthmian League Division One South
2012–13 Peacehaven & Telscombe
Redhill
1st
2nd
Isthmian League Division One South
2013–14 East Grinstead Town 2nd Isthmian League Division One South
2014–15 Dorking Wanderers 2nd Isthmian League Division One South
2015–16 Horsham 1st Isthmian League Division One South
2016–17 Shoreham 1st Isthmian League Division One South
2017–18 Haywards Heath Town
Three Bridges
1st
2nd
Isthmian League South Division
2018–19 Chichester City 1st Isthmian League South East Division

Most championship title wins[edit]

Premier Division (Division One 1952–2015)[edit]

Club Wins Winning years
Horsham 8 1931–32, 1932–33, 1934–35, 1935–36, 1936–37, 1937–38, 1946–47, 2015–16
Peacehaven & Telscombe 8 1978–79, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1994–95, 1995–96, 2012–13
Worthing 8 1920–21, 1921–22, 1926–27, 1928–29, 1930–31, 1933–34, 1938–39, 1939–40
Chichester City 7 1959–60, 1960–61, 1967–68, 1972–73, 1979–80, 2003–04, 2018–19
Burgess Hill Town 6 1975–76, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2001–02, 2002–03
Southwick 6 1925–26, 1927–28, 1929–30, 1948–48, 1968–69, 1974–75
Haywards Heath Town 5 1945–46, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1969–70, 2017–18
Shoreham 4 1951–52, 1952–53, 1977–78, 2016–17
Whitehawk 4 1961–62, 1963–64, 1983–84, 2009–10
Arundel 3 1957–58, 1958–59, 1986–87
Bexhill United 3 1956–57, 1965–66, 1966–67
Eastbourne United Association 3 1954–55, 1955–56, 2008–09
Pagham 3 1980–81, 1987–88, 1988–89
Bognor Regis Town 2 1948–49, 1971–72
Corps of Signals 2 1923–24, 1924–25
Eastbourne Town 2 1976–77, 2006–07
Littlehampton Town 2 1990–91, 2014–15
Newhaven 2 1953–54, 1973–74
Steyning Town Community 2 1984–85, 1985–86
Wick 2 1989–90, 1993–94
Horsham YMCA 2 2004–05, 2005–06
Crawley Down Gatwick 1 2010–11
Crowborough Athletic 1 2007–08
East Preston 1 2013–14
Langney Sports 1 1999–2000
Lewes 1 1964–65
Ringmer 1 1970–71
Sidley United 1 2000–01
Three Bridges 1 2011–12
Vernon Athletic 1 1922–23

Division One (Division Two 1952–2015)[edit]

Club Wins Winning years
Rye United 4 1955–56, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2009–10
Shoreham 4 1961–63, 1976–77, 1984–85, 1993–94
Littlehampton Town 3 1996–97, 2003–04, 2012–13
Pagham 3 1978–79, 1986–87, 2006–07
Portfield 3 1972–73, 1983–84, 1991–92
Sidley United 3 1958–59, 1964–65, 1998–99
Crowborough Athletic 2 1992–93, 2004–05
East Preston 2 1997–98, 2011–12
Horsham YMCA 2 1965–66, 1982–83
Lancing 2 1957–58, 1969–70
Newhaven 2 1971–72, 1990–91
Saltdean United 2 1995–96, 2016–17
Selsey 2 1963–64, 1975–76
Whitehawk 2 1967–68, 1980–81
Wick 2 1981–82, 1985–86
Wigmore Athletic 2 1952–53, 1973–74
A P V Athletic 1 1956–57
A.F.C. Uckfield 1 2010–11
AFC Varndeanians 1 1959–60
Alfold 1 2018–19
Bexhill United 1 1989–90
Bognor Regis Town 1 1970–71
Burgess Hill Town 1 1974–75
East Grinstead Town 1 2007–08
Eastbourne United Association 1 2013–14
Hastings Rangers 1 1960–61
Hastings Town 1 1979–80
Haywards Heath Town 1 2015–16
Hove White Rovers 1 1953–54
Langney Sports 1 1987–88
Little Common 1 2017–18
Mile Oak 1 1994–95
Oakwood 1 2005–06
Peacehaven & Telscombe 1 2008–09
Ringmer 1 1968–69
Seaford Town 1 1988–89
Sidlesham 1 1999–2000
Southwick 1 2000–01
Steyning 1 1977–78
Three Bridges 1 1954–55
Wadhurst 1 1966–67
Worthing United 1 2014–15

Division Two (Division Three 1983–2015)[edit]

Club Wins Winning years
Bosham 4 1993–94, 1999–2000, 2009–10, 2016–17
Rustington 3 2006–07, 2017–18, 2018–19
Ifield 2 1990–91, 1995–96
Midhurst & Easebourne 2 1994–95, 2002–03
Sidlesham 2 1996–97, 2012–13
AFC Varndeanians 1 2015–16
Clymping 1 2008–09
Crowborough Athletic 1 2003–04
Dorking Wanderers 1 2010–11
East Preston 1 1983–84
Hassocks 1 1991–92
Langney Sports 1 1986–87
Langney Wanderers 1 2013–14
Lingfield 1 1997–98
Loxwood 1 2007–08
Clymping 1 2008–09
Midway 1 1987–88
Newhaven 1 2011–12
Oakwood 1 1984–85
Oving Social Club 1 1998–99
Peacehaven & Telscombe 1 2005–06
Pease Pottage Village 1 2001–02
Rye United 1 2000–01
Saltdean United 1 1988–89
Seaford Town 1 1985–86
Southwick 1 2014–15
Storrington 1 2004–05
Withdean 1 1992–93
Worthing United 1 1989–90

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About the Sussex County Football League". Sussex County Football League. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Sussex County Football League to Change Name – News – Haywards Heath Town FC". haywardsheathtownfc.co.uk. Retrieved 10 April 2018.

External links[edit]