1896–97 Western Football League

The 1896–97 season was the fifth in the history of the Western Football League, which had been known as the Bristol & District league until 1895.

Western Football League
Season1896–97
ChampionsWarmley (Division One)
Eastville Wanderers (Division Two)

Warmley were the Division One champions for the fourth time in five years, and also began competing in the Southern League during this season. Eastville Wanderers won Division Two in only their second season in the league.[1]

At the end of this season the league was restructured, with a new Professional Section being formed, taking five clubs from Division One and three new clubs joining. Division One and Division Two remained as the Amateur Section, with four clubs being promoted from Division Two to Division One, and several new clubs joining both divisions.

Division One edit

One new club joined Division One for this season, though the number of clubs was reduced from 12 to nine after Gloucester and Swindon Wanderers left, Cardiff were expelled and Mangotsfield were relegated to Division Two.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GR Pts Result
1 Warmley 16 13 2 1 42 9 4.667 28 Moved to new Professional Section
2 Bristol South End 16 11 0 5 28 22 1.273 22
3 Bedminster 16 8 2 6 32 16 2.000 18
4 St George 16 8 1 7 27 23 1.174 17 Moved to new Professional Section
5 Eastville Rovers 16 7 2 7 25 23 1.087 14[a]
6 Trowbridge Town 16 5 3 8 21 30 0.700 13
7 St Paul's 16 3 5 8 29 31 0.935 11
8 Staple Hill 16 5 0 11 18 39 0.462 10
9 Clifton 16 4 1 11 19 48 0.396 9
Source:[citation needed]
Notes:
  1. ^ Eastville Rovers had two points deducted for fielding an ineligible player.

Division Two edit

One new team joined Division Two this season, though the number of clubs was reduced from 11 to seven after Cumberland, Clifton Reserves, St George Reserves and Warmley Reserves left the league and Frenchay resigned.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GR Pts Promotion
1 Eastville Wanderers (P) 12 7 4 1 25 9 2.778 18[a] Promoted to Amateur Division One
2 Barton Hill (P) 12 7 3 2 28 7 4.000 17
3 Mangotsfield (P) 12 6 3 3 23 14 1.643 15
4 Fishponds (P) 12 4 5 3 17 16 1.063 13
5 Bedminster Reserves 12 6 1 5 19 20 0.950 13
6 Eastville Rovers Reserves 12 1 3 8 7 33 0.212 5 Left the league at the end of the season
7 Staple Hill Reserves 12 1 1 10 8 34 0.235 3
Source:[citation needed]
Rules for classification: The system of using goal average to separate two teams tied on points was used up to and including the 1976–77 season. The points system: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for losing.
(P) Promoted
Notes:
  1. ^ The tables as published at the time contained errors, hence the totals do not balance in some columns.[1]

References edit

  1. ^ a b Robinson, Michael (ed.), Non-League Football Tables 1889–2006, Soccer Books, 2006