1997–98 Southern Football League

The 1997–98 Southern Football League season was the 95th in the history of the league, an English football competition.

Forest Green Rovers won the Premier Division at the first attempt and earned promotion to the Football Conference for the first time in their history. Sittingbourne, Ashford Town (Kent) and St. Leonards Stamcroft were relegated to the Midland and Southern Divisions, whilst Bromsgrove Rovers were reprieved after the Southern Division runners-up Chelmsford City were denied in promotion due to ground grading. Ilkeston Town, Grantham Town and Weymouth were promoted to the Premier Division, the former two as champions.

No clubs were relegated to level eight leagues this season, though Southern Division clubs Trowbridge Town folded and Fareham Town voluntary demoted to the Wessex League.

Premier DivisionEdit

The Premier Division consisted of 22 clubs, including 16 clubs from the previous season and six new clubs:

League tableEdit

Southern Football League
Premier Division
Season1997–98
ChampionsForest Green Rovers
PromotedForest Green Rovers
RelegatedAshford Town (Kent)
Sittingbourne
St.Leonards Stamcroft
Matches played462
Goals scored1,372 (2.97 per match)
Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Promotion or relegation
1 Forest Green Rovers 42 27 8 7 93 55 +38 89 Promoted to the Football Conference
2 Merthyr Tydfil 42 24 12 6 80 42 +38 84
3 Burton Albion 42 21 8 13 64 43 +21 71
4 Dorchester Town 42 19 13 10 63 38 +25 70
5 Halesowen Town 42 18 15 9 70 38 +32 69
6 Bath City 42 19 12 11 72 51 +21 69
7 Worcester City 42 19 11 12 53 44 +9 68
8 King's Lynn 42 19 10 13 64 64 0 67
9 Atherstone United 42 17 12 13 55 49 +6 63
10 Crawley Town 42 17 8 17 63 60 +3 59
11 Gloucester City 42 16 11 15 57 57 0 59
12 Nuneaton Borough 42 17 6 19 68 61 +7 57
13 Cambridge City 42 16 8 18 62 70 −8 56
14 Hastings Town 42 14 12 16 67 70 −3 54
15 Tamworth 42 14 11 17 68 65 +3 53
16 Rothwell Town 42 11 16 15 55 73 −18 49
17 Gresley Rovers 42 14 6 22 59 77 −18 48
18 Salisbury City 42 12 12 18 53 72 −19 48
19 Bromsgrove Rovers 42 13 6 23 67 85 −18 45 Reprieved from relegation
20 Sittingbourne 42 12 8 22 47 66 −19 44 Relegated to the Southern Division
21 Ashford Town (Kent) 42 8 5 29 34 85 −51 29
22 St. Leonards Stamcroft 42 5 10 27 48 97 −49 25
Source: fchd.com rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.

Midland DivisionEdit

The Midland Division consisted of 21 clubs, including 18 clubs from the previous season and three new clubs:

Also, at the end of the previous season Hinckley Town merged with Midland Alliance club Hinckley Athletic to form Hinckley United.

League tableEdit

Southern Football League
Midland Division
Season1997–98
ChampionsGrantham Town
PromotedGrantham Town
Ilkeston Town
Matches played420
Goals scored1,302 (3.1 per match)
Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Promotion or relegation
1 Grantham Town 40 30 4 6 87 39 +48 94 Promoted to the Premier Division
2 Ilkeston Town 40 29 6 5 123 39 +84 93
3 Solihull Borough 40 22 9 9 81 48 +33 75
4 Raunds Town 40 20 8 12 73 44 +29 68 Transferred to the Southern Division
5 Wisbech Town 40 20 7 13 79 56 +23 67
6 Moor Green 40 20 7 13 72 55 +17 67
7 Bilston Town 40 20 5 15 69 57 +12 65
8 Blakenall 40 17 13 10 66 56 +10 64
9 Stafford Rangers 40 18 6 16 57 56 +1 60
10 Redditch United 40 16 11 13 58 40 +18 59
11 Stourbridge 40 16 9 15 56 55 +1 57
12 Hinckley United 40 15 11 14 59 56 +3 56
13 Brackley Town 40 15 7 18 44 57 −13 52 Transferred to the Southern Division
14 Bedworth United 40 15 5 20 50 73 −23 50
15 Racing Club Warwick 40 11 9 20 49 56 −7 42
16 Shepshed Dynamo 40 9 14 17 55 74 −19 41
17 Sutton Coldfield Town 40 9 12 19 42 68 −26 39
18 Paget Rangers 40 9 12 19 40 75 −35 39
19 VS Rugby 40 8 12 20 53 93 −40 36
20 Evesham United 40 7 9 24 48 94 −46 30
21 Corby Town 40 2 8 30 41 111 −70 14 Transferred to the Southern Division
Source: fchd.com rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.

Southern DivisionEdit

The Southern Division consisted of 22 clubs, including 19 clubs from the previous season and three new clubs, relegated from the Premier Division:

At the end of the season Havant Town and Waterlooville merged to form a new club Havant & Waterlooville.

League tableEdit

Southern Football League
Southern Division
Season1997–98
ChampionsWeymouth
PromotedWeymouth
Matches played462
Goals scored1,470 (3.18 per match)
Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Promotion or relegation
1 Weymouth 42 32 2 8 107 48 +59 98 Promoted to the Premier Division
2 Chelmsford City 42 29 8 5 86 39 +47 95 Denied promotion
3 Bashley 42 29 4 9 101 59 +42 91
4 Newport (Isle of Wight) 42 25 9 8 72 34 +38 84
5 Fisher Athletic 42 25 5 12 87 50 +37 80
6 Margate 42 23 8 11 71 42 +29 77
7 Newport 42 21 6 15 83 65 +18 69 Transferred to the Midland Division
8 Witney Town 42 20 9 13 74 58 +16 69
9 Clevedon Town 42 20 7 15 57 55 +2 67 Transferred to the Midland Division
10 Waterlooville 42 17 7 18 69 64 +5 58 Merged into Havant & Waterlooville
11 Dartford 42 17 7 18 60 60 0 58
12 Havant Town 42 13 14 15 65 70 −5 53 Merged into Havant & Waterlooville
13 Fleet Town 42 16 5 21 63 83 −20 53
14 Tonbridge Angels 42 14 10 18 49 55 −6 52
15 Trowbridge Town 42 14 6 22 55 69 −14 48 Club folded
16 Erith & Belvedere 42 11 13 18 47 68 −21 46
17 Fareham Town 42 12 9 21 75 87 −12 45 Resigned to the Wessex League
18 Cirencester Town 42 12 7 23 63 88 −25 43
19 Weston-super-Mare 42 12 5 25 49 86 −37 41 Transferred to the Midland Division
20 Baldock Town 42 10 5 27 53 81 −28 35
21 Cinderford Town 42 6 5 31 40 112 −72 23 Transferred to the Midland Division
22 Yate Town 42 5 7 30 44 97 −53 22
Source: fchd.com rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit