Basingstoke Town F.C.

Football club infobox
clubname = Basingstoke Town

fullname = Basingstoke Town Football Club
nickname = The Dragons or The 'Stoke
founded = 1896
ground = The Camrose
Basingstoke Hampshire
capacity = 6,000
chairman = Rafi Razzak
manager = flagicon|Scotland Frank Gray
league = Conference South
season = 2007-08
position = Conference South, 15th

Basingstoke Town Football Club are an English association football team, based in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England, playing in the Conference South. Their ground, The Camrose, is named after their late benefactor, Lord Camrose. Their motto, 'Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum', means 'No stepping back'.


While Basingstoke didn't originally qualify for their place in the newly formed division for 2004/05, they were awarded Hendon's place when the Middlesex team declined it as the next highest placed team in the Isthmian League Premier Division that season.

This kind of luck is typical of the up-and-down history of the club, first formed in 1896 from Aldworth United and Basingstoke Albion. After tasting title success in the Hampshire League North Division in 1911/12 and 1919/20, "Town" had to wait over 30 years for its next honours, finishing as either champions or runners-up every season between 1965/66 and 1970/71, winning the league and Hampshire Senior Cup double in 1970/71, without a league defeat, and joining the Southern League South the following season.

The club finished eighth in their first season in the Southern League, and they also reached the FA Cup 1st Round for the first time. A then record attendance of 3,400 saw Northampton Town win 5 - 1 at the Camrose.

It took 14 years for the team to record their next League championship, in the 1984/85 season. The side didn't lose a home game during this championship campaign. In 1987/88 Basingstoke joined the Isthmian League Premier Division, but suffered a disastrous first season and were relegated. However the following year promotion was achieved with a last day victory at Southwick, and for the first time the club reached the FA Trophy 1st Round, losing at Kettering Town after a replay.

The next few seasons were a struggle and in 1993/94 the club suffered relegation. After two years in Division One, the club had only another Senior Cup to show for its efforts. In 1996/97 promotion was achieved as runners-up and another appearance in the Senior Cup saw a second successive 2 - 0 win over Waterlooville.

In the 1997/8 season the club reached the final of the Isthmian League Cup but lost to Hendon FC.

In the 1998/9 season the club made the headlines with an incredible 9-3 win away at Heybridge Swifts. After being 3-1 down at half-time, Basingstoke hit back with eight second half goals to record an amazing victory that was noted in much of the national media.

The millennium season was the poorest in recent years, with only the club’s home form saving it from relegation. Indeed it was a last day draw at home to Hitchin Town and other results working in the clubs favour that meant Premier Division football was retained.

After a more encouraging 2000/01 season where the club finished third, there was an air of optimism as plans were implemented to improve the financial stability of the club.

2001/02 saw the club fail to match the success of the previous season, with a low table finish. The biggest disappointment was drawing against Conference leaders Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Cup to a 4th minute injury time goal scored by goalkeeper Tony Roberts. Roberts went up to join the play in the dying minutes and scored with a 25 yard volley after the 'stoke had taken a 2-0 lead. A feat that made FA Cup history and footage of which is often replayed on TV. The replay at Dagenham saw the 'Stoke comprehensively defeated and D&R's subsequent exploits were well documented by the media.

2002-03 was a season many thought would be the last in the Ryman Premier league, with virtually a new squad put together at the start of the season. But the team exceeded all expectations and put in a remarkable set of results to finish a respectable 5th.

The 2003-04 season was a real roller-coaster ride, with the club constantly chasing an elusive top 13 finish to secure a place in the newly formed Nationwide Conference South. Even though 14th was the best Basingstoke could do and this was followed by a play-off defeat, a place was secured when Hendon decided not to take up their option to join the NCS.

In the inaugural season of the Conference South, the 'Stoke began very well, occupying a place in the play-off spots until Christmas that year. However, a run of six consecutive defeats in the league meant Town had to play catch-up, and although they recovered some ground toward the end of the season, it wasn't enough and Town finished sixth, one place and a single point outside the play-offs. Town had a worse time of it the following season, with considerable upheaval among the playing staff, and the departure of long-time manager Ernie Howe towards the end of the season, meaning Town finished 19th. They did, however, reach the final of the Hampshire Senior Cup, which they lost 1-0 to Farnborough Town.

The club continued to struggle in the league during the next two seasons under manager Francis Vines, who left the club towards the end of the 2007/8 campaign.

However in the 2007/8 season, the club did manage to win the Hampshire Senior Cup by beating Farnborough 1-0 in the final under the caretaker management of long time player and coach Steve Richardson. Shortly before the victory Frank Gray was appointed as the club's new manager.

Cup runs

In 1989 Town reached the second round of the FA Cup for the first time, having beaten Southern League Bromsgrove Rovers 3-0 in the first round. They played host to Division 4 side Torquay United at the Camrose, and a crowd of over 4,000 saw Town beaten 3-2.

The late 1990s saw Town go on two amazing FA Cup runs. In the 1997/98 season, the 'Stoke fought their way through qualifying to face Wycombe Wanderers in the first round. After a 2-2 away draw at Adams Park, in which the 'Stoke battled back from two goals down, a capacity crowd at the Camrose saw Dean Beale save the decisive penalty in the shoot-out after the two sides had finished at two apiece. In the second round, Town travelled to Northampton Town, coming from 1-0 down, Town equalised and managed a 1-1 draw at Sixfields. The replay at the Camrose was shown live on Sky Sports. Again the 'Stoke held the league side to a draw after extra time, but there was no repeat of the previous round's joy, with Town crashing out on penalties.

The following season, Basingstoke reached the first round proper at the expense of Conference side Dover Athletic, and faced Bournemouth at home. Town lost that match 2-1, and had to wait eight years to again reach the first round proper.

In the 2006/07 season the Dragons came through a nervy qualifying campaign, defeating Conference North outfit Worcester City 7-6 on penalties in a 4th qualifying round replay, to set up a meeting away to League One side Chesterfield in the first round - a team 76 places higher up the league system than the 'Stoke. Town were 1-0 victors though a first half Matthew Warner volley and faced derby rivals Aldershot Town in the second round of the FA Cup. A 1-1 draw in this fixture meant that a replay would be held, but that in the meantime Basingstoke would be in the draw for the 3rd round of the FA Cup. They would have been playing Blackpool away, but they lost the replay 3-1.

Current squad


*Manager: Frank Gray
*Assistant Manager: Gerry Murphy
*Goalkeeping Coach: Ben Davey
*Physio: Mark Randall MCSP SRP
*Reserve Team Manager: Dominic Cunliffe
*Reserve Team Assistant Manager: Steve Williams
*Youth Team/Academy Manager: Mark Hughes


*Hampshire League North Division: Winners: 1911/12, 1919/20

*Hampshire League Division 1: Winners: 1967/68, 1968/69, 1970/71
Runners up: 1965/66, 1966/67, 1968/69

*Southern League South Division: Winners: 1984/85

*Isthmian League First Division: Runners up: 1988/89, 1996/97

*Isthmian League Cup: Runners Up: 1997/98

*Hampshire Senior Cup: Winners: 1970/71, 1989/90, 1995/96, 2007/08
Runners up: 1964/65, 1975/76, 1981/82, 1985/86, 1988/89, 2005/06

*Umbro Fair Play Award: Winners: 1997/98

* Best league position: 3rd in Isthmian League, Premier Division (then level 6), 2000/01
* Best FA Cup performance: 2nd round, 1989/90, 1997/98 (replay), 2006/07
* Best FA Trophy performance: 3rd round, 2003/04
* Record Goalscorer - Paul Coombs 164 (1991-99)
* Biggest win - 10-0 vs. Chichester City, F.A. Cup 1st Qualifying Round, 1976
* Biggest defeat - 8-0 vs. Aylesbury United, Southern League, 1979
* Biggest home attendance - 5,085 vs. Wycombe Wanderers, F.A. Cup 1st Round, November 1997
* Biggest home league attendance - 2,810 vs. Aldershot Town, December 26th 1998

Former players

*flagicon|Argentina Sergio Torres
*flagicon|Cayman Islands Neville Roach
*flagicon|England Tim Sills
*flagicon|England Russell Howard (youth team)
*flagicon|England Scott Fitzgerald
*flagicon|England Ben Wells
*flagicon|England Kevin Gibbens
*flagicon|England George Summerbee
*flagicon|England Lee Molyneaux
*flagicon|England Dominic Naylor
*flagicon|England David Stroud
*flagicon|England Ben Townsend
*flagicon|England Ashan Holgate
*flagicon|Guernsey Chris Tardif
*flagicon|Scotland Craig McAllister

External links

* [ Official Site]
* [ Supporters Club Fans Forum]
* [ Basingstoke Town FC Online - The Original 100% Unofficial BTFC Fan Site]
* [ Independent Fans Forum]

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