Aveley Football Club

Aveley Football Club

AVELEY FOOTBALL CLUB was formed in 1927 and played in local leagues until 1939. Club activities were then suspended during the war years 1939/45. In 1946 the club was reformed and joined the Thurrock Combination. Aveley twice won the Essex Junior Cup, firstly in 1948, then retaining it the following year.

Aveley gained Senior League status in season 1949/50 and were elected into the London League, Division One. They were Division Champions in the 1951/52 season. In the same season they moved from Lodge Meadow to their present ground, Mill Field, and were promptly nicknamed The Millers. In season 1954/55 they were Division Champions once again which was followed by election to The Delphian League in 1955/56. They competed in this league until 1962/63 with little success.

1963/64 saw Millers join the Athenian League. Full membership of the Football Association was granted in 1964/65. Season 1970/71 was probably the clubs most successful one. The first round proper of the FA Cup was reached along with the FA Amateur Cup quarter-finals, they were also Champions of the Athenian League.

Aveley were elected to the Isthmian League in season 1973/74. Here they competed without success in Division One until they were relegated to Division Two North at the end of the 1985/86 season. Millers did however achieve two cup successes during this time. The Essex Thames-Side Challenge Trophy was won in 1979/80 and the Hornchurch Charity Cup in 1982/83.

The 1989/90 campaign was a memorable one for The Millers. Promotion back to Division One was gained with a tremendous end of season run-in to finish second to Heybridge Swifts by two points. This was followed by a 3-0 victory over Premier Division St.Albans in the final of the AC Delco (League) Cup. This made Aveley the first team from the lowest division to win this competition. After this the club slipped down to Division Three and cup successes were limited to appearances in the finals of both the East Anglian Cup and the The Essex Thames-Side Challenge Trophy in 1997/98.

The 1999 / 2000 season started well with Aveley being un-beaten in the League at Christmas. However a turn in fortunes saw them slip and eventually finish 9th. This was followed by 6th place in season 2000/01.

A roller-coaster season 2001/02 saw the club finish third behind Hornchurch and champions Croydon Athletic and gain promotion to Division 1 North.

An excellent season for the Millers in 2002/03. Good runs in the FA Cup and Bryco Cup were capped by an appearance in the Essex Senior Cup Final. This did not go Millers way however with Chelmsford City winning 5-0. The Third Qualifying Round of the FA Cup was reached, eventually losing out to Canvey Island 2-0. A good run-in saw Millers finish in sixth place in the League.

The 2003/04 campaign saw the club eventually finish in 14th place. Millers matched the previous season’s performance and reached the final of the Essex Senior Cup. This time a much improved display saw them go down 3-1 to local rivals Thurrock. The final game of the season was another cup final. This time in the East Anglian Cup, and a visit to Spalding United. After taking an early lead this too finished in a 3-1 defeat for the Millers.

2004/05 was a disappointing one for Millers first season in the Southern League, the club finishing in 15th place. Compensation however, came in the form of the Essex Thames-Side Challenge Trophy. Romford were beaten 1-0 in the final at The Mill Field. Simon Thomas scoring the only goal of the game. Another difficult season followed, on and off the pitch. Millers ended the season with their third manager steering them just clear of the relegation places. Steve Browne had taken over from Keith Day who had succeeded Amin Levit.

A poor League season in 2006/07 was again compensated for by winning the Essex Thames-Side Challenge Trophy for the second time in three seasons. Millers came form a goal down to beat Tilbury 3-1 at Chadfields. The season also saw another managerial change. Steve Browne departed in March.This was followed by a caretaker spell under Kevin Head and Alex Smith. Dave Spittle was appointed manager in mid April.

After a disappointing start to the 2007 / 08 campaign, November saw the arrival of Rod Stringer as Manager, and fortunes turned with the Millers putting a string of impressive results together to finish the season in Mid-Table.

2008 / 09 saw the foundations that were laid the previous season, bare its fruit as the Ryman League Division One North Championship was won on the last day of the season in dramatic fashion at East Thurrock United. In a tense finish to the season, Millers created a club record of 11 straight away league wins, and Rod Stringer was duly judged as the Manager of the Season for the Division.

2009 / 10 our first in the Isthmian Premier Division saw a great finish to the season, with 12 wins from the last 14 games, taking us into 3rd position and a home semi-final play-off against Boreham Wood. Unfortunately it was one step too far, and a 1-0 defeat saw the end of a fantastic season.

During the close season Rod Stringer departed for Braintree Town, taking with him his management team, and the whole playing squad. A difficult season was endured with a last day 3-2 win at Hastings being significant as he club survived relegation by virtue of a reprieve despite finishing 4th from bottom of the table.

2011 / 12 was much of the same, and relegation was confirmed after a poor season. Justin Gardner took over the reins in February of 2012, and has this season assembled a strong playing squad that is currently challenging for an immediate return to the Premier Division.

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League Tables

The Ryman Football League » North Division

1 Witham Town 45 97
2 VCD Athletic 45 96
3 Heybridge Swifts 45 90
4 Harlow Town 45 88
5 Thurrock 44 86
6 Needham Market 45 84
7 Dereham Town 45 76
8 Soham Town Rangers 45 73
9 Maldon & Tiptree 45 73
10 AFC Sudbury 45 73
11 Romford 45 68
12 Chatham Town 45 68
13 Aveley 45 62
14 Redbridge 45 59
15 Cheshunt 45 52
16 Burnham Ramblers 45 51
17 Waltham Abbey 45 50
18 Tilbury 45 50
19 Brentwood Town 45 46
20 Barkingside 45 46
21 Ware 44 44
22 Wroxham 45 33
23 Waltham Forest 45 25
24 Erith & Belvedere 45 22

Last updated Wednesday 23rd April, 10:46

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