We kick off the new season with a trip to Bridgwater who have been busy in the close season signing several new players from close neignbours Taunton Town.
Tel: 01278 446899
Northbound from Taunton: M5 Junction 24 - enter town on A38, follow signs for Glastonbury (A39). Ground is between Bridgwater College and Rugby Ground as you pass over railway bridge.
Southbound from Bristol. M5 Junction 23 - enter town on A39 from Glastonbury. Ground is between Bridgwater College and Rugby Ground by railway bridge.
An Abridged History of
Football in Bridgwater
The first football club to bear the town’s name was formed on 28th January 1898 at a meeting held at the Cross Rifles public house in Bath Road. Bridgwater AFC entered the Somerset Senior League playing at a ground in Bath Road and lifted the Somerset Senior Cup in their first full season beating Yeovil Casuals 1-0 in the Final played at Wells. Unfortunately, the Club was forced to disband in 1901 due to lack of support and financial difficulties.
Two years later another Bridgwater AFC was formed and playing for ten years in local leagues from their base in the Westonzoyland Road area of the town. 1914 saw this club fold due to the outbreak of World War One.
1919 saw the birth of local works side Wills Athletic who played in local leagues from their Victoria Park home. In 1921 they changed their name to Bridgwater Town FC and moved to Chilton Park from where they played for ten further years, winning a few minor honours, until football came to an end in the town until after World War Two.
Crown Dynamos, based at the Crown Inn, St John Street, were formed in 1946 playing at Eastover Park. They played in the Bridgwater & District League for a year before progressing into the Somerset Senior League - finishing a creditable 3rd in 1948. That year also saw the Club move to a new venue, Castle fields, and change its name to Bridgwater Town AFC. In season 1949-50 the Club were accepted into the Western League Division Two and fifth place finishes were achieved in their first two seasons. This was followed up by claiming runners-up position in season 1951-52, thus gaining promotion to Division One. The Club were to remain in the top division of the Western League for the next 30 years, winning the Western League title twice, in seasons 1967-68 and 1980-81.
Season 1982-83 saw the Club make the bold move up to the Southern League Midland Division, but after only two seasons at the higher level, and with mounting debts, the club went into voluntary liquidation…. The end of an era!
But like a phoenix from the ashes Bridgwater Town (1984) FC was formed by a loyal band of Club stalwarts and started life at a new home, Fairfax Park, in Division Two of the Somerset County League. Unfortunately, with a young and inexperienced side relegation followed at the end of their first season, but since then steady progression - including a hat-trick of Somerset County League titles, the Western League Division One title and Runners-up in the Western League Premier Division in season 2006-07 - earned the Club a place back in the Southern Football League 23 years after the heartbreak caused by the demise of the old club.
The first three seasons back at the higher level were fairly successful for ‘The Robins’ with the team just missing out on the end of season play-offs in 2007-08 (6th) & 2008-09 (7th) and missing out on promotion after being beaten at home by Cirencester Town after extra time in the Play-off final in 2009-10 after finishing the regular season in 3rd place. Season 2008-09 also saw the team reach the Final of the Southern League Cup losing on aggregate to Atherstone Town.
However, the Club was left reeling with the departure of joint managers Craig Laird & Leigh Robinson and a mass exodus of players during the summer of 2010, and season 2010-11 was a very traumatic one for the new management regime with survival being the main aim. A lot has been learnt by Manager Rob Dray, Assistant Kevin Milsom and their squad during the last year and everyone is looking for the improvement to continue in season 2011-12.
The Club also run a Reserve side who compete in the Premier Division of the Somerset County League, where they were champions in seasons 2008-09 & 2009-10, an Under-18 team who play in the Southern Division of the Somerset Floodlight Youth League and a Women’s section with the First Team competing in the South West Women’s League First Division (East) and the Reserves in Division Two of the Somerset County Women’s League.