History 1 of 3

1. History 1

Although Lydney is one of the main towns of the Forest area the Severnsiders have always led a very nomadic existence. With the town very much a Rugby stronghold the football club has always found it difficult to exist and although the club can trace its roots back to 1911 it never has had a sound base. The club competed in the local leagues until 1952 when they were elected to the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League. In 1969 the club folded due to lack of committee. In 1971 the soccer lovers of the town pulled together and the club re-formed and in 1974 the appointment of Harold Elliott as player/coach saw many players from Lydney Juniors introduced with the resulting effect of promotion to Senior League Division One in 1976.
During this period the club switched from Bathurst Park onto the Recreation Ground using the changing facilities at the Cricket Club. In 1979-80 after twice finishing Runners-Up they finally lifted the Senior League Division One Championship.
Applications to the County League were unfruitful so the club turned to the Hellenic League, where the club held its own, but after 4 seasons the huge financial burden of the League forced the club to return to the Senior League. A dispute with the Cricket Club saw the club move back onto Bathurst Park and following this Secretary Roger Sansom, who had been elected in 1975 and who is still secretary to this day, investi- gated the possibility of building a clubhouse on the Recreation Ground. Unfortunately on the pitch the downward spiral continued and the club found itself back in the NGL. The players thankfully stayed together and they bounced back into the Senior League the following season. Ambitious plans to have our own clubhouse were still in the pipeline and a clubhouse was opened on Lydney Recreation Trust in 1990. In 1995 the club did the double by winning Division Two and the Forest Green Supporters Trophy, a feat they repeated in 1996-97.
In 2003-04 Manager Peter Elliott, who along with Roger Sansom is the oldest serving member of the club with 30 plus years service, guided the club to the Final of the League Cup and the Senior Amateur Cup but in 2004 due to work commitments Peter decided to step down. The club turned to Stuart Liddington to take the helm and with Peter being persuaded to assist him they forged a very successful partnership. The addition of Pete Macklin from Cinderford Town, Danny Clarke ex-Oxford United, Matthew Timmins from Whitecroft and the return of Mark Saunders from Australia gave the club a real boost. Pete, Danny and Matty provided the missing link in the goalscoring department scoring over 70 goals between them, Danny leading the way with 32 goals. The Senior League title was secured with 4 games to go and they did the double by lifting the Senior Amateur Cup. The season was complete with the news of acceptance into the County League a prize denied to them some 25 years ago. The clubs County League campaign started in unconvincing fashion with only 4 points from 3 home games but a 20 game unbeaten run saw the club take
over as league leaders at the start of 2006, a position they held for the remainder of the season. Scoring goals was very much the key to winning as 87 goals proved, Matty Timmins finishing the leagues leading goal scorer with 28 goals. This success was beyond the clubs wildest dreams and gave the club the opportunity of a return to the Hellenic League after 22 years.
A steady start saw the club 12 points behind the leaders in October but a 6 game winning streak at the end of the year saw the club take over as leaders at the start of January. The critical game came in mid-April with fellow title contenders Trowbridge Town visiting The Rec. In front of a crowd of 305 goals from Danny Clarke and Mark Crabbe secured victory and a 5 point cushion . With 3 games to go the Title was won at Malmesbury when Danny Bishop came off the subs bench to score 2 late goals and give the club an unprecedented 3rd title in as many seasons. The squad had certainly exceeded all expectations and can quite easily be classed as the best in the clubs history. Ambitious plans for the required improvements to gain promotion were put forward and accepted by the League allowing the club to play at the highest level in its history.
A steady start was overshadowed by events off the pitch when despite gaining planning permission for erection of floodlights the club became embroiled in a sea of red tape with their landlords. To continue playing in the Premier Division an agreement was reached to use Cinderford Town and Harrow Hill for home games. Despite these off the pitch issues an unbeaten league run of 11 games placed them in the top half of the table. Despite finishing in 10th position the club were unable to satisfy the April deadline imposed by the league and were forced to be relegated back into Division One (West).