About Us 5 of 5

5. Ryman League History

In 2002/3 the Ryman League was restructured and the Blues were placed in Division One South. That season the club finished second from bottom and faced the prospect of relegation. By a stroke of good fortune, only three teams were relegated from Divisions One North and South, therefore, we found ourselves in a relegation play-off against Wembley who finished second from bottom in Division One North. Fortunately, we won both legs of the play-off and retained our place in Division One South. Another poor season in 2003/4 saw us finished just above the relegation places in 20th position.

Following the F.A. restructuring of the non-league pyramid, in 2004/5 we found ourselves in the Ryman League Division One. In their first full season in charge, the new management team of Jim Cooper, assisted by Gavin MacPherson and John Nicholson, had an immediate impact and we finished 5th in the Division One, thus qualifying for the play-offs (introduced as part of the F.A. restructuring) where we played Bromley. An evenly balanced encounter ended with the scores 1:1 after extra time but we lost 4:3 in the penalty shoot-out.

In 2005/6 we finished in 4th position in the Ryman Division One but again fell at the play-off semi-final stage, losing 1:0 to Dover Athletic.

Further F. A. restructuring resulted in a Ryman League Division 1 North and Division 1 South in 2006/7 and the club finished in sixth position in the Division 1 South. With only one club promoted automatically, the club narrowly missed out on a play-off place. However, the club reached the final of the Surrey Senior Cup for the first time since 1933 but was beaten 4-1 after extra time by Tooting & Mitcham United, the score after 90 minutes was 1-1.

In 2007/8 the Blues finished 4th in the Ryman League Division 1 South but for the third time in four years was beaten in the play-off semi final, this time 2-0 by Cray Wanderers.

In 2008/9 the club again finished in 4th position in the Ryman Division One South, thus qualifying for the play offs for the 4th time in 5 seasons, winning the semi final play off match 1:0 against Fleet Town, but losing 0:1 to Cray Wanderers in the final.

In 2009/10 MPFC had a disappointing Ryman Division 1 South league campaign. After a poor start the club was never in a position to mount a serious challenge for a play off position and finished in 10th position. However, this disappointment was off-set by winning the London Senior Cup for the first time in the club's history, beating AFC Wimbledon in an exciting final, 4:3 on penalties, after the match ended 4:4 after extra time.

The 2010/11 season proved to be the most exciting in the club's history, culminating in the club winning the Ryman League Division 1 South Championship by the narrow margin of one goal. Bognor Regis Town had a 2 point advantage during the latter stages of the season and that was the situation when the clubs lined up for the final match. Bognor were held to an unexpected draw by Chatham Town and with the Met managing to scramble a 1:0 win against Merstham, it was enough to win the title with a goal difference of 61 against Bognor's 60.

So, for the first time in the club's history we competed in the Ryman League Premier Division during the 2011/12 Season. We got off to a flying start and at Christmas found ourselves in 4th position but unfortunately we fell away in the second half of the season and finished in 12th position.

The Blues home ground at Imber Court, East Molesey, Surrey, is about one and a half miles from the historic Hampton Court. The grounds were acquired by the Metropolitan Police for use as a sports club in 1919 and the main clubhouse, which has been vastly extended, was opened in 1920. Facilities at the Football Ground have been improved significantly over the past 20 years. Funding for the improvements are generated from a service-wide lottery set up by the football club in 1964. This lottery also provides funding for the 50 sports sections which make up the Metropolitan Police Athletic Association.