Welcome to The Dripping Pan for today’s Bostik Premier League game with Merstham. Here is your complimentary e-programme.

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IN TODAY’S ISSUE

Click on the links to jump to the relevant section:

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DARREN FROM THE DUGOUT

Click Play below to hear Darren’s thoughts on today’s game:

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CHAIRMAN’S NOTES

Good afternoon and welcome back to The Dripping Pan for this afternoon’s game against Merstham. I’d like to welcome the fans, players, management and officials from the club and wish them a problem-free journey home.

It’s been a bit of a mixed two weeks for Darren’s side. We comprehensively beat Kingstonian here two weeks ago and then carried that form into the game at Haringey Borough last week, but lost by the odd goal in three. Our play-off ambitions and opportunities come down to today’s game in reality.

Merstham’s form since the autumn has been superb and they fully deserve their place in the play-off spots but a win today for the Rooks and we will be right back in it. Our away game back in December was pivotal in terms of the season as we lost Brinky straight afterwards – whilst all four of our long-term injuries (Brinky, Ronnie, Leon and Alex) are making excellent progress, we won’t see any in action this season.

I think it’s fair to say that Dorking Wanderers have the League title sewn up, and that’s no surprise. Just looking at their squad shows the budget they must be committed to which is probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest, in the league. Haringey have invested some of their FA Cup money in their squad too and will almost certainly be in the play-offs but the rest are still up for grabs with ten teams still in with a shout.

Elsewhere, lateral movements aside, the automatic promotion places from Step 4 have almost been determined. Bowers & Pitsea need just a point to secure the title in the Bostik North, Hayes & Yeading two in the Bostik Central and Cray Wanderers four points in the South East League, so there could be two new grounds for us to visit next season plus a host of play-off winners. The whole promotion from steps four to three is very confusing and just because a club wins their respective play-off, doesn’t necessarily mean they will be promoted.

On Thursday night our Under-18s won 2-1 against Whitehawk which means they top the table on goal difference from Worthing with just one game to go. Worthing head to Bognor Regis on Monday night and will be looking for a hatful of goals to close the goal difference gap before we host South Park on the 18th April. I’m sure Dale and the squad would really appreciate a big turnout for that game.

Enjoy the game and Come on you Rooks!

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GR Teamwearer
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TODAY’S MATCH MUSIC

Today’s match playlist is compiled by our very own John Peel (not that one). Click on the player below to listen to the tracks on Spotify.

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RECENT MATCH REVIEW

Lewes 3 vs Kingstonian 0, Bostik Premier League, 22 March 2019

The Rooks returned to form with a comfortable victory over big-budget Kingstonian, who had another new manager in the dugout.

Watch highlights of the match here from Your Instant Replay:

Watch Darren Freeman’s post-match interview:

And see a fine selection of photos from our snapper superior, James Boyes:

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BECOME AN OWNER

It costs as little as £30 to become an owner of Lewes FC. For that, you not only get the inner glow of helping your local community-owned football club, but you get great discounts from dozens of retailers in the Lewes area and nationwide. You can join instantly by clicking the button below.

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TODAY’S OPPONENTS: MERSTHAM

Founded in 1892, Merstham were founder members of the Redhill & District League in 1897, finishing champions in 1927, 1935, 1936, 1950 and 1951. They gained Intermediate status and moved up to the Surrey Intermediate League which they won at the first attempt in 1953.

Merstham achieved senior status in 1964 and joined the Surrey Senior League, winning the league title in 1972. They switched to the London Spartan League in 1978 and to the Combined Counties League in 1984.

They finished runners-up in the Combined Counties League in 1988 and 1990, and again in both 2006 and 2007, winning the Premier Challenge Cup in 2005 and 2007 and the Southern Combination Challenge Cup in 2007. In 2008 they completed a treble, winning the Combined Counties League, and thus promotion to the to the Isthmian League, and both the Premier Challenge Cup and Surrey Senior Cup.

In 2015 Merstham won promotion to the Isthmian League Premier Division via the play-offs after a fourth-place finish. They won the Surrey Senior Cup in 2016. A record crowd of 1,920 in November 2016 saw Merstham go down 0-5 to Oxford United in the first round proper of the FA Cup.

Last season Merstham finished tenth in the league and won the Surrey Senior Cup for the third time, beating Leatherhead 3-1 in the final. They currently lie fifth in the table despite last Saturday’s surprise 0-2 defeat at home to Burgess Hill.

MEET THE SQUAD

Hayden Bird – Manager

Former Bromley Town manager Hayden took the reins at Merstham in January 2012. Under his stewardship the Moatsiders earned promotion to the Premier Division in 2014–15, and finished the season by winning the Surrey Senior Cup. In 2016–17 Hayden steered the club into the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing at home to Oxford United in front of a record crowd of 1,920.They won the Surrey Senior Cup again in 2017–18, finishing 13th in the Premiership.

Amadou Tangara – Goalkeeper

Ama signed for the Moatsiders on loan from Dulwich Hamlet, amongst his previous clubs are Grays Athletic and North Greenford.

Simon Cooper – Defender

The former Moatsiders skipper returned to Merstham in November 2016 after a spell with AFC Croydon Athletic. Simon is a central defender whose previous clubs include Carshalton Athletic and Guildford City.

Jake Hutchings – Defender

Jake joined the club in 2017 from Leiston but was sidelined for a year with a knee injury. One of his former clubs is the Scottish Premiership’s Edinburgh club, Hearts.

Ollie Cook – Defender

Centre-back Ollie began his career in 2014 at Fulham, before joining the youth set-up at Southampton. He was on loan at Barrow before moving to Merstham.

Harry Osborne – Defender

Harry began his football life with Charlton Athletic, before moving on to Welling Utd, and Swedish club Assyriska FF. Harry joined the Moatsiders after impressing in pre-season.

Michael Abnett – Defender

Formerly with Crystal Palace, Michael is described as a pacey right-back now in his fourth season with Merstham.

Kenny Beaney – Defender/Midfielder

Kenny, who is back in a second spell for the Moatsiders, started his career in the Dulwich Hamlet youth team. His previous clubs include Aylesbury Utd and Guildford City, he rejoined Merstham in 2015.

Kershaney Samuels – Defender/Midfielder

Kershaney is a product of the Dulwich Hamlet youth team. He has also played for Aylesbury Utd and Guildford City, and rejoined Merstham for a second spell in 2015.

Tom Kavanagh – Midfielder

Tom joined Merstham in July 2015 and is valued for range of passing and workrate. His previous clubs include Sutton United, Dulwich Hamlet, and Kingstonian.

Fabio Saraiva – Midfielder

Fabio returned to Merstham in 2016 for a third spell from Maidstone.

Gus Sow – Midfielder

Gus as we well know played a valuable part in our promotion to the Premier last season. Gus began his career at Crystal Palace and had loan spells with Finnish side FC Honka, as well as Farnborough. We hope Gus enjoys his return to the Pan…well sort of.

Roman Michael-Percil – Midfielder

24 year-old Roman joined Merstham in December and has played 17 games scoring 3 goals. The Republic of Ireland born winger started out at Tottenham Hotspur, and amongst his other former clubs are Billericay Town, St Albans, Dulwich Hamlet, and East Thurrock.

Walter Figueira – Forward

Walter is on a 3 month loan from Dulwich Hamlet. He began his career at Chelsea before moving to Hayes and Yeading. He then played in Greece and Portugal for 3 seasons before signing for Dulwich in 2018.

Calum Davies – Forward

Former Hastings Utd striker, Calum signed for Merstham from Leatherhead and has returned 4 goals this season, all in cup competition. Do not break your league duck this afternoon Calum.

Jayden Antwi-Nyame – Forward

Released by AFC Wimbledon at the end of the 2017–18 season, 20 year-old Jay signed for the Moatsiders just beating the March transfer window.

Daniel Bennett – Forward

Daniel was Merstham’s top goalscorer and player of the year in 2017/18. He originally signed for Merstham from Kingstonian ahead of the 2016/17 season. Since then he has hopped between Tonbridge Angels, Whyteleafe, and the Moatsiders, and has returned for this his third spell with the club. His other previous clubs include Farnborough, Chertsey Town and Chesham United.

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Bostik League sponsors
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ROOKS UNITED

In the next in his series of articles about teams wearing Red and Black, Stuart Fuller heads off to the land of the black stuff to see what the Craic is.

It is a tough life sometimes having to research European football.  For all the Hungarian-induced food poisoning episodes there are the clubs who smother you in good old-fashioned hospitality. 

After spotting my Lewes scarf, a Dublin taxi driver was very interested to hear that my club played in red and black, and soon became my best friend.  “You have to go to watch Bo’s”. 

Who was I to disagree? So, a few months later, I pitched up at Dalymount Park, not a stone’s throw from the monumental Croke Park, to see Bohemian FC play.  Ten minutes after entering the ground, I was handed the first of my free pints of Guinness and introduced around a room of people who wanted to know all about the Rooks, their red and black cousins from across the Irish Sea.

Formed in 1890, the club are the oldest League of Ireland club still in existence, adopting the famous red and black three years later.  Eleven times champions of Ireland, they have been a fully supporter-owned club since 2009.  Viva le Revolution comrades.  

Whilst the League of Ireland will never be on a par with the English leagues in terms of quality, it is an open affair with the title won by seven different teams in the last decade, including by Bo’s in 2008 and 2009.  They’ve also tasted some European success and have claimed the scalps of Rangers and Kaiserslautern in the last decade.  Their most recent European adventure five years ago saw them eliminated in the first round of the Europa League by the Icelanders from Por Akureyi.

Whilst they may play in the premier league of Irish football, attendances are very much on a par with the Conference Premier.  On average 1,600 fans come to see games at the crumbling Dalymount Park.  Fans huddle under the covered terrace behind the goal on chilly night wondering “what if” after a proposed move to a brand new 10,000 capacity stadium near Dublin airport fell through a few years ago.  It is not dissimilar to a visit to The Pan – the beer, the atmosphere and the general craic.

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It costs only £50 to sponsor a player or manager for home or away Kit. £25 for training kit and boots. All funds raised go to Lewes FC Supporters Club, helping to fund Lewes FC throughout the season.

Contact: david.arnold@me.com or see David or Barbara on match days.

DARREN FREEMAN
HOME: REG FREEMAN
AWAY: DAVE LAMB

ROSS STANDEN
HOME: DAVID & BARBARA ARNOLD
AWAY: CATHY FELTHAM

STEVE BRINKHURST
HOME: RON PIDGEON
AWAY:
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: ETHEL TREAGUS

FRANKIE CHAPPELL
HOME: ED BRIGGS
AWAY: ED BRIGGS
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS:  ED BRIGGS

DAYSHONNE GOLDING
HOME KIT: HAIR FOR MEN, 16 MARKET ST, LEWES

NICO COTTON
HOME: JAMES BRIGGS
AWAY: JAMES BRIGGS
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: JAMES BRIGGS

JAMES HAMMOND
HOME: ROOK, CANNON AND HORSE ASSOCIATES LTD
AWAY: LUCAS WARNER
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: LUCAS WARNER

LUKE BLEWDEN
HOME: SUSIE ARLETT
AWAY:
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: SUSIE ARLETT

LLOYD COTTON:
HOME: STUART FULLER
AWAY: STUART FULLER
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: STUART FULLER

BILLY MEDLOCK
HOME: DAVE LAMB
AWAY: DAVE LAMB

STACEY FREEMAN
HOME: ROGER WARNER
AWAY: ROGER WARNER
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: ROGER WARNER

HARRY REED
HOME: ANDY ROSSITTER
AWAY: SAM & JOE BARKER
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS:

LEWIS CAREY
HOME: DAVID & BARBARA ARNOLD
AWAY:
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS:

RONNIE CONLON
HOME: NEIL FINNEY
AWAY: LUCAS WARNER
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: SUSIE ARLETT

JONTE SMITH
HOME: BARRY HAFFENDEN
AWAY: JASON FOULKES
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: LUCAS WARNER

OMARR LAWSON
HOME: TONY HARMAN
AWAY: YEOVIL JOHN
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: LUCAS WARNER

MICHAEL DOME-BEMWIN
HOME: DAVE EVANS

LEON REDWOOD
HOME: WILL & COLIN KEMP

CLUB SHOP MANAGER, BARRY HAFFENDEN
PROUDLY SPONSORED BY HAIR FOR MEN, 16 MARKET ST, LEWES

If you wish to sponsor a player, contact David Arnold at the Supporters Club.

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STODGEBUSTERS ON TOUR

Our stodge-seekers head to deepest Essex before a trip to North London

After the previous week’s reverse at Folkestone we were hoping for better. To be honest, how could it be worse than that four-nil defeat? We thought Brightlingsea wouldn’t be of the same calibre as Folkestone so we were optimistic for a result.

For the first time in ages we had a coach laid on. It’s always a good atmosphere when players and supporters share the same coach and some banter. It’s something we have missed since our Conference South days. This was quite a good one too. Unlike some previous coaches this one was built in the 21st century, had working suspension, working toilet, working heating and a driver who didn’t have to ask us where to go as he had a satnav. We’ve had some dodgy coaches in the past. There were journeys that would have been more comfortable with Wells Fargo than in the some of the old crates we travelled in.

All the gang met up at the Pan just before 10am as requested and we were all checked onboard (and relieved of fifteen quid) by Secretary Barry who, sitting at the front, resembled a headmaster in charge of a coach full of kids going on a school trip.  A fine job he did too. At 10.02 sharp we departed. This was a special day for PJ. It was his birthday and no-one believed him when he said he was 45 and had simply had a hard life. He wanted to spend it with his mates. Unfortunately they weren’t available so he would have to spend it with the Stodgebusters and Rooks regulars instead.

Further players joined the fun bus at the Black Lion, Pease Pottage, Hooley and Dartford. Much to their credit not one of them was late. Even the dreaded Dartford tunnel proved to be no inconvenience for a change and we arrived at Brightlingsea about 1pm.

PJ, our Gastronomic Planner, had researched the lunch venue days beforehand. It was quite an easy task as the ground is sited in a residential area so choice was limited to one establishment: Johnny Mac’s Plaice. Yes, a fish and chip restaurant boasting fifty-odd seats. This place had a great number of glowing reviews on TripAdvisor and very few bad ones. This would suit us down to the ground. Upon hearing we were going to a chippy Pitch Artist Roger voiced an interest in joining us, but when it came to the crunch he weakened and the lure of the pub was too much for him to resist.

Johnny Mac’s Plaice was only five minutes walk away. We were looking forward to it and followed the smell of chips. It was very busy but the waitress pushed two tables together to accommodate the four of us. This place was very nice and a step up from our normal habitat. It showed in the prices too. Medium cod and chips for a tenner. Or eleven fifty for a large. We are used to forking out a fiver for our meals. Anyway, two medium and one large cod, and one medium haddock was ordered.

The meals turned up. Blimey. Four of the biggest pieces of fish we had ever seen. It looked like four small sharks had been served up. Gary, typically, had gone large but it looked no bigger than the mediums the rest of us had. They overhung the plate each side and completely hid the pile of chips underneath. Impressive. But the proof of the pudding (or fish) is in the eating. We could only agree that it was some of the best fish and chips we had ever eaten. PJ is a bit of a connoisseur in the field and is a regular at the renowned Bankers in Hove. He speaks very highly of their fish and chips but this at least matched it. Absolutely superb. We already have the place pencilled in for next season and as its open until 10pm an evening fixture wouldn’t matter. We struggled to finish it all but we got there eventually. The sticky toffee pudding looked inviting but we couldn’t find room for it. We appreciated the good service by leaving left a healthy tip and saying that we would probably be back next year.

All a little heavier, we strolled back to where the coach had dropped us off, then down a path between two private garages to the turnstile. It wasn’t the most appealing looking ground. Six foot high steel fence most of the way round made it look like an open prison, with the rest of the perimeter consisting of larch lap garden panels in various states of disrepair, some propped up with poles and all creaking in the very strong wind. We certainly didn’t fancy sitting in the Danny Gee stand considering the scary way the roof was moving about. Their clubhouse was very good though, and we showed Pitch Artist Roger photos of what he had missed by choosing beer instead of food.

The strong wind would play a big part in the game. From a free kick well inside the Lewes half Lewis Carey nearly caught out his opposite number but the ball landed on the roof of the net. Carey made a couple of good saves and Harry Reed hit the bar. Lewes were playing the better stuff but the home team probably had the better chances.

The second half was much the same. Ben Pope hit the post from a free-kick. The most controversial moment was when a Brightlingsea defender fell under pressure from Callum Overton while in the box. Probably expecting a free-kick he grabbed the ball with both hands. No whistle was forthcoming though. The referee was clearly heard to say “no foul” and just played on.

Well, hang on a minute! If it wasn’t a foul then it must have been a penalty for blatant deliberate handball. We were dumbfounded by that decision. In fact the officiating had been quite erratic all afternoon. Overton getting booked for reacting to being kicked while the kicker got off scot free was laughable.  Substitute Adeyemo had a good chance but his shot was amazingly headed off the line by a diving defender just as we were about to shout goal.

The home team had a flurry of corners in injury time so we were glad to hear the final whistle. 0-0, with the wind being the only winner. Not the worst result possible but the lack of goals is becoming a worry.

Haringey Borough

This was the third away game in a row that took the Stodgebusters to pastures new. After our previous visits to Folkestone and Brightlingsea today our travels took us to North London to take on an in-form Borough side who look a certainty for the play-offs. They looked a very useful outfit when they beat us 1-0 at the Pan earlier in the season so today was going to be a tough game.

As is the norm now the train from Uckfield was the best option so PJ picked up the rest of the gang on the Causeway and we were on the 10-33 train. With strawberry bon bons and mint humbugs to keep us going we arrived at London Bridge for the next stage of the journey. A Northern line tube took us to Kings Cross and then a Piccadilly line service to Wood Green where we needed to have lunch.

This was an area we were completely unfamiliar with but our Gastronomic Researcher had come up with the Kantin Kitchen opposite the station. As we went in there was a large party of about 12 yuppie sorts having a late breakfast and seeming to be in a very jovial mood. The breakfasts​ we had were very good although Malcolm wimped out by ordering a tuna jacket potato. After more tea and coffee we were ready to make our way to the ground. The breakfast experience had been very good and a generous tip was handed over as the waitresses were excellent.

We were undecided about how to get there and thought about the 20 or so minute walk but in the end common sense prevailed and we hopped on the W3 bus which dropped us off right outside the ground. As we arrived the first thing we noticed was that you could park your car for £15 at the ground if you wanted to go to the new Tottenham stadium and watch the legends game that was taking place there. No thanks we were here to watch some proper football!

As we walked into the bar we noticed there were three TVs on all showing something different. We had the choice of the closing stages of Fulham v Man City, a James Bond film or egg chasing live from Edinburgh. We weren’t really interested in any of it so wandered outside to soak up the glorious sunshine after a refreshing drink served by lovely bar staff.

When the game kicked off Haringey were moving the ball about very well and went in front with a header from a free kick. The scorer wasn’t picked up at all and had the freedom of North London to beat Lewis Carey. No matter we were playing well and Ben Pope soon equalised with an excellent strike which beat the giant Haringey keeper.

Half-time arrived with the score at 1-1 and we were well in the game. The home side started the second half well and went in front again with a brilliant strike after a superb solo run. The shot gave Lewis no chance. Haringey are a big strong side and their number 11 in particular was causing us problems. When he got the ball and started running it was like trying to catch a runaway train. We should have had a penalty when Ben was clipped in the area right in front of us but nothing was given. Haringey eventually saw the game out and I don’t fancy the chances of their opponents in the play-offs.

During the second half it was announced that there would be no buses back to Wood Green due to the Tottenham game nearby so Clive offered to run the Lewes fans back in the mini bus. When we saw that the mini bus was completely blocked in by some selfish car parkers that went out of the window. As luck would have it a bus had turned up so we all ran to catch it thinking it might be the last one. We arrived back at London Bridge in plenty of time for the 18:07 to Uckfield. It had been a good day in spite of a narrow defeat and we had played well.

During the day Malcolm had told us he was unfortunate enough to see Katie Price eating her breakfast in her underwear on TV recently. Apparently this is supposed to make you want to eat less. The Stodgebusters were intrigued by this and decided we might try it out. At a forthcoming away game don’t be surprised to hear that we will be eating our pre-match lunch wearing just our underpants. After all, what’s Katie Price got that we haven’t?


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TODAY’S TEAMS

LEWES

LEWIS CAREY 1
TOM DAY 2
CHARLES BANYA 3
MICHAEL DOME-BEMWIN 4
FRANKIE CHAPPELL© 5
STACEY FREEMAN 6
HARRY REED 7
JAMES HAMMOND 8
BEN POPE 9
OMARR LAWSON 10
CHARLIE COPPOLA 11
KIERON PAMMENT 12
OLAJUWON ADEYEMO 14
LUKE BLEWDEN 15
DAYSHONNE GOLDING 16

MERSTHAM

1 AMADOU TANGARA
2 HARRY OSBORNE
3 BEN HARRISON
4 JAKE HUTCHINGS
5 OLLIE COOK
6 TOM KAVANAGH
7 GUS SOW
8 KENNY BEANY
9 WALTER FIGUEIRA
10 KERSHANEY SAMUELS
11 FABIO SARAIVA
12 DANIEL BENNETT
14 MICHAEL ABNETT
15 ROMAN MICHAEL-PERCIL
16 CALUM DAVIES
17 TUTU HENRIQUES
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REMAINING FIXTURES

OPPONENTSH/ADATE
LeatherheadASat 13th Apr, 3pm
Bishop’s StortfordHSat 20th Apr, 3pm
Burgess Hill TownAMon 22nd Apr, 3pm
AFC HornchurchHSat 27th Apr, 3pm

Click here for full season stats

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CREDITS AND LEGAL

The BetVictor Isthmian League strongly support recent FA statements that there should be a zero tolerance approach against racism and all forms of discrimination. Accordingly, any form of discriminatory abuse, whether it be based on race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, faith, age, ability or any other form of abuse will be reported to The Football Association for action by that Association. (The FA 0800 085 0508/Kick It Out 020 7253 0162)

Lewes 2000 FC Limited. Registered in England and Wales with Company Registration Number 03790979. Lewes 2000 FC Limited is 100% owned by Lewes Community Football Club.

Honorary President Terry Parris
Chairman Stuart Fuller
Directors
Charlie Dobres, Eddie Ramsden, Stuart Fuller, John Peel, Barry Collins, Ed Briggs, Jon Ruben, Roger Warner, Galia Orme
Non-executive directors Michelle Bowie Krige, Karen Dobres, Steve Keegan
Club Secretary
Barry Collins
Youth Secretary Kevin Brook
Operations Manager Duncan Thompson

Equality FC Campaign Manager Karen Dobres

Life Members
Mr and Mrs Brook, Vic Blunt, Pat Dartnell, Gary Elphick, Gordon Fowlie, Peter Hiscox, Billy Nixon, Derrick Parris, Terry Parris, Jimmy Quinn, P. Swaysland, Steve Ibbitson, Jason Hopkinson, Steve White, Martin Elliot, Kevin Fingerneissl, Kevin Powell, David and Barbara Arnold, Roger and Cathy Feltham, Ethel Treagus, Roy Dartnell RIP, Ron Moore, Derek Southouse, Ray Smith, Ken Carter

Manager Darren Freeman
Assistant Manager Ross Standen
First Team Coach Tony Coade
Physiotherapists Paul Baskin & Xavier Smith

Under-18s Manager Dale Hurley
Under-18s Assistant Manager Craig Stevens
Under-18s coaches Jake Legrange and Johnny Buggy

Golden Rook Rob Read
Web Editor Stuart Fuller
Progcast Editors Paul Sheppard and Duncan Thompson
Progcast Designer Barry Collins
Club Photographer James Boyes