Witney Town F.C.

Club History


Witney Town FC • Club History

Witney in Oxfordshire, made world famous for its production of blankets, is a thriving market town and with over 22,000 residents it is the largest town in West Oxfordshire. The town of Witney dates backs to AD969 and gained its name from the Saxon term ‘Witan’ that meant King.

Witney United FC (WUFC) was formed by a group of Witney Town supporters following the demise of their beloved club. Intent on bring senior football back to the town the group registered Witney United FC with the Oxfordshire Football Association in 2001. For almost a year they had little else other than the name! There was no ground, team or manager. The club set itself a challenging business plan that targeted a return to Southern League football within 5 seasons. Finally after much hard work it all came together.

In 2002 WUFC gained a lease on the original Witney Town stadium and were accepted into Division One (West) of the Hellenic League. In their first year the Club struggled to attract local players and finally finished 15th in the Division.

The second season saw the club move forward finally finishing the season in 4th place and gaining a surprise, last minute, offer of promotion to the Premier Division. Under the management team of Alan Clark, Steve Paish and Spencer Keyes the team proved it could hold their own – finally finishing a creditable 11th out of 22.

The Club also competed, for the first time, in the F.A. Vase winning through the first three rounds – eventually losing to Deal Town away. Further success was achieved in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup where Witney finally fell to Oxford City in the semi-finals.

The 2005/06 season saw United enter the FA Cup for the first time where they were very unlucky to bow out after a replay against Southern League high-fliers Clevedon Town. The FA Vase brought similar disappointment as they went out to Truro City at the second hurdle.

In October 2005 Alan Clark resigned as 1st Team Manager and Spencer Keyes stepped up from Assistant Manager to replace him. Spencer’s first management move was to recruit Pete Lamont as his number 2. The side went from strength to strength and a top 6 finish was claimed on the very last day of the season to round off an excellent season.

United entered 2006/07 with a certain amount of optimism in their bid to bring Southern League football back to West Oxfordshire. A lack of consistency and too many draws saw them slip away from the leading pack and eventually finish 6th for the second season running. The club did however reach the Challenge Cup Final before losing 2-1 to Hungerford Town.

In the close season Keyes stood down as Manager and United moved quickly to appoint Andy Lyne. Lyner had two spells as manager at Witney Town in the nineties and his homecoming was well received by the fans who hoped he could work his magic for a third time at Marriotts Stadium. This saw United have their best ever season since formation finishing an excellent 4th place in the league and pushing the promotion contenders for long periods of the season.

The 2008-09 season saw United go one better finishing in 3rd place in one of the tightest title run-ins for years whilst also reaching the last 32 of the FA Vase. In 2009-2010 United again challenged for the title before finishing in 6th place. The 10-11 season saw a decline in the Club’s fortunes, both on and off the field, and they just escaped relegation ending up one place above the trap door.

June 2011 saw Tom Amer elected as Chairman, and with it the club reverted back to their historic name of Witney Town. On the field the problems continued though, this time finishing in the relegation places. Only Henley Town’s forced demotion ensured that Premier Division football would continue the following season.

The summer of 2012 saw possibly the Club’s most ambitious move yet, with the appointment of Justin Merritt as manager, along with an enviable back up staff of Justin Lee, Eddie Denton, Paul Davis and Andy Lyne. With a host of talented players signing forms in the close season it looks like better times are on the horizon for the new campaign.

Visit our website at witneyfootball.com for the latest updates about Witney and District Football Club!

Witney and District Football Association: History and Achievements



Football had been played in the district well before the formation of the W D F A in 1908. Witney Town F C was thought to have been formed in 1885 but the report of a meeting in 1885 talks of reviving the club so it must have existed in some form at a carrier date. The Oxfordshire Football Association, formed in January 1884, was organis*s football at both Senior and Junior levels. In 1908 a Wychwood League and a Filkins League were already in existence. 1 I think tfie domain of a local Witney League may have been influenced by travelling as at the time , of course, there were few cars and no bus services to speed off. Most players would have walked or cycled to the matches. For cup matches clubs were paid travelling expenses to attend the finals

in Wit0ey. They would probably have employed a local carrier to provide the transport. The first meeting called to discuss the formation of a Witney and District Football Association was held in the Church House,

Wimey , on May 4″ 1908. 1“he Witney Gazette reported as

“ A preliminary meeting to discuss the ability of forming a Witney and District Football Association was held at the Church House on Thursday evening. There were over thirty present and Mr F Hayter, supported by the Rector (the Revd B Kirby), presided. The Clubs represented were :- Witney Cygnets, Gordons, O B U, Harriers, North Cigl, Handborough, Southleigh and Bampton. It was proposed by Mr A Paxton, and seconded by Mr A Viner, that a Witney and District Football should be formed. Mr Gordon, (Secretary of the Oxfordshire F A) heartily supported the resolution. If they comirienced, he said , with a Junior Association, confining it to only a small area, there was every probability of there soon being able to develop into a much stronger Senior Association. He was , indeed, very pleased to find that something was being done in this part to promote that interest. The Rector also suppoñed the resolution, which was then put aad carried unanimously. Mr A Paxton, on the proposition of MR F Haytei’, seconded by Mr W Mason, was appointed Secretary pro tern. There was considerable discussion with regard to the radius. Mr W Mason proposed, and Mr A Hitclunan seconded, that it should be eight miles. Mr A Viner proposed, and Mr V Pearson seconded, that it should be six miles. Mr M K Tuner suggested that the six miles radius be accepted , but that Burford should be allowed to enter as they were prevented from competing in any of the County Leagues. Mr Viner and Mr Pearson included this suggestion iii theé proposal, and Mr Meson and Mr Hitchman withdrew their proposition. The proposition that the Association should be comprised of Burford and th* teams within a radius of six miles were then carried. It was decided, on the proposition of Mr W Mason, seconded by Mr A Paxton, to adopt the league system of competition in preference to the knock-out system. Mr Gordon referred to the qualification of players, suggesting that they should endeavour to confine teams to the playing of local men. The Rev. J B Kirby expressed his belief in the residential qualification. The question was left to be decided at a general meeting to be filed in the course of a month or so. The following committee was appointed :- Messrs, A Paxton (Gordons), E Lloyd (O B U). V Pearson (Northleigh), W Mason (Harriers), A Bridgtnan(Cygnets), H Green (Southleigh) , W Midwinter (Hanborough), and Mr Hayter, Mr Gordon and the Rector, with power to add to their number.

A TROPHY :- Mr flayter said, as they had all learned, the Re. A H Howe-Browne, before leaving the town, had

offered a cup to be competed for by the Junior teams in» Witney and the district (chests). Ther* had long been wanting an association in this part of the county. and the generous offer of Mr Howe-Browne had been the means of making that start. They all knew what keenness Mr Howe-Browne had shown to local football, and he felt sure the gentleman had done much to help forward the spon of the district (applause). They were all extremely sorry at his leaving the town, but they would always have him brought to theé memories by the presence of the cup that would be competed for each season. They would require a name for the trophy, and he would suggest its being called “The Howe-Browne Cup”, which proposal was carried amid cheers. Mr M K Turner proposed, and Mr V Pearson , seconded, that their best thanks be communicated to the Rev, A H Howe- Browne. The proposition was carried unanimously and with acclamation It was notified that the Cup could not be won outright. The business concluded with votes of thanks to Mr Hayter, proposed by the Rector. and to Mr Gordon, proposed by ivir A Bridgman.”

You may have noticed a bit of “gentlemen and players” amongst this with some people referred to as Mr and some just by their initials! Tiie Church Toulouse , which is where the original meetings were held, was a meeting house situated between the Vicarage and the old Police Station, near the Church on Church Green. It was demolished to make room for or extension to the Henry Box School. The old Police Station is still there.

What early football was like can be found in the words of George Swinford of Filkins who was born in 18fi7. The boys had to work all morning just to borrow a ball for two hours. They bought their own for 5/4d around 1900. In 1904 some of them bought jerseys and some boots. They would walk to Lechlade, play a game, have a sixpenny tea and then wall home. The first time Filkins won a match George walked to work at Bibury in the morning and then walked ten miles honte for the match. Many farmers would not let men have Saturday afternoons off for football so they would take time off without pay. When they could afford it they would hire a pony and trap. And you thought it was difficult today!




Witney Gazette :- “ As announced in our last issue, a General Meeting of the Witney and District Football Association was held at the Church House on Thursday evening in last week, under the presidency of Mr F Hayter who was supported by the Rev. I B Kéby and Mr T J Finnis, O F A. Others present were Messrs. H L Cole, H Dingle, E Lloyd,A E Keates, F Moore, R Busby, G Dingle, A Jackson, G Rackley, A Bridgman, W Long , W Burford, W Coles, F Scarrott, W Mason, H Green, A Grant, A Hitchrnan, C Talbot, W Scarrott, C Prior, etc. The Secretary “pro tern”, Mr A F Paxton, read the minutes of the last general meeting, held on May 14″, when the clubs represented were – Witney Cygnels, O B U, Harriers, Gordons, Bampton, Eastleigh North Leigh and Hanborough. It was resolved to call the trophy, a cup presented by the Rev. Howe-Browne, the “Howe-Browne Cup ” subject to the gentleman’s consent , which had since been granted. The system adopted was that of the league. The Rev. I B Kirby proposed that ihe minutes should be accepted and signed, and Mr T J Finnis seconded -carried.

RULES :- At a Committee meeting held some time ago the rules were drawn up and fire chief business on Thursday was to revise tie in. They underwent a considerable amount of alteration. No 2 was the first to be discussed. Mr T I Finnis and Mr A F Paxton proposed and seconded that the committee should have power to add to their number. Mr H L Cole and h4r G Rackley proposed and seconded the rule should be left as it was. Mr Finnis’s proposal was eventually carried (this is strange as at the first meeting it was agreed that they could add to their number!) No 4 rule, reading to the effect that no player who had played in any Senior competition in the last 5 years should be eligible, was generally opposed. Mr T I Finnis proposed and Mr F Moore seconded that the rule be struck out. Mr H I Cole supported the proposition and proposed it should be substituted by a rule to read- “ No player registered for Senior competition is allowed to play in the League except in the case of bting called upon by the County”. This was carried unanimously. No 6, concerning the radius from which players could be drawn, was lengthily discussed. Mr A F Paxton and Mr A Bridginan proposed and seconded that the radius from which clubs could draw players should be two miles from the clubs headquarters. MrH L Cole proposed and Mr T I Finnis seconded that it should be four miles and that such radius should not extend beyond the County. There seemed to be much uncertainty in the voting as regards these two propositions and consequently, MG Rackley proposed that the radius should be three eiiles, which being seconded by Mr F Moore was carried. No 8 stated the entrance fee, which was settled at 15, on the proposition of Mr T Finnis, seconded by Mr G Dingle. No 9 was unaltered . Mr T Finnis proposed that the Tuesday teams should be allowed to enter the league, but he found no supporter , probably because of Tuesday teams being very scarce, and the rule was left as it was. No 1 1 – Mr T I Finnis proposed and Mr 14 L Cole seconded, that the time in which protests should be sent in should be within three days(excepting Sundays ), which was agreed to. to  13 was altered according to a proposal by Mr T I Finnis. It then read to the effect ihat 45 minutes should be played each way, unless the referee decided otherwise, and a match should not be recognised unless at least 35 minutes had been played each way. No 14 referred to games being left unfinished. Mr H L Cole proposed that the words ‘the result of the itiatch should be left to the discretion of the Committee”, be added. Mr T I Finnis seconded and this was carried. No 19 was the last to be altered. Mr T I Finnis proposed that in the case of a player wishing to transfer from one club to another, tie must write to the Committee, stating that he had not been chosen to play for his club in league matches for a period of six weeks, and to obtain their consent before transferring.

OTHER BUSINESS :- There was considerable opposition to the suggestion that the members of the team vñnning the cup should be presented with medals only on condition that the finances would allow suoh an expense . Mr LI I Cole proposed that at each final medals should be presented to the winning team, irrespective of finance. Mr F Moore seconded this, which was carried unanimously. it was decided that entries for the league should be made by September I” and subscriptions paid by that date. Mr A Paxton proposed the election of Mr W Smith, JP, as President. Mr H L Cole seconded and the proposition was carried unanimously. Mr I4 L Cole proposed Mr A Y Caxton’s election to the Secretaryship, which was seconded by Mr F Moore and carried. Mr F Hayter having declined to accept the office of treasurer, Mr H L Cole was elected on the proposition of Mr G Rackley , seconded by Mr A Bridgman. This concluded the business, which had occupied no less than two and a half hours.” I thinL the reason that W T I Finnis appeared so often in this was b.•cause he had had previous experience on the O F A.


In November 1908 an article appeared in the Witney Gazette entitled “ The revised fixture list”. I I read as follows :- “ Owins to a number of the firstly-arranged fixtures being inconvenient to several clubs in the league, it was found necessary to revise the list, which was soon done to the following affect. The referees, as far as arranged, are appended the matches at which they will officiate:-


Another headline in November 1908 drew attention to the first ever W D F A Representative team game. It read   as follows :-

“Special game on Boxing Day 1908”.


“Special attention is required to be given to the match arranged by Wimey and District Football Association for Boxing Day, when a team chosen from the clubs in the league will oppose “The Old Wimey Athletic F C”. The game is being played in aid of the Witney Nursing Association, a matter which conunends itself for hearty support. A glance at the team given below will suffice to guarantee a good match. Kick off 2.30pni on Messrs. Marriotts Field. Tickets 3p each (reduced from 6p as on bills) may be obtained of Messrs. A F Panton, H L Cole and T I Finnis or members of the League Committee.” Teams were seven at a later date and were :-

Witney and District League.

I T Girl patrieL (Cranfield), 2oal. AN Other and G Simmons, (Clanfield), backs. C Arthurs (Burford), A I

IJitchnian (Cygnets), Captain, and P Clack (Northleigh), halves. V Ball (Harriers), I Wilkins (Eynsham). F  

Pether (Burford, H Painter (Cygnets) and E Cooper (Cygnets), forwards.

Old Witney athletic FC.   C Coles, goal. Sanders and A I Carrion, backs. F Bridgeman, I Seacole and E Scarroti, halves. C Jackson, A

Warner, J T Tethered (Captain), 14 Clarke and H O Marriott, forwards.  

This was the first ever Representative game for the W D F A and also the first official game played by them that was to become “ Marriotts Close”. Tire outcome of the match was reported as follows:-

“Under the auspices of the Witney & District F A, a match was played on Boxing Day, on Messts. lViarriotts field (by kind permission), between a representative team of the clubs in the Witney & District League and a side picked from the members of the old Witney Athletic FC. The teams were as foLlows:- Witney & District League – T J Kirkpatrick (Clanfield) -goal : CPr’  tCygnets)and G Simmonds (Clanfield), becks : i-1 Oldham (O B IN), A Hitclutian (Cygnets), (Captain) and P Clack (Northleigh), halves : V Ball fHarriers), I Wilkins (Eynsham), fi Pether (Burford), H Painter (Cygnets) and E Cooper (Cygnets), forwards. Old Wimey Athletic F C – C Coles, goal ; W Moss and H Lewis, backs; F Bridgman, J Seacole and E Scarrott, halves; C Jackson, A

Warner, J ‘F ’Fhretliewey (Captain), H Clarke and H O Marriott, forwards. There was a very large amount of spectators present, and it was pleasing to notice among them many supporters of the old Witney club; they certainly had not lost their nbc\siasa\ for the club and it was sTRongly evident that  their desire for its team to win they were not alone , for the general support of the field was given Io “The Old ’Uns” – to use the popular tenn – who seemed considerably strengthened, in their attempt to show “The Young ’Uns” how to play, by so much backing -up. Age, however, counted against them, and youth proved its advantage very plainly, yet the elders played a good jame, a more scientific one, perhaps, than their opponents, but they were not so staying, naturally, as in the olden days. The result was in favour of the Witney & District League by 3 goals io 1. From the start the game was invincible to the League; they kept up a continuous affleck on the opponents defence, their own back men being good and keeping the play well out of their own goal. But it was not until just before the interval that they opened the scoring. A scrimmage had ensued close in front of goal which resulted in Pettier putting an excellent shot into the net, but as the ball was entering the goal Moss used his and tried to save; a penalty kick was awarded for the offence, and Pether was not robbed of the credit of the goal, that prayer converting the kick splendidly. Early in the second half the League obtained their second point; Wilkins meeting an excellent centre from Cooper off the left wing and scoring with a smart oblique shot low down, a further increase was shortly afterwards made, Peter naming neatly as the finishing touch to some good forward work. The Old Witney men had several times rallied during the game, and at last after many vigorous efforts to break through the defence and much hard pressing, they met with success, in as much as they got th*ir first and only goal. A penalty was awarded for a foul against Hitcliman, off which Lewis scored with a good swerving shot. The game thus ended with the result – Witney & District League , 3 ; Old Witney Athletic , I . The League Committee, and especially those at the head of the affair. Messrs. T I Finnis, A F Paxton and H L Cole, are to be congratulated on the successful result of their efforts, both as regards finance and the providing of an interesting game. Referee : Gym ”i J Finnis O F A. We understand that after paying expenses , a very satisfactory sum will be left to band over to the Witney Nursing Association. We are required to express the thanks of the Witney & District F A committee, to Messrs. Marriott for the use of their field, and to the Witney Sports committee, for lending ropes & stakes.”



As you will have seen it was decided to pull the ten teams that entered into Evo sections, Divisions A &

  1. At tlie end of the season two teams were tying for top place in Division A, Old Boys Union é Harriets. A semi final was held and O B U triumphed 2-1. Cygnets were clear winners of Division B so the first final for the Howe-Browne Cup was between O B U and Cygnets. This was held on Saturday 10“ April 1909 on Witney Town’s old ground at Newland, not on the recreation ground that is there now but either on Witney Mills cricket ground or on the Oxpens..Cygnets seen to have had the best of tire first half, Cth one goal disallowed for offside and one penalty saved by the O B U goalie. At half time the score was 0-0. Lloyd & Clarke from O B U were both injured in the first half but as substitutes were not allowed then, they both continued but were not very mobile. Consequently most of the play went to Cygnets and they ran out 3-0 winners. Teams were:-

Cygneis: O BU:

W.Moss E.Lloyd

C.Prior E.Buckingham £.Hicks A.Miles W.Woodcock F.Weller C.Talbot A.Hitchman H.Lewis E.Coles N.P.Castle W.Clarke

J.Murrey A.Turner H.Painter E.Cooper L.Oldhams S.Smith W.Cole E.Haley

Officials: Linesmen: Oh- H L Cole OFA & Mr  Berry OFA. Referee: Mr T I Finnis OFA.

This is how the teams were given so it looks as though they were using different tactics even then.

The scorers were : Murray , Cole & Cooper. (The spellings are original, not mine.) The Cup end medals were presented ,amid much enthusiasm, directly after the match. Mr A F Paxton (hon.sec. of the AS80cint‹On) announced that Mr W Smith, JP, (President of the Association) was unavoidably prevented from amending to make the presentation as expected, and he would ask Mr V’ Sniitli,jun, the old Witney Captain (cheers), and the old Oxford City Captain, too, (cheets) – to present the Cnp and medals. Mr Paxton also read a telegram from the Revd H Howe-Browne, the donor of the Cup, which was as follows- “Please convey my best congratulations to the winners’ ‘ (cheers). Mr W Smith jun, who was received with the sinking of ’He’s a jolly good fellow’ said in the course of a long humorous speech, that it gave him great pleasure that day to come and associate himself once again with his old football friends, (cheers). Mrs W Smith tisen presented the Cup and medals. Mr H L Cole, (Treasurer of the Association), said that the Association had run into financial difficulties and the President,Mr W Smith JP, had donated the medals presented ihat day. He called for three cheers for that gentleman which were heartily given. The Witney Town Band was in attendance and, besides playing to and from the ground, gave a capital selection of iriusic during the interval. The takings were £11 and 9J0 people attended.




Line teams were entered for the 1909/10 season, Witney Cygnets, Witney Harriers, Old Boys Union, Witney Gordons, Night School Rovers. Lechlade, Woodstock, Hanborougli & Burford. Eynsham, Charlbury, Clanfield & Northleigh had dropped onC After the season had started Hanborough were expelled from the league for serious breach of rules. It would appear that they were only playing at home and not travelling to away fixtures. Shortly after this O B U & Woodstock withdrew leaving only six teams. Clubs withdrawing were fined 10 shillings. It would seem that O B U were playing on Mr Marriotts field at this time. Everything on the field was not all sweetness and light either. On January 8″ 1910 a game between Gordons & Woodstock was abandoned in the second half when , after having a penalty awarded against him, Webley, a player from Woodstock “ addressed an offensive epithet” to the referee, Mr Hedley Cole. After repeating the offence Webley was sent off and his team walked with him. In Woodstocks defence their Secretary maintained that Webley only said “You are a rotter ,ref.” He said that the team walked off because they were intimidated by the spectators. On April 9″ 1910 the referee, Mr F Ford, stopped a match between Harriets & Cygnets when Turner, a player from Cygnets, swore at him twice. 1 could find no rabies for the 1909/10 season in either the Witney GazePe or the Oxford Times but Gordons won the Howe-Browne Cup with Lechlade runners up.  Night School Rovers were playing on “The Recreation Ground”. I think this was The Leys.



At the A G M on Wednesday July 13* 1910, at the Church House, the Officers elected were, A fl Horne, President, A F Paxton, Secretary, & H L Cole, Treasurer. There was a balance in hand of£6-1- 6d. There is virtually no mention of W D F A matters during the season and 1 can only find mention of 4 teams, Wimey A, Lechlade, Cygnets & Gordons. Gordons were now playing on the Recreation Ground. On 30 April 1911 Witney Town A played Gordons to see who should be runners up in the league. Witney played 5 flint team players but were beaten 3-0 by Gordons because virtually all the Witney team was trying to score up front and Gordons scored dom breakaways against a wall defencel 1 Apparently this happened earlier in the season but that time it was Lechlade who triumphed 3-0 over Witney. You would have thought they would have learnt their lesson!! Lechlade were the winners of the Howe-Browse Cup that season. In February 191 I the O F A were criticised for taking two months to deal with a sending off. The offside rule from this lime states that o player must have

three opponents between himself and the goal line. He is inside if an opponent next plays the ball , if he is behind the ball when it is next played by one of his own side or if there are three opponents between him and the goal line when the ball is played to his own side farther from his opponents goal than himself. There you see ii always was easy to understand, wasn’t it?

1911/12 – A MARATHON FINAc


At the A G M held on July 8″ 191 I the balance of hand was £2-1-4d. At this meeting the rules were chained to allow teams from a radius of 1 I miles to take paid. The final tables for the season were:-


As you see Woodstock won the Howe-Browne Cup and a match was held between Swifts and Lechlade to decide who should be runner up. This match was held on Thursday 2“ May 1912 and as there was also a match between Woodstock and a Rest of the League team taking place the proceedings took around four hours. By this time the person who was to present the cup had left! The runners up you’re finally Swifts. Around 200 people amended the matches. The league programme was not finished.


t9l2/J 3 – Move to Marriocs


In this season Witney Town moved theé pitch from Newland to Marriotts Field (Close) thus starting a long period of use by the W D F A for their Finals.

The 1912 A G M was held on Thursday 29* Augusi. W Smith was the President, I S Dingle Chairman, H(Harry)Dingle Secretary and H(Hedley)Cole Treasurer.Receipts were:El 1/3/6d, Expenses £8/3/5d and

the balance in hand £3/0/ld. The teams entered for season 1912/13 were as follows:- A Section – Alvescot, Bampton, Lechlade, Burford and Swifts.

B Section – Gordons, Witney Tn , Woodstock, Milton and Stonesfield.

I could not find very much mention ofW D F A football for this season, no fixtures, rio tables and very few reports.



I could find virtually no mention of football in 1913. The A G M was held on Friday 4 September 1913. Income was £14/9/7d, expenses £9f7/0d and balance in hand £5/2/7d. A few fixtures are mentioned, Lechlade v Witney and Stones field v Eynsham Hall Park on 22“ November 1913.

Milton v Witney on 29 November 1913 and Eynsham Hall Park v Swifts on 6 December 1913. Witney Town gon the Howe-Browne Cup in this season. 1 could find no other mention of football at all in 1914. Witney Cricket League was suspended in September 1914 but when football was suspended I

I do not know. This is probably • s••* time to mention ttc title of this book, “88=100”. This refers to the fact that football was suspended for 12 seasons of the 100 years. Only 88 seasons we’ve played. This was because of the two World Wars of course.

1919/20 – Lets start again lads!


The W D F A appears to have resumed football in 1919. A notice was put in the Gazette on October 18″ of that year inviting entries from teams within 11 miles of Witney to be sent to the Secretary, F Ford Jun. The only teams 1 could find mentioned were :- Milton, Burford, Bampton, Woodstock,

Eynsham. Nortlileigli, Duckling ton , Aston, Witney Séwifts Stonesfield. Tire 1919/20 final was held

on Witney Town’s old ground in Newland on April 24 1920 between Witney Swifts & Stonesfield. The result was a draw I- I and in the replay SwiAs triumphed 2-I.However Stonesfield were to be avenged !


1920/2 I – “Stop that pigeon!”


On 19″ August 1920 a meeting was held and the following members were elected :- President, A E

home, Secretary, Ford, Treasurer, G  Dingle, Executive Committee:-Jackson, I  Teagle, W

Winfield, H Dingle Witney),A Butler (Burford), ? Lakin (Lechlade), ? Biggers (Eynsham), and ANother (Stonesfield) This is how it appeared in the Gazette! ! In a match Witney Swifts V Bampton it is reported that every Bampton player had taken part in the war and 5 had received decorations! I did find tables for January l5″ 1921:-

The Final held on April 24″ 1921 was a very big affair. It was a repeat of the previous season’s match between Wimey Swifts and Stonesfield. Once again it was held at Newland. 2000 people attended and at half lime a pigeon was sent back to Stonesfield with the score. At full time with the score at 1-1 a second pigeon was dispatched‹:L On 30 April the replay was held and Stonesfield won 2-1. 1 do not know if pigeons were used on this occasion but the result was revenge for Stonesfield after their previous season’s  loss. The cup was presented by the President, lvlr A E Home.The Town Band played.

1921/22 – Warnings arid burst ball!  

I could find no i epons of a meeting for lies season and no tables but among the tear:us triung part were:- Classified. Lechlade, Wilkins, Langford, Bampton, Burford, Duckiington, Brize Norton, Aston. Minster Lovell, Wimey Socials, Newland, Witney Mills, Stonesfield and Charlbury. Weald may have been in the league but 1 am not sure. It was reported that a game between Bampton & Wealfi was abandoned 20 minutes from time when the ball buist! A Cup semi final was held on April 21″ 1922 and resulted in a win for Newland over Witney Swifts , 1 -0. In the final on April 29″, Lechlade* beat Newland 5-2. In June of 1922 the O F A warned players that taking part in six-a-sides during the close season wcs illegal and that they would be suspended if they did so. There had been a complaint that the football season was encroaching on the cricket season!


t922/23- Witney Town aiake Swift entry into Senior League!


It would seem that Witney Swifts had folded because on 4 July a team was formed by Witney Town to take their place in the Oxfordshire Senior League. Tiie Assistant Secretary J Busby and F Ford & IN Dingle were on the Committee. Their Headquarters were at the Marlborough Hotel and their pitch at Marriotts Field. Their kit was ‘White with blue and a lamb & flag on the breast with blue knickers“!!

The reserves were to play in the W D F A league. The A G M of the W D F A was held in the Town l4alI , A E Horne, President, F Ford, Secretaq’, G Dingle, Treasurer. The Referees Committee were asked to appoint their own representative to take some of the workload from F Pord. The Executive Committee was R W Coles, C Jackson, H Dingle, J Teagle, W Winfield, ? Harper, ? Collett, ? Green and ? Robinson.The balance in hand was £49-5-3d with expenses of £67-10-9d.The semi final brought in £15-10-3d and the final £40-3-0d.]t was reported that 23 teams had taken part last season. A nile alas passed to prevent senior players taking part in W D F A fixtures. F Ford was on the O F A committee. Once again I could not find any tables bat among the teams taking part were:- Clanfield, Burford, Bladon, Witney Reserves, Bampton, Witney mills, Ducklington Hanborough, Alvescot, LechlaDe,

At an O F A greeting on l0tfiMarch 1923 it was reported that Hanborough had failed to pay expenses to Woodstock and they were suspended 6om football . Hanborough continued to play and all their members were suspended for the rest of the season and until the expenses were paid.

Ducklington were censured I’or playing them while they were suspended. The semi final was between Eynsham & Milton on 21″ April 1923. Eynsham I Milton 0. I think the semi finals we’re only held when two teams are tied at the top of a table, that’s why there is only one! The final was between Eynsham & Witney Mills. Eynsham ran out 5-2 winners. When the final was played on Marriotts Field a “converted ivagonene was used as a stand”!


1923/24 – Questions of£u\acne!


On 9 of August 1923 the AGM of ltte W D T A was beld. Officers elected were:- President, A E Horne. Secretary, F Ford, reasurer, G Dingle. 24 clubs had competed in 3 sections in 1922/23.

Milton, Winned Mills and Eynsham were the section winners.  The accounts showed a loss of £2-6-(d.

A balance of £46-I 8-8d as against f49-5-3d for the year before. It was thought that the amount paid to Witney Tovm for the finals was excessive, but it was pointed out that savings of f6-10-0d on gi-pound preparation were iniTiated by using Wimey’s facilities. A member asked why £2-0-0d had been paid to the O F A for referees and he was told that since the O F A had taken over the supply of referees a great deal of trouble and postage costs had been saved. A secretaries meeting was held on 30″ August but I could find no report. Teams mentioned during the season were as follows bat I did not find any tables:- Carterton, Witney Mills, Brize Morton, Middlefield Utd?, Newland, Leys Park Rangers?, Curbridge, Minster Lovell, Aston, Clanfield, Bampton, Filkins, Alvescot, Ducklington, Witney Reserves, Wootton, Lechlade, Burford, Woodstock and Charlbury. The semi final was held on 12* April 1924 And was benveen Witney Mills and Woodstock. The outcome was 3-1 to bills. In the final Mills triumphed again , beating Charlbury *-1. The down Band played and the Cup was presented by Mrs Fred Marriott. Over 1000 spectators attended.


1924/25 – More losses – Divine intervention needed?


The A G M of the W D F A was held in this season on 4″ August 1924 The President, A E Home, chaired the meeting and G Dingle was re-elected as Treasurer. F Ford and H Sharpe were elected ss Secretaries. I think this was to share the ever increasing workload coupled with the fact that F Ford seems to have been involved in a great deal of matters concerning Witney! ! The section winners were given as :- Woodstock, Wimey Mills and Charlbury. 3 Clubs had withdrawn during the past stason but they were not named. The balance in hand was £39-8-8d as against £46-18-8d in the last season giving a loss of .7-12-3d. £7 of this was lost because of a poor gate at the semi final. It was sue•ested that they try to get the Reverend Howe-Browne to present the cup next year and to preach a football sermon on Sunday!! Teams mentioned were:- Carterton, Witney Mills, Filkins, Bampton, Burford, Newland, Milton, Lechlade, Eynsham and Stonesfield. 1 could find no tables as such, only for Witney Mills in March of 1925 Played 10 Won 9 Lost 0 Drawn 1 For 53 Against 18 Points 19. The semi final was between Witn*by Mills and Eynsham. Mills won 3-0.1000 people were at Marriotts Field. In the final on 2 May 1925 Witney Mills beat Stonesfield 5-1. Mrs F Ford Jnr presented the cup and medals. I R Busby is now named as Assistant Secretary of Wi0iey Town.


1925/26 – Senior ? Junior? I ? 2?


In August 1925 it is reported that witney 1own were unsatisfied with theé treatment by the O FA Senior League and were to join the Reading League. Their newly formed reserve team would join the new W D F A Senior Division. At the A G M of Witney Town on 14* July 1925 I n Busby is again named as Assistant Seer etary. Admission charges for Marriotts Close are given as 4d rind 9d in the stand. It appears that the League had been reformed into 2 sections , Senior Division and Junior Division. This is strange because when the fixtures are published the Divisions are named as Division land 2. At the A G M of the W D F A a new Cup was presented by Mr W Brooks for the new Senior Challenge Cup. He suggested that the entrants for this should be made up to 16 by adding the top teams in Division 2,which was to be played in 2 sections . The Officers were A E Home, President, G Dingle, treasurer and E Word, Secretary. The balance in hand was given as t 38-12-0d, Al-14-5d less than last year. The teams lñr the Senior Division were given as :- Bwford, Cliarlbury, Eynsham, Lechlade. Stonesfield, Witney Mills, Witney Town Rrs, Woodstocis, Bampton. Leafield and Milton. The Junior Division was given as :- Brjze Norton, Southleigh, Langford. Newland, Ducklington, Witney Mills Res., Wilkins. Bladon, Finstock, Carterton, Ascott, Crawfords, Shipton, Minster Lovell, }Ful1biook, Freeland and Woodstock Res, Eynsham Res, Wootton and Coombe.This is different to the teams announced at the A G M but are as they appear- in ltte tables as you will see. .1 think a neu cup for Division 2 was provided in this season as up io then there was only the Howe-Browne Cup for Division

  1. The Senior Challenge Cup Semis were between Witney Mills & Milton (4-1) and Stonesfield &

Eynsham (2-2 – replay 3-2). The Final was on 1‘ May 1926 and resulted in a win of 5-1 by Witney Mills. The League Division 2 Final was between Bladon & Langford who had won their respective sections. The game resulted in a 1-0 win for Langford A game was held on 4″ May between Division

1 Champions, Mills and a Rest of the League team Mills won 3-1. Fred Ford was presented with a silver tea service and tray for 7 years service to the W D F A.


Last published tables for 192âf26. 16″ April 1926.

Division One

Team Played Won Lost Dmwn For Against Points

Witney Mills 17 15 I ] 76 25 3 I

Leafield 19 13 6 0 53 40 26

Eynsham 16 12 4 0 58 27 24

Stonesfield 15 11 4 0 34 26 22

Milton 16 10 6 0 38 34 20

Burford 16 8 5 3 63 46 19

Wit Toxin Res 18 8 9 1 â2 42 17

Woodstock 18 5 12 1 23 24 11

Lechlade 17 4 12 1 28 61 9

Charlbury 17 3 14 fi 28 66 6

Bampton 18 1 16 1 33 74 3

Division Two A

Team Played Won Lost Drawn For Against Points

Langford 15 13 2 0 54 14 26

Shipton 15 9 3 3 33 20 21

Carterton 15 8 4 3 55 37 19

Ducklington 15 6 5 4 43 35 16

MLovell 13 5 5 3 29 22 13

Filkins 14 4 7 3 33 44 1 1

B Norton 12 4 7 1 3l 32 9

Ne\v1and 14 4 9 1 25 57 9

Fulbrook. 14 1 1 1 2 18 48 4

Division Two B

Team Played Won Lost Drawn For Against Points

Bladon 19 12 1 6 68 27 30

Ascott 20 12 5 3 8 1 39 27

Finstocit 20 11 5 4 61 32 26

Freeland 18 J2 5 1 60 40 25

Eynsham Res 18 12 5 1 42 25 25

Crawley 18 11 5 2 42 26 24

Wootton 18 8 6 4 38 38 20

Wit Mills Res i 9 6 11 2 40 59 14

Southleigh 17 2 13 2 24 68 6

Combe 18 1 16 1 37 95 3

Woodstock Res 16 0 16 0 1 1 56 0


You may have noticed that in those days the lost column was before the drawing and not as we do it now!


l926f27 – “Play up or pay up !”


At the A G M of the W D F A held on 24* August 1926 because so many teams had failed to finish their fixtures it n’as proposed thot each leant should pay a deposit of 10/- at the start of the season which would be lost if they failed to play all their games. A son of fine before the offence was committed! The President was A E Home, the Secretary OF Ford and the Treasurer G Dingle. The balance in hand was f47-14-7d which was said to put them “£9-1-7d to the good”. On January 5″‘ 1927 it was recorded tliet the Witney Mills goalkeeper, C Nunn, threw the ball into his own net to score for Leafield! The semis of the Senior Challenge Cup were:- Lechlade 2 Milton 7 and Carterton Eynsham 7. In the firial Eynsham triumphed over Milton 3-1. Milton were champions of Division one And were awarded the Howe-Bro ”xne Cup. In Division Two the winners of section A and B played each other and the result was a win for Freeland 2-1 over Filkins. The Senior Challenge Cup and the Division Two final were held on the same day and the attendance was given as 1,400.

Division One tables March 26 1927



J 927728 – No lads please!  


At the A G M of the W D F A held on August 16‘ 1927 some new rules were accepted. One was that no player should be under 18 as “boys leaving school at 14 lacked stamina”. It was also decided that teams must provide adequate dressing accommodation for visiting teams. 1 am not sure what was considered as adequate when I recall some of the grounds I played at in the sixties! A Minor League was formed for boys not more than 17. Surely this meant that if you were between 17 and 18 you could not play at all? A birth certificate had to be produced if asked for. The Officers were still :- President

A E Home, Secretary, F Ford and Treasurer, G Dingle. Receipts were £77-5-9d, expenditure £73-7-6d With a balance in hand of f4, The total balance was £51-12-10d. The Treasurer had invested in 40 National Savings Certificates. An Emergency Committee was formed consisting of the President, Secretary, Treasurer and one other. The league tables for April d’ 1928 were as follows:-


Freeland had withdrawn during the season. On April 13 1928 Witney Mills beat Goring 6-3 to win the Oxfordshire Junior Shield. The Division Two title was won by Clanfield beatin5 Coombe 4-1. The Senior Challenge Semis were:- Eynsham 4 Clanfield I and Witney Mills 6 Burford 2. In the final Eynsham triumphed over Mills 2-0 to make it Evo wins in a row. Witney Mills were of course Division One Champions and to celebrate their successes the President, A E Home, invited them to dinner at the Central Café, Wimey. Because Mills had won the 5unior Shield they became Seniors so had to play Witney Town who had left the Reading League to rejoin the Oxfordshire Senior League. J R Busby had been replaced as Torm secretary because it was felt ‘fat a non player could do a better job’. He was also an old cricketer as on 19 May 1928 he bowled 7 for 18, 4 clean bowled and 3 catches off his bowling.


l928f29 – Pines & no medals!


At a meeting of tire O F A in September 1928 it was reported that Bampton & Wilkins had run six a side competitions in the close season and all the players who took part in them were suspended until they had paid 2/6d each. The Oxfordshire Junior Shield had been divided into sections including a Witney Division.

At the W D F A meeting on 17″‘ July 1928 it was stated that the Minor League, under Secretaries A & C W Miles (Jun), had got off to a good start. A “handsome shield” had been provided by Mr Harold Early and a silver cup given by the Wimey Flower Show committee. There were no medals given so as to not “encourage iriedal hunting among boys”. I do not have time to cover the Minor League, perhaps my next project! Tire first winners were the Shipton Junior Red Triangle Club. The President of the W D F A was still A E Home, the Secretary P Ford & the Treasurer G Dingle. There had been a loss on the season of £12 with £51 -12-10d at the start of the season and £39-14-10d at the finish. The finals had taken place on Cup £’final day so that probably explained the loss.Our future Secretary, R Busby, was stilt doing w•lI nt Cricket, in 1928 he had scored 426 runs with an average of 23.6 aad takes 33 wickets at an avenge cost of J0.36.Tables for ApriJ S^ 1929 were:


Burford S M were the Royal School of Music who were based at Burford for a number of years until they were

relocated to Chatham. The tables for DivisionCTwo are on the following page:-


Division Two C tables for April 1929:


The semi finals of the Senior Challenge Cup were Bampton 1 v Newland 0 & Langford 0 v Leafield 6. S Hooper scored all 6 for Leafield! In the final Leafield beat Bampton 4-0.The winners of Division Two A and the winners of Division Two C played in the semi final of the Division Two championship with Coombe coming out on top over Newland . In the final they met the winners of Division Two B, Ascott, and won 5-2.Eynsham were the Division One champions. Witney Town reserves had withdrai,’n from the W D P A through lack of support.


1929/30 – ”stand still goaLie!2


It was this season that the rule requiring a goalkeeper to stand still on the i;oal line until the ball was kicked was brought in. 1 I cannot imagine what they did before fliis ! At the W D F A meeting on August 30 1929 the Officers were unchanged, A E Home, President, F Ford, Secretary and G Dingle, Treasurer. A deficit of £1 -7-5d on the season was reported with a balance in hand of 138-6-9d. The close season six a side problem seems to have carried on because it is stated that players over 16 who had tak*n part in a six a side at Bampton were still suspended and fined 3/- each.The Witney Town situation is strange because as reported the Reserves had withdrawn during the 1928/29 season but a Wiley Town A is entered in the W D F A for 1929/30.

Visit our website at witneyfootball.com for the latest updates about Witney and District Football Club!

Witney & District Match Reports – Week 6

 By Ant Barlow


Saturday 2nd October 2021 Written by David Evans

Perfect Ten for Junior Shield competitors in opening round

Junior Shield
Ten Witney and District sides advanced to the second round of the largest county cup competition in Oxfordshire. The Junior Shield returned after a one year postponement last season, with plenty of local sides advancing into the next round.

Biggest winners were Freeland, who defeated fellow W&D side Kingham All Blacks 12-1. Joe Burgess proved to be in inspired form as his four timer did a significant amount of damage. Rob Keylock followed closely behind with a hat-trick and there was also a double for Conor Allmond.

Dan Lay did get Kingham on the board at least, but Freeland scored further goals through Jamie Curtis, Liam Harris and Lewis White to complete the rout.

Another W&D side winning comfortably at the expense of another W&D team were Leafield as they romped past Brize Norton. Another four goal hero for the winning side, Benjamin Barbosa, scored half of Leafield’s goals with the 8-0 win completed by further goals from Victor Hugo, Gabriel Menezes and a brace for Markus Carvalho.

There were six goal scorers each for Stonesfield and Enstone as both sides completed six goal victories against non W&D teams. Stonesfield thumped Union Street 8-2 thanks to goals from Carry Rice (2), John Umney (2), Mike Phipps, Jack Barker, Sammy Hart and Nick Higgs.

Enstone kept a clean sheet whilst strolling past Broughton and North Newington 6-0. Reece Baylis, Nathan Bott, Josh Hunt, Jordan Godfrey, Jamie Gregory and Warwick Tompkins all scoring one each to get the job done.

Ducklington needed a goal at either end of the ninety minutes to scrape past Blue Elephant. Lewis Bartlett scored after just 18 seconds to get Duck started early. The opposition equalised only for Bartlett to grab a second. Just as Duck looked to be heading into the break ahead, Blue Elephant equalised to restore parity at half time. Duck dominated the second period but couldn’t buy themselves a goal. As extra time loomed, Ben Stanley bundled the ball home with less than 30 seconds on the clock to steal the win and put Ducklington in the hat for round two.

Aston recovered from scoring an own goal to upset Premier Division Charlbury. Lewis Scott scored in the right net for Aston and a Nick Angus double gave the division two away side a 3-1 victory for their first win of the season.

Chadlington prevailed in a ten goal thriller against Bloxham, eventually winning out 6-4. Gus Boeing, Alfie Peachey, Jacob Hazelwood, Ethan Bennett and Jarvis Morley (2) got Chadlington over the line.

Wootton are still unbeaten this season after seeing off Gravenhill in the first round. Jared Smile’s solitary goal was enough to split the sides and send Wootton through.

A depleted Hook Norton side faced off against Chesterton but still managed to triumph as they defeated the opposition 2-1. Connor Davies and Adam Hemmings’ goals were enough to put Hooky through and keep their cup hopes alive.

The easiest win of the day came for Spartan Rangers who advanced without even kicking a ball. Steeple Aston forfeited the game prior to kick off to put Spartan into the draw for round two.

Extra time heartbreak was felt by not one but two W&D sides. Minster Lovell forced an extra 30 minutes against Longford Park after Jack Scott and Nick Rose’s goals had made the full time score 2-2 but Longford Park scored the fifth and final goal of the game to put Minster out.

It was identical circumstances for Carterton FC Rangers who also found their game going to extra time after a 2-2 draw inside the ninety minutes. Ben Pearce and Damien Williams goals forcing the game into extra time. But it would be East Oxford who would score the last goal of the game to prevent penalties and put Rangers out as well.

Cassington Rangers found themselves on the end of a thrashing. Donnington winning 10-0 to make it a truly miserable afternoon for the division two side.

Premier Division
Just the one game in the premier Division after Milton and Hailey avoided being drawn in the opening round of the Junior Shield. Hailey dished out the second largest league defeat of the day as they dismantled home side Milton to win 9-0. Travis O Connor, Jordan Cormack, Luke Turner and Joey Aust all scored one each. Nathan Kimber went one better as he scored two but it would be Freddie Buckingham who scored the most as he grabbed a hat-trick as Hailey returned to the summit with an extremely healthy goal difference.

Division One
Bampton scored two late goals to defeat Bletchington and move up to second in division one. Karl Pritchard scored for Bampton but was cancelled out by Mason Connelly scoring directly from a corner. Appeals for a strong Bampton penalty were waved away but it didn’t deter them and they finished the stronger of the two sides after a back and forth encounter. Pritchard grabbed his second and a Chris Laurence strike secured the points for the home side.

Division Two
RAF Brize Norton Social got back to winning ways with a comfortable win against Hook Norton Reserves. Both sides had chances to score in the opening ten minutes but squandered those. Brize then took the lead in the 13th minute thanks to a scooped finish from Wes Christian after beating the offside trap. Two minutes later and Brize had doubled their lead when Mark Williams slotted home but any thoughts of one way traffic were banished when Will Wall despatched a beautiful free kick from the edge of the box in the 26th minute.

Brize quickly dampened Hooky’s sprits though by scoring just ten seconds after the restart. A mazy run from the left hand side found Carl Drury in plenty of space in the box and he rolled the ball past the keeper. 3-1 was the half time score. It was 4-1 shortly into the second half, Phil Kenyon firing home to extend Brize’s advantage. Hooky had a few more free kicks but couldn’t recreate the magic of the first half strike whilst Tom Dyer, Coen Sword and Wes Christian squandered numerous one on one opportunities to put Brize further ahead. It finished 4-1 leaving Hook Norton Reserves still looking for their first point of the season.

It was equally comfortable for Combe as they defeated Spartan Rangers Reserves. Five different goal scorers scored for the home side as Kai Paton, Solomon Maasz, Charlie Ibbotson, Jake Allinson and Lloyd Thomas all scored one each. Branden Fenwick scored to give Spartan a consolation goal but that’s all it proved to be in the 5-1 reverse.

Division Three
FC Mills pulled off a partial upset by earning their first point of the season against league leaders Hailey A. Hailey A were at 100% before the game and facing second bottom Mills might have expected an easier afternoon. A spirited Mills side were a match for their table topping opponents. Even though Hailey put three past Mills with Craig Greenhalgh scoring his sixth and seventh goals of the season and Sean King’s solitary goal, Mills hit back with Ben Thompson’s own brace and Darren Smith’s goal which brought the final score to 3-3.

The other two games in the division didn’t take place due to the away sides forfeiting the fixture. Faringdon Town A are only one point behind Hailey now after Chadlington Reserves couldn’t raise a side. Milton Reserves are up to third after Bampton Reserves cancelled their game, giving Milton the walkover victory.

Division Four
Sherborne Harriers are now four wins from four after winning yet another epic encounter by a single goal. This time, Leafield Reserves were the latest to fall victim to Corey Cullen’s goal scoring heroics for the current season, with his hat-trick winning the game for Sherborne. It wasn’t all plain sailing for Sherborne, Charlie Hill putting the ball into his own net and Brandon Laing scoring for Leafield, but with Cullen taking his season tally to nine, the Harriers continued their astonishing early season form with the 3-2 victory to leap to the top of the table.

Freeland Reserves are also still at 100% after comfortably negotiating their way past Spartan Rangers A. Mev Gundem did score one goal for Spartan but found Freeland in relentless form as Connor Smith, Spencer Lancaster, Ross Henderson and Sam Blantz (2) all scored for the 5-1 win. Having played a game less, they find themselves three points behind the league leaders and with a slightly superior goal difference. Freeland and Sherborne face each other in two weeks’ time, after next week’s break for the Fred Ford Cup.

Hatherop and Faringdon Town B ended up cancelling each other out in their 1-1 draw at Hatherop. David Legg scored once again for Hatherop with Nick Loveridge firing back for Faringdon. The draw leaves Hatherop and Faringdon second and third respectively in the league.

Aston Reserves recorded their third consecutive victory with a hard fought win against Stonesfield Reserves. Luke Parker’s brace would have given visting Stonesfield every hope of at least a point but they tasted defeat once again thanks to Neil Cooley’s brace and Jack Chaundry’s goal which earned Aston a 3-2 victory.

Last but by no means least are this week’s biggest winners, Witney Royals Reserves, who unsurprisingly have the best goal difference in the division after a 12-1 demolition of Carterton Town FC. Seven different goal scorers found the net for Royals, with Aaron Court leading the way with a hat-trick. Luke Colville and Gus Zuliani both notched a double each with further goals following for Rob DeBanks, Ian Barrett, Lucq Balmer and Nathan Harris. Fenn Carey got Town on the board but will have been only a tiny consolation in the 12-1 reverse.

Visit our website at witneyfootball.com for the latest updates about Witney and District Football Club!


 By john smyth


Day 2

Sherborne 3 Hatherop Res 2

Cullen 2

Head pen


Attendance 136

This is Sherborne’s 3rd season in the WDFA and they have yet to win back-to-back games but they achieved this on Sunday in front of a large crowd in the days first Groundhop game.

After weathering a bit of early pressure they took the lead when Corey Cullen curled in an exquisite opener from the edge of the box. Hatherop shuold though have been level almost immediatley as they were awarded a penalty, but Ian Hepworth threw himself to his left to keep out Chris Saunders spot kick.
The lead was doubled midday through the half with another great goal. Josh Betteridge played a free kick into Kev Goodwill and he flicked it up and volleyed it past a stranded Dan Newton. But just like after the first goal Hatherop were awarded another penalty, this time James Head gave Hepworth no chance.

Into the second and the visitors were much the better side, a couple of goal mouth scrambles could not see them gain the equaliser, before their standout performer Mason Hathaway tucked away a chance on the edge of the box.
It looked like the visitors would go onto claim the winner, but with 8 minutes remaining a long punt from Hepworth cleared the back lane and Cullen was first to the loose ball and nodded it over the on rushing keeper.
Hatherop then threw the proverbial kitchen sink at Sherborne in search of the equaliser. Hepworth again denied Stweart from close range and in the final seconds a corner was twice kicked off the line,
At the final whistle their were great scenes from the Sherborne players and fans as the celebrated a rare and deserved victory.

Kingham AB 1 Chadlington 2



Attendance 177

The weekend’s final game, surprisingly bought the biggest crowd. Perhaps they were out looking for celebs? If so they would have been disappointed lets be honest Gerald Cooper is no David Beckham is he?
This was a local derby the villages are separated by less than 5 miles and between them they have won 43 major trophies including 12 Oxon Junior Shields.

Before the game the sides and all the GRASSHOPPERS held an impeccable minutes silence in memory of the late great Jimmy Greaves.

Kingham had a great chance with the opening minutes but manager Ash Thornton was unable to get a decent connection on an inviting cross. They were made to pay for this soon after as Jarvis Morley poked home a loose ball. The lead was doubled after 20 minutes, Jacob Hazelwood saw his shot turned over by Matt Haynes, but from the corner the gall was only partially cleared and from cross back in Rocky Burton, heaved his muscular frame the highest and powered the ball home.

The second half was surprisingly free of major chances, Haynes produced one excellent block with his feet whilst at the other end, Dan Lay beat Luke Bayliss, but a covering defender was able to clear.
But we were due one final twist in the 89th minute, Jack Lay pulled a ball back to Tom Gustine, to beat Bayliss with the aid of a big deflection.
But that was to be it and Chad comfortably held on.

So that was Groundhop 2 all over. All the feedback from the spectators was positive. We may not be the biggest league that visit on their travels, but i think we get most things just about right and that was reflected in the comments.

Visit our website at witneyfootball.com for the latest updates about Witney and District Football Club!


 By john smyth


Day 1 – Saturday 18th September

Game 1
Cassington Rangers 0 Ducklington 0
Attendance 133

Cassington hosted the first of this seasons groundhop games with Ducklington the visitors. And the visitors walked off the pitch, probably unsure how they did not come away with all 3 points.

It wasn’t a game without incident, and Cassington will consider this as a point gained as they soaked up relentless pressure yet somehow escaped with their goal intact.


Ducklington created enough chances to win several matches, but were kept at bay by bad luck, bad finishing and some very good goalkeeping. Jamie Harris, hit the post in the first half and
the bar in the second. Ironically the closest other time they got to scoring was when a header was smashed off the line and hit a Cassy defencder smack in the face and missed the post by a matter of inches.

Game 2
Freeland 4 Witney Royals 1
Simlett 2

Attendance 116

The second game of the day saw Freelabd run out 4-1 winners over Witney Royals. Whilst the home side deserved the points, Royals will be cursing poor finishing as they searched for their first points of the season.
Player manager Ethan Simlett opened the scoring firing hone after a fine cut back from the marauding left back Doug Mingham. Lewis White soon added a second with a powerful header from a corner. In between Robbie Cockroft missed the first of several good chances that on better days would have seen him a bag a hat trick.
Joey Burgess was just as guilty for the home side, seeing two guilt edge kids saved either side of the break by George Lambourne.
Cockroft will winder how in particular he missed one chance at the back post from inside the 6 yard box that ended up in a nearby garden. Almost straight from the restart, Freeland made it 3 as Simlett added his second. Soon after Liam Harris made it 4 cushioning in a lovely header. The score was harsh on Lamburne who had made several good saves and must be one of the best shot stoppers in the league.
Royals did net a consolation late on with Zack Ryall firing home
Freeland made it 2 wins in a row and even it this early stage must be favourite for the title.

Game 3
Hanborough 2 Hailey 3
Morton 2

Buckingham (pen)

Attendance 166

The final game The third game of a day can be a step too far, but luckily Hanborough and Hailey provided an entertaining contest that held the attention of the days biggest crowd.

It was a game with a dramatic finale, as Hailey scored late goals to come back from 2-0 down to win. On balance they deserved it, and might have won more routinely had they not missed an early penalty.
Jack Wood normally lethal from the spot, saw his effort palmed around the post by Tom Bennington. Hailey had earlier a goal chalked off for a foul on the keeper and were definitely the better side in the opening exchanges. Then against the run of play Hanboro took the lead, Bennington launched a clearance long and Jack Morton let it bounce before dispatching a half volley into Cody Davies goal.
They doubled their lead after the break with Morton getting his second of the game drilling home a loose ball. With 20 to go that was still the score, but Hailey pulled one back Nathan Kimber finishing a fine passing move.
They were then awarded a second penalty and this tine Freddie Buckingham stepped up and scored.
This set up a grandstand finish and it was the unlikely figure of Cameron Foster who won it for Hailey, prodding home a loose ball from a corner. But that was not the end of the drama in stoppage time Craig Mays thought he had got his side a point but from point blank range Davies produced a magnificent save to earn his side the 3 points.

Visit our website at witneyfootball.com for the latest updates about Witney and District Football Club!

Groundhop Weekend

 By john smyth

Don’t forget folks this weekend the WDFA is hosting a football groundhop.

We have 3 games on Saturday and 2 on Sunday.
18th @ 11:00 Cassington Rangers v Ducklington
18th @ 2:00 Freeland v Witney Royals
18th @ 5:00 Hanborough v Hailey
19th @ 10:30 Sherborne v Hatherop
19th @ 2:00 Kingham AB v Chadlington
We are expecting at least 100 or so hoppers at each venue. It would be great as a league if we can support the teams hosting the games if possible.
All are providing food & drink and have raffles and programmes on sale.
Please do come along if you can.

Season 2021-22

 By john smyth


We are ready to go

After a stop start 2 seasons we are all ready to go for season 21-22.
We welcome a number of new sides into the league.
Fratellos and Hatherop Res coming over from Gloucestershire.

Faringdon coming from the North Berkshire League and a new side from RAF Brize Norton.

In addition Freeland and Hanborough have returned from the Senior League.

Covid is still with us and there will be cancellations along the way, so please take care and notify the league should there be any probelms.

Visit our website at witneyfootball.com for the latest updates about Witney and District Football Club!

“88-100” A History Of The Witney & District Football Association

 By Ant Barlow



Written by Bob Watts


Take a look at this link in the downloads section to find “88-100” which is an almost complete (Up to 2008) history of the W&D Football Association.

Visit our website at witneyfootball.com for the latest updates about Witney and District Football Club!

Useful Info For Clubs

 By john smyth


Crib Sheet

Club Secretaries will get an e mail from Ralph on Saturday / Sunday confirming the ref and opponents. The simplest thing as a home club is to ‘reply all’ to the e mail. Then confirm venue, kick off time, colours and any after match hospitality.
The away club and ref will generally acknowledge receipt of this.

On the day of the game. the Match Sheet should be completed by home side and passed to the away side to complete and then pass to the ref.
After the game the ref will complete their bits and return to the clubs to enter scorer details and referee’s marks.
Referee’s should be paid by the Home side as soon as possible after the game is finished, the fee is £35.00 except for in County Cup games. Also feel free to invite them for a drink, most drink beer.

It is the responsibility of the home side to txt the score to Results Secretary, Nicola on
07497 119648 this should be done by 17:00. The txt should advise of the full time score and scorers for BOTH sides as a minimum. Should you wish to add any more info feel free this will be passed onto Ant Barlow for inclusion in match reports on the website and in the local press. Result texts will not be acknowledged. All results should be on line by around 18:00.
If you wish to add any match details please e mail them to Ant direct at anthonyb@wolfram.com he can then include them in his reports.

Match sheets should be sent to Nicola to
17 Manor Rd
OX29 7YD

Or alternatively they can be scanned and e mailed to wdfa@btinternet.com in either case these should be received by Wednesday night.

If you have any queries over a result, please do not call Nicola’s number as this will only be switched on during Saturday afternoon and evenings, Please call John’s mobile which is
07720 404271.

Any clubs who do not text the score in by 17:00 on a Saturday or send the match sheet in by Wednesday can expect to be fined, although initially a warning is likely to be issued. Similarly if match sheets are consistently filled out wrong you can expect a fine after a warning or so.

Visit our website at witneyfootball.com for the latest updates about Witney and District Football Club!