Time to transfer to Non-League? | The A-Z of Spennymoor Town

Sick of paying over the odds for football that’s lost it’s soul? Maybe it’s time for you to make the switch to non-league for the 2018/19 season.

Fourteen years after the club’s inception, Spennymoor Town’s journey from Northern League to National League North has been packed with memorable moments, iconic players and giant strides off the field.

There is no better place to experience the true feeling of non-league than at The Brewery Field. Here’s the A-Z of why we think that is true…

A | ACADEMY

The future is bright at Spennymoor Town. After recent success for our impressive Under 18’s and Under 16’s, the young crop of Moors players ranging from Under 7’s are making waves not only across the North-East, but countrywide. Craig Ellison and Lewis King both secured deals at Premier League outfit Burnley at the start of 2018, and Cieran Jackson became the first Moors player to receive an international call-up. That’s a clear sign of the quality being harnessed from the 24 teams. With the academy still in its tender years, the potential is there to expand even further.

Lewis King and Craig Ellison sign their contracts for Burnley.

b | BREWERY FIELD

Spennymoor’s home since the United days, The Brewery Field has seen significant improvements since Brad Groves took charge in 2009. The installation of seats in The North-West Stand at the end of 2017/18 was a defining moment in the stadium’s history, and with further upgrades planned for the 2018/19 campaign, The Brewery Field’s makeover is set to get a whole lot better. In total there are around 750 seats in the ground as well as the glamorous Platinum Club, making it one of the finest match day experiences in non-league football.

The seats fitted in the Pond Stand made their debut at the home game against Darlington in April.

C | COACHES

Former Premier League footballer with Sunderland and Hartlepool legend Tommy Miller is currently the Assistant Manager of Spennymoor Town, adding his experience and knowledge to the side. Miller made 137 showings for Pools after spending the majority of his youth career at Victoria Park, before joining his boyhood club Sunderland following a successful spell with Ipswich Town. He made 33 appearances for The Black Cats before rejoining the Tractor Boys.

Miller made 33 appearances for Sunderland during a two-year spell.

D | DRAMA

Rarely do the elite divisions offer the type of drama and excitement on display in non-league. Moors were on the wrong end of a last day swing in April when a 94th-minute Bradford Park Avenue goal dumped them out of the play-off places. Let’s hope the drama goes in our favour next year!

Jason Ainsley consoles Mark Anderson after a dramatic final day of action in April.

E | EVO-STIK

After opting to go up from the Northern League Division One – which Moors had won three times in a row – the club’s journey in the Evo-Stik Division One North began. New teams, challenges and obstacles awaited, but Moors took to the league with ease, being promoted in 2015/16 via the play-offs against Northwich Victoria. This was the perfect response to a heartbreaking defeat against Darlington the previous season at the semi-final stage. Promotion from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division in 2016/17 meant it was back to back celebrations, with Rob Ramshaw’s screamer enough to defeat Stourbridge, securing Vanarama National League North status – the club’s highest ever position.

Jason Ainsley awaits the full time whistle as promotion draws closer.

F | FA CUP

A memorable run in the 2016/17 FA Cup earned Moors a First Round tie away at MK Dons at Stadium MK. A slow start from Moors saw the Dons take a 3-0 lead, but a header midway through the first half from Joe Tait gave Jason Ainsley and his side a glimmer of hope. A spirited second half showing was capped off with a superb solo goal from Andrew Johnson, but Moors couldn’t find an equaliser. The display was met with rapturous applause from the travelling fans who had witnessed a brilliant run in previous rounds.

Moors came close to completing a memorable comeback.

g | graydon’s goal

The defining moment in Spennymoor Town’s history? With the score at 1-1 in the 2013 FA Vase Final against Tunbridge Wells, the ball fell invitingly to Moors’ Irish midfielder. When his ferocious shot hit the back of the net, the roar from the thousands of Spennymoor fans who made the trip to Wembley could be heard from The Brewery Field. Ultimately, it was the match winning moment and secured the clubs first ever FA Vase trophy.

Moors fans celebrate Keith Graydon’s winning goal at Wembley.

H | HENRY

Nicknamed ‘The Bull’, Shane Henry has never been one to shy away from a tackle. After joining in the 2014/15 season, Henry has proven to be a dependable and instrumental character down the years. After signing a new deal this year, his all-action approach to the game is set to continue at The Brewery Field.

Shane Henry has made over 150 appearances for the club.

I | INTERNATIONAL CALL-UPS

For the first time in the club’s history, a player from Spennymoor Town received an international call-up last season. Cieran Jackson, a member of the Under 18 squad, was recognised for his brilliant individual season when he was selected for the England schools Under 18s squad in January. Rob Ramshaw, who was later named Manager’s Player of the Season for the 2017/18 season, was called up to the England C Squad in late March, featuring in the starting line-up for the game against Wales C.

Cieran Jackson was the first Spennymoor player to receive international recognition.

J | JASON AINSLEY

One of the longest serving managers currently working in English football, Jason Ainsley took over at The Brewery Field in 2007 and has been a permanent fixture in the dugout ever since, recently clocking up his 650th game in charge of Moors. He’s a popular figure in the town having represented the club as a player, too.

Jason Ainsley celebrates the 1-2 win against Harrogate Town in March.

K | KNOWLEDGE

There is the opinion that non-league football is basically the same standard as Sunday League in some circles. However, the knowledge of players, managers and coaches of tactics and playing styles is something which is vastly underrated. A quick glance at one of our highlights packages on Moors TV should be enough to whet the appetite for more!

Moors boss Jason Ainsley and his assistant Tommy Miller.

L | LEGENDS WALL

At the start of last season, a commemarative Legends Wall was unveiled which featured images of iconic Spennymoor players and memorable moments in the club’s history. The likes of Chris Mason, Jason Ainsley, Gavin Cogdon, Keith Graydon and Anthony Peacock all feature on the wall, which will be relocated due to the ongoing ground developments at The Brewery Field.

The new ‘Legends Wall’ installed at The Brewery Field last season as part of a ground branding project.

M | MOORS TAVERN

Located just yards from the ground, The Moors Tavern is the official pub of Spennymoor Town. Home fans and away supporters regularly mingle pre-game and generate a warm and friendly atmosphere. It’s the only place to go before a big game at The Brewery Field.

The Moors Tavern is the place to go on a match day.

N | NORTHERN league

After winning the Northern League Division Two title in 2006/07, just Spennymoor Town’s second ever season since being reformed, they had to wait until the 2009/10 until Jason Ainsley guided the club to their first promotion under his reign. This also coincided with Bradley Groves’ takeover and saw Moors become just the third side in Northern League history to reach 100 points in a single season. This was a feat they surpassed just a season later, winning the title with 103 points, before a third consecutive league success was achieved in 2011/12. After a fourth title in the space of five seasons, Moors successfully applied for promotion and joined the Evo-Stik Division One North for the 2014/15 season. Moors dominance in the Northern League has rarely been matched.

Mark Davison fires in a shot against Marske United during the 2013/14 season.

O | OATSEY

Spennymoor Town’s Physiotherapist since 2007, Andrew Oates has been there and seen it all along with Jason Ainsley. He holds BSc (Hons) MCSP Chartered Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist status and has been a integral part of the backroom staff for many seasons.

Andy Oates has been at Spennymoor since 2007.

P | PEACOCK

A Moors icon who was immortalised on the Legends Wall at the start of last season, the diminutive and tricky midfielder was a lynchpin at the club during his time at The Brewery Field.

Anthony Peacock scores during the 2014/15 season.

q | QUALITY

People traditionally don’t associate non-league football with genuine quality, but that’s where they would be wrong. The lower divisions are packed with talented players young and old, with clinical finishing, organised defences and astute managers aplenty. The National League North was described the strongest ever in 2017/18, and it’s hard not to see why with the likes of Stockport County, Kidderminster Harriers, Salford City and York City among Moors’ opponents.

Rob Ramshaw finds the net against Harrogate in November 2017.

R | RIVALRIES

Bishop Auckland, who are one of the oldest members of the Northern League, represent Moors’ local neighbours, but it’s been five years since the two sides met competitively. A new rivalry was born around the same time, with Darlington consistently tussling with Moors for the league title.

Moors and Darlington shake hands before their play-off semi-final in 2015.

S | SPECIAL MOMENTS

From dramatic goals to victories in finals, the history of Spennymoor Football Club has been littered with special moments. MK Dons, Guernsey, Wembley, Stourbridge, winning 100 points in the Northern League….take your pick! One thing’s for sure, there is more to come!

Moors players salute the travelling fans after their FA Cup First Round loss to MK Dons in 2016.

T | TAYLOR’S GOALS

Last season represented a milestone season for Spennymoor’s star striker, with Glen Taylor racking up 23 goals in all competitions. These strikes ranged from tap-ins to penalties and long-range belters to pinpoint headers. If Taylor can replicate his eye for goal in 2017/18 next season, then Moors could have another season fighting for a spot in the play-offs.

Glen Taylor celebrates his FA Cup goal against Gainsborough Trinity last season.

U | UNSUNG HEROES

It’s easy to look past the players and the manager when thinking about the most important figures at the club, but there are staff who work hard behind the scenes to keep everything ticking. Volunteers who give up their free time are an integral part of Spennymoor Town and are the true unsung heroes of the club.

Our cameraman Chris Rowcroft has been filming Spennymoor games for nearly a decade.

V | VASE FINAL

A day that will rank as the high point in the club’s history. The 2013 final success at Wembley followed a stunning 4-1 semi-final success against Guernsey over two legs, and thanks to goals from Gavin Cogdon and the fore-mentioned Keith Graydon, Chris Mason and Daniel Moore proudly held aloft the FA Vase to the delight of the Moors fans.

Daniel Moore lifts the FA Trophy after beating Tunbridge Wells 2-1.

w | WEEKDAY GAMES

Midweek matches are a common theme in non-league football. The amount of games and fixture postponements during the winter mean you can get your football fix through the week as well as at the weekend. Football 24/7!

The Moors players celebrate Jamie Chandler’s early goal against Darlington in April.

X | X MARKS THE SPOT

Moors were involved in a FA Trophy First Round penalty shootout in January after an enthralling 4-4 draw with Gainsborough Trinity after extra-time. It was a game which was postponed four times before finally being played, and it was Andrew Johnson who eventually sent Moors through to the Second Round after he netted the decisive penalty.

Moors players show their delight after Andrew Johnson’s penalty defeats Gainsborough Trinity.

Y | YOUNG FANS GO FREE

The younger generation of fans are made to matter at non-league level, and that’s no different at Spennymoor Town. Under 10s can go free to games at The Brewery Field as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

Young Moors fans grab a picture with Mark Anderson after promotion in 2016.

Z | ZERO FEAR

Something which was evident during the 2017/18 campaign was the lack of fear Moors showed when facing teams who had Football League pedigree. The journey to the FA Trophy Quarter-Final was achieved by getting past National League side Solihull Moors, and after claiming a very creditable 0-0 draw at Bromley, a slim 1-2 loss prevented a semi-final berth. Whatever the occasion or game, 100% commitment can be expected.

Mark Anderson scores from close range against Solihull Moors in January.