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Evo-Stik Premier Division line up for 2011/12 season

The composition of the Evo-Stik Premier Division for the 2011/12 season has been revealed, subject to appeal, with five new member teams joining the division.

Stafford Rangers have been relegated from the Conference North and will provide a nostalgic away trip for many FC United supporters who turned up en masse to see the Reds entertain Eccleshall at Rangers’ Marston Road back in November 2005.

Hednesford Town have been moved back across from the Southern Football League Premier Division due to the geographical locations of the pyramid’s other teams, which is a regular occurrence for clubs in the Staffordshire and Leicestershire areas.

Like FC United, the Pitmen missed out on promotion to the second tier of Conference football this season by being beaten in the play-off final, although their defeat came in an agonising penalty shoot-out.

Our teams have met before in the 2008/09 season with United enjoying a comfortable 3-0 victory at Gigg Lane before a sensational injury-time free-kick by Simon Garner grabbed a 2-2 draw for the Reds at Keys Park.

Meanwhile, the newly reformed Chester FC have been promoted from the Evo-Stik North after winning the title on goal difference ahead of Skelmersdale and Chorley are back in the Northern Premier League, via the play-offs, following a four year absence.

FC United will meet Chester at least three times this season as they travel to the Deva Stadium on Saturday 16th July to contest the Supporters Direct Cup. The teams played out an entertaining 3-3 draw last pre-season but are still to meet competitively.

The Reds have a played two, won two record against Chorley from the 2007/08 season in the Division One North.

The fifth and final new team in the division is Rushall Olympic. Founded in 1893, the Walsall outfit won the play-offs after finishing third in the Division One South and the Evo-Stik Premier Division will be the highest level the club has ever competed at.

Evo-Stik’s League Operations Manager, Alan Allcock said: “It has to be noted that a small number of clubs, which are not in the Northern Premier League, are challenging decisions relative to ground grading and league board decisions. The success of these appeals may result in some further movement.

“Any further movement of clubs may only take place before our AGM on 18th June and therefore after that date our constitution will not be subjected to any further change.”

The full list of teams is below:

Ashton Utd
Bradford Park Avenue
Hednesford Town
FC United of Manchester
Frickley Athletic
Kendal Town
Matlock Town
Mickleover Sports
Nantwich Town
North Ferriby United
Northwich Victoria
Rushall Olympic
Stafford Rangers
Stocksbridge Park Steels
Whitby Town
Worksop Town

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First Posted ~ 10:42 Wed 25 May 2011
News ID ~ 3605
Last Updated ~ 10:42 Wed 25 May 2011