About Us

 


Club History

Bristol Manor Farm Football Club was formed for the 1960/61 season. After just one season, the club was disbanded but was later reformed and began playing again in the 1962/63 season. Our current home at The Creek used to be the site of the Port of Bristol Authority Sports & Social Club and when they moved to new premises, Manor Farm too it over in 1965.

Having a permanent base of our own enabled the club to apply successfully to join the Somerset Senior League where they were to progress rapidly through the divisions before deciding to advance further to the Western League in 1977.

The club was to join the First Division for the 1977/78 season and remained there until the 1982-83 season when they won the First Division championship and gained promotion to the Premier Division, until relegation under Pete McCall’s management team in 2001- 02. In 1983-84 they were to reach the final of the G.F.A. Challenge Trophy where they went down to Hellenic League side Shortwood United. They were also to lose in the final a few years later when they lost to Mangotsfield United, but the trophy did make its way to the Creek in 1987-88.

The pitch at the Creek has always been notorious for its sloping surface but work has been undertaken in recent years to eliminate the slope. This caused the club many problems initially, but they now appear to have achieved their aim. With seating and floodlights added since 1980, the club now boasts excellent facilities alongside a spacious clubhouse.

For many years, Mike Fisher was manager at the Creek and brought the club much success, which was carried on by Chris Rex. After a spell under former Bristol City player Alan Crawford, Chris Rex returned to the hot seat but parted company with the club during the summer of 1997, to be replaced by the management team of Geoff Bryant and John Black. Pete McCall was appointed manager for the 2001/02 season, which was to prove a particularly difficult one, with changes in administration, poor results and Pete himself leaving just before the end of the season. The result of all this upheaval was that the first team was relegated to the First Division. 2002-03 season saw Geoff Bryant back in charge, assisted by Steve Beecham, but after nine games of poor results they decided to resign. In their place came Shaun Bond as manager and Nicky Johns as coach. In addition we had a ladies team, no longer with us, managed by Terry Buffery, a return to the old club colours, new administration with Jon Scriven as secretary and a change of direction for the reserve team to the Suburban League with Steve Camm in the managers hot seat assisted by Nick Baldwin. The season also saw the return of the youth team, managed by Mike Shopland and Steve Wailer. With a new 100 seater stand named after our chairman Geoff Sellek , who has guided the club off the pitch and help from then vice-chairman Charlie Baldwin the club were again heading in the right direction.

This was proved the following season when the first team regained Premier Division status and the youth team also enjoyed success with promotion to the Somerset Floodlight Youth League Premier Division.

The beginning of the 2004/05 season saw Manor Farm riding high at the top of the table for the first couple of months before dropping off the pace by Christmas. Their early season form never returned which eventually saw the departure of manager Shaun Bond from the club and the appointment of former Clevedon Town boss Steve Fey, although he mainly took a back seat until the last few games of the season allowing players Matt Baird and Mark Buxton to take on a dual caretaker-manager role.

Seventh place was still a satisfactory final position despite their blistering start to the campaign and the success of the reserves in gaining promotion to the Suburban League Premier Two under Charlie Baldwin, as well as an impressive year for the youth team under Dale Dempsey and Andy Marshall in finishing third in the league and being losing finalists to Paulton Rovers in the Somerset Floodlight Youth Cup meant that the future was looking bright. Only three of the previous squad remained for the start of the 2005/06 season as the appointment of former Brislington boss Nigel Gillard as assistant to Steve Fey heralded the start of a new era at Bristol Manor Farm.

Their management brought Manor Farm its highest ever league position of 3rd place in the Premier division and this success resulted in an application from the club to join the Southern League which was turned down.

Geoff Bryant rescued the youth teams season by taking charge after previous manager Dale Dempsey resigned just before the first league game. After keeping the team in the Premier division Geoff was rewarded by leading them to cup glory, defeating Mangotsfield United 3-0 in the Somerset Floodlight Youth League cup final.

Steve Fey resigned as manager at the end of the 2006/07 season and John Black took up the reins as manager assisted by Geoff Bryant with Richard Thomas taking over as Youth Team Manager. The 2007/08 season was difficult from the start. No manager and no team. Many of the players from the previous season left the club to join other teams. It was always going to be tough going and the opening game of the season against Barnstaple showed how far the team had to go having suffered a 5-0 loss. By the end of the season however, the team had settled down and began to show the makings of a good team. And so the season ended with the club finishing 16th in the Premier Division. No mean feat considering the circumstances in which John Black and Geoff Bryant had taken over.

The 2008/09 season kicked off with an unbeaten run of ten league matches, three draws and seven wins. During this period Manor Farm also won games in the FA Vase, Gloucestershire Challenge Trophy and Somerset Premier Cup. It was unfortunate that after such a good away win against Fareham Town in the FA Vase, that Bristol Manor Farm were removed from the competition for fielding an ineligible player. In September, assistant manager Geoff Bryant left the club after many years of service and in stepped Andy Davies. In the opening round of the FA Cup they were knocked out by Bicester Town who scored the only goal. But by the end of October, Manor Farm were topping the league and scoring goals for fun. January saw John Black awarded with the Manager of the Month and the team were still in three cup competitions. But come March, the season started to take a turn for the worse when the team were knocked out in the quarter final stages of both the Gloucestershire Challenge Trophy and the Somerset Premier Cup. But there was still hope for a trophy with the semi-final of the Les Phillips Cup to come. But this was not to be as they were knocked out by a single goal to Oldland Abbotonians. Manor Farm ended their league campaign in fifth place, eleven places higher than the previous season!

Before the 2009/10 season even kicked off, hopes were high of beating the fifth place finish of the previous season. But the first three games all ended in draws with the team not showing the same form as last year. There were some notable moments, the 6-0 win over Sherborne Town at home and the 4-0 win against Melksham. But in the main, the Farm never looked liked challenging for the top spot. It was a different matter in the FA Vase, where the club enjoyed their best success for years, making it to the Fourth Round proper where they were beaten by semi-finalists Whitehawk.

The 2010/11 season saw The Farm finish seventh in the league after challenging for a top three spot towards the end of the season. We were exempted to the second round proper of the FA Vase after last season’s run, but when our keeper went off injured, it was only a matter of time before Torpoint Athletic gained the upper hand and they ran out 7-3 winners. The FA Cup provided a lot of excitement. Winning a penalty shoot-out against Almondsbury Town and holding conference side Basingstoke Town to a draw before finally being beaten in the replay by a single goal. And it was a midweek penalty shoot-out away to Ilfracombe Town that ended our run in the Les Phillips Cup at the semi-final stage. The club won the Premier Division hospitality award, no doubt due to all those home made cakes! But the future at The Creek looks bright. After a successful spell as Youth Team manager when they wone the GFA Under 18 Shield, Richard Trott and Bill Bond moved on and were replaced by Trevor Richards and Jason Tarr. The Reserve Team returned last season and are now managed by Andy Cole, playing in the Bristol Premier Combination league.

The 2011/12 season was the most successful in the history of the club. We won the GFA Challenge Trophy after beating Shortwood United 5-0 in a thrilling final. This was followed three days later with another cup triumph when we beat Willand Rovers in extra time to lift the Toolstation League Les Phillips League Cup.

The 2012/13 season ended in disappointment when we lost the GFA Trophy Final to Bristol Academy and finished third from bottom. Manager John Black decided to stand.

Lee Lashenko become the new manager at the start of the 2013/14 season and quickly made an impact. The FA Cup run was a highlight of the season. Putting nine goals past Oldland Abbotonians and then seven past Lymington Town. The Corsham Town tie ended in a 4-4 draw. The hard fought replay saw us win 1-0 and then a tie against Bridgwater Town. Scoring all those goals in the FA Cup brought the club to the attention of The Sun newspaper. They sent a photographer to take photos of the team with the FA Cup and will be a day that everyone will remember. Against Bridgwater Town we went three up but they came back strongly and the match ended all square at four each. Our FA Cup journey then came to an end as Bridgwater won 2-1 in the replay. The club continued to fight for top spot in the league and applied for promotion. The club finished second but were unsuccessful in their promotion bid when Larkhall Athletic were accepted into the Southern League. The second placed finish was the best in the club’s history. It also saw the team break the club records for the most goals scored in a season and the least goals conceded.

Season 2014/2015 was a season that the Farm targeted to gain promotion into the Southern league but it was not to be finishing in a respectable fourth position but missed out on Promotion by just 3 points which allowed Slimbridge to gain promotion. We did win the GFA County Challenge Trophy with a 2-0 win over local club Shirehampton.

Season 2015/2016 left the club with mixed feelings as on one hand we managed to get to the Quarter-Final of the FA Vase narrowly going out away at Morpeth Town after winning the previous round again away at Sunderland RCA. Whilst we finished 3rd in the Western League, again we just missed out on promotion to the Southern League by one place. We did however win the GFA County Challenge Trophy for the second time in succession with a record 9-2 win over Lydney Town.