Presenting the Virtual League Ladders 2013-14

Virtual League Ladders by A Northern Soul Travels

Today, A Northern Soul and A Northern Soul Travels proudly presents its Virtual League Ladders. Having realised the wallchart was unworkable, at least in the short term, I started work on making a Flash-based “virtual” version.

The virtual version covers 47 leagues across the top 10 tiers of the English football system, with almost 1000 clubs included.

The virtual league ladders work just as the physical version would – you pick up the team tabs and place them in the correct position (or in the wrong position if you fancy putting Manchester United in the EvoStik League).

Here is the download link for the Virtual League Ladders: (5.5MB)

After downloading the file, open it up and extract the two files to whichever folder you want. Open the HTML file and you’re ready to go. If your browser is set up accordingly, it should remember the positions of all the tabs next time you open the file!

I am aware that some of the longer teams names are quite difficult to read. This is because the whole thing was scaled down from the wallchart I posted previously and Flash has limitations on overall size. However, it is something I will be working on in future versions.

Some other things I hope to include in the future, based on feedback I’ve received during testing:

  • A ‘snap’ function to make it easier to place the tabs in position
  • Highlighting promotion, relegation and playoff positions
  • Allowing the user to type the names of cup winners into the spaces displayed on the chart
  • A Scottish version

Feel free to offer your feedback and suggestions for future version.


The League Ladders and Team Tabs Are Back!

This gallery contains 14 photos.

A couple of years ago, I posted a set of Northern League team tabs I’d made. They didn’t look particularly good but nevertheless, they attracted quite a few visitors to the site. This year, I decided on a much bigger … Continue reading

Pausing For Breath

Apologies again for the lack of updates recently.  I’ve been watching plenty of football but university and other things haven’t left me with much time to write about it.

This season has taken me all over Teesside and beyond, taking in the delights of Whitby Town, the ‘ghost town’ experience of Jarrow Roofing and the warm and friendly welcome of Penrith.

I’ve seen Marske United suffer a 10-game winless streak and more recently, a two-and-a-half month unbeaten run  in the Northern League.  I’ve seen a goalless draw played in near-hurricane force winds and a nine-goal thriller that I only went to because other games had been called off.

So much to talk about and so little time…

Sadly, as I reach the end of my degree course, the realisation grows that my weekly obsession with non-league football in this part of the world may soon be coming to an end.

The end of university means hunting for jobs and for a would-be journalist like myself, Teesside probably isn’t the best place to be, meaning moving elsewhere if I am to pursue a career.

One opportunity has already arisen but it’s a long way from home. Nothing is ever guaranteed but I don’t want to be sitting around without a job when I finish university so if I am offered the position, I will have to take it, especially as I have far fewer reasons to stay (football aside) than I did when I started my course.  But that’s another story.

In the meantime, I’ll still be trying to watch as much football as I can, visit as many grounds as I can and, time permitting, update this blog as much as I can.

There’s still much to play for this season with the honour of being Teesside’s top team still up for grabs and Billingham Synthonia still harbouring Wembley ambitions after reaching the last 16 of the FA Vase.

I’ve seen games at 16 different grounds so far this season, double the number I managed in the whole of last season.  My total is put to shame however, by Footy Ramblings’ James Williams who is on course to complete the full set of all 44 grounds in a single season on his Northern League Tour.

Wherever  I am, the blog will keep going because football keeps going and my passion for the non-league game will keep going.

And wherever my future career takes me, deep down I will always be A Northern Soul.

Teesside Mini-League

A while back I mentioned the hypothetical Teesside mini-league involving the six clubs from the area in Division One of the Northern League, so let’s see how things are looking six weeks into the new season.


17/08/11 – Stokesley Sports Club 0-5 Billingham Synthonia

24/08/11 – Guisborough Town 6-0 Stokesley Sports Club

29/08/11 – Stokesley Sports Club 0-0 Norton & Stockton Ancients

17/09/11 – Guisborough Town 3-3 Billingham Synthonia

17/09/11 – Norton & Stockton Ancients 3-0 Marske United

20/09/11 – Billingham Town 2-1 Norton & Stockton Ancients

08/10/11 – Billingham Synthonia v Marske United

12/10/11 – Stokesley Sports Club v Billingham Town

15/10/11 – Billingham Town v Marske United

29/10/11 – Stokesley Sports Club v Marske United

05/11/11 – Norton & Stockton Ancients v Guisborough Town

19/11/11 – Billingham Synthonia v Guisborough Town

26/11/11 – Billingham Town v Guisborough Town

10/12/11 – Stokesley Sports Club v Guisborough Town

26/12/11 – Billingham Synthonia v Billingham Town

26/12/11 – Guisborough Town v Marske United

26/12/11 – Norton & Stockton Ancients v Stokesley Sports Club

07/01/12 – Norton & Stockton Ancients v Billingham Synthonia

13/01/12 – Norton & Stockton Ancients v Billingham Town

28/01/12 – Billingham Synthonia v Stokesley Sports Club

04/02/12 – Billingham Town v Stokesley Sports Club

18/02/12 – Marske United v Norton & Stockton Ancients

03/03/12 – Marske United v Billingham Synthonia

10/03/12 – Marske United v Billingham Town

24/03/12 – Marske United v Stokesley Sports Club

31/03/12 – Guisborough Town v Norton & Stockton Ancients

06/04/12 – Billingham Synthonia v Norton & Stockton Ancients

09/04/12 – Billingham Town v Billingham Synthonia

09/04/12 – Marske United v Guisborough Town

21/04/12 – Guisborough Town v Billingham Town

Reality Bites

I haven’t posted for a few weeks.  Some will have noticed the lack of posts coincides with a seven-game losing run for Marske United but that isn’t the reason.

Occasionally, there are more important things that football and those things have been taking up my time recently.

However, my mind is turning back to football now and this post comes on the back of Marske ending their losing run in dramatic fashion against Bedlington Terriers on Tuesday.

The losing run confirmed my worst fears when I saw the fixture list at the start of the season.

After an opening day win at Tow Law, Marske were due to face many of the league’s big guns in quick succession.  It was a run of games where every point gained would be valuable but having battled to a draw against champions Spennymoor, comprehensive defeats at the hands of Newcastle Benfield, Whitley Bay and Dunston followed.

The defeats clearly affected the team’s confidence and they were beaten comfortably by Penrith twice in the space of four days.  With all due respect to Penrith, who fully deserved their victories, those were games Marske would have been expected to take points from in normal circumstances.

Another defeat followed at Norton & Stockton Ancients but I felt there were some positives to take out of the game – most notably the way the team kept hold of the ball much better than they had in previous games – even if there was a distinct lack of chances created.

However, with the next game against Bedlington Terriers, still giddy from smashing 24 goals past Stokesley in two games, many would’ve predicted another lopsided scoreline.

But things finally clicked for Marske and they matched Bedlington blow for blow over the course of the game, battling to a well-deserved 2-2 draw.  Marske equalised in the 90th minute after the Terriers had taken the lead for the first time just three minutes earlier.


Both teams could have won it in stoppage time, with Marske striker Chris McGill, who’d scored his side’s first of the evening, finding himself crowded out by defenders after taking the ball past the Bedlington keeper.

Bedlington then had a penalty claim turned down right at the death when their striker went down under a challenge on the edge of the box.  The visiting fans screamed penalty but the referee waved play on and there was little protest from the Terriers players.


So have Marske finally turned the corner?  They have another double header coming up (having already played Tow Law, Whitley Bay and Penrith twice in  the space of a week this season) with high-flying West Auckland Town due to visit the GER Stadium in the FA Vase and the league.

Another positive result in one of those games could be a fantastic momentum-builder and could set the tone for the rest of the season.

Chin Up

Watching your team lose can produce a mixture of emotions.

Sometimes it’s sadness, sometimes it’s anger, sometimes it’s a feeling of helplessness that increases as the ball hits the back of the net again.

It’s a feeling I had on Saturday as I watched Marske United lose 4-0 at Whitley Bay.

It’s a feeling of wanting to get out there yourself to try and turn things around in the belief you could somehow produce a Roy of the Rovers performance.

I couldn’t, obviously.  Not that I’m particularly bad at football, I’m just not that good, either.  I’ve got pace, or at least I used to – I was faster than anyone in my year at school (a year that included former Northern League player Jonathan Stott).  I can whack a decent cross in now and again.  But I lack the sheer skill to get anywhere near the bench of a Teesside League team, let alone the Northern League, and my fitness levels are seriously lacking, as shown by my slow and unsteady efforts on Marske United’s 23-mile sponsored walk in July.

And so the highlight of my footballing career remains being part of the Wilton Primary School team that won a 5-a-side tournament at Gillbrook School in 1992 – our little team of giant-killers from Lazenby village beating the likes of Cromwell Road and Beech Grove on our way to lifting the trophy.

Since then my football experience has been limited to watching on TV and more recently, going to support Marske.

And in a way, that’s the best and worst thing about being a football fan.  You can’t go out there and try to score yourself.  All you can do is go to the games, support the team as much as you can and hope for the best.

And when your team loses, you want the next game to come as soon as possible so you can get that winning feeling back.

I can’t begin to imagine how Stokesley’s fans felt on Saturday, watching their team being demolished 15-0 at Bedlington Terriers, who were showing off their funky new scoreboard.

Perhaps they weren’t as willing for that next game to arrive but they only had two days to wait before their team was in action again.

And wonder of wonders they drew 0-0 with Norton & Stockton Ancients on Bank Holiday Monday, not only earning their first point of the season, but climbing out of the Division One relegation zone.

It’s still a long, hard road ahead for Stokesley, and many other teams in a similar position around the country.  But all the fans can do is keep supporting the team and believe things will get better.

Chin up.

League Ladders

I don’t know about you but as a kid, I used to get really excited just before the start of the football season when Shoot used to give away their league ladders and team tabs.

Even if we were on holiday, I’d still get them the day they came out because I couldn’t wait until we got home again.

Eventually Shoot replaced them with those stupid static sticker things that would fall off the wallchart.

Match copied the league ladders idea and did their own team tabs.  They still do them now but Match has never been the same since dey started talking like dis for da kidz.  And at my age, a big, stupid multi-coloured Match wallchart would look a bit out of place in my house.

But wouldn’t it be great to have those old Shoot team tabs back?  And wouldn’t it be great to have a non-league version?

Someone’s missing a trick somewhere…