Unless we ever meet Aardvark United, we think Abingdon Town will always be first alphabetically in the list of teams we’ve played. It’s a small claim to fame for them and we can’t think of any other Aa or Ab clubs. Oh. Wait! Yes we can! What about Aberdeen? And there’s Aberystwyth United too. So, maybe the Abbots could find themselves toppled. Our one league season with them was the 1991-2 Diadora League Division One campaign – and the goals flowed. At their place, we lost 4-0 to the Abbots. But at ours, we made amends; returning the favour with a 4-1 win of our own.
A birth year of 1870 makes the Abbots quite long in the tooth; formed as plain old Abingdon FC and competing in district leagues for the latter part of the 19th century – and then into the first half of the 20th. After World War Two, things started to gather pace for them. First, they moved up into the Spartan League. Then, in 1953, they were founder members of the Hellenic League.
This started a close association between the Abbots and the Hellenic League. Before the 1950s were even done, they’d won the title three times in four seasons. More often than not, the club were strong contenders in the years that followed. It wasn’t all plain sailing though. Twice they were relegated to Division One, which was deeply inconvenient if nothing else.
To be fair, twice they secured an instant return to the Premier Division.
Why do we know the Abbots?
The 1986-7 campaign saw the Abbots win a fourth Hellenic League crown. But their time in the competition was coming to an end. After coming second in the 1987-8 season, they upped and left for the Spartan League; winning that championship at the first crack. With the Spartan title under their belts, clearly they felt it was right to move onto bigger things right away. There was no hanging around, then, as they joined Isthmian League Division Two South in 1989.
That decision was vindicated soon after too. And, weirdly, it meant they followed a similar path as us. As we finished fourth at the end of the 1989-90 season in the North, the Abbots ended the campaign in third. Then, we won the Division Two North title the following season. And they did too. Their title success wasn’t as gallivanting as ours, admittedly. But 94 points from one season is never a bad thing. The Abbots only fell short of 100 goals by five too.
Abingdon Town Travel Information – Distance: 73 miles
For Abingdon, head south on the A1(M) and join the counter-clockwise M25. Take this round to Junction 16 and join the northbound M40 towards Oxford and the Midlands.
You’ll be on here until Junction 7 in about 27.5 miles. Come off the M40; bearing left onto the A329 at the end of the slip road. Stay on the A329 when you get to a roundabout in 4.3 miles, using the second exit to do so. As you pass a BP garage on your left, the road swings round to the right and becomes the B480. Follow it.
In just over half-a-mile outside the Coach and Horses Inn, turn left for the B4015. You’re on here for 1.5 miles until you get to a T-Junction. Here, turn right onto the A415 and – in just over 3.5 miles – you’ll come to the ground on the left.
Keep going past the ground if you’re coming up the A415. There’s a right turn just a little further on. This is where you’ll find the entrance to Rye Farm Car Park, which might be an option. The ground could also have a small number of spaces.
Services to: LONDON PADDINGTON
At 1.7 miles, the walk from Radley station might be a little too long for some. But it’s more or less a straight line if you do try it. Follow Foxborough Road, Radley Road, Hedgemead Avenue and Appleford Drive. Turn left onto Oxford Road and right onto Northcourt Road to complete the walk.
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