Gravesend and Northfleet - a look ahead

Last updated : 05 December 2003 By Richard Brown

The creation of Gravesend & Northfleet Football club came in 1946 following the merger of two proud local sides formed in 1890 and 1893 respectively. It was decided that the newly formed side were to take the traditional red shirts of Northfleet United.

However, it took the club over a decade before the club were able to register their first league title as in the 1957/58 season, under the guidance of Lionel Smith, the ‘Fleet banged home 135 goals in league and cup competition as a strong link with Arsenal allowed Smith to construct a side built upon experience as he acquired the signatures of goal-grabbers: Jimmy Logie, Eric Day and Bob Thomas – a striker force later described as the ‘best to ever grace the Southern League’.

In the early stages of the sixties, the club enjoyed their best ever run in the FA Cup where they managed to fight their way into the Fourth Round of the competition where they would face Sunderland. It was this fixture that went down in the club’s record books as the highest attendance (12,032) at the club’s ground,
Stonebridge Road (pictured).

Stonebridge Road
The game was taken to a replay on Sunderland’s home turf where, despite best efforts, the club bowed out in front of almost thirty thousand supporters.

Although in recent times, success has been none-too easy to come by as just last season the ‘Fleet only just warned managed to escape the claws of relegation last season by the skin of their teeth as a 1-0 win over Halifax proved the difference between a second season in the Nationwide Conference and an early return to the Ryman’s League.

This season, Gravesend were put forward as relegation candidates after being equal relegation candidates to Leigh RMI who were both drawn up as the least favourite team by Ladbrokes to win the Conference – both priced at 66/1.

***Odds Checker *** - with William Hill bookmakers


Draw – 9/4

Notts Co - 4/5