As 2014 comes to a close, it allows me the perfect opportunity to look back and select my top 20 personal favourite non-league football photos that I captured during the year. With over fifty games covered, from local county football, all the way to the Conference Playoff Final at Wembley, there’s something for everyone here.
The images are listed in Chronological order.
1. A Dulwich Hamlet fan shares his feelings of displeasure with the referee during their 2-1 loss at Kingstonian in the Ryman League Premier Division in January.
2. Hanworth Villa’s number 32 comes to claim the ball in their FA Vase Fourth Round tie against Eastbourne United at Rectory Meadow. Though the scores were level at full-time (2-2), Villa’s keeper would pick the ball out of his net a further five times as United romped to victory.
3. Match action from the picturesque Ampthill Town as they overcame opponents Hanwell Town in the FA Vase 5th Round.
4. The stunning setting of Charterhouse School in Surrey as Corinthian’s School’s XI took on Charterhouse’s A-team. Corinthian’s side tour many of the top public schools in the country each week… a tradition that’s lasted since 1882.
5. Fans watch on at the magnificent Pilot Field, home to Ryman League side Hastings United. The large banking around the pitch allows great views for spectators… including these chaps who watched United win 2-1 over Corinthian-Casuals.
6. St Andrew’s Tom Hudson can’t hide his anguish as he’s sent off in the FA Vase Semi-final against West Auckland. The tie finished 0-0 before Auckland went on to win the 2nd leg and reach the final at Wembley.
7. An image that hit every national newspaper in Brazil. Jamie Byatt celebrates his brace in Corinthian-Casuals’ 7-0 win over Redhill. His celebration included lifting his shirt to reveal the crest of Brazillian side SC Corinthians Paulista. The South American team were named in honour of Corinthians back in 1910 and Corinthian-Casuals are a household name in Sao Paulo. In fact, the Ryman league side are touring the country in January 2015, culminating in an historic match between the two clubs in front of 48,000 fans.
8. A Kingstonian forward agonises over one of many misses in the Ryman League Premier Playoff semi-final against AFC Hornchurch. The K’s would rue those missed chances: Hornchurch stole the match with a second half header to progress to the final.
9. Dane Luchford’s penalty hit’s the post in the Ryman League Division One South Playoff final at Folkestone. The match, which was tied at 1-1 after extra time, went to penalties and Luchford had to score to keep Folkestone in the tie.
10. The result of Dan Luchford’s miss; Leatherhead won and were promoted to the Ryman League Premier Division. Goalkeeper Derren Ibrahim leading the celebrations after saving two of Folkestone’s spot kicks.
11. The fabulous tree that graces Folkestone Invicta’s ground in springtime glory.
12. Two days later and it was the turn of the Ryman Premier Playoff final. Here, Rob Eagle’s 29th minute goal set Lowestoft on their way to a 3-0 victory over AFC Hornchurch.
13. A Lowesoft fan ‘Believes’. He was right to do so… the Trawlerboys ran out 3-0 winners.
14. A Cambridge United fan embraces the sun at Wembley as United run out 2-1 winners over Gateshead in the Conference Playoff Final.
15. Wembley on a clear sunny day can be blighted with harsh shadows. However, this image uses the shadows to the advantage as the players are shrouded in shade as the crowd are dowsed in brilliant sunlight.
16. Gateshead’s Adam Bartlett in full stretch still cannot keep out Ryan Donaldson’s brilliant free kick in the Conference Playoff Final at Wembley. Donaldson’s perfectly placed set-piece would prove to be the winner.
17. Perfectly-timed: Lightning crashes down as Wingate and Finchley defend a corner from Havant and Waterlooville in the FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round.
18. A storm front passes over the Harry Abrahams Stadium as Wingate and Finchley lose out to Havant and Waterlooville in the FA Cup.
19. Ramsgate’s goalkeeper tries to keep tabs on the action as fog descends on Corinthian-Casual’s King George’s Arena in Tolworth.
20. Carl Wilson-Denis walks out from Walton and Hersham’s changing rooms, ready to face the action on a cold December afternoon.
Click here for more football photography from Stuart Tree.
Author – Stuart Tree
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