Northern Counties East Football League

The Northern Counties East Football League is a semi-professional English football league. It has two divisions – the Premier Division and Division One – which stand at the ninth and tenth levels of the football pyramid respectively.

Northern Counties East Football League
Number of teams40
20 (Premier Division)
20 (Division One)
Level on pyramid9 and 10
Promotion toLevel 8
Northern Premier League Division One East
Relegation toLevel 10
East Midlands Counties League Premier Division
Level 11
Central Midlands League North or South Division
Humber Premier League Premier Division
Lincolnshire League
Nottinghamshire Senior League Premier Division
Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League Premier Division
West Riding County Amateur League Premier Division
West Yorkshire League Premier Division
York League Premier Division
Domestic cup(s)National
FA Cup
FA Vase
League Cup
Current championsWorksop Town (Premier Division)
Grimsby Borough (Division One)
2019–20 season


The league was formed in 1982 following the merger of the Yorkshire League and Midland League.[1] For its inaugural season, the league consisted of five divisions. Since then, the league has undergone several changes to the point where it currently (2017) has two divisions of 22 teams.

The league has maintained promotion and relegation between its divisions since its beginning. In 2015 a series of play-offs were introduced for the first time to determine a third promotee from Division One.[2]

The competition has several feeder leagues at level 11 of the pyramid, which provide new member clubs each year:

Clubs are also liable to be transferred to other leagues if the FA deems it geographically suitable to do so.

Current clubs (2019–20)



Season Premier Division Division One Division Two Division Three
1982–83Shepshed CharterhouseNorth Scarborough Reserves
South Lincoln United
North Rowntree Mackintosh
South Woolley Miners Welfare
1983–84Spalding UnitedNorth Pontefract Collieries
South Borrowash Victoria
North Harrogate Railway Athletic
South Retford Town
1984–85Belper TownCentral Armthorpe Welfare
North Farsley Celtic
South Long Eaton United
1985–86ArnoldNorth Ferriby UnitedLincoln UnitedCollingham
1986–87Alfreton TownOssett AlbionFrecheville Community Association
1987–88EmleyYork Railway InstitutePickering Town
1988–89EmleySheffieldOssett Town
1989–90Bridlington TownRowntree MackintoshWinterton Rangers
1990–91GuiseleySheffieldHall Road Rangers
1991–92North ShieldsStocksbridge Park Steels
1992–93Spennymoor UnitedLincoln United
1993–94Stocksbridge Park SteelsArnold Town
1994–95Lincoln UnitedHatfield Main
1995–96Hatfield MainSelby Town
1996–97Denaby UnitedEccleshill United
1997–98Hucknall TownGarforth Town
1998–99Ossett AlbionHarrogate Railway
1999–00North Ferriby UnitedGoole
2000–01Brigg TownBorrowash Victoria
2001–02Alfreton TownGedling Town
2002–03Bridlington TownMickleover Sports
2003–04Ossett AlbionShirebrook Town
2004–05GooleSutton Town
2005–06BuxtonCarlton Town
2006–07Retford UnitedParkgate
2007–08Winterton RangersDinnington Town
2008–09Mickleover SportsScarborough Athletic
2009–10Bridlington TownTadcaster Albion
2010–11FarsleyStaveley Miners Welfare
2011–12Retford UnitedHandsworth
2012–13Scarborough AthleticAlbion Sports
2013–14Brighouse TownCleethorpes Town
2014–15Shaw Lane AquaforceClipstone
2015–16Tadcaster AlbionHemsworth Miners Welfare
2016–17Cleethorpes TownHall Road Rangers
2017–18Pontefract CollieriesKnaresborough Town
2018–19Worksop TownGrimsby Borough

Since the league's formation in 1982, the following clubs have won promotion to higher levels of the English football league system – normally to the Northern Premier League

Season Club Position Promoted to
1982–83Shepshed Charterhouse1stSouthern League Midland Division
1986–87Alfreton Town
Farsley Celtic
Sutton Town
Harrogate Town
Eastwood Town
Northern Premier League Division One
Northern Premier League Division One
Northern Premier League Division One
Northern Premier League Division One
Northern Premier League Division One
1988–89Emley1stNorthern Premier League Division One
1989–90Bridlington Town1stNorthern Premier League Division One
1990–91Guiseley1stNorthern Premier League Division One
1992–93Spennymoor United1stNorthern Premier League Division One
1994–95Lincoln United1stNorthern Premier League Division One
1995–96Stocksbridge Park Steels2ndNorthern Premier League Division One
1996–97Belper Town2ndNorthern Premier League Division One
1997–98Hucknall Town1stNorthern Premier League Division One
1998–99Ossett Town2ndNorthern Premier League Division One
1999–00North Ferriby United1stNorthern Premier League Division One
2000–01Ossett Albion2ndNorthern Premier League Division One
2001–02Alfreton Town1stNorthern Premier League Division One
2003–04Ossett Albion1stNorthern Premier League Division One
2004–05Goole1stNorthern Premier League Division One
Harrogate Railway Athletic
Northern Premier League Division One
Northern Premier League Division One
2006–07Retford United
Carlton Town
Garforth Town
Northern Premier League Division One South
Northern Premier League Division One South
Northern Premier League Division One South
Northern Premier League Division One North
2007–08Glapwell2ndNorthern Premier League Division One South
2008–09Mickleover Sports1stNorthern Premier League Division One South
2009–10Rainworth Miners Welfare2ndNorthern Premier League Division One South
2010–11Farsley1stNorthern Premier League Division One North
2012–13Scarborough Athletic1stNorthern Premier League Division One South
2013–14Brighouse Town1stNorthern Premier League Division One North
2014–15Shaw Lane Aquaforce1stNorthern Premier League Division One South
2015–16Tadcaster Albion1stNorthern Premier League Division One North
2016–17Cleethorpes Town1stNorthern Premier League Division One South
2017–18Pontefract Collieries
Pickering Town
AFC Mansfield
Northern Premier League Division One East
Northern Premier League Division One East
Northern Premier League Division One East
2018–19Worksop Town1stNorthern Premier League Division One South-East

Cup competitions

League Cup

The league currently has just one cup competition, the League Cup, which is contested by every club in the league.


Season Winner Result Runner-up Venue Attendance
1982–83 Shepshed Charterhouse 1–0 Sutton Town
1983–84 Ossett Town 2–1 Ilkeston Town Coronation Park
1984–85 Alfreton Town 2–1 Long Eaton United Coronation Park
1985–86 Sutton Town 1–0 Bradley Rangers Tickhill Square
1986–87 Harrogate Railway Athletic 5–0 Woolley Miners Welfare Skinner Lane
1987–88 York Railway Institute 2–1 Rowntree Mackintosh Bootham Crescent
1988–89 Bridlington Town 3–1 Emley Skinner Lane
1989–90 Ossett Town 1–0 Bridlington Town Grange Lane
1990–91 Guiseley 1–0 North Ferriby United Ingfield
1991–92 North Shields 5–0 Armthorpe Welfare Queen's Terrace
1992–93 Spennymoor United 2–1 Thackley Ingfield
1993–94 Hucknall Town 4–1 Thackley Ingfield
1994–95 Stocksbridge Park Steels 3–0 North Ferriby United Queen's Terrace
1995–96 Ashfield United 8–2 Ossett Albion Christchurch Meadow
1996–97 Hucknall Town 3–1 Pontefract Collieries Millmoor
1997–98 Hucknall Town 1–0 North Ferriby United Welfare Ground
1998–99 Denaby United 1–0 Selby Town Wheatley Park
1999–00 Garforth Town 3–1 Glapwell Queen's Terrace
2000–01 Sheffield 2–1 Gedling Town North Street
2001–02 Alfreton Town 4–0 Armthorpe Welfare Sandy Lane
2002–03 Ossett Albion 3–0 Sheffield The Hawthorns
2003–04 Hallam 1–0 Mickleover Sports Silverlands
2004–05 Sheffield 2–1 Harrogate Railway Athletic Queen's Terrace 250
2005–06 Liversedge 5–1(agg) Sheffield 1L: Coach & Horses Ground
2L: Clayborn Ground
2006–07 Mickleover Sports 1–1(p) Garforth Town Coach & Horses Ground 243
2007–08 Winterton Rangers 3–1 Parkgate Inkersall Road 213
2008–09 Long Eaton United 4–0 Selby Town Inkersall Road 260
2009–10 Dinnington Town 5–2 Armthorpe Welfare Inkersall Road 195
2010–11 Farsley 3–0 Winterton Rangers Inkersall Road 235
2011–12 Thackley 3–2 Shirebrook Town Roundwood Sports Complex 272
2012–13 Thackley 3–1 Louth Town Inkersall Road 225
2013–14 Knaresborough Town 2–2(p) Eccleshill United Valley Parade 390
2014–15 Handsworth Parramore 4–3 Cleethorpes Town Inkersall Road 376
2015–16 Cleethorpes Town 3–2 Tadcaster Albion Brierlands Lane 423
2016–17 Penistone Church 4–1 Bridlington Town Bramall Lane 485
2017–18 Cup withdrawn; final abandoned[3]
2018–19 Worksop Town 3–1 Liversedge Keepmoat Stadium 1,075

President's Cup and Trophy

In the past the league has had additional cup competitions. The Trophy was contested by the Division One clubs and the President's Cup which featured the top eight teams in each division from the previous season, provided they remain in the league.


Season President's Cup Trophy
1990–91North Ferriby United
1991–92North Shields
1992–93Maltby Miners Welfare
1993–94Lincoln United
1994–95Arnold Town
1995–96Belper TownPontefract Collieries
1996–97Hucknall TownGarforth Town
1997–98Glasshoughton WelfareStaveley Miners Welfare
1998–99North Ferriby UnitedYorkshire Amateur
1999–00North Ferriby UnitedGoole
2000–01Selby TownPickering Town
2001–02Alfreton TownBridlington Town
2002–03Harrogate Railway AthleticMickleover Sports
2003–04Eastwood TownHall Road Rangers
2004–05BuxtonLincoln Moorlands
2005–06BuxtonRetford United
2006–07Retford UnitedParkgate
2007–08LiversedgeHall Road Rangers
2008–09NostellStaveley Miners Welfare
2009–10Winterton RangersStaveley Miners Welfare
2010–11Tadcaster AlbionGlasshoughton Welfare
2011–12HandsworthGrimsby Borough

Member clubs in national competitions

FA Cup First Round

The following NCEL clubs have reached the First Round proper of the FA Cup

Season NCEL Club Round Venue Result Opponents
1982–83Shepshed Charterhouse1stAwayLost 1–5Preston North End
1990–01Spennymoor United1stAwayLost 2–3Chesterfield
2001–02Brigg Town1stAwayLost 1–4Tranmere Rovers
2002–03Harrogate Railway Athletic1st
Won 2–1
Lost 1–3
Slough Town
Bristol City

FA Vase finalists

The following NCEL clubs have reached the Final of the FA Vase

Season NCEL Club Result Opponents
1987–88EmleyLost 0–1Colne Dynamoes
1989–90Bridlington TownLost 0–1Yeading
1990–91GuiseleyWon 3–1Gresley Rovers
1995–96Brigg TownWon 3–0Clitheroe
1996–97North Ferriby UnitedLost 0–3Whitby Town
2002–03Brigg TownWon 2–1AFC Sudbury
2016–17Cleethorpes TownLost 0–4South Shields


  1. "Northern Counties (East) League". Nozdrul. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  2. "Division One Play-off Details Announced". Northern Counties East Football League. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  3. "BREAKING NEWS! NCEL Release Statement Regarding League Cup!". The Bootiful Game. 14 July 2018.
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