Cup Competitions

Home | F.A.Cup | F.A.Trophy | Kent League (Division One) Cup | Southern League Cup | Kent Senior Cup | Southern League Championship Match | Kent Senior Shield | Kent Floodlight League | Minor Competitions/Friendlies

Click on the links above to view Dover F.C.'s record in the various competitions.

Click on this link to return to the History of Dover Football Club home-page.


The F.A.Cup is, of course, the most famous and prestigious club competition in the world. Unfortunately, Dover Athletic's record in the Cup is embarrassing and abysmal, to put it mildly. Dover F.C.'s record in this competition was only slightly better, losing to supposedly inferior opposition in most seasons, usually at Crabble. However, we did reach the First Round Proper in 1960, 1971, 1975, and 1981. In 1975, we actually beat Colchester United, who were then in what is now "League One", and progressed to a Second Round tie at Southend United. The tie was played on a Saturday evening, and it made history as the first tie to be scheduled to be played after the draw for the next round. We drew Brighton in the Third Round, but went down 4-1 at Roots Hall, a scoreline that was very flattering to the home side.


The Southern League Challenge Cup was first played for in the 1932-33 season. The final was played on a two leg basis, the first time that a cup tie had been decided in that way. The first winners were Plymouth Argyle (Reserves), who beat Folkestone 6-3 on aggregate. Dover first entered the competition in 1959-60, and our best run was in reaching the semi-finals in 1975-76. Financial problems meant that both legs were played away at Wimbledon, and we lost 4-1 on aggregate. Dover Athletic, on the other hand, have won the Cup once, beating Dorchester 4-0 on aggregate in the final in 1991-92, and have been beaten finalists once, losing 3-2 on aggregate to Stourbridge the following season.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              


This is the cup that is awarded to the winners of the annual Southern League Championship Match, which is now usually the Premier Division champions v. the League Cup winners. If a club wins both competitions, then their opponents are the League Cup beaten finalists. Before the Second World War, however, the Championship Match was between the winners of the two divisions of the League, the Western and the Eastern. We have competed in this match three times, winning twice. We beat V.S.Rugby 2-1 at Crabble in 1990, we lost 2-0 at Bromsgrove Rovers in 1992, and we beat Stourbridge 2-1 at Crabble in 1993.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             


The Kent Senior Cup is the County's premier cup competition, and it is now open to the teams that play in the F.A.Trophy, and the previous season's Kent Senior Trophy winners. Until amateurism was abolished in 1974, all the senior clubs in the County entered, and there were qualifying rounds played. After that, the Senior Trophy was introduced, effectively taking the place of the Kent Amateur Cup. Dover reached the semi-finals of the Senior Cup in 1904 and 1905, and first reached the final in 1938. We first lifted the Cup in 1952, beating Dartford 2-0 at Gillingham in front of an official attendance of 13,119. I'm told that there was actually nearly 15,000 there. We have won the Cup a number of times since then, but with games now not taken as seriously as they should, we have been victims of numerous 'giant-killing' acts in recent years.


                                                                                                                          The F.A.Trophy was instituted in 1969, as the semi-professional clubs outside the Football League were clamouring for a competition similar to the F.A.Amateur Cup. In 1974, amateurism was abolished, and the senior amateur clubs entered the Trophy, and the 'more junior' senior clubs entered a new competition - the F.A.Vase. Dover has competed in the Trophy in every season since its inception, with our most successful season being 1997-98, when Dover Athletic reached the semi-final, losing to Cheltenham Town 4-3 on aggregate. Dover F.C.'s best run was reaching the Third Round in 1970-71, losing 1-0 at Macclesfield Town.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


The Kent Senior Shield was first played for in 1911-12, when Crystal Palace were the winners. Millwall won it for the next two seasons. It was played for regularly until 1970, and then as a pre-season tournament in 1977-78. The last winners were Sheppey United. Our only success in the Shield was in 1950, when we beat Ramsgate 4-0 in the final at Margate. We have been beaten finalists on four occasions. Usually, the four Kent Senior Cup semi-finalists of the previous season together with four other "most appropriate" clubs from the County were invited to compete.