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Club News

Everything You Need To Know: Didcot Town

26 October 2015

A look at the Grecians' hosts in the FA Cup First Round

MONDAY EVENING'S Emirates FA Cup First Round draw saw Exeter City handed a tricky-looking tie away to Southern League Division One South & West side Didcot Town.

Nicknamed Diddy, the Railwaymen, the Artillerymen and the Gunners, Didcot are managed by the duo of Ian Concannon and Jamie Heapy.

The Oxfordshire outfit play in the eighth tier of English football, making them the lowest-ranked side remaining in this season's competition. This is also their first-ever appearance in the First Round Proper of the FA Cup.

But what do we know of Didcot Town? OLIVER RODERICK has done the research.


Club History

Founded in 1907, Didcot Town spent their early years in four different regional leagues - the North Berks League (starting in 1910), the Reading League (1928), the Metropolitan League and then the Hellenic League as founder members in 1953.

They made their FA Cup debut in the 1975-76 season, but were eliminated before the first round proper and relegated that same year. They reached their current league in the pyramid, the Southern League Division One South & West, in 2006, setting a Hellenic League record by eclipsing a hundred points on their way to the title. They had come close the previous year, being denied the title by only a point after fielding an ineligible player, but they would win the FA Vase for the first time that same campaign.

Play-off final success secured a two-year stay in the Southern Football League Premier Division between 2009 and 2011, but they have remained in their current division in the years since. They have lost only two of their past twelve games.

The Railwaymen wear red-and-white shirts, white shorts and red-and-white socks, meaning the Grecians will have to wear one of their two change strips when they visit.


Key Personnel

Chairman John Bailey represented Swindon Town in the Football League as a player, also playing for Cheltenham Town in non-league. He has been chairman of Diddy since 1995.

Ian Concannon saw countless goalscoring records fall when he was a player for Didcot - he also bagged tons for Wallingford, Oxford City and Hungerford during a notable non-league career.

Fellow joint-manager Jamie Heapy made over 750 appearances for the club, with the Railwaymen's website describing him as "Mr. Didcot". With the club since he was sixteen, he is now approaching a third decade with Diddy.


How did they reach this stage?

Didcot reached the First Round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history last weekend, and did so in spectacular style against ten-man Brentwood Town. After falling behind to goals from Craig Reid and former Oxford United frontman Jamie Guy, Mark Janes and Jack Longford levelled before the break. Josh Banton was sent off for Brentwood with the scores level, and Didcot ran away with it after that, winning 4-2 thanks to further goals from Josh Dutton-Black and Jack Powell.

Before that, there was a 4-1 win over Eastbourne Town in the Third Qualifying Round, a 2-1 win at Northwood in the second, a 4-3 replay win over VCD Athletic in the first and even before that, a 4-3 success at Wantage Town in the Preliminary Round.


Social Media

Didcot passed the 4,000 follower mark when news of the Cup draw broke - their understated Tweet of "ITS EXETER CITY AT HOME" had garnered 56 retweets and 74 favourites at the time of writing.


Draycott Engineering Loop Meadow Stadium

Didcot Town have called DELMS home since the sale of their former home, Station Road, in 1999. Station Road has since been converted into a car park for a new shopping centre.

Two 175 standing terraces have been erected at the Railway End to comply with FA ground specifications, while one hundred extra seats have recently been added to the initially 150-seater Main Stand. There is also a covered standing area. The attendance record at the ground was set at a visit of Reading for a friendly in 2006.

By train: Didcot Parkway is a 0.5 mile walk away. Turn left out of the main entrance, and after 300 yards take a left under Cow Lane bridge. The ground is then on the left, across the park.

By car: From the A34, take the A4130 towards Didcot. At the first roundabout take the first exit, then at the next roundabout take the third exit, then head straight across the next two roundabouts. At the fifth roundabout turn right into Avon Way; follow it for half a mile, then go straight across a mini-roundabout and the ground is on the left.

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