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Credit to ‘worst team in England’ after losing 32 games and conceded 329 goals for 23/24 season

Credit to the ‘worst team in England’ in Sturminster Marshall FC after losing 32 games and conceded 329 goals for 23/24 season.

The young squad, with an average age of 18, battled hard in the Dorset Premier Football League, which is the 11th tier of English football.

Avril Lancaster on Facebook writes: “Sturminster Marshall dropped to Dorset Football League Division 4 and worked their way back up. I saw them beat Hamworthy Recreation Reserves 5-0 winning promotion. I believe that team now plays for the Reserves leaving the youth to play in the DPL. Don’t forget they did OK in the DPL in 2022/23. These lads will do ok in the Senior League and all of us in Dorset have respect for how they stuck at it.”

In the league, they played 30 games, conceded 301 goals conceded, and only 10 scored. They also played two cup matches, of which they conceded a further 28 goals, scored 0, and unsurprisingly got knocked out of both.

But you’ve got to give them credit for playing the campaign out when many would have gave up and walked away halfway through after all the challenges they’ve faced.

The club tweeted at the end of the season: “Final game of the season. Probably the toughest season we have faced. Having lost all our players and coaches, we knew this season was going to be a huge challenge. We never expected it to be this huge. Having signed lots of young players, promoted lots of U16s and signing various players over the year to get us through it’s been tough.

“However, it probably has been one of our best seasons for showcasing the mentality of the club, staff, players and supporters. We did not quit. We did not fold. We did not get fined. We didn’t get points deducted. We played every game and fulfilled every fixture. We got close in some games. We were well off the pace in others.

“I personally want to thank the coaches. Rob, Scouse, Lloyd and Zach. You’ve been fantastic. I want to thanks the supporters. Having people still turn out and support has been amazing. I want to thank the players. A special group of honest, resilient, and funny guys.

“Despite the results it’s been a pleasure to work with you. I want to thank the league for having us and supporting us and all their kind words of support.

“I want to thank the other clubs. Blandford Utd FC, Poole Borough FC, Balti Sports Fc, Merley Cobham Sports FC, Dorchester Sports FC, and the rest 👏🏻 For respecting us, giving us your best, no charity or favours and making us feel like a DPL side.

“Apologies we couldn’t give some of you more of a challenge! To my U16s, Ben, Sam, George, Charlie, Jack and Ethan.

“Thank you for stepping up and putting up with me again. We will now break, recover, rebuild and go again next season. We will come back stronger and one day return. #upthemarshall 👍🏻💚”

Final game of the season.
Probably the toughest season we have faced.
Having lost all our players and coaches we knew…

Posted by Sturminster Marshall FC on Tuesday 23 April 2024

THEIR RESULTS:

Lg – 23/04/24 – 18:30 – Sturminster Marshall 1-14 (HT 0-6) Holt United
Lg – 20/04/24 – 15:00 – Swanage Town & Herston 10-0 (HT 4-0) Sturminster Marshall
Lg – 16/04/24 – 18:30 – Holt United 14-0 (HT 9-0) Sturminster Marshall
Lg – 06/04/24 – 15:00 – Balti Sports 11-0 (HT 3-0) Sturminster Marshall
Lg – 30/03/24 – 15:00 – Sturminster Marshall 0-5 (HT 0-3) Hamworthy United FC Reserves
Lg – 23/03/24 – 15:00 – Sturminster Marshall 1-3 (HT 1-1) Poole Borough
Lg – 16/03/24 – 15:00 – Sturminster Marshall 0-10 (HT 0-4) Blandford United
Lg – 02/03/24 – 15:00 – Sturminster Marshall 1-6 (HT 1-3) Sherborne Town FC Reserves
Lg – 17/02/24 – 14:00 – Bournemouth Sports 6-1 (HT 2-1) Sturminster Marshall
Lg – 10/02/24 – 14:00 – Sturminster Marshall 0-12 (HT 0-9) Merley Cobham Sports
Lg – 03/02/24 – 14:00 – Dorchester Sports 16-0 (HT 7-0) Sturminster Marshall
Lg – 13/01/24 – 14:00 – Portland United FC Reserves 19-0 (HT 10-0) Sturminster Marshall
Lg – 06/01/24 – 14:00 – Sturminster Marshall 0-5 (HT 0-3) Bridport FC Reserves
Lg – 23/12/23 – 14:00 – Merley Cobham Sports 18-0 (HT 9-0) Sturminster Marshall
Lg – 16/12/23 – 14:00 – Wimborne Town FC Reserves 21-0 (HT 8-0) Sturminster Marshall

Lg – 25/11/23 – 14:00 – Poole Borough 7-0 (HT 5-0) Sturminster Marshall
Lg – 18/11/23 – 14:00 – Sturminster Marshall 0-6 (HT 0-3) Sturminster Newton United
Lg – 11/11/23 – 14:00 – Sturminster Marshall 1-8 (HT 0-3) Wimborne Town FC Reserves
Lg – 28/10/23 – 15:00 – Sturminster Marshall 0-8 (HT 0-3) Westland Sports
Lg – 21/10/23 – 15:00 – Bridport FC Reserves 10-0 (HT 4-0) Sturminster Marshall
Lg – 14/10/23 – 15:00 – Sturminster Marshall 0-13 (HT 0-4) Swanage Town & Herston
CC – 07/10/23 – 14:30 – Sturminster Newton United 12-0 Sturminster Marshall
Cup – 30/09/23 – 15:00 – Sturminster Marshall 0-16 (HT 0-6) Holt United
Lg – 23/09/23 – 15:00 – Blandford United 19-1 (HT 5-1) Sturminster Marshall
Lg – 16/09/23 – 15:00 – Westland Sports 8-2 (HT 3-1) Sturminster Marshall
Lg – 13/09/23 – 19:45 – Sherborne Town FC Reserves 6-0 (HT 4-0) Sturminster Marshall
Lg – 09/09/23 – 15:00 – Sturminster Newton United 13-0 (HT 3-0) Sturminster Marshall
Lg – 02/09/23 – 15:00 – Sturminster Marshall 1-2 (HT 0-0) Balti Sports
Lg – 26/08/23 – 15:00 – Sturminster Marshall 0-4 (HT 0-1) Portland United FC Reserves
Lg – 23/08/23 – 18:30 – Sturminster Marshall 1-8 (HT 0-3) Bournemouth Sports
Lg – 19/08/23 – 15:00 – Hamworthy United FC Reserves 10-0 (HT 6-0) Sturminster Marshall
Lg – 12/08/23 – 15:00 – Sturminster Marshall 0-9 (HT 0-4) Dorchester Sports

The 2023/24 league table doesn’t make for good reading, but things can only get better from here, and it hasn’t always been like this.

For the 2022/23 season, they finished 10th (out of 17 teams) in the same division, with 43 points from 32 games played, scoring 60 and conceded 74.

This is how Twitter users reacted, giving credit to ‘worst team in England’ after losing 32 games and conceded 329 goals for 23/24 season…

@herbsty88: Fair play to you boys it would be very easy to give up! Yesterday you kept trying to play and it would of been easy to get frustrated, argue and get silly cards but you didn’t. The keeper had a good game may sound silly but he made some great saves was a positive for you!

Ian Gilmartin: I have so much respect for your club, Dave Miller, the committee, management, players and everyone associated with your club, you could have made the decision to withdraw and throw the DPL in turmoil but you put the word commitment into a totally different context, you put the league before your plight, I take my hat off to you, I hope your pathway back to DPL football via the Dorset League serves you well, congratulations on your resilience from all in grassroots football I’m sure⚽️👏💚

@SidMullins2: Fantastic attitude would be so easy to give up but credit to you I hope things start to turn around

@SirJohnyBines: Great attitude 👏 keep fighting!

@Chris15931094: I’m a long way from Dorset, stay together and as Winny said “ When you’re going through Hell,Keep going” – Chris from Canada!

Graham Legg: Well done for sticking at it the experience gained by the younger players will show how much stronger you will be. also great to praise your coaching staff and a you should pat yourself on the back for getting through the season but I would also like to mention mr sturminster Marshall Dave Miller as I have known Dave for years and without the likes if Dave clubs wouldn’t exist.so have a good rest and come back stronger all the best

@KeithW16: Cracking club, hope it works out. Very hard with the attitude of some of these lads nowadays

@ged_tucker: Thought you played some good football and the high scoring loss didn’t reflect that fact. Difficult but watched Bridport go a whole season without a win not to recently so keep going!!

@MJohnmorgan1: Congratulations on your football ethics. In football as in life you need to take winning and losing, hard times and easy times. It is a great lesson for future life experience & character building. Keep battling.

@PaulMurphy75: Fair play to @SturMarshallFC most teams would have folded but they have turned up every week, played out the 90 mins, dusted themselves down and gone again the following week, lost EVERY GAME but not given up 👏👏

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