Stowmarket Town and Lakenheath promoted as part of non-league restructure while Soham Town Rangers move sideways
Stowmarket Town and Lakenheath have both been promoted as part of the FA's restructure of non-league football, while Soham Town Rangers are facing up to the prospect of a sideways move.
The news means that both Stowmarket and Lakenheath will be playing at the highest level in their respective histories next term. For the Old Gold & Blacks it will be a 2021/22 campaign at Step 4 in the Isthmian League North Division alongside the likes of neighbouring Bury Town and AFC Sudbury.
As for Lakenheath, they are now a Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division outfit after three years at Step 6.
Teams were identified as candidates for promotion using the following formula implemented by the FA: "Each club will be allocated an unweighted points per game figure on the basis of its completed fixtures in both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, i.e. the club’s total points across both seasons will be added together and divided by the number of games it has played across both seasons. Clubs will then be ranked within their respective leagues on the basis of those calculations."
Those regarded to have been ranked high enough in their leagues were then invited to lodge an application to go up, with Stowmarket and Lakenheath both successful.
These promotions – plus the formation of a new league at Step 4 – has also resulted in some clubs being relocated, one of which is Soham after 10 seasons within the Isthmian League set-up.
They have been moved to the Northern League Division One Midlands, which includes trips to the likes of Chasetown, Coleshill Town and Sutton Coldfield Town, though they have retained the Cambridgeshire derbies with Cambridge City and Histon, both of whom have moved with them.
There is also some sideways movement lower down pyramid at Step 6, with AFC Sudbury Reserves, Haverhill Borough and Cornard United transferring from the First Division North into the First Division South.
Clubs have seven days to appeal their placement at a cost of £100.