CDGFC HISTORY to 2016-17
Crawley Down Gatwick FC have made a remarkable rise from parks football to the Ryman League in less than 20 years. The club was only formed in 1993 but have enjoyed the type of success many could only hope for in their short history. In 2011 Sussex County League title success and promotion to Step 4 Football was followed by an appearance at the AMEX in the Sussex Senior Cup Final in 2012.
1983-95 Delving back into the history books to 1983, Crawley Down United could be found nestled in Division Six of the Mid Sussex League. By 1988 the club had risen to Div One, winning three league titles and finishing runners-up on two occasions. After three seasons in Div One they won promotion to the Premier Division as runners up to Lindfield. 1993/94 culminated in a merger with two local sides and adopting the name Crawley Down Village they finished third in the following season. 1994/5 they claimed their first Premier Division title by a massive margin of ten points from 2nd placed Wealden.
1995-2003 In 1995 the Anvils joined the Sussex County League Division Three. In the first season they finished second and found themselves making an even swifter move into Senior Football. They also reached the final of the Intermediate Cup. The first two seasons in Division Two provided much sought after consolidation but in the 1998-99 season they finished in a promotion position but only to be denied a place in Division One because they could not persuade Mid Sussex District Council to allow the installation of floodlights in time. The following season they thought they had finished in a promotion spot again only to be thwarted by a late decision to award Lancing three extra points after Mile Oak had fielded an illegible player. The next four seasons were not so easy for the club with changes of management and they finished no higher than 11th in that period.
The 2004-07 era was better as they finished tenth and fifth and In the Division Two Cup, they reached the semi-final stage two years running. 2006-07 was a struggle only staying up after an outstanding finish to the season loosing just two of the last 14 matches. Cup form was better, reaching both the Q/F of the Sussex RUR Cup and the Div Two Cup.
2007-08 was a massive year for the club as the culmination of 10 years’ hard work behind the scenes paid off with the Anvils given the go ahead to upgrade facilities. Floodlights, hard standing and stands followed and were in place for the start of the new season. The Team finished 6th and reached the semi-final of the John O’Hara League Cup. In the FA Vase they reached the 4th round losing away at Brockenhurst. The Anvils also entertained Brighton & HA in the Sussex Senior Cup. By now, the club were gaining momentum on and off the pitch and they finally won promotion to Div One with a third place finish.
2009-2010 Many expected the Division One new boys to struggle but they defied the odds to enjoy a tremendous season, finishing eighth in the league and enjoying good cup runs in the FA Cup and FA Vase as well as reaching the League Cup Final.
2010-11 Proved to be the most successful season in the club’s history as the Anvils won the County League Division One and promotion to the Ryman League by a margin of 15 points as well as winning the RUR Cup. They reached the semi-finals of both the John O’Hara and the Sussex Senior Cups where they lost to Blue Square prem side Eastbourne Borough.
2011-12 Saw the Club compete in the Ryman Isthmian South for the first time and the Club set about building a team to compete at this level, finishing in 15th place and also getting to the Sussex Senior Cup Final at the AMEX, losing out in the last minute to Ryman South Champions Whitehawk. A name change to Crawley Down Gatwick FC was approved highlighting the wider area to which the Club is now associated.
2012/14 Season started remarkably well with the team topping the Ryman South table through to November but finally finishing in 13th position. Forced Manager changes meant a massive dip in form in 2013/14, which saw the Anvils plummet from the top of the table to 19th Place by the end of Jan and finally end up second to bottom and relegation back to the Sussex County League.
2014/15 The Club decided after rejoining the County League to go back to its roots and try to use local intermediate players, unfortunately this did not work out and the Club were well in the relegation zone by Xmas. Managerial changes were not able to retrieve the situation although form was better the team finally ended 2nd to bottom and further relegation followed to the newly named Southern Combination League Div 1. 2015/16 Saw the revival of the side under Paul Cooper as the rebuilt Anvils challenged in the top 3 all season, finally finishing in 2nd place behind Haywards Hth Town and 14 points clear of 3rd placed Oakwood to gain promotion back to the Southern Combination Premier Division.
2016/17 Back in the SCL Prem the side continued its improvement finishing in a creditable mid table position and reaching the RUR Cup Final in that first year. The story continues.