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Conference set up for an exciting and open season

Money doesn't look like buying promotion this time

icon promotion2 October ~ Thirteen games into the season and the Conference is beginning to take shape. Unusually, given the recent trend of financial basket cases and clubs on a downward spiral dropping into non-League and then struggling, last season's relegated teams – Torquay United and Bristol Rovers – are both in the hunt for automatic promotion. Both Rovers and the Gulls are in as good health as a team that's just been relegated to non-League can be and this has been reflected by their results so far.

Badge of the week ~ FK Ryazan, Russia

Ryazan2 October ~ FK Ryazan trace their lineage back to the Russian 5th Grenadiers of the 18th century. The "Five-to-Fours" were thus named because of their distinctive stance (pictured) when called to assemble. Only the "Five-to-Fours" could stand with their sword and scabbard at this particular angle as they had come up with the position themselves in a secret meeting and patented it. A bit like Alan Shearer's goal celebration and Gordon Brown's self-comforting tongue loll. Read more

On this day in history ~ Premier League, 2007

PLRESULTS 29090729 September ~ An early goal from Robin van Persie secured the points for Arsène Wenger's most cosmopolitan Arsenal side to date. There were no British players among the 14 who played at West Ham and only two, Theo Walcott and Justin Hoyte, started league matches; Mark Randall made one substitute appearance. Arsenal stayed top, barring a couple of weeks, until late March. After 2-1 away defeats to challengers Chelsea and Manchester United in the run-in, they finished third.

Sampdoria 1-2 Genoa, Seria A, 1990-91

28 September ~ Genoa face Sampdoria today at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium in the first Derby della Lanerna (Derby of the Lighthouse) of the Serie A season. While Genoa are 121 years old and the fourth-most successful team in the country with nine titles, it is the young Sampdoria – formed in 1946 – who have the most recent Scudetto. In 1991 a team featuring Gianluca Vialli, Roberto Mancini and Gianluca Pagliuca won the club’s only League championship. While Genoa trailed in a respectable fourth place, they at least had the edge on the derbies, drawing one 0-0 and winning the other 2-1, goals from Stefano Eranio and Branco cancelling out a Vialli strike.

A (repetitive) techno tribute to Brazilian Robson Ponte

28 September ~ Not that many footballers have had songs dedicated to them. But Brazilian midfielder Robson Ponte clearly impressed during his time in Germany, prompting techno producer Reinhard Voigt to pen this (slightly repetitive) tribute. Sent in by Chris Hill

Getting shirty ~ Eastleigh home, 2005-06

Notable kits of yesteryear

Eastleigh0625 September ~ Changing of club colours may be frowned upon, but Eastleigh have paid little heed. This season's Conference newcomers have had three major changes recently, turning out in white, royal blue and sky blue before reverting once again to royal blue; a predominantly white kit was worm for their debut season in the Conference South in 2005. Shirt sponsor Southern Exhaust Supplies had been with the club since the days of the Jewson Wessex League – a league which Eastleigh helped to found in 1986 – and no doubt harboured similar ambitions to cement a strong regional profile.

WSC 332 out now

October issue available online and in stores

wsc332 The new WSC is out now, dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop

- Fans protest ticket prices
- Can standing return?
- Broadcasting special: MOTD at 50
- Brazil goes backwards
- Shildon v Crook – FA Cup starts here
- Where are the black managers?

On this day in history ~ Division One, 1999

D1res 25099925 September ~ Birmingham led Division One for the first and only time this season after two penalties from Paul Furlong beat QPR. They slipped back to fifth after losing three of their next four games and finished in the same position, losing in the play-off semi-finals to Dave Bassett's Barnsley who were beaten at Wembley by Ipswich. Manchester City had a chance to regain the top spot with a match at Ipswich the following day but they lost 2-1.

Angular floodlights of Faroe Islands' home

Faroe300Torsvollur stadium is the Faroe Islands' 6,040 national stadium in Torshavn. It was built in 1999, replacing the Svangaskaro ground in Toftir. The distinctive angular floodlights were not added until 2011 and were used officially for the first time against Italy in September that year.

It's tough being an Arsenal fan

It's only September and Arsenal fans are already struggling with the ups and downs of modern football – and Danny Welbeck.

On this day in history ~ Division Two, 1974

d2res 210974 30021 September ~ Manchester United topped the table throughout the season with an average crowd of 48,388, nearly 20,000 higher than the next best supported club, Sunderland. Striker Stuart Pearson, signed from Hull in the summer, was their top scorer with 17 goals, ahead of Irish midfielder Gerry Daly who converted five penalties in the first seven games. After their 4-0 defeat of Norwich, Fulham fell out of the promotion race, winning won only one of their next ten games.

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