Hendon's FA Cup adventures - Part 3

Greensnet Editor
Tue 30 Oct 2012, 13:05

In our third part of our FA Cup memories, we begin in the 1973-74 season, which resulted in the best FA Cup run in the club's history so far.

Having seen off Barnet in a fourth qualifying round replay, the reward was a home tie against fellow Isthmian Leaguers Leytonstone. Two goals from Kieron Somers and one from John Baker saw the East London side off 3-0. A trip into Wales came next, with a visit to Merthyr Tydfil. Again, we ran out 3-0 winners, Kieron Somers, John Baker and Alan Phillips scoring.

The reward for that victory in Wales was a trip to the North-East, and Newcastle United in particular. The Magpies were pressing towards the top of the old First Division at the time, and after we drew 1-1, Rod Haider scoring our goal, the result drawing plaudits from around the media, and many regard this match as the club's finest hour and it was played in front of a crowd of 31,606, believed to be the largest for a Hendon game not played at Wembley Stadium.

The replay was held at Watford's Vicarage Road ground four days later, and despite going a goal down in the 14th minutes, the second goal didn't come until 50 minutes later. Eventually the Magpies won 4-0, eventually reaching the final when they were beaten 3-0 by Liverpool.

1975 was memorable for different reasons, a first FA Cup win against Football League opposition. Whilst league clubs had been beaten in county competition and friendlies, this was the first in a major competition. Reading were the visitors to Claremont Road, and a goal from Alan Phillips was enough to earn the 1-0 win. The second round saw Swindon Town come to Claremont Road, but the heroics of the previous round couldn't be repeated, and it was Swindon's turn to win 1-0.

We returned to Vicarage Road in 1977, this time to play Watford, who won 2-0.

1981 saw more Isthmian League opposition come to Claremont Road, Wycombe Wanderers taking us back for a replay with a 1-1 draw. Anthony Bennett scored our goal in the first game. The replay, played in front of 2,507, saw Wycombe win 2-0.

In 1988, Reading were once again the opponents, and they gained revenge for their 1975 defeat by winning 4-2. Our goals were scored by Iain Dowie, who went on to have an excellent career in the professional game and with Northern Ireland, and Gary Keen.

In our final part tomorrow, we'll look at our second FA Cup win over league opposition.