Moving on apace to 18th February and a day that has had it all. Heavy wins, heavy defeats, cup matches and league matches, matches abandoned and 7-hour round trips for what proved to be nothing more than a trip to McDonald’s.
Our look back begins in 1911 and a Finchley & District League Division 1 match against New Barnet Town that ended in a 2-1 defeat and in 1922 a Tottenham Hotspur XI came to The Avenue Ground and departed with a 3-1 win, Cecil Wise scoring the Hampstead Town goal.
1928 saw a local derby in the Middlesex Senior Cup against Tufnell Park watched by a crowd of 2,000. Goals from Harry Shearcroft (2), Oscar Reinke and R Sear saw Hampstead to a 4-0 win and five-years later in 1933 a trip to Cambridge Town in the Amateur FA Senior Cup ended without score.
In 1939 a Bob Thomas goal was enough to settle another Middlesex Senior Cup tie, this time against Hayes, before a 1950 tie in the same competition at Claremont Road saw a 10-goal thriller against Finchley. Sadly only four of those goals were scored by Hendon – Roy Stroud, Bill Reay, Ernie Joyce and Danny Shreeves on target – knocking them out of the tournament.
Miles Spector netted the only goal of the game in a 1956 Athenian League match at Redhill and 1961 saw an opportunity for the Greens to gain revenge over Finchley for their Middlesex Senior Cup exit eleven years before. Goals from Jimmy Quail and Terry Howard did just that as the Greens won 2-0.
An unusual Thursday evening match in 1965 saw a 1-1 draw in the Isthmian League against Oxford City in which Roy Sleap scored the Hendon goal, this on the same day that Gambia declared independence from the UK and two years later goals from David Hogwood and Tony Harding beat Southall in the Middlesex Senior Cup.
1975 saw a local derby against Enfield end ignominiously as the E’s dished out a 5-0 thumping at Southbury Road but three years later in 1978 it was the Greens that netted five without reply, this time against Carshalton Athletic at Claremont Road. George Brooks grabbed a hat-trick with Peter Anderson and Roy Butler.
In 1984 a Gary Allen wasn’t enough to prevent the Greens slipping to defeat against Walthamstow Avenue and five-years later Phil Gridelet dished out the kind of beating to a dressing room door that the Greens had suffered on the field at the hands of Leyton-Wingate. In amongst an avalanche of goals from the home team Steve Scott grabbed one for the Greens – the 9-1 defeat remains the heaviest post-war loss suffered by the club.
The post-Neil Price era under the temporary stewardship of Andy O’Brien in 1997 began with a welcome and crucial 2-1 win over Kingstonian thanks to a couple of goals from Junior Lewis and 6-years later on a frozen Tuesday evening referee Matt Downey finally bowed to the inevitable and abandoned a Middlesex Senior Cup tie at Wealdstone with the score locked at 1-1 after the Stones goalkeeper suffered a potentially serious injury after making a fine save and falling onto the solid surface.
Billericay won a 2006 Isthmian League match 1-0 at New Lodge before 12-months later a Davis Haule goal settled a league match at Claremont Road against Slough Town to continue the Greens’ pull away from the relegation dogfight. That scoreline, 1-0, was repeated once again in 2013 as Isaiah Rankin came off the bench at Fetcham Grove to defeat Leatherhead with the only goal of the game.
Tony Taggart and Sam Murphy grabbed the goals in the Isthmian League Cup as a youthful Maidstone United side were overcome 2-0 at Earlsmead to book a semi-final at home against another promotion rival, Margate. Today’s action ends in 2017 as eventual league champions Havant & Waterlooville overcame a dogged Greens side 3-2 at West Leigh Park. Keagan Cole and a Matt Ball stunner from a long-range free kick netted for Gary McCann’s side but after James Harper’s dismissal they couldn’t keep the title favourites out.
Last season would have seen the Greens take on Poole Town, however after passing an afternoon inspection supporters and players made the journey down to the south coast through plenty of rush-hour traffic on the M3 to find upon arrival that the incessant rain since departure had taken its toll on the surface which was now waterlogged. Having not been able to stop on the outward journey, a stop at services on the way home was topped off by the coach reversing into car in the car park. Players and supporters traipsed into McDonald’s for dinner whilst details were exchanged before setting off back for home in time for last orders.
Of the 20 competitive matches to have been played on this day ten have been won with two draws and 7 defeats, plus the abandonment at Wealdstone. 32 goals have been scored and 30 conceded.