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It’s April Fool’s Day and whilst we continue our look back in history there will be no mention of anything that didn’t happen or any attempts at subterfuge.
We start in 1911 and a Willesden League match against Wealdstone for which we currently don’t have the result. Eleven years later in 1922 a strike from Lewis Smith was enough to beat Metrogas in the Athenian League at the Avenue Ground before a visit to Southall in 1925 ended 1-1, Vic Rowe on target for the Greens in that one.
In 1933 as Wally Hammond smashed the test-match record in Auckland, scoring 336 in the drawn second test in an innings that included 34 fours and 10 sixes and the Nazis under the direction of Julius Streicher organised a one-day boycott of all Jewish-owned businesses in Germany, ushering in the era systematic persecution of Jews in Germany, goals from George Bucci and Jimmy Spalton saw the club to a 2-0 win over Bromley in the Athenian League.
Jock Ellison and Bob Thomas grabbed the goals in a 4-2 defeat in 1939 at Wealdstone, also in the Athenian League, this on the day that Franco’s government was recognised by the US signalling the end of the Spanish Civil War as the final remnants of the Republican forces surrendered. Pope Pius XII later sent his congratulations to the Generalissimo on his victory. Elsewhere, American actress Ali MacGraw was born in Pound Ridge, New York.
A 1944 Claremont Road derby against Tufnell Park in the Herts & Middlesex County League saw a 3-1 win for Golders Green with Bob Gallacher, G Cox and F Barker on target, this on the same day that a navigation error saw US planes inadvertently bomb the Swiss city of Schaffhausen on the German border. Since air-raid sirens often sounded previously without an attack materialising the alarm went largely ignored resulting in the tragic death of 40 civilians.
Moving onto 1950 and a London Senior Cup tie against Dulwich Hamlet ended in a humbling 5-0 defeat at Champion Hill and then on the day that Britain’s Got Talent star Susan Boyle was born in 1961, a third fixture against Wealdstone this time saw the Greens win, David Bell grabbing the only goal of the game in the 1-0 success.
Another London Senior Cup tie in 1967 also ended in the Greens’ defeat, this time at home to Walthamstow Avenue who progressed with a 2-1 win, the Hendon goal coming from an own goal and in the same competition in 1972 John Baker led the way with two goals in a 4-0 trouncing of St Albans City. Other goals came from John Connell and Tony Bass.
It was back to league action in 1974 as the Local Government Act of 1972 came into being and Barking hosted the Greens in a 1-1 draw, Baker once again on target, and a year later Enfield came to Claremont Road and returned with the points courtesy of a 1-0 win.
Rod Haider grabbed a couple of goals in 1978 in a 3-0 Isthmian League win over Tilbury at Claremont Road, George Brooks also finding the net and Alan Roughan was the unlikely goalscorer in a 1989 clash with Grays Athletic that ended 1-1, this on the day that the Poll Tax was introduced in Scotland, much to everyone’s excitement.
Marlow provided the opposition in 1995 for a goalless draw at Claremont Road in a game that saw Mick Browne give a debut to on-loan Stevenage striker Martin Gittings, you’ll hear more about him in the coming days and weeks, and there was no April Fool’s joke in 2000 as the predictable happened at Claremont Road with Purfleet coming to North West London and winning 3-1.
2002 saw Dave Anderson’s side take on his eventual successor, Tony Choules’ Northwood side, in the Middlesex Senior Cup final at Hayes’ Church Road ground. Martin Randall opened the scoring against his old side in the 55th minute before Chris Gell equalised in the 78th minute to force ectra time. Randall grabbed his second of the game just before the turnaround in extra-time before substitute Ricci Crace looked to have won the game in the 105th minute to make it 3-1. Lawrence Yaku reduced the arrears to setup a grandstand finish with five minutes remining only for Dale Binns to score in stoppage time and finally kill-off the Northwood charge to secure the silverware.
A year later and Crace was on target again, this time to secure an impressive 1-0 win over high-flying Canvey Island at Claremont Road before a visit to mid-Essex to take on fellow strugglers Maldon Town in 2006 ended all-square, Ross Pickett and Blaise O’Brien scoring in the 2-2 draw which did neither side’s survival hopes much good.
2008 saw a local derby against Boreham Wood finish 1-0 to the Hertfordshire side and five years later in 2013 as the world’s first smelling TV screen is unveiled in Japan, Wingate and Finchley won 2-0 at Vale Farm in another local derby defeat, future Hendonians Spencer McCall, Anthony Thomas started for the visitors whilst Leon Smith came off the bench to seal the points late on, whilst Wayne O’Sullivan also started.
Smith did the trick a year to the day later when he started for the Greens, this time at Lewes, scoring both goals in a 2-0 win, this on the day that Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, Kiss, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and we end in 2017 when the Greens’ survival chances took a blow when a controversial winner gave Tonbridge Angels the points in a 2-1 win, Matt Ball netting for the Greens from the penalty spot.
All of which means that across 23 matches to have taken place on 1st April, of the results we have there have been 9 matches won, 5 drawn and 8 lost. 31 goals have been scored and 28 conceded.