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Today we take a look back at matches that have taken place on 7th April across the club’s history and take in another day on which the fun has outweighed the nonsense fairly considerably.
Not that you’d know it from the way the club began things on this day as, in 1923, they played host to Sutton United at The Avenue Ground and were beaten 2-1, Cecil Wise grabbing the Hampstead Town goal, this on the day that Dr K Winfield Ney performed the first brain tumour operation under local anaesthetic in New York City. Eleven years later in 1934 the club kick-started things with a 2-0 win over Leyton in the Athenian League thanks to a pair of strikes from Herbert Knott to celebrate the birth of actor Ian Richardson who later went on to find fame as Francis Urquhart in the BBC adaptation of House of Cards.
In 1939 two goals from Ted Owen and another from Jock Ellison saw Golders Green to a 3-3 draw with Enfield in the Athenian League, this as Italy launched their invasion of Albania and Francis Ford Coppola and the British broadcaster David Frost were born. Then towards the end of the war in 1945 as Kantaro Suzuki replaces Kuniaki Koiso as Prime Minister of Japan following the US invasion of Okinawa, Hitchin Town were beaten 4-2 in the Herts & Middlesex League Cup. Mac Cochrane scored twice with other goals coming from Melvyn Griffiths and C Fair.
The Canaries grabbed their revenge two years later in 1947 back in the Athenian League at Top Field by beating the Greens 3-0 on the day that Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company passed away. Four-years later in 1951 a Hendon side depleted by international call-ups and injuries went down 3-2 to Edgware Town in the Middlesex Senior Cup, Bob Avis and Des Gittus grabbed the Hendon goals.
Miles Spector grabbed the first of four personal strikes on 7th April in 1956 as he secured a 1-1 draw against Barnet in the Athenian League, this as Spain relinquished her protectorate in Morocco and he grabbed another 2-years later as Walton & Hersham were beaten 3-2 in the same competition in 1958, Jimmy Quail and Tommy Lawrence also on target.
Spector completed his haul in 1962 as the Greens strolled to a 7-1 London Charity Cup success over Dulwich Hamlet at Claremont Road, grabbing two of the goals. Denny Smith emulated Spector’s achievement with a brace whilst Charlie Sells and John Hazell also scored along with an own goal. That goalscoring freedom came to a shuddering halt 8-years later in 1970 as Kingstonian held the Greens to a 0-0 draw in the Isthmian League.
John Baker was on target in 1973 to extend the club’s unbeaten start to their Isthmian League campaign into a 36th match as Ilford were beaten 1-0 on the road before the goals started to flow again following an 11-year gap in 1984 as Bognor Regis Town were beaten 5-2 at Claremont Road. Gary Allen scored twice along with one each from Andy Waddock, Adrian Smith and Steve Hudson.
2-years later a visit to Dulwich Hamlet ended 0-0 and then in 1990 rare goals from Steve Robinson and Greg Zacharia saw Basingstoke Town beaten 2-1 at Claremont Road. 2-years later in 1992 as the Bosnian Serb Republic announced its independence, Grays Athletic defeated the Greens 2-1 at Claremont Road, Robbie Garvey on target for the hosts.
Junior Lewis’ goal was the difference in 1998 as Frank Murphy’s side continued their turbo-charged run-in, Bromley being beaten 1-0 and he was on target again a year later as the Greens met Dulwich Hamlet for a third time on 7th April, this time in the semi-final of the Full Members Cup, and headed back to North-West London with a 2-0 win. Former Hamlet midfielder Jon Daly grabbed the other goal to secure a final clash with Worthing at Gander Green Lane.
Ross Pickett was the hero in 2005 with two goals in a 3-1 win over Slough Town to continue Gary McCann’s side climb away from relegation, substitute John Frendo was also on target and just two years later the Greens shrugged off the dismissal of Jamie Busby to beat Horsham 2-0 at Claremont Road thanks to a pair of strikes from Belal Aite-ouakrim.
There was rather less to cheer in 2012 as Margate came to Vale Farm and won at a canter, 3-0, a result that effectively ended the Greens’ play-off hopes and two years later Tommy Brewer was amongst the goalscorers, albeit for visitors Hampton & Richmond Borough, as they won 4-3 at Earlsmead in a thriller, just as they’d done in the Middlesex Senior Cup a month previously, Charlie Moone predictably coming off the bench to score the two crucial late goals to win the game. This was after Hendon’s own substitutes Anthony Thomas (2) and Michael Murray had scored three goals in just 5 minutes to turn around a 2-0 half-time deficit.
Finally, another 7-goal thriller, this time in 2018 and at Silver Jubilee Park, went the way of the Greens as each of the awesome forward foursome were on target in a terrific game of football against Worthing. Niko Muir, Zak Joseph and Josh Walker had given the Greens a 3-1 lead before two quick goals pulled Worthing back level with ten minutes to play. With the game stretched Ashley Nathaniel-George popped up in stoppage time to net the winner and send the Greens fans into delirium.
Of the 22 matches to have taken place so far on 7th April there have been 12 wins, four draws and six defeats. 47 goals have been scored and 33 conceded.