We move into the 2nd week of April with our ‘on this day’ feature moving onto 8th April, a day on which goals have been at a relative premium compared to recent days in spite of a monumental win and a high-scoring defeat.
The beginning is sedate enough with a 1-1 home draw in the Athenian League against Summerstown in 1922, S Howard scoring the goal for Hampstead Town. Eleven years later things were rather less pedestrian as Hampstead went ballistic in a 10-1 win over Bromley in the same competition. Freddie Evans led the way with four goals, Ronnie Rowe and Jimmy Spalton netted twice each whilst Billy Breagan and L Porritt had to make do with just the single goal apiece.
Six-years later in 1939, goals from Jock Ellison, Bob Thomas and Ted Owen secured a 3-1 Athenian League win over Enfield, just a day after the two sides had equally shared half a dozen goals and on the day that King Zog I fled Albania following the Italian invasion. Moving into wartime North-West London and Slough United comfortably won 3-0 at Claremont Road in the Herts & Middlesex County League in 1944.
Dave Roden was on target in 1955 as a visit to Southall ended in a 3-1 defeat, the Greens XI was a little way off full-strength with a game against Tooting & Mitcham United the following day and building up to the Amateur Cup final just 8-days later. Another visit to West London in 1961 saw the Greens go down by the only goal of the game to Hounslow Town in the Athenian League, this on the day that the British liner Dara exploded in the Persian Gulf with the loss of 236 lives.
It was back to winning ways in 1964 as the Greens cantered to a 5-1 win over Leytonstone in the Isthmian League to keep their title hopes alive. Peter Flann and Arthur Peel both managed to grab their first goals of the campaign which were added to by David Hyde, Tony Knox and an own goal. Knox also missed a penalty for the first time that season. Three-years later another own goal helped the Greens to a victory, Danny Lakey grabbing the other strike in a 2-0 win at Hitchin Town on the day that Sandie Shaw won the Eurovision song contest for the UK with Puppet on a String.
A London Senior Cup tie with Bishop’s Stortford in 1972 saw a John Baker goal make the difference in the 1-0 win and 3-years later in 1975 Bobby Southam grabbed the Hendon goal in a 1-1 draw against that season’s FA Cup heroes, Leatherhead, who included Johns Swannell and Baker amongst their number.
Tony Field was on target in 1978 as the Greens overcame Boreham Wood 1-0 in the Isthmian League, and four years later Phil Brown was to thank as the same two sides clashed at Meadow Park, as he secured a 1-1 draw against the Hertfordshire side.
There was doom and despair in 1989 as a visit to Kingstonian went completely wrong, the K’s hammering the hapless Greens 7-0 before the two sides met again in 1995 in a clash in which Mick Browne’s side showed rather more fortitude as they picked up a 0-0 draw at Claremont Road to help their bid for safety.
Two years later in 1997 the Greens allowed a cascade of chances to go begging as a Grays Athletic side inspired by their in-form goalkeeper Kenny Addai pinched the only goal of the game to leave Frank Murphy’s team mired in the relegation fight. In 2000 a Dominic Gentle goal saw the Greens to victory over Aylesbury United at Claremont Road in another dour encounter that was only briefly enlivened by Dale Binns trying to take on Scott Honeyball on the touchline, a man roughly twice the size of the impish winger, and resulting in the Hendon sub getting dismissed.
In 2006 Chelmsford City were held to a 0-0 draw at Claremont Road in the Isthmian League as the Greens continued their scrap against the drop before a 2008 visit to Tonbridge Angels ended in a predictable 4-0 thrashing that threatened to derail the Greens’ play-off hopes.
We finish today’s review with another crucial win in that great escape of 2016/7 as another visit to Kent this time went rather better. Although Folkestone Invicta took the lead through Nathan Ferguson in the first half, Kezie Ibe’s equaliser in the 74th minute set up a grandstand finish in which Marcel Barrington slid home with just 8-minutes remaining to secure a 2-1 win. What had looked impossible, never mind improbably just weeks before looked possible now, if not probable, as the Greens lived on with all to play for in their final three games of the season.
Of the 19 matches to have been played to date on 8th April there have been eight wins, five draws and six defeats. In spite of that big win and large defeat only 29 goals have been scored with 26 conceded.