Our busy April-time continues today, April 19th, which sees another 25 matches crammed into the past 112 years of football as fixture pile-ups continued to take their toll over the years.
1913 saw the first action as Pinner were beaten 3-1 in the London League with ‘Chummy’ Parker opening the scoring before Gordon Marchant and Henry Pennifer added additional goals to complete the scoreline. Half a dozen years later in the first post-World War I campaign, or half-campaign, Wimbledon were beaten in a 4-3 thriller in the London United Senior League thanks to goals from Charles Hayes (2), F Congreve and T Poltock.
A 2-1 win over Summerstown in the Athenian League in 1924 made it three wins out of three, Cecil Wise and Bill Little were the goalscorers and Billy Neill continued the 100% record in 1928 with the only goal of the game against Southall also in the Athenian League.
That impressive, faultless start to proceedings on 19th April came to an end in 1930 as Bill Butland’s two goals were not enough to prevent Hampstead from falling to a 4-2 defeat at Barnet and three-years later in 1933 Jimmy Spalton scored what proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal as Uxbridge Town won 2-1 in another Athenian League fixture, this on the day that Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced that the US were to leave the gold standard and American model and actress Jayne Mansfield was born.
It wasn’t until 1946 that the next match took place and once again two goals, this time scored by Melvyn Griffiths and Bob Avis, weren’t enough to prevent Golders Green falling to a 3-2 defeat to Enfield. A year later and the run of defeats came to an end courtesy of goals from Pat Lynch and Bernard Bryant who helped secure a 2-2 draw from a visit to Sutton United.
Bill Fisher grabbed a rare goal in 1951 as the Greens were knocked out of the Middlesex Charity Cup against Wealdstone, the Stones winning 3-1, this on the day that General Douglas MacArthur retired form the US Army. Just a year later the Greens gained revenge over Barnet for their 1930 defeat as they won 3-2 in the Athenian League thanks to strikes from Roy Evans, Roy Stroud and Avis.
Moving ahead to 1954 and the day that British football’s first million-pound man, Trevor Francis, was born, Leyton were comfortably despatched 3-0 at Claremont Road, John Core grabbing two goals and Charlie Hawes the other. Four-years later in 1958 the Greens met Enfield at Finchley in the final of the Middlesex Senior Cup and cantered to a 4-0 win over their great rivals. Jimmy Quail led the way with two goals with fellow prolific marksmen Tommy Lawrence and Miles Spector also on target.
Fast forward to 1966 and a goal from Laurie Churchill was enough to defeat Barking in the Isthmian League and three years later the East Londoners were given the chance for revenge, albeit in the semi-final of the London Senior Cup, but goals from Frank Allen, Keith Jameson and Rod Haider gave the Greens a 3-2 win to set up a final against Dagenham.
1974 produced a 0-0 draw against Hayes, marking the first (and to date only) occasion that the Greens have failed to score on this day, a year later goals returned along with a defeat for the first time since 1951 as a visit to Dulwich Hamlet ended in a 3-1 defeat, Eggie James grabbing the Hendon goal, this on the day that India launched their first satellite with the assistance of the USSR.
In 1980, before Johnny Logan took the Eurovision title to Ireland that evening, goals from Alan Campbell and Peter Shodeinde secured a 2-2 draw at Tilbury. Half a dozen years later John Knapman scored the only goal of the game as the Greens returned from Tooting & Mitcham United.
It wasn’t until 1997 that the Greens returned to action and Gary McCann produced a crucial late penalty save from Rudi Hall at Hitchin Town to secure a 2-1 win, this after Richard Nugent and Junior Lewis had struck for Frank Murphy’s side and then four years later Bontcho Guentchev claimed the only goal of the game in 2001 as Carshalton Athletic were beaten 1-0 at Claremont Road in amidst the crazed run-in of that year.
Two years later in 2003 the Greens finally secured a first home league win of the calendar year to move into 4th spot as Basingstoke Town were beaten 2-1. Eugene Ofori gave Dave Anderson’s men the lead that was equalised by Craig McAllister, Ricci Crace secured the three points with a dozen minutes remaining. Five years later in 2008 and a 2-0 win over Staines Town meant that if the Greens matched or bettered Ramsgate’s result on the final day of the campaign, a play-off spot was theirs. Davis Haule and Jack Page were on target.
A spring evening in 2010 saw the Greens comfortably defeat a Maidstone United side that contained former Hendonian, Jermaine Darlington, at Vale Farm. Goals from Jamie Busby, Peter Dean and another rarity, this time from James Burgess secured the 3-0 win. Just a year later an outstanding performance at Kingsmeadow saw AFC Wimbledon beaten 3-2 in the semi-final of the London Senior Cup thanks to goals from Rak Hudson, Dave Diedhiou and Greg Ngoyi.
We finish today’s review in 2014 and a home match against Grays Athletic at Earlsmead that saw the Greens’ winning streak of 7 in a row on this day come to an end. Diedhiou was again on target, along with the ever-reliable Michael Murray from the penalty spot, but the East Londoners did enough to secure the points with a 3-2 win.
Of the 25 matches to have been played on 19th April no fewer than 16 have been won – comfortably the highest tally so far – whilst three have been drawn and six lost. 51 goals have been scored and 35 conceded.