As seasons begin to reach their denouements so does the first half of our series of ‘On This Day’. We still have a couple of weeks to run, though, and move onto April 20th, a day which has plenty to commend it and some not to.
Supporters had to wait until 1931 until getting their first slice of the action on 20th April and things began well with a 3-1 Middlesex Charity Cup semi final win over Southall. Harry Walsh, Freddie Evans and George Bucci were the goalscorers on the day that the House of Commons voted in favour of allowing sport to be played on Sundays. Just a year later in 1932 Evans netted a hat-trick as Redhill were roundly thumped 8-2 in the Athenian League. Other goals came courtesy of Fred Boston (2), Wilfred Minter (2) and right-back Frank Dean.
There were two matches in 1935 as one side took on Hayes and won 3-1, George Bucci grabbing two of the goals and the other coming from Charlie Drinkwater whilst in the other match Uxbridge Town were beaten 6-2, Mike Fallon scoring a hat-trick in that one. Both matches took place in the Athenian League and at home.
In 1938 the club suffered defeat for the first time on 20th April as Bromley won 2-0 at Hayes Lane and then life in the post-World War 2 world began ominously in 1946 as Enfield cantered to a 4-0 win at Southbury Road in the Athenian League.
Three further Middlesex Charity Cup ties followed, the first once again in the semi-finals in 1953 as Roy Stroud (2) and Bob Avis scored the goals in a 3-0 win over Wealdstone, this on the day that British novelist Sebastien Faulks was born. Two-years later in 1955 Hayes came to Claremont Road and won 2-0 and in 1959 Wealdstone gained revenge for their defeat half a dozen years before winning 2-1 at Lower Mead. Richard Bachmann was the man on target for the Greens.
Tony Knox was on target in 1963 against Southall in the Athenian League, unfortunately the West Londoners struck four times to secure a 4-1 win and then it was Wealdstone again next up, this time in 1971 and in the Isthmian League, John Baker on target for the Greens in the 1-1 draw.
A decade on in 1981 a visit to Staines Town saw the Greens win 3-2 thanks to goals from Peter Anderson, Trevor Dark and Bobby Gough and a year later Paul Brown and Graeme Sewell scored the goals in a 2-0 win at Slough Town.
George Duck was on target in 1985 as a visit to New Lodge, home of Billericay Town, ended in a 1-1 draw and six-years later in 1991 a visit to Dagenham ended in a 3-2 defeat, Chris Harwood and Colin Tate scoring the Hendon goals, this on the day that Small Faces frontman Steve Marriott passed away in a fire at his home aged just 44.
1993 saw a local derby take place against Harrow Borough and although Jon Daly was on target for the Greens, Borough netted twice to take the points in a 2-1 win, a result which could have been attributed to the orbit of Uranus taking it past Neptune, something that occurs once every 171 years. Three-years later in the Mick Browne derby Josh Price and Mark Dawber were on target in a 2-1 win over the club’s former boss and fellow strugglers, Molesey, who contained a high number of players that had begun the season at Claremont Road.
2002 saw the club travel to Croydon on a beautiful sunny spring afternoon on what was left-back Simon Clarke’s 350th appearance for the club, for which he was made skipper. Ricci Crace continued his fine form in the run-in with a hat-trick to secure a 3-1 win. 11-years later Dave Diedhiou and former Hendon skipper Mark Kirby (own goal) were on target for the Greens in a 3-2 defeat to Enfield Town at Vale Farm.
Two-years later an injury-hit and below-strength Hendon side that included two out-and-out defenders, three midfielders, two wingers and three strikers managed to defeat struggling AFC Hornchurch 4-2 at Earlsmead to maintain their long unbeaten run. Charlie Goode, Kezie Ibe, Leon Smith and substitute Adam Wallace, who only arrived at the ground at half-time, scored the Hendon goals. Just a year later and safety was confirmed with a scrappy 1-0 win at Burgess Hill Town, the goal courtesy of an own goal after good work from Maz Bettache.
We end two years ago today at Silver Jubilee Park where Andrew ‘Rocky’ Neal netted a hat-trick for Taunton Town to give them the points and extend Hendon’s nervous time towards the bottom of the table in a 3-2 win, Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick and Ogo Obi netted for the Greens.
Of the 22 matches to have taken place on 20th April, once again half of them (11) have been won. Just two have ended in draws whilst the other nine have seen defeats. 49 goals have been scored and 39 conceded.