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On This Day: 21st April

Greensnet Editor
Wed 21 Apr 2021, 10:17

Breathlessly we move our look back over football matches that the club have played onto 21st April, a day on which we’ve played competitively on 27 occasions and where judging by results, there were more than a few tired limbs at play.

We begin in 1923 with a home friendly against a Charlton Athletic XI at The Avenue Ground which was won by the South Londoners, 3-1, and that was followed up just a year later by the first competitive action and a 0-0 draw in the Athenian League against Cheshunt.

Two years later in 1926, on the day that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was born the first of three visits to Redhill took place. The Surrey side won this one 3-1. More in the way of defeat followed another two years down the line as Leyton came to Claremont Road and returned east with a 3-2 win, Harry Shearcroft and Billy Neill scoring the Hampstead goals.

Things improved slightly in 1934 as Uxbridge Town were held to a 2-2 draw thanks to a couple of strikes from Herbert Knott but three years later as the club made their second visit to Redhill in the Athenian League, they returned well and truly humbled as the Surrey side triumphed again, this time 6-0.

1945 saw the first of two double-headers as Golders Green beat Finchley away for their first win on April 21st, this in the quarter-final of the Middlesex Red Cross Cup. George Bucci, Harry Robshaw and Mervyn Griffiths grabbing the goals. As that was taking place the reserves were at Clapton in the Herts & Middlesex County League and going down to a 5-1 defeat, Walter Soden scoring the Golders Green goal. All of this took place as the pincers took grip of Nazi Germany with the Red Army on the outskirts of Berlin and the US 7th Army reached Nuremburg.

The second double-header took place in 1951 as one side took on Leyton at Claremont Road, drawing 1-1 thanks to a goal from Bob Avis, meanwhile a second side took on that by now familiar journey to Redhill and for the third time on this date fell to defeat, this time 3-0. Both matches were in the Athenian League. 5 years later in 1956 as Elvis Presley went ton Number 1 for the first time in the US with Heartbreak Hotel, the Greens fell to a 3-0 defeat at Hitchin Town in the Athenian League.

It was in 1959, on the day that Robert Smith, frontman of The Cure, was born that the Greens picked up their first league win on 21st April, Hayes were the opposition at Church Road and Tommy Lawrence the goalscorer in a 1-0 win. Also on this day Alf Dean somehow managed to catch himself a 2,664lb great white shark off the coast of Australia using nothing more than a rod, a reel and immense brute strength.

That trick (the win over Hayes, not hooking a great white shark) was repeated in 1962 again at Church Road as Ken Aldridge and Denny Smith scored the goals in a 2-0 success. 2 years later the club’s inaugural Isthmian League campaign closed with a 3-1 defeat at home to Hayes, Gerry O’Rourke on target. A runners-up spot behind Wimbledon had been secured along with a London Senior Cup final against the E’s to come 4 days later.

The sticky results continued in 1967 as a visit to Tooting & Mitcham United’s Sandy Lane ground ended in a 1-0 defeat, this on the day that a military coup in Greece landed Konstantinos Kollias as premier and that Stalin’s daughter Svetlana Allilueva arrived in New York City after defecting to the US. 3 years later in 1970 a visit to Sutton United ended in a 2-1 defeat, the Greens goal coming from a Sutton United player.

A visit to Leatherhead in 1979 saw the run of defeats come to an end with a 0-0 draw in the Isthmian League, this on the day that actor James McAvoy was born and a Steve Wilkins goal in 1984 saw Tooting & Mitcham United beaten, this time at Claremont Road, 1-0 as the soundtrack to the movie Footloose ends the reign of Thriller at number one of the US album charts after a 37 week run.

It was back to licking wounds in 1987 as Dulwich Hamlet won 1-0 at Claremont Road and 3 years later in 1990 Uche Egbe scored the goal in a 1-1 draw with Slough Town, also at Claremont Road. That scoreline was matched at Top Field in 1998 as Hitchin Town held the Greens to a 1-1 draw, Paul Kelly was on target for the Greens.

The manic run-in to the 2000/01 season continued with a 5th match in 8 days as Basingstoke Town dished out a 5-0 thumping at The Camrose but there was much better news just 2 years later as Enfield Town were beaten 2-0 in the Middlesex Senior Cup final at Northwood to secure the second of Dave Anderson’s hat-trick of titles. On the day that Nina Simone passed away, Eugene Ofori and Ricci Crace scored the goals to secure the silverware for the Greens.

It was back to league action in 2007 and a visit to Worthing saw Takumi Ake and Daragh Duffy score the goals in a 2-1 win before another match against a side from West Sussex, this time Horsham in 2009 at Vale Farm, saw Jamie Busby score twice and one from Kevin Maclaren secure a 3-1 win over the Hornets.

Rock bottom of the table Tooting & Mitcham found themselves outclassed by the rampant Greens who made it four wins in a row and 14 goals scored with a 5-0 win at Vale Farm in 2012. Scott Shulton grabbed two on this occasion aided and abetted by one each from Carl McCluskey, Isaiah Rankin and substitute Greg Ngoyi. 2 years later a visit to Bognor Regis Town ended with Casey Maclaren in goal after the dismissal of Danny McNicholas, and a 3-0 defeat.

We finish today on a high as the 2018 model of the side took on Merstham at Silver Jubilee Park in the final home league match of the campaign and goals from Josh Walker, Ashley Nathaniel-George and Michael Corcoran secured a comfortable 3-0 win.

Of the 27 matches to have taken place on this date there have been nine wins, six draws and 12 defeats. 33 goals have been scored and 45 conceded.