Today’s review looks at all of the action to have occurred on 23rd April of which, there is an astounding 30 matches and 107 goals. Sit back, strap yourselves in, we have a lot to get through!
We begin in 1921 on the day that Charles Paddock broke the 100m world record at what feels like a pedestrian 10.4 seconds and Stan Briscoe scoring at home to St Albans City in the Athenian League in a 1-1 draw. Four-years later in 1925 as the native Riffi turn on the French in French Morocco a local derby with Barnet, also in the Athenian League, ended 0-0.
Leyton provided the first decisive goal of 23rd April as they won at Claremont Road in 1931, 2-1, and Hampstead finally got their own first win just a year later in 1932 as the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon opened its doors, Bromley being beaten 5-1 thanks to a hat-trick from Freddie Evans and a couple of goals from Wilfred Minter.
That scoreline was emulated in 1934 in East London as a brace apiece from George Bucci and Herbert Knott, as well as another goal from Billy Breagan saw revenge heaped upon Leyton, Golders Green triumphing 5-1 once again. Then, in 1949 Barking were beaten 3-2 at Claremont Road thanks to a couple of goals from Ted Hornsby and one from John Saunders, this on the day that the Chinese Red Army conquered the Nationalist capital city of Nanjing in the Chinese Civil War.
The goals continued to flow and the wins continued to come in 1952 as Enfield were hammered 5-0 at Southbury Road. Roy Stroud led the way with two goals added to by John Richards, Bob Avis and Laurie Topp with one apiece. Three-years later in 1955 a visit to Redhill ended in a thrilling 4-4 draw, John Core netted twice with one each from Eric Parker and Graeme Cunningham.
Just a year after that 8-goal thriller in Surrey, in a scarcely creditable co-incidence at Finchley in 1956 the scoreline was the same, 4-4, against Hendon’s North London rivals. Jim Ward scored twice with one each from Jeff Darey and Miles Spector to ensure a share of the spoils for the Greens. Moving onto 1959 and a visit to Barnet saw Tommy Lawrence scored the Hendon goal in a 1-1 draw.
1960 saw the club make their second appearance in the FA Amateur Cup final as they took on Isthmian League grandees Kingstonian in front of 60,000 at Wembley Stadium. After falling behind in the first half Laurie Topp thumped a 20-yard strike in off the underside of the crossbar before Terry Howard late on swept home the ball at the near-post to seal the trophy’s journey a few miles around the North Circular for the first time.
David Bell scored twice in 1962, on the day that Scottish actor John Hannah, best known for his role in Four Weddings and a Funeral, was born, however Barnet netted three times in a 3-2 win to end the Greens’ 8-game unbeaten run on this day. Four-years later in the semi-final of the Middlesex Senior Cup there was another tie against Wealdstone, just days after meeting in the Amateur Cup Final. This time the score ended 2-2 with Roy Sleap and Peter Dean grabbing the Hendon goals.
1973 saw a continuation of Middlesex Senior Cup action, this time the first leg of the final taking place against Enfield at Southbury Road. Tony Bass and Bobby Childs scored the goals in another 2-2 draw to give themselves the slight edge ahead of the second leg. Just a year later in 1974 Rod Haider was on target at Champion Hill however Dulwich Hamlet won the game 2-1 back in the Isthmian League.
Bobby Childs and Haider were amongst the goals once again in 1976 as Tooting & Mitcham United were beaten 3-0 at Claremont Road, Bobby Southam grabbed the other one and a year on once again Dulwich Hamlet unstuck the Greens, this time at Claremont Road, as they returned to South London with a 1-0 win.
Devon Gayle and Barry Henley were in the goals in 1983 as Wokingham Town were beaten 2-0 at Claremont Road before another appearance in the Middlesex Senior Cup final just a year later against Wembley at Earlsmead. There can’t have been too many less enjoyable finals for Hendon fans to endure as a Lions side inspired by future Millwall star Richard Cadette took the Greens apart winning 5-1. Steve Wilkins’ goal for the Greens was barely even a consolation.
A year further on in 1985 and Wokingham Town produced revenge of their own at Claremont Road with a 2-1 win, George Duck scoring for the Greens, then in 1987 a home match against Wokingham’s near neighbours Windsor & Eton saw the two sides fight out a goalless draw. Never mind, though, because the lucky supporters of both clubs were fortunate enough to witness the two sides go toe-to-toe exactly a year later in 1988 and although they were once again unable to be separated, there were at least goals this time around as Iain Dowie scored in a 1-1 draw.
Scott Ashenden and Ian Rutherford struck in 1994 as Bob Dowie’s side beat Bromley 2-1 at Claremont Road whilst two-years later in 1996 Neil Price’s now safe side were thumped 4-0 at home to Boreham Wood in what was the most disappointing performance from the former Watford cup-finalist’s charges for a few months.
A visit in the chaotic run-in of 2001 saw Croydon dish out a 2-0 defeat at the Croydon Arena and two-years later in 2003 as Beijing closes all schools for two-weeks due to the SARS virus outbreak, St Albans City were well beaten 4-1 at Clarence Park with Steve Butler, Ricci Crace, Dale Binns and substitute Martin Randall, against his old club, all scoring for the rampant Greens.
That was, unfortunately, the final win for the Greens on 23rd April. In 2005 Salisbury City came to Claremont Road and won 2-1, Rene Street scoring for Gary McCann’s side, this on the day that actor John Mills passed away at the age of 97 in Denham. Half a dozen years on in 2011 a nice Spring day at the seaside saw Dave Diedhiou score in a 1-1 draw at Hastings United, this on the day that John Sullivan, writer of Only Fools & Horses amongst many other series, passed away.
We end with a pair of disappointing defeats that very much had an end of season feel to them. Kambo Smith scored his one and only Hendon goal in 2013 in a 2-1 defeat at Met Police at Imber Court, this on the day that Chris Gayle smashed a 30-ball century, the quickest in any format in history. Three-years later, with safety having been confirmed a few days before, a 2016 visit to Bognor Regis Town ended in a 4-0 savaging in favour of the home team.
30 matches then, to have taken place on 23rd April, has seen nine wins, 10 draws and 11 defeats with 55 goals scored and 52 conceded.