After the seemingly never-ending list of games yesterday today we take a look back at a much more manageable 18 matches as we continue our ‘on this day’ feature. Largely a day of disappointment, there is one particularly joyous nugget within.
We begin in 1915 on the day that the German army fired chloroform gas for the first time in Ypres, Belgium, and leaders of the Armenian community are arrested in Constantinople by Ottoman authorities, many of whom were later killed marking the start of the Armenian genocide. Meanwhile, Hampstead Town were taking on the Footballer’s Battalion at The Avenue Ground in a friendly and losing 3-1.
The club’s first competitive match took place in 1920 on the day that the British Mandate over Palestine came into effect and Polish troops took it upon themselves to launch an attack on Ukraine, Hampstead Town visited Barnet in the Athenian League and went down to a 1-0 defeat. Half a dozen years later there was revenge for Town as they beat the Bees in the semi-final of the Middlesex Senior Cup 1-0 thanks to a Cecil Wise goal, however they had to wait until the start of the following season before being able to pay the final against Botwell Mission.
Billy Breagan and Johnny Browne scored for Golders Green in a 1935 Athenian League visit to Bromley but unfortunately came out bettered as the Lilywhites won 3-2, a couple of years later in 1937 goals from Jerry Marrable, George Bucci and Fred Boston saw the Greens to a 3-3 draw at Claremont Road against Walthamstow Avenue.
Another 2-years later and there was another draw, this time against Hayes as Jock Ellison and Bob Thomas netted in the 1939 Athenian League 2-2 draw. Seven-years later in the post-war world, Arsenal sent an XI to Claremont Road to contest the Will Mather Cup and took the trophy back to Highbury courtesy of a 2-0 win.
Roy Stroud hit the net in 1948 as Tooting & Mitcham United crushed the Greens 4-1 at Sandy Lane and the abject misery continued just three-years later, on the day that Enda Kenny, the 13 Taoiseach of Ireland, was born, as a visit to Walton & Hersham ended in a 1-0 defeat.
1954 finally saw a return to winning ways on the day that the first American, P.R. Holden – a civilian pilot – was wounded in Indochina (now Vietnam) and that Australia broke diplomatic relations with the USSR, Hayes once again the opposition in the Athenian League being beaten 1-0 thanks to a Cliff Nock strike. 4-years later it was another visit to Barnet and another defeat, Tommy Lawrence’s goal not enough to stop the Greens from slipping to a 2-1 defeat.
The one particular highlight of today’s round-up arrives in the form of another trip to Wembley Stadium and another FA Amateur Cup Final appearance, this time against Whitby Town. After a goalless first-half two goals inside 8 second half minutes gave the Greens a 2-0 advantage, David Hyde and Jimmy Quail scoring. Whitby reduced the arrears before both sides hit the woodwork, Danny Lakey for the Greens. Late on Hyde scampered onto a through ball, around the keeper and slotted home to secure a second title for the Greens. The military coup taking place in the Dominican Republic had barely scratched the consciousness of those under the twin towers.
Rod Haider and Mick Garrini in 1979 netted the goals in a 2-2 draw with Kingstonian at Claremont Road in the first Isthmian League match to have taken place on this day, that was followed three-years later in 1982 with a goalless draw at Ealrsmead against Harrow Borough.
That blank sheet began a 22-year goal drought for the Greens which continued in 1990 as Bishop’s Stortford ran riot at Rhodes Avenue, handing out a 5-0 drubbing, this on the day that it was announced that the West and East German economies and currencies would merge as of July 1st. The flow of goals against was stemmed in 1993 as Grays Athletic were held to a 0-0 draw, this on the day that Ben Davies of Tottenham Hotspur was born.
That respite was broken in 1999 as Dagenham & Redbridge handed out a 6-0 hammering of Frank Murphy’s Hendon side at Victoria Road and then five years later in 2004 it was Martin Randall with a header at Claremont Road against St Albans City that broke the drought, his goal securing a 1-1 draw for Dave Anderson’s side in what turned out to be his final home game in charge. This on the day that the USA lifted economic sanctions against Libya after 18-years.
We finish in 2010 and after a fairly bleak review, a win at Vale Farm against AFC Hornchurch in the final game of the season. Scott Cousins, Lubo Guentchev with an astounding lob over future Hendon goalkeeper Darren Behcet, and Bradley Thomas scored the goals in a 3-2 win.
Of the 18 competitive matches reviewed here, just 4 have been won with 6 draws and 8 defeats. Just 20 goals have been scored and 34 conceded.