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(Not) On This Day: 25th April

Greensnet Editor
Tue 27 Apr 2021, 15:45

The 25th April has seen much more in the way of action over the years than any other day we’ve covered so far with more matches and more goals. It’s way back in 1914 that we kick things off with Hampstead Town travelling to Page Green Old Boys in the Middlesex League and falling to a 1-0 defeat, this on the day that US President Woodrow Wilson is persuaded by Argentina, Brazil and Chile to accept mediation in the American conflict with Mexico raging at that point.

In 1921 there was a crowd of 5000 in attendance as Hampstead Town defeated Metrogas 4-0 in the Athenian League. After an own goal there were further strikes from Stan Briscoe, Cecil Wise and H White. Four-years later as Paul von Hinderburg is elected the German President a visit to Barking Town ended in a 3-2 defeat, Ken Seabrooke grabbed both goals for Hampstead Town.

Moving on two-years to 1927 as Spain mobilised 20,000 troops Morocco the Greens travelled to Summerstown, also in the Athenian League, and were well beaten 3-0. Then just a year on in 1928 a Middlesex Charity Cup tie with Enfield saw Billy Neill score twice and Jimmy Smy once, unfortunately the E’s grabbed five of their own to pick up a 5-3 win to move into the final where they would lose to Southall.

Speaking of whom, the West London side provided the next opposition for Hampstead in a 1931 Athenian League match and although Freddie Evans netted it was to no avail as Southall cruised to a 4-1 win. Another year on in 1932 and it was yet another defeat, this time at home to Barnet who made the journey back up the A1 from Claremont Road with a 3-1 win their pockets. Eddie Lloyd was on target for the home side.

1936 saw a Middlesex Charity Cup semi-final replay and, glory-be, a win! Hayes were the visitors to Claremont Road and the strike duo of Tommy Evans (3) and Mike Fallon (2) shared the goals between them in a 5-0 win to see them through to the final against London Caledonians. On the very same day eight of that side that had defeated the Missioners also travelled to Barking in the Athenian League and lost 4-1, Fallon completing a treble of his own on 25th April 1936, albeit across two matches.

Moving into the wartime Herts & Middlesex County League Leyton came to Claremont Road in 1942 as the Luftwaffe began a three-night blitz of Bath, Les Pulling and George Bucci were both on target but unable to stop Golders Green falling to yet another reverse, this time 3-2. Things got no better in 1949, although the opposition were rather grander as an Arsenal XI came to Claremont Road in the Will Mather Cup and cruised to a 4-1 win, Bob Taylor scoring for the Greens.

After nine defeats in the first 11 matches to have occurred on 25th there was some respite in 1953 as Dexter Adams netted in a 1-1 draw against Tooting & Mitcham United at Claremont Road, this on the day that the discovery of the DNA double-helix structure is first published in Nature magazine. Two-years later it was finally back to winning ways as Walton & Hersham were beaten 2-0 at Claremont Road thanks to goals from Bob Avis and Horace Meadows.

In 1959 as the St Lawrence seaway linking the Atlantic Ocean and the North American Great Lakes was opened, Miles Spector scored twice in a home Athenian League match against Hitchin Town that saw the Hertfordshire side win 3-2. Just a year on in 1960 and Brian Figg netted the Hendon goal in a 1-1 draw with Enfield at Claremont Road.

Enfield provided the next opposition in 1964, this time in the London Senior Cup Final at Lower Mead, Wealdstone, and the Greens shrugged off the disappointment of falling just short in the Isthmian League title race by beating their great rivals by the only goal of the game which came courtesy of Gerry O’Rourke. Two-years later in the Wycombe Hospital Cup Laurie Churchill scored but in the pursuit of another defeat, this time 2-1 against Wycombe Wanderers and Loakes Park.

A year later as Britain granted self-government to Swaziland in 1967, there was no succour for the Greens as they went down 1-0 to Barking. After all that has come to pass then the reader will be forgiven for fearing paragraph after paragraph of yet more doom and gloom.

Alas, it was back to East London in 1970, this time to Ilford, and goals from Paul Collett (3) and Micky Cooper saw the Greens back on track with a 4-1 win before a third consecutive visit to the east end in 1972 saw four more goals only this time with no reply as Clapton were defeated 4-0 at the Old Spotted Dog. Rod Haider and Tony Bass helped themselves to a pair of goals each.

Bobbys Child and Southam scored in 1975 along with John Field as the Greens made it 3 out of 3 in the 1970s as Slough Town were beaten 3-2 at Claremont Road, this on the day that the Socialist Party of Portugal wins the first free elections in the country since 1924 whilst in Stockholm, the West German embassy is blown-up. Southam was on target again in 1978 as Woking held the Greens to a 1-1 draw.

The final day of the 1980/81 season ended in fine style as Sutton United were well beaten 4-1 at Claremont Road thanks to goals from Paul Currie, Trevor Dark, Dermot Drummy and Martyn Sperrin. Four-years later in 1985 it was back to Loakes Park for a visit to Wycombe Wanderers and this time there was rather more success as Steve Newing, Gary Allen and Martin Coates struck in a 3-1 win, this on the day that the West German Parliament passed legislation making it illegal to deny the Holocaust.

Two-years later the venue and opposition were different but the result the same as Croydon were defeated 3-1 at Claremont Road. Iain Dowie, Mick Kiely and Neil Wolstenholme scored the goals. All those goals and all those wins ground to a halt in 1991 as a visit to Bishop’s Stortford ended without score and just a year later it was Woking again, this time in Surrey, with the score ending 1-1 for a second time against the Cards. Gary keen grabbed the Hendon goal.

Martin Gittings scored the Hendon goal in 1995 at Claremont Road against Harrow Borough in a 2-1 defeat, and three years later Junior Lewis struck twice as Frank Murphy’s side continued their fine run-in with an impressive 2-1 win at Boreham Wood in front of 515 supporters.

Dulwich Hamlet were next on the menu in 2001 at Claremont Road and were unable to bely their status as bottom of the table markers as they were crushed 4-0. David Adekola scored twice along with one each from Dale Binns and substitute Bontcho Guentchev. Five-years later in 2006 and it was back into the London Senior Cup Final, this time at Imber Court and against Fisher Athletic. Mark Cooper and Marc Leach both scored but the South Londoners weren’t to be denied as they ended up winning 3-2.

In 2009 Carshalton Athletic warmed up for their play-off with a 2-1 at Vale Farm, prolific strike duo Richard Jolly and Charlie Ide scoring for the Robins whilst the less than deadly James Burgess replied for the Greens. Two-years later in 2011 and a low-key end of season clash with Billericay Town, also at Vale Farm, ended the home campaign with a 1-1 draw, Jamie Busby grabbing the Hendon goal.

On the final day of the regular season in 2015 Leiston took the lead at Earlsmead but ended up beaten 2-1 by Gary McCann’s side thanks to goals from the 20-plus goal each duo of Leon Smith and Kezie Ibe, this on the day that a devastating earthquake struck Nepal killing more than 8,000 and leaving more than 100,000 homeless. Three years later and a 2-1 win at Leatherhead thanks to goals from Josh Walker and Sam Murphy secured another play-off spot and left the Greens with a chance of a home draw in the semi-finals if they could beat Leiston and Billericay Town did them a favour against Folkestone Invicta on the final day of the campaign.

A mammoth 35 matches have seen 14 wins, half a dozen draws and 15 defeats. 66 goals have been scored and 57 conceded.