There was quite a lot of good football in Saturday's friendly at Claremont Road, though Finchley appeared at times not to be taking things seriously in the first half. The Golders Green front line functioned magnificently and should have secured more than the one-goal lead at half-time. Finchley's halves were better than their forwards, who finished poorly after good approach work.
R. Ward turned out at left-back for Golders Green and gave his general cool and clean display, apart from one mix-up which allowed Finchley to score. McCaulay was in every way pleasing at centre-half, and Stroud did some good work at outside-right, though Cochrane and Fontana were generally the most striking forwards.
Finchley made several changes, G. Urwin coming in at right-back instead of S.H. Wright, Gazelin at right-half instead of A. Steward, and Breagan going over from Golders Green to fill the place at outside-left.
Play opened with fast end-to-end football and Golders Green were soon in danger when McCaulay handled in the penalty area but Hart stopped the spot kick. At the other end Bucci sent in a lovely first-time shot from Fontana's pass, bu the ball scraped over the top. The Green were doing more of the attack and at one time shots came in rapid succession from Stroud, Cochrane, Tomlinson and Fontana. The ball was cleared, but McCaulay put it forward again and Stroud went through, but had bad luck in sending it over the bar.
After 20 minutes Lovell put up a long forward pass, from which Tomlinson headed into the top of the net to give Golders Green the lead.
Cochrane was playing a fine game and Fontana was a real sticker, who gave the Finchley defence no little trouble. Finchley were most dangerous on the right wing, J. Sperrin and Broadis combining in some good movements, but much effort was wasted through lack of cohesion between the forwards and halves, and on the left wing Breagan took some time in settling down. There was always a chance of Finchley equalising, however, and the Green did well to lead at half-time. Twice J. Sperrin looked like a scorer, but Ward stopped the movement, while McCaulay and Lovell stopped some dangerous attacks developing. Towards the interval it looked as if Golders Green would increase their lead; they were round the Finchley goal for considerable spells, but the nearest effort was when Fontana hit the post and Wildman held the ball as it bounced off. On the other hand Breagan all but scored for Finchley, getting in a stinging shot which swerved an inch or two the wrong side of the post.
Finchley pressed determinedly after the change-over and it was patent that the second half was going to see a stiff fight. Broadis netted the equaliser, but it was the result of Breagan's work. Golders Green retaliated strongly and Fontana took the ball in well, but was tackled by Rawlings as he shot, and missed. The Green gained three corners, but they were not playing the same game as in the first half, while the Finchley attack was much more lively.
Breagan fed the ball for J. Sperrin to score Finchley's second after Hart had held a shot from Neary. He might have cleared, but was left unsighted by Ward, who should have left the ball to Hart. Then Breagan crowned his performance by netting Finchley's third and last goal after a duel with Boston. The game was clearly lost for Golders Green, but they made a final effort and Stroud and Coleman shared the honours for the second goal. Stroud prepared the way and Coleman finished off with Wildman entirely beaten.
It was a good game and a draw would have been a very fair result.