Blast from the past

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Andrew Cornell looks back on Blues’ games on July 16th

It is interesting to see how the start of the football season has crept earlier. Pre-war there was hardly any overlap between football and cricket at the end of summer, the first game might happen on the last Saturday in August – or even the first Saturday in September if that was the 1st or 2nd. We didn’t play a game in July until the late 60s and even then it didn’t happen every season with the season starting as late as early August into the 80s. There was usually only one late July game until well into the 90s and yet now we’re pushing back into the first half of July. As a consequence there have been very few games on this exact date in the past and certainly no competitive games of any kind. The biggest game of a small selection was the season opener in 2011. Sam Allardyce brought a reasonably strong West Ham side including Scott Parker, Mark Noble, Jack Collison and Callum McNaughton.   The Hammers went ahead after 11 minutes. Junior Stanislas, receiving the ball back after a free-kick on the left, drilled a long ball diagonally into the box which whistled past Nicky Eyre into the far corner of the net as McNaughton slid in. The scoreline was doubled six minutes later as Jordan Spence and combined on the right with Frank Nouble before the latter’s low angled shot beat Eyre at full stretch and Ollie Lee netted from close range after the ball came back off the far post. Woodside Park was then hit by monsoon conditions around the half-hour mark. This seemed to bring about a change with the Blues coming more into the picture. Craig Calver was fouled just outside the box in the 34th minute and former Havant & Waterlooville striker Mustafa Tiryaki struck the free-kick which deflected away for a corner. Then, four minutes later, the Hammers failed to clear another corner and Junior Dadson’s angled shot from the left was comfortably held by keeper Malek Stech. In the 40th minute a Dadson flag-kick from the left flew across the six yard box with no one getting a touch.   After the interval the visitors, always in control of midfield, created a number of opportunities to increase their lead with Llegett Sebby and Montano going close. With twenty minutes to go, following a good Stortford move, Danny Francis saw his shot well saved by Stech and shortly afterwards the keeper did well to clear under pressure from a Reece Prestedge free-kick. The Hammers third goal came with eight minutes remaining when Montano slotted the ball down the middle for Jack Collison to take on, round keeper Joe Wright, and net. Just two minutes later the Blues substitute keeper made an excellent save to deny Montano from adding a fourth goal.

2016 BSFC 0 Stevenage 6 – Friendly

2014 BSFC 0 Cambridge United 0 – Friendly

2013 Heybridge Swifts 1 BSFC 5 – Friendly

2011 BSFC 0 West Ham United 3 – Friendly

Author: Dave Ryan