Blast from the past

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Andrew Cornell looks back at Blues’ games on March 9th

Going back in time a little further than usual to an interesting match over 50 years ago today. The winter of 1962-63 was probably the worst of the 20th century and caused huge disruption to the football programme. On January 26th 1963 the only professional games played in England were four FA Cup games, and one each in the old third and fourth divisions. This went on for most of January and February. With few clubs having floodlights the FA Cup Final was postponed until May 25th and Stortford finished their programme on June 1st with the Herts Charity Cup Final.

From Boxing Day 1962, when the snow started to fall during the league game with Ware, Blues did not start another game until February 23rd when the FA Amateur Cup game with Vauxhall Motors started on a pitch that was clearly unfit and the match was abandoned after 20 minutes. A week later we won through to the second round for the first time and with a national draw faced Norton Woodseats from the Sheffield area on March 9th.

Due to the huge distance the visitors had to travel, the programme notes apologise for having to raise admission prices to 2/- (2 shillings – or 10p for anyone younger than me). The match was played in driving rain and Stortford kicked off playing into the rain. Despite this they attacked from the off down both wings. The first good chance was in the ninth minute when a miskick left Collett with only the keeper to beat but he shot tamely into the keeper’s arms. The visitors did have a good chance with Cherry having to punch a dipping shot from Parlett over the bar. However it was against the run of play when the Yorkshiremen took the lead with a breakaway goal by Parlett after Yell was charged in the back. Ten minutes before half time Collett scored in a penalty area scramble following a corner. At half time the score was 1-1.

With the wind and rain behind them Stortford were back on the attack in the second half with Gough’s low shot being scrambled away by Eyre. The visitors took the lead again against the run of play on 52 minutes when Wain headed in from a free kick. Stortford were still well on top but it wasn’t until the 70th minute that they equalised again. Francis seized on a poor throw by Eyre to shoot past the Norton keeper. Havng been on top throughout the game, with 12 minutes left Stortford were facing a replay in Yorkshire until Neeves took a free kick from 35 yards and blasted the ball into the top of the net with Eyre touching the ball but unable to stop it. Finally ahead Stortford now made their dominance pay with Yell scoring a minute later from the penalty spot. Smith scored a brilliant individual goal, beating 3 defenders and a minute from time Gough beat the offside trap to finish the scoring at 6-2. The scoreline was an accurate reflection of the play but for 90% of the game it seemed a much closer game than that and all credit to the Norton Woodseats team for putting up a good fight. The unusual aspect of the game was that Stortford had six different goal scorers, not a unique feat but a reflection of the all round team performance.

2013 BSFC 0 Workington 3 – Conference North

Pentney, Vanderhyde, Herd, Prestedge, Bailey-Dennis, Francis, Waller-Lassen, Johnson, Sappleton, Cawley, Roberts Subs: Baker, Webb, Njie Not Used: Abdullahi, Elmes

2009 Havant & Waterlooville 3 BSFC 0 – Conference South

Eyre, Jones, Wright, Lettejallow, Goodacre, Cooper, Green, Prestedge, Essandoh, Smith, Patterson Subs: Harris, Hill, Barnard Not Used: Webb, Curley

2004 Basingstoke Town 1 BSFC 2 – Isthmian League Premier Division

Desborough, Allman, Gwillim, Rainford, Cooper, Barnett, Howell, Southam, Forbes, Bunn, Martin Subs: Renner Not Used: Kyriacou, Haniff, Wiltshire, Tillotson Scorers: Rainford, Barnett

2002 BSFC 3 Thame United 0 – Isthmian League Division 1

Desborough, Hannigan, Riches, McGibbon, Fannon, Taylor, Hyatt, Southam, John, Paul, Braham Subs: Bowen, Thompson Not Used: Langer Scorer: Paul (2), Hyatt

1996 Chertsey Town 3 BSFC 0 – Isthmian League Premier Division

King, Wardley, Parkyn, Shuttlewood, Paxton, Parratt, Barnaby, Cooper, Conroy, Roberts, Jackman Subs: Jordan, Hollamby Not Used: Edmonds

1993 Uxbridge 1 BSFC 1 – Isthmian League Division 1

King, Jordan, Claridge, Edmonds, Hopkins, Harrigan, Das, T Burns, Walker, White, Ingielewicz Subs: L Burns Not Used: Dance Scorer: Walker

1991 BSFC 0 Bognor Regis Town 2 – Isthmian League Premier Division

Taylor, Jackman, Risley, Harrigan, Hopkins, Hardwick, Ryan, Parker, Joseph, Miles, Manderson Subs: Parnwell, Fortune-West

1985 BSFC 1 Hayes 0 – Isthmian League Premier Division

Welsh, Wickenden, Brown, Cardines, Hull, Hopkins, Staunton, Powell, Walsh, Harper, Smith Sub Not Used: Baker Scorer: Hopkins

1982 BSFC 2 Harrow Borough 1 – Isthmian League Premier Division

Moore, Blackman, Baldry, Smith, Bradford, Avery, Clarke, Knapman, Arnold, Harvey, Sullivan Sub Not Used: Brown Scorers: Clarke, Harvey

1974 BSFC 2 Hitchin Town 0 – Herts Senior Cup 3rd Round

Moore, Gibson, Coombes, Lawrence, Still, Payne, Leakey, Scott, Bass, Smith, Murphy

Sub Not Used: Webb Scorers: Scott, Bass

1971 Tilbury 3 BSFC 1 – Athenian League Premier Division

Mollison, Lawrence, Ryan, Duffett, Argent, Sharkey, Whyte, Allawy, Devaux, Chappell, King

Sub: ??? Scorer: Devaux

1968 Grays Athletic 3 BSFC 0 – Athenian League Premier Division

Cherry, Abbott, Mitchell, Hammond, Neeves, Pettipher, Battram, Duggan, Nisbett, Chappell, Phillips Sub: ???

1963 BSFC 6 Norton Woodseats 2 – FA Cup 2nd Round

Cherry, Yell, Atkinson, Pope, Neeves, Wilson, Harkness, Collett, Gough, Smith, Francis Scorers: Yell, Neeves, Collett, Gough, Smith, Francis

1957 Tufnell Park Edmonton 1 BSFC 0 – Delphian League

Fox, Duncan, Atkinson, Lloyd, Carter, Horton, Hardy Yates, Hussey, Burridge, Francis

1946 BSFC 3 RAF Stansted 1 – Friendly

1935 BSFC 2 Marlow 3 – Spartan League Division 1

Knight, Springham, Spring, Byatt, Sharp, Wood, Childs, Haylock, Christmas, Bull, Johnson

Scorers: Christmas, Haylock

Author: Dave Ryan