Blast from the past

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Andrew Cornell looks back at Blues’ games on May 18th

This date saw the last home game of the marathon 1973-74 season, but also the 1972 East Anglian Cup final against Dagenham who won 3-0. Who even knew that Dagenham was in East Anglia?

In 1974, on a Saturday afternoon two weeks after the FA Cup final we faced Woking with an outside chance of winning the Isthmian League. Stortford settled quickly as befits a team that had played 3 games a week for a month with an almost unchanged team. In the 8th minute John Dear seized on the ball as the Woking defence failed to clear and fired into the side netting. Minutes later John Still also had a shot go just wide of the post. In the 14th minute a free kick from Martin Smith was headed on by Still to Dear whose shot was pushed over the bar by the Woking keeper Collyer. When the resulting corner was cleared Roger Steer picked up the ball, beat Martin Smith on the half way line and scored against the run of play.

Almost immediately Blues equalised when Dave Hutchins header went straight to Dear who made no mistake this time. Stortford continued to dominate the game and had shots on target from Roy Mitchell, Tony Gibson and Tony Bass. In the 36th minute Bass was through on goal after a fine ball by Dave Lawrence when he was brought down. However Smith’s penalty       was saved easily by Collyer and as half-time arrived with the score at 1-1 it seemed maybe Woking would prove more stubborn opponents than thought.

The second half was more even, as although Blues had further chances from Peter Leakey and Dear Woking also kept Terry Moore busy with one especially good save from Terry Molloy. However the Woking goalscorer Steer had to go to hospital with a wrist injury sustained in the 51st minute which blunted their attacks somewhat. The winning goal came in the 76th minute when Dear headed back from the goal line and Mitchell was on hand to score. Both teams continued to attack and Tony Roberts came close at the death for Woking with an 18 yard shot. Having wrapped up the points Blues then learned that Wycombe Wanderers had beaten Leytonstone and sealed the Isthmian League championship.

 1974 BSFC 2 Woking 1 – Isthmian League Division 1

Moore, Gibson, Coombes, Lawrence, Still, Payne, Leakey, Dear, Bass, Smith, Mitchell

Sub Unused: Scott Scorers: Dear, Mitchell

1972 BSFC 0 Dagenham 3 – East Anglian Cup Final

Moore, Sedgeley, Lawrence, Smith, Still, Sharkey, Mitchell, Merrifield, Devaux, Duggan, Whyte

Sub Unused: Francis

Author: Dave Ryan