Andrew Cornell looks back on Blues’ games on August 6th
2016 was our earliest ever start to a league season, beginning with a home 1-0 defeat to Hampton, but there has never been a Herts Charity Cup game on this date either, although we have often played the first round game earlier than this.
The list of games played on this day is a long run of friendly matches with nothing earlier than 1973 as the season used to begin later before the 1970s. A varied list it is too of local non-league and league clubs from Essex, Hertfordshire and East Anglia with a home game against Luton Town thrown in alongside a trip to the coast to play Harwich & Parkeston.
The match in 1985 against Luton Town was a surprisingly high profile game against the strongest opposition – apart from the crowd pleasing games against the London sides that we have played in a pre-season friendly. Luton Town had finished 13th in the old Divison 1 the previous season and been FA Cup Semi-Finalists. While there was only 1 regular 1st teamer (Paul Elliott) in their side this was definitely a strong test for Blues.
Manager Tommy Coakley must have been pleased with the way his side played as a team with the experience of captain Phil Hopkins and Pat Staunton, Ian Smith and Bobby Harding proving important. Also looking good was new central striker Laurie Crossman who performed well against the Luton defence. On the quarter hour a quick pass from Crossman set up Colin Cardines for a chance which went off keeper Andy Dibble’s legs for a corner. Colin Hull came up for Len Tomkins corner and when his header was blocked on the line Cardines was on hand to smash in the rebound.
Good tight play by the Stortford defence kept the Luton strikers, including Ashley Grimes, quiet until just before half-time when Ricky McEvoy went close with a shot. After the break the full timers began to look more dangerous with some good play from Stein and North, both of whom had shots on goal. In the 54th minute Luton scored their equaliser when Mark Stein put a perfectly placed pass behind the Stortford defence which was caught square. Mark North deftly side stepped Will Carrick who, alert to the danger was racing out, and scored comfortably.
The last half hour saw some good football but with neither side desperately concerned about going for the win. An encouraging performance for Blues though against strong opponents.
2016 BSFC 0 Hampton & Richmond Borough 1 – Conference South
Wright, Rodgers, Herd, Eyong, Moore-Azille, Vilcu, Woods-Garness, Auger, Nouble, O’Neill, Green Subs: Ekim, Osei Unused: Furlonge, Benjamin, Lovelock
2013 Enfield Town 2 BSFC 1 – Friendly
2011 BSFC 1 Cambridge United 4 – Friendly
2005 BSFC 3 Dagenham & Redbridge 3 – Friendly
2002 Barking & East Ham United 0 BSFC 2 – Friendly
1996 Wivenhoe Town 2 BSFC 1 – Friendly
1994 BSFC 3 Bury Town 0 – Friendly
1992 BSFC 0 Peterborough United 1 – Friendly
1991 Boreham Wood 1 BSFC 1 – Friendly
1988 Crockenhill 1 BSFC 4 – Friendly
1985 BSFC 1 Luton Town 1 – Friendly
1983 Woodford Town 1 BSFC 3 – Friendly
1977 Harwich & Parkeston 0 BSFC 0 – Friendly
1973 Bedford Town 1 BSFC 1 – Friendly