Rayners Lane FC are based in North West London in the Borough of Harrow. The club were formed in 1933 and entered local league football. The Tithe Farm Social Club was formed with the football club being absorbed into it.
In 1951 'Lane' became Middlesex League champions before moving into the Spartan League in 1957. Unfortunately they failed to be re-elected in 1971 and returned to the Middlesex League. Lane soon returned to the higher status but when the league amalgamated it meant another step back.
A new challenge was sought and Lane joined the Hellenic League in 1978. They were successful and remained there until the ground graders came in and enforced higher standards for Premier League clubs. The club were demoted a division and remained there for a couple of seasons before dropping back down to the Middlesex League to regroup.
Lane applied to join the Chiltonian League on a couple of occasions before that league amalgamated with the Hellenic League to become the new Division One East with Lane becoming founder members in 2000.
After many aborted attempts Lane were given planning permission to erect floodlights in May 2011. Lane won the Division One East title in the 2012-13 season, but were denied promotion owing to ground grading issues at Tithe Farm.
Floodlights were erected at Tithe Farm in 2013, with a Watford side playing in the official match to commemorate the occasion.
Rayners Lane FC will compete in the Hellenic League Division One East for the 2015-16 season.
I travelled on the tube to have a look at the Tithe Farm ground one day after working on the underground in 2006 and to take some snaps. I was impressed by the neatness of the arena with the tall trees surrounding the pitch on three of the sides, with the social club and facilities down the other touchline.
Rayners Lane 3 Thame United 3 (after extra time). Thame won 5-4 on penalties (Saturday 29th January 2011) Hellenic League Supplementary Cup Round Two (att: 34)
I was on night shift for the week at work so I looked for somewhere quite local where I hadn't previously watched a game. After I made enquiries as to the kick off time, I got the good news that the game would start at 1.45pm to allow for the possibility of extra time and the lack of floodlights. I reasoned that this would allow me to get to the second half of Harrow Borough v Margate, which was only a fifteen minutes walk away.
I took the train, and clumsily took the wrong Metropolitan line service heading to Watford rather than the Uxbridge one I needed. Not to worry as it turned out because when I alighted at Pinner I found out the H12 bus passed at the bottom of the road and stopped right outside Tithe Farm.
I was soon at the ground and found my way into the clubhouse which was normally for members only. A very welcoming barman told me that I'd get the programmes outside and I'd be hunted down as it also acted as the ground admission. I watched some of the Everton v Chelsea FA Cup tie in the excellent room with a very reasonable pint of Reverend James as company.
I went outside before kick off and was liberated of £3 for admission and an excellent programme. The gentlemen were very hospitable and were delighted I'd chosen their game after initially having me down as a Thame supporter. The last time I had seen Thame in action was in a pre season friendly against Brentford around the turn of the millennium at their impressive old ground, when Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher was serving behind the bar.
The game went to extra time much to the amusement of fellow fans who had heard of my Harrow Borough plans. I thought about it for all of a second before deciding to stay put. It really was too good to leave. Lane went ahead and it looked like a giant killing of sorts was in store.
However Thame equalised and sent the game to penalties. Just like the previous hundred and twenty minutes lead in the shoot out went from one team to the other. Lane had the fifth kick to go through but the visiting keeper remained to form as he pulled off a great save. He had a brilliant game all the way through. If it hadn't been for him I'd have definitely seen the second half down the road.
Lane's sixth penalty was missed but the visitor made no mistake winning the game in sudden death. It had been a superb exhibition from both sides and amazing value for money.