Welcome to volume two of my blog paying homage to the football clubs I've visited all over the world and the wonderful people responsible for keeping them going and looking after the stadiums, and in some cases basic grounds.

Since I was a little lad I've been fascinated in football and more so where games are played. With my love of travel and curiosity of the game I wanted to visit as many grounds and see games wherever possible. I was lucky that my Dad also loved the game and spent so much of his spare time taking me to matches. As I got older the boundaries widened owing to my location and increased wages to Europe and indeed the world. The sight of a stand or a floodlight pylon in the distance immediately hightens my senses and eagerness for a closer look.

I hope this site gives you the chance to share in my pleasure and experiences and maybe one day set you on the road to adventure. If you get half as much out of the hobby as I've done I can guarantee some great memories, good friends and stories to pass on to future generations.

Give your local club a go today. They'll be pleased to see you!

Everlasting thanks primarily to my late and very much missed and dearly loved parents; my Dad Bob Bernard and my Mum; Ann, who put up with endless years of football chat and my brothers Nick and Paul who gave me the chance and encouragement to do what I have. Thanks to all my friends who offer encouragement and Sally and Stan who inspire and give me great pride. Young Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby!

Please feel free to post any comments (please use sensible language - I want everyone to be able to enjoy reading) or ask any questions relating to visiting grounds or events. If you want to see any ground reviewed please let me know. It will take quite some time for everywhere to appear, but make sure you keep having a look as the site is continually updated.

If you click on a lot of the pictures you will get a larger version on your screen.

I have also added links to video clips on youtube where appropriate for those of you who are bored of reading or are filling in time at work. I haven't always gone for the most obvious choices, but items that will be in some cases unusual but always historically interesting.

Click to see volume one of HAOTW.

Rob Bernard


September 2015

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tooting & Mitcham United

Tooting & Mitcham United come from the south west London Borough of Merton and were formed in 1932 following the merger of two prominent amateur clubs - Mitcham Wanderers and Tooting Town.

The merger had been in the pipeline for two years previously and eventually came to fruition when it was obvious that the area couldn't support two competitive clubs. The history of the old clubs are of great interest in themselves as they are intrinsically linked.

Mitcham Town were formed in 1887 as Tooting Graveney FC. They played home games at Figges Marsh, Lonesome, Gorringe Park and then The Ridgeway. During this period the club absorbed both Balham St John's FC and Tooting Bee FC, becoming Tooting FC in 1915. 

In 1919 they became Tooting Town and rented two pitches at Tyrell's Poultry Farm before they raised enough money to purchase a home ground of their own. This was achieved in 1922 as Town played in the London League when they moved into Sandy Lane.

Mitcham Wanderers were formed in 1912 and also played in the London League. They played home matches at Cranmer Green. They came close to purchasing a site at Park Place before settling at a ground on Streatham Road, which they bought.

On amalgamation the new club sometimes nicknamed the 'Half Halfs' but more commonly 'The Terrors' entered the London League and based themselves at Sandy Lane. In 1937 they moved to the Athenian League and won the first of several London Senior Cups and Surrey Senior Cups, as well as lifting the league title in 1950 and 1955.

In 1956 The Terrors joined the Isthmian League, winning the title two years later. In the 1958-59 season the club reached the third round of the FA Cup and were drawn at home to Nottingham Forest. They led two nil at half time before their illustrious visitors clawed a draw through an own goal and a controversial penalty. 

Forest won the replay 3-0 and went on to lift the cup later that year against Luton Town at Wembley. Tooting regained the Isthmian League title in 1960. The following season, a young Alex Stepney started his career at Sandy Lane before Millwall snapped him up on his way to Manchester United and legendary status.

In the 1975-76 season, United had two great cup runs under the managership of Roy Dwight who coincidentally broke his leg playing for Luton in the 1959 FA Cup Final. They reached the later stages of the FA Trophy before going down one nil at Scarborough, but they had earlier enjoyed their greatest FA Cup run.

They defeated Romford and then Leatherhead before being drawn away to Swindon Town. They salvaged a draw at The County Ground and then won the replay 2-1 with Dave Judeman starring. Bradford City ended their heroic run at Valley Parade in the fourth round.

Sadly the team did not win any further honours for a long period and were relegated for the first time in their history in 1989. In 1997 worse was to come as they were demoted to the third tier of the Isthmian League. 2001 bought some long overdue joy as they lifted the second division title and reached the last eight of the FA Vase before sucumbing to eventual winners Taunton Town.

Sandy Lane had gradually decayed as crowds dropped and a solution was sought. In 2002 the club moved top Imperial Fields, which was the former training ground of Crystal Palace. It was a spanking new stadium with a sports complex surrounding it.

After several seasons of coming close, The Terrors were promoted via the play offs in 2007-0 back into the top flight of the Isthmian League. Star player Michail Antonio was snapped up by Reading on a career that would see a full England cap and a move to West Ham United.

However, financial and ownership problems as well as rumours of other clubs looking to buy Imperial Fields caused uncertainty at United. The team were relegated at the end of the 2011-12 season.

The 2012-13 season saw the club use three different team managers as they finished low down Division One South. Many supporters were angry and became disillusioned with affairs at Imperial Fields and set up their own team Tooting & Mitcham Wanderers to play in the Surrey South Eastern Combination.

Craig Tanner took over as manager for the 2013-14 campaign before being replaced by Frank Wilson in the summer of 2015. Results improved on the pitch and the team lifted the London Senior Cup.

The momentum continued in the 2016-17 season, with the Terrors being crowned as Isthmian League Division One South champions on goal difference to return to the Premier Division.

Tooting & Mitcham United will play in the Isthmian League Premier Division in the 2017-18 season.

My visits

April 1984

I was entering the last few weeks of my college life in Borehamwood and I decided it was time for a day out visiting a few clubs. It was certainly a better option than the seemingly foreign language been spoken in the mathematics lectures.

I had been to several grounds and arrived at Tooting Broadway station and walked down to Sandy Lane. The gate was open and some players were assembled awaiting to travel to a match that evening.

The ground was most impressive but showing signs of age. The Main Stand seemed massive with a raised seating area that went nearly the full length of the pitch with a paddock in front. The rest of the ground had a decent sized open terracing all the way around it.

The Main Stand at Sandy Lane

A match in the early 2000's

To my regret my memory is failing me and I cannot remember who the opponents were or the score, but I do remember plenty of other details. If anyone can help me from the description, please get in touch!

I caught the train to Tooting station and walked down past Figges Marsh to Sandy Lane. It was already dark. I arrived with time for a couple of beers in the clubhouse. Despite it not been the most celubrious of hostelrys, I really liked it. 

You could smell the liniment of the players through the wall and hear the referees bell go off to signal that kick off was approaching. The tannoy was also audible as it played the theme tune from 'The Big Match' on ITV.

The ground had not changed too much, apart from sections of terracing on the far side had been fenced off as they were deemed unsafe. The end blocks of seats in the Main Stand had also been removed to satisfy the ground graders that Sandy Lane now had covered terracing!

The Sandy Lane End terrace

The highlight of the evening for me was being served some fine food from the refreshment kiosk at the Sandy Lane End and then seeing the man who served me being pressed into action on the pitch. A linesman was injured and could not continue. After a short delay the vendor can down the steps in full kit to take over duties. It made my evening!

I returned home by bus and train having enjoyed my night out and realising it was a last chance to see a game at the magnificent old venue.

Thursday 16th November 2006

I was having a day out groundhopping in South London and Surrey while preparing for my forthcoming trip to watch England play in The Ashes in Australia. I had just had a very nice visit to Carshalton Athletic where the kind gents had told me that I would be very impressed by Imperial Fields.

A couple of years earlier I had got as far as the entrance to the site, only to find a sign saying the game was postponed as the pitch was waterlogged. I tried with some other hoppers to find a way to get to another game to no avail, so I wanted to have a look at the ground.

I arrived by tram on a drizzly day with the gates were locked, but I got enough of a look through gaps in the fencing to see that my friends at Colston Avenue were spot on.

Both ends had steep raised terracing with small cantilever covers over the central section. The far touchline had just a couple of steps and a fence behind it, but offered scope for development behind it if it was ever needed. 

The near side had The Hub development, which contained the changing rooms, offices for the club and sports complex, a fitness centre and a clubhouse and cafe. In front of this stood the Main Stand with a lounge at the rear. It only filled the central part of the side with flat standing either side, once again offering scope for extensions.

I went on my way and after another tram ride I walked to the home of Croydon Athletic to complete my day.

Tooting & Mitcham United 0 Cray Wanderers 4 (Wednesday 28th September 2011) Isthmian League Premier Division (att: 283)

I decided it was time to see a game at Imperial Fields and with The Terrors moving home matches to Wednesday evenings to try and attract floating fans, I took the opportunity on a balmy late summers evening.

I had other reasons to make an effort. A cricketing mate of mine Mark Turner was a regular and I had promised to get to a match for a beer with him over the previous two summers, and Steve Adamson a good pal and football writer and historian back in Scarborough had given me a scrapbook full of old Tooting reports. 

I had originally intended to take it with me, but I forgot it in the rush for the train after an unintentional siesta! I went by tube to Waterloo and then a communter train to Wimbledon before changing to tram to Mitcham.

On alighting a local directed me to the ground without prompting. My Scarborough Athletic shirt must have given the game away that I was looking to go to the match. Ten minutes later I was entering the clubhouse at the back of The Hub as most fans were draining off their beers.

I was overjoyed to see handpumps and beer from one of my favourite breweries Hogs Back being served. I ended up having two pints before kick off while I chatted to a friendly local who only visited occasionally. His mates son was appearing for the evenings visitors, while he was a Tottenham fan. It turned out that we were both going to White Hart Lane the following evening for the Europa League clash with Shamrock Rovers.

I went inside and had a bit of a walk around the excellent ground before joining some vociferous home fans behind the goal including Mark. We had a good catch up as I chatted to some knowledgeable, friendly and frustrated home fans. Money was tight and the playing budget had affected the standard of the team. 

They tried hard enough, but the way they ball watched in defence as Cray went two up before the break was quite alarming. We went back to the bar at half time, where an older fan Dave spotted my Boro shirt and instructed me to join him and his pals at his table. He had earlier sold me my golden goal ticket.

He had gone to the famous Trophy clash in 1976 at Scarborough. He regailed me about the long drive and staying on the seafront in a place where the Rangers club chairman ran and kept them up all night drinking. Could that have been The Lancaster? I remember Tooting brought a good following in the crowd of over 4,000 that day.

My new pal said Scarborough was the coldest place he’d ever been to, so it was probably as well that they'd never played at Mossley! He had to go to the ground the day after the game to see if they’d won the raffle. They ended up going on the wrong slip road and headed up the A1 towards Scotland for ten miles.

We reminisced about the game. Dave remembered the two Dunn’s playing for us and Jeff Barmby’s winner, which is one of my happiest ever memories of the old place, as his free kick nearly ripped out the net in the top corner at the Edghill End. 

Dave also supported Spurs and he only discovered a couple of years ago that Jeff is Nicky Barmby’s dad, so he now felt better about the defeat. Tooting hit the post and bar and had some giants in their team. They reached the FA Cup third round that year. The game was really tight until Bionic’s moment of genius.

Dave went to watch us in the final that year against Stafford and the following year against Dagenham. We obviously created a good impression!

I told the lads that as we drank the Athletic Ground was probably still being demolished, which was met with genuine sadness by real football fans.I mentioned just how impressed I was with Imperial Fields. It was also being used by Chelsea Ladies and the rumour was that AFC Wimbledon may have been the club looking to move there?

Despite this, everyone to a man in the bar would have swapped it for their old delapidated but traditional old home at Sandy Lane. As silly as it sounds, they missed the old homely clubhouse under the old stand and now have a sparkling high roofed breezeblock building with plasma TVs, real ale and a few souvenirs on the wall. It was sterile though. It did affect their match day experience.

I appreciate that the blokes were around my age and older, but it did focus my mind to the fact that Boro would have to work hard to make their proposed new home at Weaponness as fans friendly as possible. There were differences of course. Tooting moved from one stadium to another and never had any time in exile. Imperial Fields was probably a bit too big for them. 

It turned out that I had missed out on the golden goal by two minutes, but Dave had won! There were just two tickets left at kick off. A Wanderers fan was given the choice and he picked the wrong one. Dave's pals made sure the cash was spent wisely over the bar!

I went for a pie from the stall at the back of the stand run by the supporters. The bigger outlet near the entrances appeared to be franchise run. I returned to my pals behind the goal. Tooting's defence continued to drive their fans mad as Cray's forwards romped through to add another couple of goals.

On full time I jogged back to the tram stop in time to catch the service back to Wimbledon.

I had an absolute top evening out with some proper fans following a dodgy team. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone in South London looking for a game. Be sure to wear your Boro shirt in the clubhouse and you’ll get a warm welcome!

I was invited back, so I may just have to return and take the scapbook with me and enjoy a longer drink.

Tooting & Mitcham United 0 Hendon 2 (Saturday 17th March 2018) Isthmian League Premier Division (att: 136)

The effects of the ‘Best from the East’ were still lingering with further snow having fallen overnight when I awoke on the Saturday morning. I’d considered several ideas to watch football, as I had the weekend off.

It was very tempting to head somewhere warm, but I was mindful of my trip to Thailand the following week. I had plenty of preparation to do for the Phuket Cricket Week. I wondered about my decision as I went back to bed to cower under the covers.

Tooting seemed confident that the match would take place, so I headed out after a decent breakfast. My plan was to get somewhere near, with a couple of back up plans in place in case my game was postponed at a late stage.

It was extremely cold, with a biting wind adding to the chill factor. I needed somewhere warm to take stock, and I had the perfect plan. A long overdue visit to see how Mick Dore was getting on at The Alexandra in Wimbledon seemed a good idea. I messaged him and arranged to meet up.

It’s always great to bump into old pals, especially those doing well for themselves. Mick had been in the pub trade for many years after leaving Scarborough. He was obviously highly thought of by Young’s Brewery to be given such a quality establishment.

The pub was busy with a good cross section of punters, enjoying food, beer and watching the sport on TV. I was introduced to some locals, who were great company for an hour or so. I got a guided tour of the place and was mightily impressed.

It was time to brave the cold, so I said goodbye to my pals, new and old to head back to the station to take the Tram to Mitcham. I walked to the five minutes to the ground with Hendon director Mike Harte, grabbing a £2 programme before heading to the bar.

The weather had put off some of the Hendon support from travelling, and the home fans seemed to be short on numbers. The pint of Bellhaven Grand Slam was decent enough nick as we chatted before wrapping up and going outside.

Admission was £10, but club secretary Daz Bloor kindly gave me the use of a League pass so I entered for free. It was a lovely touch, and much appreciated. We congregated on the terracing behind the goal with the wind blowing towards us.

Some of the steps were damp, with water freezing on them. The pitch held up well, even with patches of light snow on it. Dulwich Hamlet were scheduled to play their ‘home’ game with Worthing at the ground the following day, in a potentially good payday for Tooting.

The game was scrappy throughout. Hendon were struggling to find the fluency that was blowing teams away earlier in the season. It was good to see Michael Corcoran return in midfield after a long injury lay off.

Olllie Bennett saw an effort easily saved by Tom Lovelock in the Dons goal, before Corcoran tried to lob Terrors keeper Matte Pierson from distance. There were plenty of mistakes as the snow fell for lengthy periods.

Former Hendon striker Reis Stanislaus was playing for Tooting. He broke through and tried to lob Lovelock, but the stopper made a comfortable save. I’d always enjoyed the efforts of the striker in a Hendon shirt, and it was good to see him in action again.

I headed to the top of the stand for my pie and tea rather than going for the exotic jerk chicken on sale near the turnstiles. I was given a teamsheet by a friendly home official. I liked Tooting. They had proper traditional football supporters.

Both sides could easily have had penalties awarded, but the referee turned both away, much to the annoyance of the home support. Daniel Clements then saw a shot go across the face of goal.

The United defenders had got themselves in trouble trying to play the ball out from the back. It was their undoing just before the break as Josh Walker intercepted a poor pass from Olusanya Fadahunsi, before setting up Ashley Nathaniel-George to beat a defender and then slot the ball home.

We retired to the bar at the break, with England taking a St Patrick’s Day beating from Ireland in the rugby being shown on the TVs. The weather was getting even bleaker as we headed to the far end for the second half.

The match continued in a similar vain. There were mistakes aplenty in the terrible conditions. Tooting had plenty of play without really creating too much. The Hendon forwards looked to have left their shooting boots at home.

Half way through the second half Corcoran was fortunate to receive a straight red card for a cynical and frankly awful challenge as Isaiah Jones broke in a wide position. A melee ensued with the ref just issuing a yellow card. Another followed for retaliation. Several other players were fortunate to get off scot free.

Corcoran had played well but he was sensibly withdrawn by manager Gary McCann. The home fans were most uncomplimentary as he headed to the bench. Substitute Luke Tingey came close to doubling the lead with a shot that went just wide.

It was 2-0 with eight minutes remaining. A further cock up from the pressurised Terrors defenders led to Matt Ball winning possession. He passed to Zak Joseph he virtually walked the ball into the net.

It was time for me to walk round to near the players tunnel for a rapid getaway. It was interesting to see at close hand just how much it mattered to the players and management team, even though Hendon were comfortably ahead. They really did care.

Tooting plugged away until the end, but the resolute Dons defence stood firm. I walked back to the Tram with amiable Hendon Chairman, Simon Lawrence, soon to be joined by other happy fans heading back across London.

I alighted from the train out of Wimbledon at Vauxhall, before heading to West Hampstead and walking round to Hampstead Cricket Club to catch up with my friends and to see my Godson, Oscar.

A few pints of Guinness were enjoyed in the convivial atmosphere created by the Hockey Club before I headed home to watch Match of the Day, tired but more than content with a good day out. I eventually thawed out thanks to the electric blanket!

Dulwich Hamlet 1 Hendon 1 after extra time; Dulwich won 4-3 on penalties (Monday 7th May 2018) Isthmian League Premier Division Play Off Final (att: 3,321)

The return to Imperial Fields later I the season was in complete contrast to the March visit in terms of weather and attendance. Hamlet had been evicted from their Champion Hill home by owners, Meadow Residential, and were residing at Tooting during the dispute.

The Dulwich story had received much media attention with many prominent sports people and politicians lending their support. The team had done their bit by finishing as league runners-up before defeating Leiston in their home play-off semi-final.

Hendon arrived on the back of five victories, the final one of which was a brilliant 4-0 semi-final victory against Folkestone Invicta. The scene was set for the big occasion in temperatures soaring just over the 30° mark.

First of all I had an early shift at work to get through; before my good pal Mick relieved me well ahead of schedule. I took the Piccadilly and then District line down to Wimbledon, where some mates were already relaxing in The Wibbas Down Inn.

Before long I was with Steve Barnes, Gilbert and Mick enjoying a couple of fine ales from the extensive range in the Wetherspoon house before we took an Uber cab the fifteen minutes or so to the stadium.

I’d bought and printed out my ticket in advance for £10 and went straight in without queues. It was a bit of a surprise that the stewards waved all ticket holders straight through without a scan. Programmes had been sold out well in advance of our arrival.

The KNK Stadium was already very busy with queues for food and beer extremely long. We headed down to the far end where around 500 Hendon fans were assembled on the terrace. Shortly afterwards the two teams came out to a tremendous ovation.

Hamlet’s support was well known for their ultra culture, and their fans were packed in behind the goal with pink and blue banners while singing throughout. I was not always the biggest fan of this phenomenon but fair play to them. It was a tremendous sight and sound.

The Green Army supporting Hendon were also making plenty of noise. It was a nervy start from both sides on a pitch showing plenty of grass, but also lots of bobbles as well as a welcome breeze blowing diagonally across the pitch.

We’d caught up with Steve Speller and Richard at the ground. Steve Barnes and I headed under the shade where we stood with club secretary Daz Bloor. Gradually Dulwich began to take the ascendancy with Reise Allasani and Nyren Clunis looking dangerous up front.

Tom Lovelock made a fine stop from Allasani and then tipped over a header from Nathan Ferguson, while the central defensive partnership of Rian Bray and Arthur Lee were needed to be at their very best.

Nathan Green was causing plenty of problems for the Hendon defence out wide; who’s skipper Casey Maclaren was having a tremendous game. The Hamlet defence were well organised and doubled up quickly on any attacking Dons player.

Chances were at an absolute premium before Hendon took the lead out of nothing on thirty six minutes. Josh Walker laid the ball forward to Ashley Nathaniel-George who shot just as being challenged on the edge of the box.

The shot wasn’t very powerful but it deceived keeper Amadou Tangara who helped the ball into the net from his dive. There was absolute bedlam behind the goal, with the initial thoughts that the goalie had dropped a clanger. Chants of “Dodgy Keeper” rang out.

For a few minutes Dulwich looked all at sea. Defender Rickie Hayles was blowing while Anthony Acheampong seemed to extremely nervous. Zak Joseph failed to get a decent connection on a low cross before Tangara made a fine low stop from Nathaniel-George to atone his earlier error.

At half time the two sets of fans decided to swap ends. This could have led to some awkwardness, but everyone acted maturely and used common sense including the stewards. Fans went over the fences and walked up the side of the pitch to avoid overcrowding.

I could only guess this is how it was in days of yore. Everyone seemed in good humour and supported their team in a proper manner. I was in good form as I couldn’t see how Hendon could lose. I thought that they’d sussed out Hamlet, who had all the pressure on them.

Whatever the hosts boss Gavin Rose said at half time seemed to work, as his team came out looking to grab back control up front, with the defenders being even meaner in offering space to Hendon players.

Ten minutes after the break Allasani saw his effort well saved by Lovelock, with Bray miraculously clearing the follow up off the line. We thought that the danger was averted, but the ball went back into the area. Lovelock spilled it in the melee with Gavin Tomlin forcing home.

The noise was deafening. The Dons really needed to e on their game as Dulwich looked to finish it there and then. Brave defending and hard work were required, especially after Clunis broke into the box and smashed a shot against the underside of the bar a few minutes later.

Gradually the Greens worked their way back into the encounter. A couple of half chances fell to Niko Muir, but he wasn’t having his best game for the club despite putting in maximum effort. A Maclaren shot went inches wide having being helped around by Tangara.

The final ten minutes or so were stalemate, with neither side looking to take risks. The match went to extra time. The Hendon players and management urged the fans to make more noise. The heat must have been draining on the players, with the referee allowing drinks breaks in each half.

Green saw a deflected cross shot leave Lovelock stranded as the ball curved over the stopper before hitting the angle of post and bar. It fell to substitute Sanchez Ming who fired his shot over our terracing. Nerves were being jangled at our end, and I’m sure it was the same among the Hamlet faithful.

The game drifted on without any clear chances until Luke Tingay pushed Allasani on the edge of the box. Ashley Carew had scored the semi-final winner with a free kick from around the same spot a few days earlier. On this occasion his kick was comfortably saved by Lovelock.

Both teams received a huge round of applause shortly after in recognition of their exhaustive as the game was to be decided on penalties. Lee lost the toss meaning they would be taken at the far end in front of the Dulwich fans.

Sam Murphy scored for Hendon before Ollie Sprague and Michael Corcoran were both denied as the “Dodgy Keeper” chants came back to haunt the visiting fans. Dulwich were 3-1 up before Lovelock saved from Michael Chambers and then Daniel Uchechi made it 2-2.

Acheampong restored the lead and then Muir scored Hendon’s final penalty. Dipo Akinyemi became the hero of Dulwich as he slotted home to take the shoot out 4-3. A mass pitch invasion followed, while Hendon’s players headed to thank their magnificent support.

There seemed to an acceptance among many of the away fans. I went over the fence to say thanks to the Dons players who I’d got to know from my duties at Silver Jubilee Park. Many were in tears and absolutely distraught.

Meanwhile the Dulwich players and fans celebrated wildly with flares being let off and banners flown. They’d deserved their moment of glory after all their trails and tribulations which would carry on while they were still homeless.

It later transpired that Hamlet’s fans and players partied long into the night outside the East London Tavern and on Goose Green near to their traditional home. While we were envious, there was no bitterness towards them.

Meanwhile we headed back to the tram to head to Morden Road and then go on quite a walk to The Trafalgar. Poor old Joe with his bad knee and Neil also joined us. Mick had gone missing long ago in a drunken stupor and was apparently in Sutton chatting up some elder women!

We had a good drink and reflected on a grand afternoon out. Anthony, a Hamlet fan came into the pub and insisted on buying us all a drink. That summed up what proper non-league football, sportsmanship and the day was all about.

After several drinks the two Steve’s, Richard, Anthony and myself walked round to The Sultan; which proved to be another cracking establishment to carry on our libation and post mortem. Mr Barnes and I got back to Kingsbury for last orders to round off a long day.

It had been a pleasure to attend such an occasion, despite the disappointment of the result. Potentially worse news arrived a few days later as Hendon were placed in the Southern League for the following campaign after 55 years of continuous service in the top flight of the Isthmian League. They certainly weren’t a dull club to adopt!

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