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Good Afternoon and Welcome to Cheshunt Stadium.
Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year
Enjoy the game today
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Welcome everyone to Theobalds Lane for this eagerly awaited FA Trophy match against Bishop’s Stortford.
Today will be an extremely tough match against very good local opposition, and we’ll have to be at our very best to be in the hat for the next round.
Knockout cup competitions provide an extra buzz and of course can be financially rewarding. For me, the exposure that a good cup run generates is equally important.
Growing our fanbase is a major part of the future growth and success of the club. Not only does it enhance the match day atmosphere, which helps lift the team, it is also creates a community of people with a shared interest, and generates vital revenue streams to be reinvested back in to our teams and facilities.
Attracting fans is hard though, especially with the plethora of professional and non-league clubs within a short distance of us. I’m sure though that once a supporter has experienced our match day set up and met our people, they’ll become hooked and come back for more. Having a winning team and a good cup run is therefore important to generate that interest and get people through the turnstile.
On that note I’m extremely grateful for the loyal support we’ve built in recent years. I’ve been blown away by the amount of fans travelling to away games this season, and been impressed how they’ve out sung the home support! Thank you for your support, and please continue to spread the word about coming to watch Cheshunt FC.
Lastly, you will have hopefully noticed that our marquee roof has been fixed. Luckily the roof wasn’t ripped, and a few extra bungee ties and a small army of volunteers was all that was required. Thank you to those that helped. Let’s hope it stays in place!
Enjoy the game.
Score: Cheshunt FC 5-1 Corinthian-Casuals FC
Rowan Liburd – 17mins – 1-0
Rowan Liburd – 26mins – 2-0
Reece Beckles-Richards – 36mins – 3-0
Taylor Miles – 52mins – 4-0
Kieron Cadogan – 85mins – 4-1
Rowan Liburd – 88mins – 5-1
Star Player: Rowan Liburd
Cheshunt stretched their unbeaten run to 14 matches this afternoon with an emphatic 5-1 win over Corinthian-Casuals at The Stadium, Theobalds Lane.
The match started with a minutes silence for The Ambers former vice-chairman John Poole, who passed away recently and Cheshunt got off to a flying start as soon as the whistle blew for kick off. Jo Re’s early shot on 3 minutes was well saved by Danny Bracken in the Casuals goal and was a sign of what was to come. With both Amadou Kassarate and Rowan Liburd a continuing threat up front in the opening quarter of an hour before Liburd got the opening goal for The Ambers on 17 minutes when a goal mouth bundle was tapped in to open the scoring. Nine minutes later Liburd found himself with plenty of space and fired a shot past the outstretched Bracken for 2-0. It was then Reece Beckles-Richards turn nine minutes later when after a Casuals attack, Cheshunt broke away for Reece to take the ball thirty yards and shoot past Bracken to give Cheshunt a 3-0 lead at the break.
It only took seven minutes in the second half for the next goal when fan favourite Taylor Miles, who had been a constant torn in the Casuals defence managed to get onto the scoresheet and send the Cheshunt fans behind the goal wild. Following the fourth Cheshunt goal, Casuals made three substitutions, one of which, on 80 minutes was former Amber Nodirbek Bobomurdov who got a warm reception from the crowd. The subs looked to have made an improvement when The Casuals got a goal back in the 85th minute with a superb 20 yard strike from Kieron Cadogan. It was the Ambers who were to have the last say however, when, with the rain now pouring heavily onto the Stadium pitch, Rowan Liburd restored the four goal lead and whilst doing so finished off his hat-trick. The final whistle blew to rapturous scenes and keeps The Ambers play off hope well and truly alive.
Report by Scott Lear Non League Paper
Match Photos Stuart Tree
Rowan Liburd opens the scoring 1-0
Rowan Liburd gets his & Cheshunt’s second, 2-0
Reece Beckles Richards makes it 3-0
Taylor Miles from the edge of the area for 4-0
Hat Trick for Rowan Liburd 5-1,
Firstly I’d like to welcome Steve, his team and everyone who has travelled over from Stortford for todays game. Also our match officials who I hope have an enjoyable afternoon for today’s FA Trophy game.
We are unbeaten in 14 and Stortford in 15 so it’s a cracking cup draw and should be a great game. I’m not usually mad on drawing teams from your own division but with us not meeting so far this season, it being a localish derby and during the Christmas period it’s a mouthwatering tie. Whilst it’s a very welcome distraction I’m sure Steve will agree that the league is the priority, but with us meeting at theirs on New Years Day it adds even more spice.
Both sides are in tremendous form and we come into the game after hammering Corinthian Casuals 5-1. Casuals were unbeaten in 6 league games and had the 4th best defensive record in the league, so it was quite a win. Added to that, never at any stage did Casuals throw the towel in and were at us for the 90+ minutes, so fair play to them. Once again the support we received was tremendous. The Amber army seems to be growing by the week and getting noisier with some great songs.
After Saturday’s game, and with Tom Gardiner returning to training, I looked forward to a fully fit squad for the first time this season, however COVID has reared its ugly head and at this time we have had 3 positive tests and awaiting the results of several more. No one is seriously ill and no doubt a few years ago would have put it down to a cold and turned out to play, but in today’s mad world that’s not a possibility. Hopefully we have no further positive tests and can put a side out that does both us, and this stage of the competition justice.
Enjoy the Match !
Our Local Non League is a You Tube channel hosted by David Square of HTFC-TV posting pre & post match interviews and match highlights from local teams including Cheshunt, Enfield Town, FC Romania, Ware & Hertford Town.
EDGWARE TOWN 1-1 CHESHUNT
The club was formed on Thursday 28th January 1874 at the Chequers Hotel in the town. Just over two weeks later the first match was played with the East of England Non Conformist Grammar School (now Bishop’s Stortford College) being defeated 2-1, with goals coming from Rev. R J Tomes. In that first season 15 games were played, three of which were won, with seven others drawn. The club colours at that time were vivid crimson and olive green. After several years of playing just friendly matches the club became one of the founder members of the Hertfordshire Football Association in 1885 and played in the first ever County Senior Cup competition that same season, beating Aspley 2-1 away from home in their first match.
The club progressed into league football in the 1890s by joining a succession of locally based competitions. The highlights between 1889 and 1929 were the “double” seasons in 1912-13, when both the Saffron Walden & District League and the Stansted & District League titles were secured, and 1919-20, when the East Herts League and the Stansted & District League were won.
The club was accepted into the FA Cup for the first time in the 1924-25 season and then it was in 1929 that the next milestone was reached when the club was accepted into Division Two (East) of the Spartan League. A good start was made with the Ministry of Health being well beaten 5-0. Three years later, at the end of the 1931-32 season, the Division Two (East) championship was won and with it promotion to Division One of the Spartan League. A year later Stortford won the Herts Senior Cup for the first time.
During the Second World War the club played mainly friendly matches against locally based service units. The 1945-46 season saw Stortford compete again in the Spartan League, where they stayed until the formation of the Delphian League in 1951.
The 1950s saw steady progress in the club’s fortunes with the Delphian League title being won in season 1954-55. Until this time progress in the FA Amateur Cup had been nothing but a dream but in season 1962-63 Stortford found themselves only two games away from Wembley.
In a tense quarter-final, in front of 9,000 people, Stortford were defeated 1-0 by the Isthmian League champions Wimbledon at Plough Lane and Wimbledon went on to win the cup. The mid 1960s turned out to be a very exciting period for the club as in the space of three years, the Bishops having by now joined the expanded Athenian League, were runners-up in Division Two, champions of Division One and runners-up in the Premier Division.
The Premier Division title was eventually captured in the 1969-70 season. Then, a long-term ambition was realised when an application to join the Isthmian League was accepted for the 1971-72 season. The early 1970s was also another very successful period in the club’s history, third place in the League was achieved in season 1973-74, Stortford’s best ever position, whilst six cup final victories were achieved in the space of four seasons. The undoubted pinnacle of these highlights came fittingly in the club’s centenary season when the FA Amateur Cup was won at Wembley Stadium by beating Ilford 4-1 in front of over 30,000 spectators. This in fact was the last FA Amateur Cup final ever held. Scorers for Stortford were Dave Lawrence, Peter Leakey, Dennis Murphy and lastly Martin Smith from the penalty spot.
The rest of the decade was something of an anti-climax, with the club being relegated to Division One, but there was another huge upturn in the club’s fortunes as the 1980-81 season was another memorable one in the Bishop’s history. The club won the Isthmian League Division 1 title and the “double” came in May 1981 in the final of the FA Trophy when Terry Sullivan scored a late goal to leave lsthmian League Premier Division side Sutton United defeated 1-0 This victory came after a record breaking run of 13 games that had begun in the preliminary round in the September of the previous year. In achieving this success, Stortford became the first ever club to capture both the FA Amateur Cup and the FA Trophy.
After reaching the quarter final of the FA Trophy again in 1982 and setting the record for consecutive unbeaten matches in that competition (17), Blues turned their attention to the FA Cup. Though they had reached the competition proper fivee times before, it was in the 1982-83 season that they really made an impact. After disposing of local rivals Harlow Town, third division Reading were beaten at Elm Park in the first round and then Slough Town were defeated in the second round. The third round saw the Bishops drawn away at Middlesbrough, then managed by Malcolm Allison. In the tie at Teesside, Stortford fought back from a two goal half-time deficit to earn a well merited replay thanks to two Richie Bradford goals. The following Tuesday over 6,000 people packed into the Rhodes Avenue ground for the replay. Lyndon Lynch gave Stortford the lead on the stroke of half-time but Middlesbrough’s superior fitness told in the end and they fought back and eventually won through with two late goals. Stortford again faced League opposition in 1985 going out after a replay to Colchester United.
Towards the end of the 1980s, two former favourite players of the Rhodes Avenue crowds returned as Managers. Firstly, former England international John Radford, who had played in the FA Trophy winning side, became manager in 1987. He took the club to success in the Herts Senior Cup in his first season and continued the following season, 1988-89, by winning the AC Delco Cup (Isthmian League Cup). Apart from the cup run in, he also took the team on a promotion challenge, which only faltered in the closing weeks and the club finished seventh in the table. Terry Moore, a record holder in his days as Stortford’s goalkeeper when he collected both FA Amateur and FA Trophy cup winners’ medals – the only player to do so for the same club, then became manager and he led the Blues to victories in the Premier Inter-League (Clubcall) Cup and Isthmian League Full Members (Loctite) Cup.
In more recent times, the club was relegated to Division 1 at the conclusion of the 1991-92 term, but with ex-Arsenal star John Radford now as the Blues manager Stortford regained Premiership status by winning the Division One championship in season 1993-94. Life back in the Premier Division was not easy, with a best position of 12th being achieved in season 1995-96. Off the field the club suffered delays moving to its new ground at Dunmow Road having left the Rhodes Avenue ground at the end of 1997, which they had been at since 1919.
After 18 months during which home league matches were played at Boreham Wood, St. Albans City, Hitchin Town, Dagenham & Redbridge and Ware, the club were once again relegated to Division One at the end of the 1998/99 season. But a new and eagerly awaited chapter in the club’s history began on Saturday 17th July 1999 when the new Woodside Park Stadium finally opened with a pre-season friendly against Norwich City. The match ended in a 2-2 draw in front of a 918 crowd.
On Friday 3rd September a crowd of 2,444 saw the official opening of the stadium performed by George Graham followed by a match against a strong Tottenham Hotspur side including Hans Segers, David Ginola, Chris Armstrong, Ruel Fox, Jose Dominguez, Mauricio Tarico, Steffen Freund, Stephen Clemence and Justin Edinburgh. Blues made the record books on Thursday 30th December 1999 when they won 5-3 at Chertsey in a Ryman League match, which was the last competitive match played in England in the 20th Century.
The club, supporters and team finally settled in at Woodside Park but only after some serious problems with the pitch had seen many postponed games and fixture headaches in those first two seasons. In the 2000/2001 campaign, Blues came with a late challenge after making wholesale squad changes at Christmas and narrowly missed out on a promotion place. However, by season 2001/2 the playing surface was immaculate and hosting Ryman and England representative games along with many local and junior league cup finals and Blues themselves were faring better in the League. Promotion back to the Ryman Premier after a three years absence was secured on the 6th April 2002 with a 2-0 home win against Walton & Hersham.
The 2002/3 campaign saw Blues back in the Premier Division and the near disaster of the Rhodes Avenue sale and ground sharing were fading in the memory. On Tuesday 14th January 2003, Martin Hayes team travelled to Tring in the semi-final of the Herts Charity Cup and recorded the club’s best ever win in a competitive match away from home with a 9-1 victory. Blues fortune in that cup continued as Hemel Hempstead Town were defeated 3-1 in the May final and Captain Rob French lifted Blues first silverware for six years. Back in February, the club had sold star striker Vinnie John to Hornchurch FC for a club record fee.
2003/04 saw the restructure of the football pyramid with Blues among the founder members of Conference South thanks to an 11th placed finish and manager Martin Hayes led them to first round proper of the FA Cup where 600 Stortford fans saw them go down 6-0 at Mansfield Town. In April, exactly 30 years to the day that Blues won the last ever Amateur Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, Stortford retained the Herts Charity Cup by defeating Cheshunt 4-1 to match that Wembley scoreline. The last game of the season saw tearful scenes as the fans said goodbye to midfield supremo, inveterate goal scorer and triple winner of the player of the season trophy, Glen Southam. His £20,000 fee to Dagenham & Redbridge set a new club record.
A brave new world opened for Blues in August 2004 as they kicked off their Conference South campaign with a 2-1 win at home to Eastbourne Borough. It was a journey into the unknown with league trips as far afield as Weymouth and Newport but Blues held their own in the autumn with a position on the fringe of the play offs before finishing tenth.
By contrast the 2005-06 season was a disappointment and yet it ended with a trophy as the Herts Senior Cup was won for the first time in 20 years with a 1-0 win over Stevenage and the season was rounded off with a record Woodside Park league crowd of 1,016 as champions elect Weymouth visited. The Blues’ leading goal scorer at this time was Steve Morison who went on to play in the Premiership for Norwich City.
In 2006-07 the club flirted with promotion to the National Conference, the top echelon of non-league football. A top-six league finish led to a play-off semi final against Salisbury City. The home leg, played in front of 1049 spectators ended in a 1-1 draw with Greg Pearson scoring for Stortford. Back at Salisbury, the score was again 1-1 after 90 minutes. But two extra time goals saw Salisbury march to the final and the Conference. The FA Cup first round was reached, but Blues lost 5-3 againts Kings Lynn.
The 2008-2009 season saw Martin Hayes record 500 games and 10 years in the job. However, a shoestring budget and poor results led to his surprise dismissal and the promotion of reserve team manager, Mark Simpson assisted by Gordon Boateng. The new management team rung the changes and Stortford rallied to move from 20th in the league table to finish 9th.
Simpson remained at the helm until February 2011 during which time, in season 2009/10, Stortford again won the County Senior Cup. Simpson was replaced by ex-England and Spurs goalkeeper Ian Walker. A late three game winning run saw Walker save Blues from the drop and his side lifted the Herts Charity Cup with victory against Cheshunt. But the club where hit by a bombshell at the Conference AGM in early June when they were placed in the northern section following the demise of Rushden & Diamonds. Despite the signing of future Premier League star Dwight Gayle and on-loan Spurs keeper Jordan Archer, Blues struggled in their new surroundings and with the team in the relegation zone Walker departed early in December 2011 following a 5-0 FA Trophy at Isthmian League side Carshalton Athletic.
Under former Braintree boss Rod Stringer Blues had an excellent finish to the season, finishing tenth and winning both the Senior Charity Cups. The 2012/2013 season saw Blues drop to 17th as recruitment of players able to travel to the likes of Manchester and Workington on Tuesday evenings became an issue, but Stringers’s side did win their way through to the first round proper of the FA Cup before going out to Hastings United.
A return to Conference South saw a fine first half to the 2013/2014 campaign contending for a “play-off” place and reaching the 1st Round of the FA Cup once again. They were handed a tie at home to Northampton Town that was televised live on ITV and attracted a record crowd of 2,548. Form orm dipped in the New Year however when faced with playing 22 games in final 50 days of the season and they finished below halfway in the League table. A small consolation was that the Herts Charity Cup was won once again.
The 2014/2015 campaign was not a great one for the Blues but after some inconsistent form up until the last few months of the season they improved to steer clear of the relegation zone to ensure another year as a member of the Vanarama National South.
Stringer resigned after four and a half seasons at the end of the 2015/16 campaign to take charge of Chelmsford City. That season saw the Blues again finish around midway in the League table and win the Herts Charity Cup. Striker Elliott Buchanan was the top goalscorer in the league and won the Vanarama Conference “Golden Boot” award.
The 2016/17 season was a disaster for the club and probably the worst in the history finishing in the second-from-bottom place to be relegated to the Evo Stik Southern League after 13 seasons in the Conference set-up. Stortford had two management teams running affairs before ex Spurs, Swindon, Rotherham United, Reading and Colchester United midfielder Kevin Watson was appointed manager late in the season. Stortford did reach the Senior Cup final but lost 2-1 to Hitchin Town.
A first season in the Southern League saw Watson’s young side finish 18th in the 24 team league. A switch back to the Isthmian League saw former Witham Town boss Adam Flint step into the manager’s shoes but he failed to win a game and was replaced in mid-September by club owner Steve Smith and former Norwich City striker Jamie Cureton. The pair took the club to seventh th place in the table, just missing out on the play-offs as well as reaching the league cup semi-final.
Cureton celebrated the achievement of playing 1000 competitive games in the 3-2 win against Brightlingsea Regent, netting twice on the way to finishing as leading scorer in the Isthmian Premier, and he remained joint boss with Smith as The Blues headed into the 2019/20 season.
Bishop’s Stortford FC Profiles 2021-22
STEVE SMITH – Manager
Steve became First Team Manager on the resignation of Adam Flint in September 2018. He has had previous experience in charge with Stortford a couple of seasons ago and has had spells with Heybridge Swifts and Chelmsford City.
LUKE CALLANDER – Assistant Manager
A very experienced striker, Luke joined Stortford for a second spell in early November 2018 before retiring as a player in the 2019-20 season and joining Steve Smith’s coaching team. He had previously played for the Blues in the 2016-17 season, making his debut in a 2-0 defeat at Bath City in January 2017 and going on to make 18 appearances and netting four goals by the end of that season. He won the Ryman North League Championship with AFC Sudbury in 2015-16, before returning to Heybridge Swifts in May 2017, becoming the club’s record goalscorer with 117 goals in just over 200 matches.
JAMES BAKER – Player/First Team Coach
Experienced midfielder who is equally comfortable in defence. Joined the Blues in early 2020 from Needham Market having previously featured for the likes of Braintree Town, Chelmsford City, Eastleigh, Welling United and AFC Sudbury. Since last season, he has featured less on the pitch and more in the dugout, and James will be the Blues Academy First Team Coach as well this campaign.
MIKE WILLIAMS – Physiotherapist/Strength & Conditioning Coach
Mike replaced the Club’s long term Physio Colin Taylor following his retirement. The former fitness coach at West Ham United and Colchester United now manages a gym in the town and will be working with the Blues Academy too.
JAKE CASS – Forward
The popular striker had a short but sweet first spell with the Club, scoring seven goals in nine games at the start of the 2018-19 season. Since then he has played for Braintree Town, Chesham United and Chelmsford City.
Reiss Chandler – Defender
Reiss had joined us for a six month loan period from National League Southend United. The 18 year old has previously played on loan for Harlow Town
RYAN CHARLES – Midfielder
Ryan has previously scored 16 goals in 50 Blues appearances. The fan-favourite, nicknamed ‘Spider’, played at Wembley at the end of last season as Concord Rangers were runners-up in the delayed 2019-20 FA Trophy final.
ANTHONY CHURCH – Midfielder
Anthony returned to the club this summer for a second spell, having made 116 appearances with the Blues between 2013 and 2016, before joining up again with Rod Stringer at Chelmsford City, spending five years at the Clarets before his return.
ARCHIE EDWARDS – Defender
Archie played at Charlton Athletic in their youth teams at U18, U21 and U23 level, and represented England at U16 and U17. Since then he has played for Bognor Regis Town, Eastbourne Borough and Hornchurch, before signing for the Blues in the summer. He scored his first Blues goal in a 1-4 away win at Brightlingsea Regent in September
DARREN FOXLEY – Midfielder
Darren started his career with Soham Town Rangers and Cambridge City before his first spell with the Blues in the 2017-18 season. He left for Hungerford, and subsequently represented St Albans City and East Thurrock United before returning to the Blues in the summer of 2020. He scored the first goal in a 2-0 over his former club St Albans in front of the BT Sport cameras in the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round in October 2020, and netted twice in the First Round tie at Brackley Town, which ended in a penalty shootout defeat following a 3-3 draw. He left for Billericay Town in the summer before returning initially on a one month loan.
JACK GIDDENS – Goalkeeper
Jack won the Isthmian League Premier Division with Billericay Town, having also played for St Neots Town, Aveley and Tilbury. His most recent club was East Thurrock United, where he won the Supporters’ Player of the Season in 2018-19.
JONNY GILES – Midfielder
A physics graduate from Durham University, Jonny has previously played in League Two with Oxford United, as well as making nearly 100 appearances for Chelmsford City. A versatile attacking midfielder, he is capable of operating on either wing as well as a number 10.
MARK HAINES – Defender
Mark arrived for his second spell on loan from Chelmsford City with a gap of almost seven years from his first spell having been on a month’s loan from the Clarets in early 2012 when the Blues were in the Conference League North. Having played for West Ham United and Southend United youth teams, he joined Grays Athletic and then Chelmsford City – with whom he was named Young Player of the Season in 2009-10. He is the Essex side’s longest serving player with almost 300 first team appearances.
CHRIS HARRIS – Forward
Chris signed on dual registration terms with Halstead Town of the Thurlow Nunn League First Division South in October 2020. His impressive goalscoring form of eight goals in 11 games this season earnt him a move to the Blues – three tiers higher than Halstead. The stats for his full career with the Humbugs makes for impressive reading too, 57 goals in 103 games, and he scored the club’s fastest hat-trick with three goals in nine minutes a 5-2 win against Haverhill Borough in October.
RYAN HENSHAW – Defender
Club captain Ryan joined Stortford in early November 2018 making his debut in a 1-0 home victory over AFC Hornchurch. His first club was AFC Sudbury, who he played for from the age of 16 and racked up over 300 appearances, and was in the side that won the Division One North Championship in 2015-16 to gain promotion to the Ryman Premier League, he was also voted into the league’s Team of the Season. He transferred to Heybridge Swifts at the start of the 2017-18 season, making it to the First Round of the FA Cup, before losing to Exeter City. He was the Manager’s Player of the Season as well as the Player’s Player of the season. He notched his first Blues’ goal when scoring the only goal in the 2018 Boxing Day win over Harlow Town.
ARCHIE JONES – Midfielder
Promising young central midfielder who initially joined on a six-month loan from Peterborough United in August 2020. He appeared for the Posh in 2019-20 in an EFL Trophy tie against Cambridge United. He scored two Blues goals in the curtailed 2020-21 campaign, both in the FA Trophy, the first was a superb curling effort in the win against Brentwood.
BEN MARLOW – Midfielder
A graduate of the West Ham United Academy, Ben played for the Hammers from the age of 8 to 23. He represented the Blues seven times in the 2015-16 season before joining East Thurrock United, where he made 86 appearances and scored 11 goals.
FRANKIE MERRIFIELD – Forward
Frankie played for the Blues in two seasons from October 2014 to July 2016 before joining Chelmsford City. He scored 17 goals in 37 appearances for East Thurrock United in 2019-20, and eight in 13 for the Blues last season, our top goalscorer in the curtailed campaign, with two braces and a hat-trick.
JOHNVILLE RENEE – Midfielder
Johnville began his career at Leyton Orient before leaving for Stoke City at 15 years old. He spent four years at The Potters before joining AFC Wimbledon in League Two. Comfortable in both defence & midfield, he spent six months at Maldon & Tiptree and he made his Stortford debut in August 2018, scoring his first Blues goal in a 4-3 defeat at home to Tonbridge Angels in January 2019. He rejoined the Blues earlier this season from Braintree Town.
SAM ROBBINS – Defender
Sam began his career at Wingate & Finchley before moving on to Waltham Abbey, where he made over 100 appearances. He signed for the Blues from the Abbotts in the summer of 2018, making his debut in a Herts County Charity Cup tie against Hitchin Town, and scored his first goal for the club in a 2-1 win at Worthing in November 2018. He won the Manager’s Player of the Season and the Players’ Player of the Season for 2018-19.
JACK THOMAS – Midfielder
Jack spent two seasons with the Blues Academy set-up and gained valuable experience of senior football with Sawbridgeworth Town in the Essex Senior League in the 2016-17 season. He made his Blues first team debut in a Hertfordshire Charity Cup Semi-Final tie against Hitchin Town in September 2017 and has been a key part of the Blues’ midfield since then. He won the Young Player of the Year award for 2018-19.
JIMMY WALLACE – Defender
Jimmy signed with Reiss on a six month loan from Southend United in August, where he captained the U18s to the EFL Youth Alliance Merit League Two title in May. The title was confirmed in his 67th and last appearance for United at youth level, in the last match of the season, winning 1-2 at Peterborough United.
Manager Craig Edwards
Reece Beckles Richards
Bishop’s Stortford FC
Manager Steve Smith
Ryan Henshaw – Captain
The biggest stadium in England for a few years at least
“Build it and they will come” is the immortal line from the film Bull Durham (and Wayne’s World 2) where a farmer is encouraged by a vision in his sleep to build a baseball field on his farm. As an economist, the concept that you can create demand for something by artificially creating or inflating supply is an interesting idea and is certainly the mantra that has worked Qatar in their realising their dream of hosting the FIFA World Cup Finals (that and a pot of cash like no one has ever seen).
Alas in English football it has also been the rhyme of fools more too often, with clubs investing heavily in redevelopment and new stadiums only to see them sitting virtually empty on a match day such as MK Dons stadium or not even used for football at all such as the Ricoh Arena, once the home of Coventry City.
But sometimes things in football can go spectacularly wrong. The strange tale of New Brighton Tower FC, who played in a stadium on the Wirral that had a capacity once of 100,000 (which was for a time the largest stadium in England). However, they lost that honour in the early part of the 20th Century to a London club few football fans have ever heard of – Thames FC.
Back in 1928 a consortium of businessmen heralded the opening of the West Ham Stadium in East London. Built with a capacity of 120,000 it was the biggest stadium in England at the time and was earmarked to compete directly against Wembley Stadium, opened five years previously, as a venue for all sports. nitially the stadium was used for Greyhound and Speedway racing although the owners soon saw that football was the way forward.
An application was made to join the Southern League for the 1928/29 season where they competed for two seasons, finishing in third place in 1930. The owners felt that the club were perfectly placed to compete in the Football League, and surprisingly their application to join was accepted from the 1930/31 season, taking the place of Merthyr Town.
Alas, with clubs like West Ham, Clapton (Leyton) Orient, Millwall and Arsenal all located close by, the general public of East London failed to warm to the new League club and crowds were appallingly low. In fact, in December 1930 they set the Football League record for the lowest ever attendance (that still stands today) of just 439 for the game versus Luton Town. In that first season the club & finished in 20th place (out of 22 clubs), with an abysmal away record of taking just three points from a possible forty two.
The following season it got worse for the club. Crowds rarely broke the 5,000 mark and on the pitch they struggled to string any positive results together. At the end of the season they finished bottom, five points adrift of Gillingham. Rather than apply for re-election the owners simply admitted their mistake and withdrew the club from the Football League. There was talk of a merger with Clapton Orient but within a few months of leaving the league, the club were no more.
The stadium continued to host greyhound and speedway right up until 1972, although the capacity was reduced due to safety issues at regular intervals. Finally it became too
expensive to run and the ground was sold to property developers. Today, it is a housing estate with nothing to show for its proud history than a few street names with nods to the sporting stars that were once performed there. Just a few hundred yards north of where the West Ham Stadium stood, just the other side of the A13 is the Terence McMillan Stadium which does today host local sides Athletic Newman and Clapton, famed for their Ultras.
The TerryMac, as it is known locally, opened just as the West Ham Stadium was closing, with the growing East End community in mind as an integral part of the Prince Regent Playing Fields. Whilst today the games held here, such as for my visit to watch Atheltic Newman versus Frenford FC in the Eastern Counties League One South, are played out in front of crowds measured in the tens, the stadium did open in an auspicious fashion back in February 1976 when a fundraiser was held for West Ham United’s full-back Frank Lampard. Back in the day when players were loyal to their clubs, playing more than often for their local team throughout their career rather than chasing the cash, testimonials were granted after a player had been at a club for ten years. Ironically, out of the three Premier League players who have been at their club for ten years or more, West Ham captain Mark Noble is the longest serving with 16 years consecutive service (Lewis Dunk at Brighton & Hove Albion and Leighton Baines at Everton is the other).
Entry for the game between East Ham United and West Ham United on that day was 45p, about £3.50 today, where a crowd of 4,250 saw the Hammers, who included Trevor Brooking, Jimmy Greaves and Lampard himself, beat East Ham, who fielded George Best, 8- 7.
Thames FC could have made a huge difference on football if the locals had got behind the team. With no London team at the time having a real impact on English football with the right support they could have today been challenging the Manchester clubs for honours and resources….possibly.
Matt Badcock writes,
IT WAS Chris Waddle’s 61st birthday on Tuesday and an old video of the maestro scoring a wondergoal in a six-a-side tournament surfaced on twitter.
Receiving the ball while facing his own goal on the edge of his own area, the former England winger flicks the ball over his and his opponent’s head.
As the ball drops he shapes to pass, but dummies to keep it at his feet, before setting off up the pitch. When he reaches the halfway line, without breaking stride, he clips the ball with the outside of left foot and sends an arcing shot over the keeper into the (much smaller than usual) goal’s top corner. It’s a great strike that oozes the class of his professional career.
Now, there’s a bit of self-promotion here because Waddle – we are reliably informed – is a regular NLP reader. In the first Lockdown of March 2020 he spoke to my colleague David Richardson about his love for all levels of the game in this country – and still playing.
Only a few weeks earlier he scored a trademark stunner for Long Bennington Veterans FC, of the East Midlands Veterans League Conference East, against Bottesford in the Olivia Hinton Trophy.
“I was talking to someone the other day about music and I asked why does Rod Stewart or Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones keep touring?” Waddle told David. “They must be so secure money-wise, why do they still do it? They said, ‘Well why do you still play football?’. Because I love it and my friend said, ‘well, there’s your answer’.”
Waddle admitted back then that he may turn to walking football instead – another fantastic way for people who don’t quite have the legs for the running anymore, but still have the thirst for a competitive game and, perhaps most importantly, the social interaction and camaraderie with others.
A big shame of the Covid interrupted seasons were the young players robbed of a season in their careers.
But for players at the end of their time it was probably worse as they weren’t able to hang up the boots on their own terms. Some weren’t able to take that last applause of appreciation as they left the pitch.
Sprinkled around Non-League football are the Golden Oldies still turning out each Saturday. The Peter Pans who aren’t giving it up while they still feel good.
Jefferson Louis is 42 but recently signed for North Leigh and getting on the scoresheet. Barry Hayles is assistant at Merstham but has his run outs, while Paul Brayson is still knocking in the goals for Newcastle Benfield aged 42.
Jamie Cureton is 46 and playing for Enfield, where he is also manager. In recent years he’s talked about how looking after his body in the latter stages of his pro days has helped him enjoy more than a decade of playing long after others have to retire.
Former Ipswich Town winger Carlos Edwards, 43, can be spotted in Isthmian Division One North Bury Town’s midfield.
In the National League South, Keith Emmerson is still going strong at 38. His day job as a PT for the Army probably helps!
Crusaders boss Danny Robinson recently told me about his importance to their dressing room and his leadership qualities although joked, “He’s in his…what’s past twilight of a career?”
Perhaps we should do a Golden Oldies Team of the Season this year.
Drop us a line if there’s anyone at your club who should make the email@example.com
How did Cheshunt & Bishop’s Stortford reach the third round of the Buildbase FA Trophy?
Both entered the competition at the 3rd Qualifying round stage, The Ambers despatched Corinthian Casuals in a scrappy 1-0 away win, whilst the Blues saw off high flying Lewes 2-0 at home.
Another home tie for the Blues in the first round took Chipstead to the Prokit UK stadium and two first half goals secured a 2-1 win. A home tie for the Ambers saw them squeeze past a very mean Berkhamsted defence with another 1-0 win
A third consecutive home tie-in the second round for the Blues gave the opportunity to overrun Leiston 5-1, while the Ambers went on the road again to defeat National League South side Chelmsford City 2-1 at a wind & rain swept EMG Inspire stadium.
Both teams are undefeated in their last ten league matches as well as the three FA trophy rounds, so something will have to ‘give’ on Saturday afternoon as the match will be decided on the day.
Below are the other matches in the third round with local sides looking to make the last 32 including Barnet, Borehamwood, St Albans & the Townies who visit Theobalds Lane on December 27th.
Rowan Liburd’s 89th minute penalty rebound , his second spot kick of the match denied Margate victory.
The hosts took the lead early when a through ball found Calvin Ekpiteta running into the Cheshunt box, to stroke the ball past the advancing George Marsh. Ekpiteta continued to be the goal threat for Margate during the first half, along with strike partner Vance Bola who shot wide in a bid to double the lead. The Ambers kept Margate keeper Ben Bridle Card busy at the other end saving well from a selection of headers and a Beckles Richards shot.
The match came alive in the last quarter when a penalty awarded for a trip was despatched by Liburd to draw the Ambers level, but minutes later as in the match at Theobalds Lane, the ever alert Bola latched on to a backpass and converted to restore the Margate lead. Cheshunt piled on the pressure in a bid to rescue the game and were rewarded when a desperate challenge bought another penalty, Bridle Card did well with the initial strike but Liburd was first to the rebound to secure a point for the Ambers.
Football is the most popular sport worldwide, and there are so many children who do not have the same opportunities to safely play the game that they are so passionate about.
In the UK, children are often buying new pairs of football boots every season, as they so quickly outgrow their old pairs. This means that their used football boots are often left in near-perfect condition.
Our goal is to give these football boots a second chance and to bring joy to children who don’t have the same opportunity.
Cheshunt FC teams are collecting boots for this very worthwhile charity, please check your cupboards for any boots you may be able to bring along to the club and donate.
“The Isthmian Football League strongly supports the FA statement that there should be a zero-tolerance approach against racism and all forms of discrimination. Accordingly, any form of discriminatory abuse whether it by reason of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion and belief, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, sex and sexual orientation or any other form of abuse will be reported to The Football Association for action by that Association.” (The FA 0800 085 0508 / Kick it Out 020 7253 0162).The Isthmian League and all Member Clubs in the League are committed to promoting equality by treating people fairly and with respect, by recognising that inequalities may exist, by taking steps to address them and providing access and opportunities for all members of the community.”