The Bureau of Incomplete Statistics has just announced that three out of four people.
Everyone is thinking what their ‘best goal ever’ might be since Ibrahimovic’s spectacular fourth in Solna
I personally wouldn’t look any further than a 70-yarder by Ernie ‘The Tank’ Watkins for Banstead in an FA Amateur Cup tie at Croydon Sports Arena in 1964. A massive boot upfield from Ernie, then 48 and white-haired, bounced over the stranded Croydon Amateurs goalie Norman Stanley (or was it Stanley Norman?) and then up into the roof of the net.
I used to go to the Arena a lot in the ‘60s. I remember going there on three consecutive Saturdays to watch the first team once and the ‘stiffs’ twice. The scores were 8-0 v Histon, 8-0 v Histon Reserves and 8-1 v Warlingham. I also competed there in the Croydon Schools Athletics Championships, claiming second spot in the U14s’ triple jump.
In the ‘70s I did a degree course in philosophical logic at Liverpool University and in the ‘80s went to Bermuda for a week with a girl who described herself as ‘a professional mermaid’. I can still read Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Did you know there were 27 different bird signs?
That brings us up to date, because I was back at the Arena on Saturday for Croydon’s FA Vase Second Round tie with Newbury. Both teams are at ‘Step 5’, playing in the Premier Divisions of the Combined Counties League and Hellenic League respectively, but the game ended with a freakish scoreline.
Newbury went in front after an even first 20 minutes on a gloomy afternoon. Then Croydon scored twice in four minutes to lead 2-1 at the break. Two goals in the first four minutes of the second half made it 4-1 to Croydon before Newbury had a player controversially dismissed for two yellows. The visitors then fell apart, ultimately losing 9-2 to the team lying ninth in the CCL.
It was so warm in Regent’s Park on Sunday that my woolly hat never left my anorak pocket. Continuing the ‘nine’ theme, BPP Alumni had two players wearing No.9 shirts. They also had a left-back wearing No.1. They lost 7-1 to Chefchaouen Berbers in the West End Sunday AM League and it could have been double that.
In the afternoon a ‘Legends’ player limped off with cramp and was substituted by his son, who couldn’t possibly have been older than 12.
Here’s a summary of last week’s games, with attendances in brackets: AFC Wimbledon 4-3 York City aet (1,954), Leyton Orient 2-3 Aldershot Town in The FA Youth Cup (445), Barnet 1-1 Accrington Stanley (2,248), Croydon 9-2 Newbury (65), BPP Alumni 1-7 Chefchaouen Berbers (3) and Shepherds Tuesday 3-0 RC Legends (4). That’s 81 games this season and 6,376 altogether.
To those people who can’t finish their sentences I would just say
The Barber will be back next week with his latest tale from this travels. If you'd like to contact him, or suggest a game he should go to, follow @thebarberfan on Twitter