It’s been a crazy week, with six games and a net-busting 42 goals. The results, with attendances in brackets, were: Hendon 2-1 Eastbourne Borough aet (190), London Angels 0-7 Islington Boxing Club (5), England 5-0 San Marino (84,654), Whyteleafe 2-3 Guernsey (252), Dynamo Kebab 8-0 South London Strivers (3) and London Corinthians 14-0 Maidstone United Rascals (18).
Yesterday was mental: an 8-0 in the morning and a 14-0 in the afternoon. The day had started in brilliant sunshine with a Full English Breakfast in the usual Baker Street café, the Bollywood waitress calling out “Full” (or possibly “Fool”) as soon as she saw me. I ate at a leisurely pace while poring over The Non-League Paper. Regent’s Park was hosting its usual canine convention and I enjoyed hearing the daft names that people give their dogs.
“Come on, Spartacus!” shouted one posh lady to her black poodle.
Dynamo Kebab, one of my Sunday League favourites, were 3-0 up at half-time and won 8-0. It wasn’t quite as one-sided as it sounds, with SLS creating several presentable chances. As soon as that game finished, at 12.22, I speed-walked back to Baker Street in my fashionable anorak and woolly hat and caught a Bakerloo line tube to Charing Cross.
The 12.56 from platform five took me to New Eltham in Kent, with London Corinthians’ ground almost adjacent to the station. I’d been there once before but that was about 20 years ago. They were playing Maidstone United Rascals in an FA Women’s Cup Second Round Qualifying tie and at the scheduled kick-off time of 2pm there was no sign of the referee.
One of the linos said he’d already ref’d a game that morning, so he let the other one take the middle. The replacement lino was some chap in a Burnley replica shirt. Corinthians were ahead inside two minutes and their mind-boggling 14-0 win was achieved with further goals on 9, 25, 28, 30, 32, 36, 45, 54, 61, 70, 74, 80 and 86 minutes. After the ninth went in, the Rascals ‘keeper, by now inconsolable, was substituted. To be fair to her, though, most of the goals had been well-placed shots into the corner.
I think I’ve only seen one team score 14 before. That was Dental Estimates Board in an East Sussex League fixture against Pebsham Sibex in 1989. But I have seen teams rack up 15, 16, 18, 19 and 20 (twice). The most goals I’ve seen in one day is 35 and that happened twice during the 2003 Island Games on Guernsey.
Talking of them, their club side Guernsey FC have entered The FA Vase for the first time this season and I watched their First Round Proper tie at Whyteleafe on Saturday. Guernsey, with plenty of support, were 3-0 to the good at the break but were hanging on at the end after an impressive ‘Leafe fight-back had brought them two goals in the last ten minutes.
Games this season = 56
Games in total = 6,351