The Barber finds football in Morden as Terrors lose

Monday 03 Feb 2014
The Barber visits Tooting & Mitcham United

Another Saturday, another ‘phone round at lunchtime to see if there’s a game on. It’s becoming annoyingly predictable.

29 of the 34 Isthmian League fixtures were off but two of those that survived were reasonably easy to get to.

I had been to Kingstonian twice in recent weeks, so went for the other one at Tooting & Mitcham United.

 

The Barber

Matches this season = 120
Matches in total = 6,585
Twitter: @thebarberfan

 

The Terrors had a Division One South match against Leatherhead at the KNK Stadium, a 20-minute walk from Morden tube station on the Northern line. Who’s Surrey now?

There was a freezing wind and wherever I stood or sat, it was impossible to get out of it. When it’s like that, you hope the match is entertaining enough to take your mind off it.

But there wasn’t much for the crowd of 252 to get excited about in the first half-hour, as both teams struggled to put good moves together.

Then the Tanners scored and both seemed to up their game after that.

Tooting’s No.9 netted an excellent equaliser near half-time, firing home after a long run through the inside-left channel, and it was a pretty good second half in the sunshine.

The Barber visits Tooting & Mitcham United

The Barber was one of 252 spectators at Tooting & Mitcham on Saturday

 

Leatherhead made it 2-1 with a header from a free-kick on 74 minutes and that clinched the points for the second-placed side in the table.

The pitch was perfect, for February anyway, so it remains a puzzle why so many matches were postponed again.

It was sunny, and dry, on Sunday morning and there were a few matches in Regent’s Park. I decided to watch the one that kicked-off first, at 10.35am, and walked over to one of the subs to ask him which teams were playing.

He didn’t even know the name of his own team – there was nothing on the shirt badge to indicate – but it turned out to be Dynamo Kebab v Grantchester Road.

The attendance was an estimated one and there was a moment to remember just before the break. The Kebab ‘keeper raced towards the right touchline and sent his booted clearance straight to Road’s No.6.

The Barber visits Tooting & Mitcham United

Leatherhead won 2-1 at Tooting

 

“Shoot!” shouted several of his team-mates, with the goal unguarded. He glanced up and chipped a perfect shot that seemed destined for a point a few inches below the crossbar.

There were cries of “Yes!” before a Kebab defender made a last-ditch headed clearance. Brilliant stuff. I could have been watching the Premier League.

I saw my first Tooting matches at their old Sandy Lane ground in the 1962-63 season. After several blank Saturdays due to the infamous ‘Big Freeze’, me and Dad went to an FA Amateur Cup First Round Proper tie there against St Albans City.

Tooting won 2-1 and then walloped Welton Rovers 11-0 in the next round, which we also went to.

By David Barber FA Historian