Haringey Borough vs Heybridge Swifts, FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, Coles Park, 14/10/17
After the disappointment of missing Non-League Day due to work, I was looking forward to getting back to groundhopping. I had initially come down to London to be the Best Man at my friend’s wedding, and had decided to extend my stay after my Uncle Ed contacted me to ask if I fancied taking in Hampton & Richmond Borough’s game against Truro in the FA Cup, however our plans changed as we decided that the Haringey Borough game sounded more interesting. I can now claim to have been to a game at White Hart Lane, despite never having seen Tottenham Hotspur play. How? I hear you ask, well Coles Park, home of Haringey Borough actually stands on White Hart Lane, in Tottenham, and is the only football ground on White Hart Lane. Tottenham Hotspur actually play on the High Road in Tottenham.
My Uncle and I had initially planned to meet at the Mad Bishop and Bear pub at Paddington Station at 11am, but given that we both will be early for our own funerals we met at around 10.30am, and the first ale of the day was consumed. If you have ever read my Uncles’ blog, https://whattimeskickoff.blog/, you will know of his hatred of Carling, and I elected to stay on his good side by drinking ale with him, if you want the details of the ale we drank, and where we drank, then have a look at his blog, as he’ll most likely go into good detail about the pubs. From Paddington we made our way around to Liverpool Street, where we had another drink at the Wetherspoons that stands next to the station, this Wetherspoons was packed with Spurs fans heading to Wembley, and once we had finished our drinks we found ourselves on the Overground to Bruce Grove. From Bruce Grove we headed to my favourite pub of the day, the Beehive. Unfortunately the Beehive didn’t have a large choice of ales on, but this is due to the fact that they aren’t getting the same level of footfall from football fans, due to Spurs being at Wembley. Once Spurs are back at home I can imagine that the Beehive will see their footfall rise back to the levels that they are used to, or at least I hope they do as the Beehive is a cracking pub. After a stop at the Elbow Room, we made our way up to Coles Park, however I did insist on stopping at the Spurs’ Club Shop to buy my Arsenal supporting mum a present.
The New White Hart Lane looks to be an impressive structure, and will be worth a visit once it is completed, however I do wish they would change the name as they do not play on White Hart Lane as I have stated. Then again they’ll probably do a sponsorship deal, and it’ll be known as “Some Company Arena”. We arrived at Coles Park with about five minutes before kick off, and paid £7 at the gate for entry, with a programme costing £2. The facilities at Cole Park are basic in comparison to their near neighbours, but they are well looked after. The pitch is a 3G surface, which I am assuming is used by the community as well as the football team. Along one touchline, stands the Main Stand, which stretches from the turnstiles near the corner flag, to the halfway line. This stand is elevated above pitch level, and I am sure it provides a good vantage point. In front of this stand are the dugouts, and to the left is a stretch of covered terracing. The rest of the ground is hardstanding, with the facilities tucked behind the Main Stand.
Haringey Borough were established in 1973, following the merger of Edmonton and Haringey Borough (formerly Wood Green Town) and they were initially known as Edmonton & Haringey. They started by taking Edmonton’s place in Division One of the Athenian League, and adopted the name of Haringey Borough in 1976, after finishing bottom of the league. When the Athenian League disbanded in 1984, the club joined Division Two North of the Isthmian League, and with many of the players and management team leaving shortly before the start of the 1988-89 season, the club dropped out of the league, and joined the Premier Division of the Spartan League for the 1989-90 season. In 1995 they were renamed as Tufnell Park, one of the names they had had before merging to form Edmonton, but they reverted back to Haringey Borough the following year. When the Spartan League merged with the South Midlands League in 1997 to form the Spartan South Midlands League, the club were placed in Premier Division South for the 1997-98 season, and a seventh placed finish saw them placed in the Premier Division for the following season. Borough were relegated to Division One in 2007, after they finished bottom of the Premier Division, however they earned an immediate promotion the following season, as they finished as Division One runners-up. At the end of the 2011-12 season the club were transferred to the Essex Senior League, and in 2015 they won the Essex Senior League, earning promotion to Division One North of the Isthmian League.
Heybridge Swifts were formed in 1880 as Heybridge Football Club, and became members of the Essex & Suffolk Border League. In 1931, the club won the Division One title, and were promoted to the Senior Division. In the 1949-50 season the club joined the Premier Division of the South Essex League, but returned to the Essex & Suffolk Border League after one season. After finishing as runners-up in 1970, they were founder members of the Essex Senior League in 1971, and won three consecutive league titles between 1981-82 and 1983-84. After their third title the club moved to the Division Two North of the Isthmian League, and were champions in 1990, earning promotion to Division One. In 1994-95, the club reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 1-0 to Gillingham. In 1996, Heybridge finished as Division One runners up, and were promoted to the Premier Division. In 1997-98, the club again reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup, losing 3-0 to Bournemouth, and another 1st Round appearance came in 2002-03, ending in a 7-0 defeat to Bristol City. Heybridge narrowly missed out on promotion to the Conference South on two occasions, reaching the play-offs twice, however they were to remain in the Premier Division until 2009, when they were relegated to Division One North. Notable former players include Dean Holdsworth, Peter Taylor, Paul Parker, Olly Murs (That lad from the X-Factor) and Mark Wright (From TOWIE).
To reach this round, Haringey Borough have overcome Bowers & Pitsea, Hitchin Town, Welling United and Bideford. Heybridge Swifts have faced Haverhill Rovers, Arlesey Town, Metropolitan Police and Frome Town.
The game got off to a good start with both clubs showing what a place in the 1st Round would mean to them, especially as some big names would be in the hat for the draw, such as Portsmouth. It was to be Heybridge that took the lead though in the 14th minute, as following a defensive error, the ball ended up in the back of the net, with Haringey’s number 4, Lawrence Yiga, being credited for the own goal.
The rest of the first half was a cagey affair, with the highlight being the little lad who accidentally threw his stuffed toy onto the pitch. After a few minutes, and being politely asked by myself, the linesman returned the toy, which was greeted by a cheer by the people stood on the touchline.
Half Time: Haringey Borough 0-1 Heybridge Swifts (Yiga (OG) 14)
At half time we took a walk around to the clubhouse in search of more ale, but none was to be found, so instead we headed to the refreshment hut next to the Main Stand, as this had no queue. The other refreshment hut seemed to have more on offer, but there was a large queue at this one. I decided to pay £3.50 for a Steak & Kidney pie, something that I’d never eaten before, and fairplay to Haringey Borough, I think I’ll be eating a few more Steak & Kidney pies in the future. During the break, I remarked that Haringey would need to come out of the blocks quickly to rescue their chances of remaining in the FA Cup.
Haringey Borough did start quickly, and equalised through their number 9, Ralston Gabriel, in the 57th minute. Gabriel had little to do apart from tap the ball home at the near post, following some good attacking play.
Heybridge were swift in restoring their lead, as their number 10, Samuel Bantick, broke clear of the Haringey defence, and fired the ball home to put Heybridge back into the lead.
In the 69th minute, Heybridge made their first change with their number 10, Samuel Bantick, leaving the field for the number 12, Joshua Fagbohun.
A minute after the change, Heybridge were awarded a penalty, as one of their strikers was fouled inside the area, it was a clear penalty and there were no complaints from Haringey. Heybridge’s number 9, Luke Callander, stepped up and made no mistake with his finish.
Haringey made their first change in the 72nd minute, as they swapped their number 10, Jamie O’Donoghue, with their number 16, Joseph Benjamin.
Heybridge killed the game off in the 73rd minute, as their number 9, Luke Callander, latched onto a cross from the right wing, and fired a composed shot past the Haringey keeper, to all but ensure that their name would be in the hat for the FA Cup First Round draw.
In the 75th minute, Haringey replaced their number 6, Ramil Sheriff, with their number 14, Kai Heather. Two minutes later, Heybridge made a change with their number 9, Luke Callander, leaving the field to be replaced by their number 18, Reece Conway. Heybridge made their final change in the 87th minute, as number 11, Juan Luque, made way for number 15, Marley Andrews.
Haringey pulled one back in the 87th minute, as number 7, Ruaridh Kay, found himself on the end of a corner, before dispatching the ball into the back of the net. Haringey followed this goal up by replacing their number 9, Ralston Gabriel, with their number 17, Ayrton Coley.
Final Score: Haringey Borough 2-4 Heybridge Swifts (Gabriel 57, Kay 87 – Yiga (OG) 14, Bantick 65, Callander 69, 73)
Following the final whistle we made a quick exit, and made our way to the Haringey Borough bus stop, before getting onto the Overground back to Seven Sisters, where we then made our way to Marylebone, where my Uncle would be getting the train back to Birmingham from. Luckily he had misread his train time, as he had initially thought it was 19.10, when in fact it was the 21.10, which meant that we had a few more hours of drinking time, which we enjoyed in a pub near to Euston Station, before saying our goodbyes on the Bakerloo line, as he jumped off at Marylebone and I carried on through to Paddington.
A well-deserved win for Heybridge sees them enter the First Round of the FA Cup for the fourth time in their history, and hopefully they draw a big name out of the hat, as I am sure that the financial reward would be huge for them. In fact hopefully they overcome whoever they draw, and reach the Second Round. Although I’m sure their manager won’t want them to become distracted by the FA Cup.
Defeat for Haringey sees them exit the FA Cup, which means one less competition for them to have to concentrate on. Hopefully this doesn’t disrupt their form in the league, and they can go on to have a good season.
Hat-tricks see so far: 1