Sunday 6th October 1974 (Sunday League Division Three):

  Hackness 9  

  Box Hill 1  

1 Hooper
5 Wiffen         4 Armitage         7 Hayward         2 Bailey
20 Cranston         12 Toal         15 Burns
11 Steel         14 Phillips         9 Ward

(Unused sub - Davies)

Scorer - Cranston.

  My first weekend home from college - and how much had my life changed in those seven days! - turned out to be a very mixed one indeed, starting with the now legendary first Sailor gig at the Penthouse on the Friday night, and ending with this debacle. Played on Hackness FC's remarkable field, where the electricity pylons hanging low overhead meant that the high lofted clearance was more likely to come pinging straight back at you than it was to reach the other half, this was the last time both my parents came to see us play, and it would be 16 eventful years before my Dad saw me in a football shirt again.

  Pete Steel was drafted in to reinforce the forwards, and Les Bailey did the business at left-back in the absence of Duncan, but neither Mick Hayward nor Graham Armitage looked comfortable at centre-back, Chris Hooper was still only half-fit, and the forwards had yet to score a goal between them. In what was clearly always going to be a one-sided contest, the only time we troubled the scorer was when Pete Steel sidefooted Kev Phillips's pass, and Pete Cranston capped his second impressive appearance by prodding the ball home from close range. By now, perhaps, we had already become too accustomed to losing; certainly Hackness, having already seen us off by a big score in the pre-season friendly, were in no mood to let us off lightly now the action was for real.

  My records state the Rob Davies was unused sub, and I imagine he must have been pretty unimpressed at not getting on. Graham and I had spent much of our first week in Leeds trying to track down the elusive Les in his mysterious residence at Hunslet Grange. Presumably this evasiveness meant he knew all along I intended playing him at left-back?

  Still, next week Norman was back, so now things really could only get better, couldn't they?

Next page, the League game away to United.

Box Hill Home Page.