Sunday 23 February 1975 (Sunday League Division Three):

  Box Hill 0  

  Hackness 8  

(played at Hackness.)

1 Hooper
15 Burns         5 Wiffen         6 Slade         13 Pygas         11 Davies
2 Bailey         20 Cranston         7 Hayward
14 Phillips         9 Ward

  In spite of there being only eight teams in the division, the Sunday League fixture computer had given us yet another three-week gap without a game, largely due to the lack of available pitches at Olivers Mount. By now, all we really wanted to do was to see our fixtures through, so I rang Eric Sedgman to ask whether we could play our "home" game against Hackness on their ground. Eric confirmed that Hackness's Tony Atkinson was agreeable as long as we paid the referee, and I informed Eric I'd be only too willing to pay the referee to get the game played, even if he did send Martin Wyvill again.

  And so, for what was to be the last time, about eight of us piled into Les Bailey's Dad's Viva Estate, and set off on the long haul to an away match, Box Hill's fourth and last trip to Hackness. Eric sprung a bit of a surprise on us by sending Martin Wyvill along to referee.

  As for the game, we were still on the Bailey Plan, with five at the back. Rob Davies, in his last game for the club, had a go at left-back (well, it was preferable to being sub again), and I tried myself at right-back in the continued absence of Willy Weaver. This was also Steve Ward's swansong in the tangerine shirt, an enthusiastic striker who, rather regrettably, never scored a goal for the club. The thrashing we got was fairly routine, our performance the usual mixture of the inspired and the ridiculous. Although one of the major facets of the Bailey Plan was to play the eponymous Les away from the defence, this game was climaxed when the great man burst between two defenders, and a couple of disinterested Hackness forwards, to drill past Chris Hooper the most opportunist own-goal of the season.

  After this match, Martin Wyvill rang Eric Sedgman to demand that he not be given any more of our matches.

Next page, the unforgettable League game at home to Throxenby.

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