United Reserves 8
Box Hill 2
4 Armitage         2 Bailey         6 Slade         3 Claughton
20 Cranston #         15 Burns         7 Hayward
10 Parkin         14 Phillips         9 Ward
(# Sub - 5 Wiffen)
Scorers - Phillips, Slade.
One of the things people tend to forget about Box Hill
was the difficulty we had in getting anything like our first choice team out on a regular basis.
This week, the welcome and long overdue return of Norman Parkin,
the full fitness of Chris Hooper,
the availability of both our strongest full-backs,
and even the inspired selection of Steve Slade as a central defender,
were all negated by the absence of Steve Toal from the midfield,
just as we appeared to be getting this one area of the game,
if not exactly right,
at least consistent in terms of personnel.
The day will live in the memory for many reasons, none of them to do with the actual football match:
Norman's Dad's famous quote about Duncan Claughton ("That man's atrocious - he can't even pass back to his own goalkeeper!");
Eric Sedgman's quick wit and repartee with me before the kick-off ("If you weren't so keen on playing football, Mr Burns, you'd take the time to find out where pitch 4 was"; "If I wasn't keen on playing football, Mr Sedgman, I wouldn't come here on a Sunday morning to be shouted at by you");
and, best of all, the caution of linesman Pete Cranston, who, rightly miffed at being asked to sit out the second half, gave a series of increasingly bizarre decisions with his flag, and, when these were queried by the incredulous referee, pointed out that, "I'm a footballer, not a bloody linesman", and earned himself a yellow card.
It was that sort of game.
And it was the first time the increasingly exasperated Eric Sedgman had seen our "white" kit.
After the match, he took me to one side, had a quick word about our colour scheme,
and discreetly asked me whether we might have been better off joining the Minor League,
as most of our players looked "rather young".
Almost incidentally, Kev Phillips scored his first goal in the league, made by Sladey, who, as well as having an excellent game at the back, crept forward to add a solo goal of his own.
Three days prior to this match, the Labour government had been re-elected for what was to turn out to be the last time in a generation, much to the approval of the Edgar Broughton Band, who provided the cabaret at the Penthouse that Friday. ("Out, Tories, Out!" - E.Broughton. "Bloody Brilliant" - G.Armitage.)
Next page, the League game at home to TAFC.
Box Hill Home Page.