Friday 13th September 1974 (Friendly):

  Box Hill 0  

  United 4  

1 Hooper
4 Armitage         7 Hayward         21 Irvine         3 Claughton
12 Toal         2 Bailey         15 Burns         6 Slade
14 Phillips         9 Ward #

(# Sub - Cochrane; unused sub - Wiffen)

  With just over a week to go until the start of the season, and our enthusiasm beginning to run away with us somewhat, I rather rashly agreed to a friendly against a United Employees' Club XI. Although their newly-formed second team was to be in Division Three with us, their long-established first team was one of the better sides in Division One, and this evening's line-up apparently consisted mainly of players from the senior side. The six o'clock start did not win me (or their Secretary) any new friends.

  At the time, this was perhaps the strongest side we could put out, with the obvious exception of the absence of Norman Parkin. Four goals down at the break, we kept the score at the same, relatively respectable, level in the second half, although it was rather churlishly if not inaccurately said at the time that this was largely due to the onset of darkness.

  Dave Cochrane, the Hot Negara organiser of the Braeburn competition during the spring (which already seemed like a long time ago), and one of the players from whom much had been expected, turned out as substitute for what was sadly to be his only appearance before joining the Police Force. Andy Wiffen turned up as another substitute, but didn't get a run-out in spite of the fact that the only football the club possessed was actually his. I really was absolutely rotten to him, wasn't I? Also, I think it was during this game that the first crack in the veneer of the club's team spirit was made evident, Graham Armitage getting the proverbial finger-wagging from the referee following a four-letter outburst at my good self when I suggested politely but firmly that, if he passed the ball a little more quickly, he wouldn't get caught in possession so much, or something like that.

  After the match, all those who were speaking to each other sallied forth to the Penthouse to see what turned out to be an awful gig by the supposedly highly-rated Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames ("Don't bother asking for an encore"). The venue was taken over for the night by respectable middle-aged couples in evening dress, and for once they were welcome to it.

Next page, the second friendly against Throxenby.

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