Sunday, 8 August 2010


The Middlesex County League maybe looked upon by some people not in the know as glorified park football but those that are involved in the league and the loyal people who watch games across the season will maintain the football witnessed is of a high and entertaining standard. The game the cold end saw between Marsh Rangers and Indian Gymkhana in December of last year is certainly an argument for the later as it was an excellent encounter full of good football.

The League, as well as the Premier Division, has a Division One (Central and East), Division One (West), Division Two and a Division Three (Hounslow and District) for the forthcoming 2010/11 season.

The Premier Division sits at Step 7 of the Pyramid which is the same level as the Spartan South Midlands League Division Two and has in the past few years provided several teams the chance of promotion to a higher division such as Bethnal Green United, Sport London E Benfica and Hanworth Villa. Bethnal Green United, Champions in 2009, jumped two steps up the non-league ladder when joining the Essex Senior League for 2009/10. The Mile End Stadium team had a tremendous debut season winning both the League Cup and the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy as well as finishing a very respectable fifth in the league final standings.

Last season's run away champions, Interwood, were not promoted allowing runners up Hayes Gate to move up to the Combined Counties League Division One for this season. They made a terrific start in their debut at the higher level of football winning 1-3 at Knaphill yesterday. Interwood scored an amazing 112 goals in just 28 games (an average of 4 per game) only losing twice to at runners up Hayes Gate in the 2nd game of the season and Marsh Rangers defeating them 2-3 at home on the 31st October. The club who will play at Leyton FC for the 2010/11 season then went an incredible 22 games unbeaten winning 20 and drawing 2. The champions record is in stark contrast to bottom side Vallance who were without a win right up until the final day of the season when a 1-0 win against Sloane was recorded.

This season's top division welcome Tokyngton Manor who have dropped down the the Spartan South Midlands Division One, Sporting Hackney (Champions of Division One C&E in 09/10), Springfield (2nd in Division One C&E in 09/10) with Stedfast United (Champions of Division One West) also moving up.

Along with Hayes Gate who are promoted as above, Marsh Rangers have dropped out of the league (Statement from their chairman at the club's website here), Bethnal Green United 'A' drop down to Division One (Central and East), Copland have dropped out of the league and last season's bottom club,Vallance, are relegated to join the Bethnal Green United reserve side in Division One C&E.

So who are the new clubs in the top division??

Tokyngton Manor join from the SSMFL Division One after suffering problems with the pitch at their current home at the Viking Sports Ground. Manor were formed in the summer of 2008 from the Ashes of Ruislip Manor FC - more information on the club can be found at a cold end feature on the club from September 2009. Manor this season will be managed by Ricardo Soares who had a good season in charge of the club's under 18 side last year. Manor are the only Middlesex County League side playing in the FA Vase this season when they entertain Haringey Borough on the 4th September.

Sporting Hackney were formed in 1986 as "Hackney Young People's Unemployment Project" and were Champions, as stated above, in their debut season in Division One last campaign. The current name was adopted in 1989 and the club play there home games on a 3G artificial pitch in Haggerston Park which is just a stone's throw from the bars, clubs and restaurants of Hoxton and Shoreditch. Their game versus St John's Arsenal Deaf in February 2010 was covered by Hoppy Snaps. The Hackney Citizen also has a nice feature on their Championship game versus FC Team.

Stedfast United play their home games in Stockley Park, Yiewsley with Springfield hosting homes games virtually in the Shadow of Tottenham Hotspur's White Hart Lane at the Fredrick Knight Sports Ground.

Looking down the divisions there are a host of new clubs joining for the new season such as FC Romania, East Fulham, Wembley Park and St Lawrence.

One such club is joining the league for the 2010/11 season is "North London Football Academy" who were formed in 2006 by Ahmet Toygun in Clissold Park, Stoke Newington. The club started with football coaching sessions for youngsters in the area and has grown from these humble beginnings to have three sides now being an Under 13 and Under 15 side along with the senior side which is made up of under 21's. The team's are mostly made up of players from London's Turkish community with a mix of other players too. Ahmet told the cold end "my aims are to achieve good football, I want the players to gain experience and build confidence and improve personal skills" which in my book is what playing the game is all about.

Will Interwood dominate the division again or will it be close fight for the Championship between a number of clubs??? If Interwood have the same side as last season the cold end can only see them winning the title again. One thing that jumps out at you is there seems to be lots of goals in the games played. Just glancing at the Premier Division results from the 17th October 2009 underlines this fact with results of 4-3, 2-1, 4-1 and 2-7.

The league host a number of "ground hopping days" throughout the season with games usually kicking off at 11am on Saturdays - The cold end will keep you informed of when these games will take place.

Opening fixtures for the Premier Division

Saturday 21st August

Broadfields United V Indian Gymkhana
FC Deportivo Galicia V Willesden Constantine
Hounslow Wanderers V Kodak (Harrow)
Southall V Sporting Hackney
Springfield V Tokyngton Manor
Stedfast United V Stonewall

Tuesday 24th August

Hounslow Wanderers V Stedfast United
Southall V Willesden Constantine

Wednesday 25th August

Broadfields United V Kodak (Harrow)
FC Deportivo Galicia V Indian Gymkhana

One of the matches of the opening month is the game between Interwood and Tokyngton Manor which scheduled to be played on Saturday 11th September at Leyton FC.

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