Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Forty-one years ago Enfield FC faced a short midweek journey to Clarence Park to face St Albans City in an Isthmian League Senior Division match.

The Saints had recorded a 2-1 win at Southbury Road earlier in the season and were in eighth position of the league opposed to Enfield  in second behind Sutton United. Looking at the teams in the Isthmian League at the time shows what s strong competition it was with Wycombe Wanderers, Hendon, Oxford City, Barking, Walthamstow Avenue, Wealdstone, Maidstone United and Dulwich Hamlet to name but a few all playing that season.

Another measure of the strength of the league at the time is that in the six finals from 1964 to 1970 the winners of the FA Amateur Cup were from the Isthmian on five occasions. The only time when a club from the league didn't lift the trophy was in 1969 when North Shields defeated Sutton United.

Enfield were considered giants of the non-league game at the time and were holders of the Cup having famously beaten Dagenham (then of the Athenian League) 5-1 in the 1970 final at Wembley stadium. St Albans City themselves had been Semi-Finalists in the 1970 competition. A feat they only achieved three times prior in 1923, 1925 and 26.  The E's were also the current Isthmian League champions.

Propping up the table at the time were Corinthian Casuals who had only won one of their nineteen league games. They went on to finish bottom of the table and only recorded one more victory in their total of thirty eight league games.

The programme contains a piece on hooliganism at the ground at their FA Cup game against Hendon in the week prior to this game. The club notes state -

'Once again so called supporters have caused the club a great deal of trouble by their stupid and disgusting behaviour at last Tuesday's cup match. To cause trouble just for the 'fun' of it, can have serious consequences for those involved and the we strongly advise any of you who are silly enough to follow the few bullies and thugs, who indulge in this sort of behaviour, to think again. We also ask our true supporters to take not of the name or description of the anyone involved in these acts, in order that the club can take the necessary action.'

These words maybe 40 years old but they can certainly be applied today to the minority of morons or so called fans who spoil the national game and like to cause trouble at various league and non-league games around the country.

The article continues by stating the Hendon goalkeeper was assaulted after continual provocation directed at him throughout the match and after the police cleared the pitch the same bunch of hooligans directed their attention to the Hendon coach and even then they were only cleared off by the quick thinking driver directing his fire extinguisher on them.

I'm sure this was an isolated incident at the time and as the programme states not carried out by true St Albans City supporters.

Click on any of the pictures which will enlarge so you can take a closer look
Back to the football and St Albans City actually finished above Enfield in the final table for the season in third position. The E's finished in fourth position with the champions being Wycombe Wanderers who were third in the table at the time of the match.

                            P  W  D   L GF GA  Pts
1 Wycombe Wanderers         38 28 6   4 93 32  62
2 Sutton United             38 29 3   6 76 35  61
3 St Albans City            38 23 10  5 87 26  56
4 Enfield                   38 24 7   7 67 24  55
5 Ilford                    38 21 7  10 74 51  49
6 Hendon                    38 18 11  9 81 37  47
7 Barking                   38 20 4  14 89 59  44
8 Leytonstone               38 17 10 11 68 50  44
9 Woking                    38 18 6  14 57 50  42
10 Walthamstow Avenue       38 14 11 13 63 52  39
11 Oxford City              38 13 10 15 51 48  36
12 Hitchin Town             38 12 9  17 46 60  33
13 Wealdstone               38 12 8  18 45 64  32
14 Tooting & Mitcham United 38 11 9  18 44 66  31
15 Kingstonian              38 11 8  19 53 71  30
16 Bromley                  38 10 6  22 34 77  26
17 Dulwich Hamlet           38 7  10 21 30 66  24
18 Maidstone United         38 7  6  25 42 84  20
19 Clapton                  38 5  7  26 33 101 17
20 Corinthian Casuals       38 2  8  28 23 103 12
St Albans City are currently rock bottom of the Blue Square South division and looking at a return to the Isthmian League after a break of seven seasons competing in the Blue Square South and Premier divisions. The Saints spent one season at non-league football's top table in 2006/07 when they finished bottom of the table on 40 points.

This season the club has been fined £7,500 and deducted 10 points following an FA charge for financial irregularities during the 2008/09 season. The always excellent twohundredpercent.net covers this story in full.

They have only one league victory at Clarence Park which was versus Maidenhead United who are another team battling to avoid relegation. The Saints are currently on a nine game run without a win.

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