Around the Grounds, No. 19 No. 19: Three trips to White Hart Lane – to see Haringey Borough!
PUBLISHED: 12:48 12 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:48 12 October 2018
Football Writer Carl Marston dons his anorak to visit clubs in the region (and beyond) in his quest for good football and a good cup of tea. Here he heads to Coles Park, again
I have rolled up at White Hart Lane on three separate occasions, spanning 26 years, but I have still not seen Tottenham Hotspur in action on home turf.
Instead, Coles Park Stadium, White Hart Lane, has been my port of call, to watch hosts Haringey Borough in action against a selection of different Suffolk clubs – a far more suitable venue for a football anorak, like myself, I think you’ll agree.
My first visit was back in the late summer of 1992, for an FA Cup first preliminary round tie against Bury Town.
The second was five years ago, when Brantham Athletic were the visitors for a rollercoaster FA Vase third round showdown.
And the third and most recent was only last Saturday, when AFC Sudbury made their way to a damp North London for an FA Cup third qualifying round tie.
As you can probably tell, I quite like the home of Haringey Borough, despite some mixed results over the years.
The current-day fans have a habit of chanting the name of ‘Harry Kane’ at times during a match.
I assumed striker Kane had been scoring a glut of goals for Tottenham last Saturday. Spurs were playing down the road at Wembley (their new White Hart Lane ground is still not quite ready), although he wasn’t actually on the score-sheet in the 1-0 win over Cardiff.
Perhaps Borough fans envisage that the England skipper will one day end his competitive playing career, plying his trade for Haringey Borough on the 3G pitch near the allotments on White Hart Lane?
Ironically, Chinedu McKenzie, who scored a brace of goals to beat AFC Sudbury last weekend, did not command quite the same vocal backing as Kane. Shame.
Club: Haringey Borough FC
Founded: 1970 (though roots back to 1907)
League: (Bostik) Isthmian League Premier Division
Manager: Tom Loizou
Club-wise, ‘Haringey Borough FC’ did not exist until 1970, when Wood Green Town changed its name to Haringey Borough – although Wood Green had been kicking around for the previous 40 years.
In fact, the roots of the club can be traced back to 1907, when Tufnell Park was one of the leading amateur clubs in the country. They later merged with Edmonton Borough, and then Wood Green Town.
Ground-wise, Coles Park Stadium has been hosting football since 1930, and the place does have an historic feel to it, albeit for the new 3G synthetic pitch which was laid just two years ago.
1 Sat, Aug 29, 1992: v Bury Town (5-2 home win).
I don’t recall too much about this visit, although a premature exit from the FA Cup did prompt the departure of then-Bury Town boss Chris Symes.
I guess Symes wasn’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last, opposing manager to lose his job following a heavy defeat at Haringey.
2 Sat, Dec 7, 2013: v Brantham Athletic (3-2 away win)
I arrived so early for this FA Vase tie – I was that excited, obviously! – that a car boot sale was still taking place around the stadium. I could have bought any number of useless items, in the hours leading up to kick-off.
But instead of purchasing a jigsaw and a set of cutlery, I conserved my energy to report on Paul Abrahams’ Brantham side progressing through to the fourth round of the FA Vase. It was a day of high drama, Brantham snatching victory from the jaws of defeat by rallying from 2-0 down.
Ground-wise, a new clubhouse had just been built, with new dressing rooms. Coles Park was on the up.
3 Sat, Oct 6, 2018: v AFC Sudbury (2-1 home win)
The ground had enjoyed another face-lift since my previous visit, with a 3G pitch installed in the summer of 2016, and new perimeter railings erected.
The press area at the back of the main-stand was the same, capable of accommodating four or five journalists.
I stood behind one of the goals, in the rain, and took pictures of Mark Morsley’s AFC Sudbury taking the lead, via Michael O’Donoghue’s own goal.
Alas, escaping the rain and returning to the press quarters coincided with a down-turn in fortunes for AFC Sudbury, and an eventual 2-1 defeat.
There was no sign of Harry Kane.