Monday 6th August 2018 19.45
Haringey Borough 3 Brentwood Town 2 HT: 3-0 Att: c70 Ent: 5 Prog £1
from Coles Park
I had to go to London overnight for some work training. I rarely get to do London grounds, other than the odd 92 tick, as it’s that bit too far to justify and I’m certainly not going to drive there. So this was a real bonus ground. However, a Monday night in early August wasn’t going to throw up too many options, and it didn’t. There were four viable options, and while the Haringey fixture was only a friendly, with the others league matches, it was the nearest by some way, and also looked the best ground. The others were Erith Town, athletics track and small stand, Enfield 1893, who share with Harlow, and Barkingside, another athletics track.
I was staying in a Travelodge near Old Street, so went two stops up the Northern Line to Kings Cross and seven stops up the Piccadilly to Wood Green, the nearest Underground Station to Haringey FC. It’s quite a walk though, around 1.1 miles. Research beforehand told me the Prince pub was a real ale and craft beer haven. Not quite on the flight path, but a short walk from Wood Green underground station.
The Prince has its own house brewery of which the Clocktower Hazy IPA was the pick of them. Haringey Borough sits on White Hart Lane, but not the same one that Tottenham’s ground is named after. A bus stops right outside the ground.
Borough were promoted last season from the Isthmian League North to the Isthmian Premier, via the play-offs. They were formed in 1973, a merger of Edmonton and Haringey Borough (formerly Wood Green Town). They were initially called Edmonton & Haringey. In 1995 they changed their name to Tufnell Park (the original name of Edmonton), but then reverted to Haringey Borough the following year.
Their opponents tonight were Brentwood Town of the Isthmian League North, fellow competitors of Haringey last season, in the Isthmian North (step four).
Coles Park has an artificial pitch, something 10 years ago I wasn’t a big fan of; but the surfaces are no longer the overly spongy, strange and false pitches of Oldham, Luton and Preston in the 80s, they are now almost identical to a flat grass surface. I’m all for them and can’t really see the grass purism argument any more. Especially as the UK climate seems to be rainier than ever at the same time as refs are getting more and more obsessed with health and safety, to the extent where some postpone games with just the odd puddle. I’m all for them.
Coles park has one tall stand, where the seating starts on the second tier above the changing rooms with a steep rake. Next to this a a bit of covered terracing. The rest of the ground is flat standing.
As programmes are rumoured to be on the way out, it was a shock to get one tonight for a friendly, but very well received. The game was excellent with Borough rushing into a three goal, lead with some great interplay. After 20 minutes or so I seriously wondered if it might hit double figures. However, much like the Observer Effect in physics, whereby the very act of observing an experiment may affect the result, I stumbled once again on the many goals prediction effect, whereby as soon as you make the banal prediction of lots of goals based on the first few minutes of a game, the game will subsequently lock down. As it did for Haringey.
Haringey missed a few opportunities for more goals before the break, but afterwards Brentwood make a real fight of it, something that looked very unlikely in the first half. They got two back to render the defeat palatable.
This was great competitive entertainment in the capital and very much a bonus unplanned ground.