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Tuesday 22nd November 2011 ko 7.45pm

Spartan South Midlands League Premier Cup 2nd Round

HAREFIELD UNITED 2 (Reader 42 Majeed 51)


Att 40

Entry & Programme £6

Tea £1

Back in May the move from Banbury to Oxford, involved a distance of a mere 31 miles, but it did alter massively my potential destinations for midweek gamea. This fixture is now only 40 miles from home!

Harefield is sometimes described as the nearest village to London, and it has an odd mix of village and suburbia about it. Its most famous for the hospital where Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub FRS, consultant cardiothoracic surgeon carried out the first live lobe lung transplant and went on to perform more transplants than any other surgeon in the world. By the end of the 1980s Harefield Hospital was the world’s leading transplant centre. A lesser known fact is that three Victoria Cross winners hail from the village.

Preston Park is on the right as you enter the village from Hillingdon, and is a good example of a lower division Isthmian ground. There’s a low seated stand, and opposite is a quirky covered enclosure; perhaps the reason why the club left the Isthmian on ground grading issues is because there’s no cover behind either goal.

It was a pleasant surprise to catch up with Pinner-based hopper Les Bull, and we both enjoyed the announcer trying to add razzmatazz to a cold damp game in front of 40 patrons. The visitors are a real “United Nations” team, having started out as a charity project to help disadvantaged children in Paddington. From there they entered the Middlesex League playing out of Kingsbury Town. When that club folded Tigers were allowed to take their place in the Spartan South Midlands League and became Kingsbury London Tigers. Now they’ve moved to the old Viking Greenford ground, and dropped the Kingsbury prefix although pitch problems have meant that as I write they’ve yet to play a home game!

While off the field the Tigers have problems, on this occasion they had a far simpler one, namely that in 90 minutes of play they failed to muster even one shot on target! Just one decent shot that hit the crossbar, during the second half, so it was left to the Hares’ striker Jack Reader to score one and set up Aban Majeed for the second, to settle a fairly forgetable game.