, , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday 25th January 2022 ko 19:45

Eastern Counties League Division One South

BUCKHURST HILL 9 (N. Sollosi 1 10 34 Falola 32 79 90 Zuhdu 43 75 S Sollosi 87)


Allen sent off (DOGSO) 70

Att 151

Entry & Programme £6

The very mention of Essex does run the risk of painting pejorative thoughts in your head. You might think of girls in white stilettos dancing round their handbags, shows of conspicuous consumption, and the TV show that enforced the cliche, “The Only Way Is Essex.”  Of course all of that is just a cliché, and Buckhurst Hill certainly doesn’t fit the image.

This is of course the Essex that borders the north-eastern edge of Greater London, and is served by the Hainault loop and Epping extension of the Central Line- the only place you can catch a train destined for the deep tube from outside the M25. The railway made the Epping Forest area, the line was built by the Great Eastern Railway in the 1850’s for steam trains, even today the platforms here are way longer than the trains that visit them, and just like the Metropolitan Line to London’s north-west, housing was built around the new fast route into Central London.

These days the likes of Chigwell, Buckhurst Hill and Woodford form an affluent “Golden Triangle” in much the same way the likes of Amersham and Chesham do in Metroland to the west. Come to think of it why was there never an epithet like “Easternland?” John Betjeman missed a trick there…

Buckhurst Hill FC play to the west of the village along Roding Lane, and yes, you do pass Buckhurst Hill tube station on the way there. They’ve played just to the east of the former Eton Manor ground since their formation in 1929 and while I’d remembered watching them lose a shootout for the Essex Olympian League in May 2010 I couldn’t remember where! They were defeated 2-1 by M & B Club but I’d forgotten it was at Roding Lane- well until my arrival 12 years later! I’ll seek forgiveness on the basis that the ground has changed quite a bit since then, as you can see. 

All this happened to allow for promotion to Step 6 for this season from what was little more than a pitch and a clubhouse. The transformation is remarkable, and it is tempting to compare Buckhurst Hill to the side that beat them all those years ago. M & B, now May & Baker graduated to the Eastern Counties League via the Eastern Senior League, but did so via groundshares at firstly Barking Rugby Club and now at Aveley’s Parkside ground. Different strokes for different folks…

Now I’m sure some will look at the the new “Rotated through 90 degrees Roding Lane” and find it a little dull but this is club that does the little things really well. When you think about it I’m sure most of us can name a few other clubs that are similar. Glebe and Punjab United come to mind as clubs that don’t have amazing grounds but do things well like a newsy programme, excellent catering and more than anything else just being engaging.

Of course everyone loves a goal and we certainly got no lack of those! But and this is tough bit to explain well, I don’t think Wormley were 9-1 bad, yes they were second best in all departments, but their league position tells you they aren’t the basket case the score might suggest. I hope they bounce back from this mauling- they are on their own adventure at Step 6 too. 

I’m sure Buckhurst Hill will see a steady succession of groundhoppers this season, Step 6 does seem to be the limit of quite a few people’s radars. I hope that folks will look beyond the “Arena” stand and the flat concrete and see what has been achieved, and what is all means to a go-ahead club.