Saturday 17 August 2013

Haringey Borough FC - Coles Park

Haringey Borough FC
Coles Park Stadium
White Hart Lane
E17 9JP

01707 873187

Ground Number: 287
Friday 16th August 2013
Enfield 1893 0-0 London Tigers
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round


The club was formed in 1973 following a merger between Edmonton & Wood Green Town. They were initially known as 'Edmonton & Haringey', changing their name to their present one in 1976. Aside from the 1995/96 season when they were briefly known as 'Tuffnell Park', they've stuck with the name ever since. Starting out in the Athenian League, the highlight of their time here was a 5th place finish in 1979 although they generally struggled. In 1984, following the disbandment of the Athenian League, Haringey Borough joined the Isthmian League but despite finishing 4th in Division 2 North in 1987, they left the league the following year. A player exodus meant that they spent the 1988/89 season inactive, but they joined the Spartan (later to become Spartan South Midlands) League in 1989. They would remain here until 2013, the best finish coming in 1992 when they finished 3rd in the top tier. They spent all but one season in the Premier Division, the one exception being  2007/08 when they bounced back from relegation by finishing 2nd behind Kentish Town in Division 1. In 2013, the club was moved to the  Essex Senior League, which was a blessing in disguise. Haringey Borough were runners-up in their first season, just a point behind Great Wakering Rovers. 2014/15 saw them win the title and promotion to the. Isthmian League. A 15th place finish was a steady start before a 5th place finish in 2016/17. This was good enough for a playoff semi-final, but they lost a thrilling game 5-4 at Maldon & Tiptree. This season just gone saw a 4th place finish, but this time, their foray into the playoffs was successful. A 2-0 win over Heybridge Swifts in the semis was followed up with a 3-1 win over Canvey Island in the final to reach the heady heights of the Isthmian Premier for next season.

Haringey Borough enjoyed their best-ever FA Cup run this season. Bowers & Pitsea, Hitchin Town, Welling United and Bideford were beaten before a 4-2 defeat to Heybridge Swifts in the 4th Qualifying Round. To cap a brilliant season, they also had their best run in the FA Trophy, narrowly losing a 1st Round tie 2-1 against Leyton Orient in front of their record crowd of 1,133. You have to go back as far as the 1977/18 season for their best FA Vase run when they reached the Quarter Final before losing 2-1 at Bedfordshire outfit Barton Rovers. Local cup wins include the SSML Division 1 Cup in 2008 and the London Senior Cup in 1991. Though geographically in Tottenham, the club represents the Borough of Haringey which has a population of over 278,000, though most of the support is directed towards Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur. Famous people from Haringey include Jessie Wallace and comedian Mike Reid, both of whom appeared in the now rubbish TV soap Eastenders. 


After only visiting new grounds for friendlies this season, it was finally time to get a competitive game under my belt. I had been planning to go to Bury Town v Harrow Borough on Tuesday night, but with no one to go with me I didn't fancy the long journey (and resulting cost) on my own. So one of my top targets for a visit will have to wait. I had a look if there was anything closer, but everything was the other side of London, over 50 miles away and inevitably resulting in a traffic strewn journey. There were games that were closer on Wednesday, but I decided to save my money and stay in and watch England v Scotland instead. I had for a while considered going to this, the game had a special history. And seen as I probably keep a Scotsman in work with my consumption of large amounts of Irn Bru, I thought it was my duty. But £35 minimum for a friendly at a ground I had been to several times before didn't appeal to me, especially as I am making an attempt to stick to a budget this season. I know this is unlikely to happen as I can't resist going to random places. I spent £2268 on football last season, and with the additional cost of £250 for a season ticket that I got free for working last season, my budget of £1750 seems a trifle optimistic. As it was it was an excellent game, great atmosphere and the usual half-arsed England performance - the overrated Rooney especially flattering to deceive.

I left home at 6PM and made steady progress up until I hit Watford. I had to go through there to get from the M25 to M1 and it was very slow moving. But not as bad as when I got off the M1 and went near the likes of Muswell Hill, there I faced about 4 miles of traffic going at no more than 5MPH. At least I got there in the end, parking inside the actual ground so I could have watched the game from my car if I had wished, very tempting in the winter, but not on a warm summer night. I paid my entry and also got a programme. It was a very poor effort indeed, with photocopied pages full of adverts and league bulletins copied off of the internet. The one original piece that it did have was from the chairman and was littered with mistakes - including 'thanks to our old fiends from Harringey' At least I think that was a mistake, and that they are not sworn enemies.

Sadly the game was about as good as the programme, very dull indeed. London Tigers especially seemed keen to pack 7 men behind the ball which kept chances to a minimum. And those that were created were wasted. There were plenty of fierce tackles going in and this resulted in an Enfield man getting his marching orders for a second bookable offence. So, all in all, a very poor game, though not as bad as the Chesunt v Southend Manor game I saw in this competition a few years ago.

After the game, I had arranged to pick up a DAB Radio that I had bought off of Gumtree in nearby Walthamstow. It was a nightmare to get to, despite only being a few miles away. I had to go down Tottenham High Street, near where the London riots were. The solid traffic took about 20 minutes to do half a mile, not helped by selfish buses parked 2 deep and motorcyclists making death-defying moves by ducking in and out of oncoming traffic. One missed being clattered by a bus by a mere matter of inches. After that, I headed off home, right through London the way I'd come on the way. The local council's thirst for bleeding motorists dry with speed cameras every few hundred yards was annoying, but I got through without them managing to pick my pocket. I eventually got home at 11.30, hoping for a better game on Saturday, as Wycombe played Mansfield.


Initially, I'd wanted to save my revisit to Coles Park for an actual Haringey Borough match, being that I'd only been there before for a dull Enfield 1893 FA Cup match. But I was going to be in the area later on for the CONIFA World Football Cup Final, a competition that had really captured my imagination. So during the week, I decided to take the plunge and go, seeing as it was just a single bus ride between the two grounds. I'd had a few cans on Thursday night with the England game as they beat Costa Rica 2-0, so Friday the plan was to stay off the booze and hopefully get a good night's sleep. It didn’t really work out as well as I’d hoped, with me getting little over 7 hours and waking at 5 am. I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I watched a documentary about Scotland’s 1978 World Cup campaign on iPlayer as well as catching up on my YouTube subs.

I decided to leave a bit earlier than usual, around 8.40 and spend a little more time in London. I got a train just before 9.10 and decided to go and get some pictures of Westminster, seeing as it was nearby to my usual pit stop of Borough Market. After getting some nice pictures, I made the rest of my train journey to London Bridge and of course, the cider stall at Borough Market. I've been here so many times that I've practically had every cider they offer, so may seek alternative plans for the future. For today though, I had a retry of their dry house cider and got a bottle of Perry to take away for later.  I fancied getting something to eat and went to the Gourmet Goat stall. My Kid Goat Kofte wrap was decent, although the first one had a hair in it and I had to get a free replacement. From there, it was down to London Bridge underground station and after a change to the Picadilly Line at King's Cross, I got to Wood Green at 12.15. I made my way to the Wetherspoons, my 165th in the chain. The Spouters Corner was decent, well above average, especially with a £2.85 pint of Black Dragon on offer. I left just after 1, via McDonald's for lunch which although not the best, was quick, simple and cheap, I encountered two conflicts. A couple of grey haired people having a fierce argument about whether smoking was allowed in public and a peaceful drugs bust by the police, where a dealer handed over the wraps of whatever he was selling to the Police.

ABKHAZIA is a disputed state on the Eastern coast of the black sea. It's recognised as an independent state by Russia although Georgia also claims it to be part of their territory. It has a population of around 243,000. The football team are made up of players from the Abkhazian and Russian leagues with Nart Sukhum providing seven of the squad. This is Abkhazia's third CONIFA World Cup, making them ever-present. They were knocked out in the placement rounds to Occitania in the 2014 competition but came into this years competition as defending champions having beaten Panjab 6-5 on penalties in the 2016 final. This tournament has seen mixed form, starting off well enough with a 3-0 win over Tibet. However, a 2-0 defeat to Karpatalja and a 2-2 draw with Northern Cyprus meant that they finished 3rd and therefore play in the placement games. They beat whipping boys Tamil Eelam 6-0 on Tuesday in a game played at Aveley before defeating United Koreans of Japan 2-0 at Bromley on Thursday to reach today's placement match.

KABYLIA represent the Kabylie people who live in Northern Algeria. Part of the Tel Atlas mountain range and located on the edge of the Mediterranean sea, it has a population of some 7.5 million people, represented in 8 of Algeria's 48 provinces. Notable people to hail from the region include Zinedine Zidane, Karim Benzema and Samir Nazri. The Kabylian FA was formed last year and they played friendlies against local opponents, winning all 11 clashes. The team played their first competitive game at the end of May, losing 8-0 to Panjab in this years CONIFA World Football Cup in a game played at Slough Town. It's unsurprisingly their record defeat. Their squad is based mainly in France (11 players) and Algeria (7 players) but has some English based players via amateur team AC Finchley - striker Nefa Belmellat and midfielder Hocine Mohammedi. They finished bottom of Group D losing the aforementioned game to Panjab as well as a 4-0 defeat to Western Armenia. In between came a goalless draw against United Koreans in Japan. After this difficult start, it was another 0-0 draw on Tuesday at Enfield, this time against Matabeleland but they came through 4-3 on penalties. Finally, on Thursday, again at Enfield, they broke their scoring duck in some style, thrashing Tibet 8-1 despite being level at halftime.

I got to the ground at 2.10, having a Strongbow in the bar. That was ok before I went in the ground which was easier than it should have been, through an open gate.  The game was nothing special but Abkhazia roared on by their noisy support looked the better side Both teams looked pretty tired but Abkhazia took the lead around the half-hour mark with a close-range shot by Shabad Logua to lead at halftime. The second half saw them extend their lead on 56 minutes, 2-0 with a close-range header by Georgii Zhanaa. Kabylia staged a late rally, but it wasn't to be for them as Abkhazia won 9th place in the 2018 CONIFA World Football Cup.


COLES PARK looks a pretty good place to watch football. There is a seated stand, holding 280. Though some of the seats have seen better days and are backless, it's still pretty good as it is elevated way above ground level. There is also covered standing holding around another 200 next to it. The rest of the ground is just open hard standing, though the car park runs around the pitch and is of a good for this level

I don't recall what was around the ground food or drink wise, but it is a 20-minute walk or a 5-minute bus ride from Wood Green tube station. Luckily, the facilities at the ground are decent, the tea bar offering a decent range of food which is well-priced. The bar is smart and modern, albeit with a fairly limited range. Though it is outside the ground, you can take your drink in with you. There was no club shop when I visited, though it may be different for a Haringey Borough home game.



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