Regent’s Park goalfest

The FA’s resident superfan, David Barber, saw FA Cup action and also a side hit for 16 without reply at Regent’s Park.

Last week’s holiday wasn’t a holiday from football, as you’d expect, with nine matches seen and a bumper 55 goals to boot. 

I’m up to 40 matches this season and 6,700 altogether. 

Dulwich v Worthing

Dulwich went down 3-0 at home in The FA Cup

The goalposts are back up at Regent’s Park after about five months of cricket and my two matches there on the last two Sunday mornings finished Cricklewood United 16-0 Platini Tempah and Thames Rail 7-4 HSFC – so it’s certainly the place to go for goals. 

Cricklewood’s No.14, ‘Terry’, was shouting the odds before the kick-off and I wondered if he’d be one of those players who talks a good game but rarely delivers. 

Well, not a bit of it. He scored a hat-trick in about three and a half minutes – all crisp right-footers from inside the box – and his team were 3-0 up with only six minutes played. 

That player went on to score seven, which I’ve only ever seen once before, and was also brought down in full flight for a penalty that another player took and converted. 

Cricklewood scored four in the first ten minutes, three in the last five, and 16-0 was my biggest score since 2003. 

In the last nine days I’ve seen ties in The FA Cup (Dulwich Hamlet 0-3 Worthing), The FA Vase (Horley Town 3-2 Sevenoaks Town), The FA Youth Cup (Tooting & Mitcham United 1-6 Folkestone Invicta) and The FA Women’s Cup (Regents Park Rangers 0-5 Carshalton Athletic). 

Dulwich v Worthing

Worthing fans enjoyed their trip to Dulwich

There were other matches at London Tigers, Tower Hamlets and Paddington Rec. The women’s match was played at Hurlingham Park, nearest tube Parsons Green, where I once competed in the Civil Service Athletics Championships’ Boys Handicap Race. 

I was about eleven years old and still have the trophy, having won the contest by a distance. There are football and rugby pitches there now but the running track is long gone. 

The Worthing ‘Rebels’ were outstanding in Saturday’s FA Cup tie, fully deserving their victory over a Dulwich side a level higher. A 489 crowd saw Brannon O’Neill put them 2-0 up at the break with two fabulous shots and they continued to dominate all the way through. 

Denmark Hill station, a 12-minute walk from the ground, is almost unrecognisable from what it was like a couple of years ago. 

I asked a sub at the touchline yesterday what the ‘HS’ in HSFC stood for. He explained that the players were Hackney lads who had a soft spot for Accrington Stanley. The team was originally called ‘Hackrington Stanley’ but they quite rightly thought it was too naff. 

My sister and her husband have just moved up to Smethwick in the Birmingham area, so I’m looking for a local team to go and see. Smethwick Rangers perhaps? 

You can follow more of the Barber’s stories and see where he goes throughout the week via Twitter @thebarberfan