The Beast from the East

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“Did you know that there’s only one football team in White Hart Lane, and it’s not Spurs?” Yes, because I watched the FA Cup coverage of Haringey Borough as well. Good, that’s got that one out of the way. Arguably it’s not true as Hashtag United groundshare with them, but moving on…..

If Carlsberg did years for non league football clubs, you’d be hard pressed for them to produce a better vintage than 2018 for Haringey Borough. First winning the play-off final to secure promotion to the Isthmian Premier Division in April, then reaching the First Round of the FA Cup for the first time ever in November, and finally ending the year at the top of the Isthmian Premier. Most clubs would give their eye teeth for just one of those, let alone all three, and in 2019 they have carried on in the same way that 2018 ended, which is mighty impressive. They remain top of the League as January comes to a close, so will provide formidable opposition.

Not bad at all for a club that only crawled out of the swamp of the Essex Senior League in 2015, an event seemingly reflected in their club crest of an electrically charged monster devouring an opponents shirt. Hopefully they will be playing at Longmead in their green away strip to complete the image.

As for Tonbridge Angels, the midweek postponement at Wingate and Finchley, caused by the traditional 1cm of snow bringing one of the world’s biggest cities to a slithering halt, was a mixed blessing. On the downside it meant that they could not build on the momentum of an excellent recent revival against the struggling North London side. On the upside it avoided the risk of a cold weather muscle strain, or injury or supspension from an ill timed tackle on an icy surface. Although the players had made the trip by the time it was called off at 6.30pm, on balance they were probably happier not to have played. The few hardy fans who had also slogged their way around the capital probably had more mixed feelings.

So this is a monster of a game, with potential to be hugely entertaining. The curse of the ex could strike either side, as McKenzie shapes up against his old Haringey teammates, and Nouble has the chance to show what the Angels missed when he walked out rather perplexingly about 48 hours after signing a contact prior to the start of the season. A win for Tonbridge keeps their revival firmly on track. A win for the Borough sees them stretching away at the top of the league from the chasing pack. In the last year or so Tonbridge have too often failed to deliver at home in the big matches – this would be the ideal time to turn that around.

Walk out music:

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