Hendon 2 : 0 Enfield
Amateur Cup Final
22nd April 1972
Hendon FC 1972. Standing (left to right): John Evans, Ted Moore, Keith Jameson, John Baker, John Swannell, Alan Phillips, Tony Jennings, Tony Bass, John Muir. Seated (left to right): Peter Deadman, John Connell, Rod Haider, Gary Hand, Bobby Childs.
Hendon’s fifth and last appearance in a Wembley Amateur Cup Final was against local rivals Enfield. Enfield were making their fourth appearance, all of them in the space of the last nine seasons. They had lost their first final 2 - 1 to Crook Town in 1964 but returned in 1967 to beat Skelmersdale United 3 - 0 in a replay at Maine Road. By 1970, Enfield were the dominant force in Amateur football and that year thrashed Dagenham 5 - 1 in the Final as well as collecting their third consecutive Isthmian League title and the Middlesex Senior Cup. In the close season, however, that team had broken up when seven players followed manager Tommy Lawrence and left to join Slough Town. The new Enfield manager Howard Moxon had to rebuild the team and the fact that they were back at Wembley within two years was a testament to his success.
In the early part of the game there was plenty of action around the two penalty areas but neither goalkeeper had been unduly troubled. Then, in the 31st minute Hendon’s John Baker made a run down the right wing and his firmly struck cross hit the outstretched leg of Enfield defender Mike Smith taking a wicked deflection over the head of goalkeeper Andy Williams and into the net for Hendon's first goal.
Hendon continued to press forward with both Tony Bass and Johnny Connell providing problems for the Enfield defense. At the start of the second half Enfield began to fight back and in the game’s pivotal moment Ken Gray, who was unmarked and only eight yards out from goal, had his effort well saved by Hendon goalkeeper John Swannell.
With just over ten minutes remaining, John Connell intercepted an Enfield attack and made a memorable run, nearly two thirds of the length of the field, the move ending in a foul close to the Enfield penalty area. Rod Haider's quickly taken free kick was met with a diving header by Tony Bass, who had reacted more quickly than the luckless Enfield defender Smith, to put Hendon 2 - 0 up.
The attendance of 38,000 was the lowest crowd for any of Hendon's Amateur Cup Final appearances but was still the fifth biggest gate for a football match that Saturday anywhere in the country and 16,000 more than for the FA Trophy Final played at Wembley the previous week.
Hendon captain Rod Haider with the Amateur Cup.
Rod Haider was one of four internationals in the Hendon side. Haider, John Swannell and Peter Deadman had all played for England while centre half Alan Phillips had been capped for Wales.
The Hendon team contained five players with previous Wembley experience. John Swannell had played for them in the 1965 and 1966 Amateur Cup Finals. In the 1966 Final, Bobby Childs had played against Hendon in the winning Wealdstone team. John Connell had starred in Enfield’s win over Dagenham in 1970. Tony Bass had missed out on appearing for Dagenham in the 1970 final with a broken leg, but the following season scored Dagenham’s only goal in their 4 - 1 Final defeat by Skelmersdale. Rod Haider had played at Wembley for Great Britain in a famous 1 - 0 win over the Bulgarian full international side in an Olympic qualifying match in 1971. John Swannell had also played in that game but Peter Deadman had only sat on the bench as an unused substitute.
Hendon and Enfield would meet twice more in cup competition in the remainder of the season. A week later Hendon would again win 2 - 0 in a Middlesex Senior Cup semi final at Claremont Road, a game memorable for an astonishing goal scored by Rod Haider from close to the half way line. In May, Enfield would gain their revenge with a 2 - 0 win over Hendon in the London Senior Cup Final played at Wealdstone’s Lower Mead ground.
"Running round Wembley with the Cup". The Hendon players on their lap of honour.
Enfield would have the consolation of two more Wembley appearances. In FA Trophy Finals they would defeat Altrincham 1 - 0 in 1982 and draw 0 - 0 with Telford United in 1988, before defeating them 3 - 2 in a replay at the Hawthorns.