Tag: Harlow Town

Leyton Orient: The Harlow Connection

If there is one thing that we can all be reasonably certain about over the next year or two, it’s that a lot of things are going to blamed on the “credit crunch”. More specifically, a lot of things that are nothing to do with the “credit crunch” are going to be blamed on the “credit crunch”. If an employer with no significant financial problems fancies withdrawing a few staff perks or laying off the odd hundred people or so: “credit crunch”. Don’t fancy paying your bills, even though you’re working and nothing relating to your financial position has changed? “Credit crunch”. All of this brings us, strangely, to Leyton Orient Football Club. This time last year, Orient had a decent chance of making the League One play-off places before fading to finish in mid-table. The sense of torpor at Brisbane Road has continued this season, with the club currently fourth from bottom in the table and staring relegation in the face. Crowds are down, and Orient are struggling to attract people from their local area, with much of their support now coming from Essex. Brisbane Road has, over the last few seasons, turned from being one of the most attractive football grounds in London to visit into an ugly mess, with apartment blocks occupying all four corners of the ground. Against this background, it is hardly surprising that...

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A Brave New World

Whilst noble in principle, the Abercrombie Report could hardly now be described as having been an unqualified success. The report, which advocated the mass decampment of a million and a half people from the overcrowded East End of London, led to the creation of such wonders of post-war architecture as Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and Harlow. The development of Harlow Town Football Club through the county leagues, into the Athenian League and finally into the Isthmian League in 1974 mirrored the initial success of the town, and its decline during the 1980s was almost eerie in the way that it matched the physical decline of an area that had suffered in the long term as a result of the enforced financial restraints of post-war British town planning. To say that Harlow’s impact upon the FA Cup was sudden and unexpected would be something of an understatement. They had joined the Isthmian League in 1973 when the league expanded to two divisions, but had finished fourth from bottom in their first season and hardly set the world alight in the years immediately in afterwards. In 1979, however, they suddenly and unexpectedly came to life. Under the careful managership of Ian Wolstenholme (who had saved a last minute penalty for Enfield at Wembley in the 1967 FA Amateur Cup Final against Skelmersdale United), they won the Isthmian League by fourteen...

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