Boxing Day Handbags

Blues fans will once again look back on the Christmas and New Year period with misgivings about what the second half of the season will bring. ย  On Boxing Day the team travelled to Sudbury to play local rivals Hendon – local derbies are a bit of a Christmas tradition in football and I think we were all looking forward to it after the desperately fought win against Bury.

Metroline TE729 at Sudbury Town Station

Metroline TE729 at Sudbury Town Station

It being a dry, if overcast, day I opted for covering a bit of the Wembley/Sudbury area on my way to the game for the Geograph project. Got some nice bus pics too:-) The streets in Wembley were crowded with shoppers out to take advantage of the sales, though whether there were any real bargains to be had is open to question.

Hendon currently groundshare with Wembley FC and the facilities are very much the same as those at Wingate and Finchley with the exception of the main stand which appears to have had the rear section of seats cordoned off for some reason. The pitch looked good, so I anticipated an enjoyable match with lots of good football. I wasn’t disappointed – the game flowed from end to end with The Blues having the best of the first half.

Max hides behind the bemused Hendon Keeper

Max hides behind the bemused Hendon Keeper

New signing Max Mitchell scored with, what looked like, an intended flick-on which confused the Hendon Keeper and the half time score was 1-0 to The Blues at the break.

The second half was a very even affair and it took a sharp through ball to set Hendon’s Greg Ngoyi free down the wing and he sent Bobby the wrong way in the resulting one-on-one to score the equaliser on the 68th minute. Both sides had chances to nick a winner as the match continued but neither side was able to break the deadlock.

In the last 15 minutes of the half there was controversy as Murat committed a forward’s tackle on a Hendon defender – (definition of forward’s tackle. An inept challenge carried out by a striker who’s tackling abilities are not up to the standard usually expected of a defender) – i.e. he hacked him down! There was a resulting display of Handbags involving just about every member of both teams with the referee watching from a respectful distance. Once the jostling had simmered down he called aside Murat and Hendon’s Frank Sinclair, sending Murat to the changing rooms and giving Sinclair a yellow card. This decision was a bit confusing – Murat deserved his red for a blatant hack but the FA rules require a red card for violent behaviour and Frank Sinclair apparently grabbed Murat round the throat so, surely he should have been sent off too? I wonder if Sinclair’s status as an ex-Premier League footballer with Chelsea had any bearing on the referee’s decision? Probably not and it would be churlish of me to slate the ref as he had a generally very good match – just this one dubious decision to blot his copybook. Murat walked slowly towards the touchline with the defender he’d originally fouled accompanying him with sympathetic words.

After that the game petered out and apart from one long range effort from Hendon that drifted wide there never looked to be a winner in it any more. After the game we had the chance of a quick chat with…

Frank Sinclair

Frank Sinclair - seen during his time at Wrexham. Photo by Stew Jones via Wikipedia.

Frank Sinclair and asked him what he was doing plying his trade at Hendon in his early 40’s after an illustrious career at Chelsea? Apparently, he was bored at home – Knew he could still play at a good level and wanted to get back out there. The clincher was an invite to come and play from his friend Junior Lewis, who recently took over as Coach for Hendon. Now he’s enjoying his football again ๐Ÿ™‚ When you meet up with people who have been at the top level of their sport you often get a surprise – I do believe that Frank Sinclair is shorter than me, you somehow expect mainstream central defenders to be big lumps!… But then I was wearing my high heels and carrying my handbag ๐Ÿ˜‰

With the Local Derby out of the way there were games to follow on New Years Eve and the Bank Holiday Monday – to be reported in my next post as this one is already long enough…

All thoughts expressed are my own and do not represent the views of Wingate & Finchley FC.



  1. I’ve yet to see a double-decker bus in person, but the photo you’ve posted here almost makes me feel as though I have, Martin… very cool!
    Speaking of your very cool photo I’ve also always loved that ‘Underground’ graphic… does it get any more classic / elegant than that? I doubt it!

    • Hi Bob โ€“ The London Undergound โ€˜Roundelโ€™ is something that they protect with extreme prejudiceโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ˜‰ It is a classic piece of design ๐Ÿ™‚

      Double deckers are a key piece of the UK โ€“ Iโ€™ll make a point of posting some non-London ones for you very soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. What are the “handbags” that were displayed? Who carries and displays them?
    Surely not women’s handbags (although I loved your sly reference) —
    Are they what we call in our football “flags on the play?”

    • Hi Judith – The Handbags on the field of play is actually a reference to the players pushing and shoving each other. Effectively it’s a fight that never really becomes one… It just bubbles below the surface until the tempers cool down again. It usually occurs as a result of a what the players view as a bad tackle. As for my Handbag – that is of course my Camera Bag and my Hiking boots have thick treads, hence the ‘high heels’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I like the way your yellow flags system works – each official marks where he saw an infringement and can then help the man in charge reach a fair decision. Unfortunately, Soccer flows continuously unless the ball goes out of play, a goal is scored or the referee spots a foul, so it wouldn’t work for us.

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