They are the one and Olney, and you can’t take that away from them. From a small market town towards the northern tip of Bucks, Olney Town are a side who were there during Boro’s early days of senior football. The earliest days, in fact. You’d have had to wake up very early to the Stevenage Borough story to catch sight of this one-time foe. We reckon many of you, like us however, were a little bit later to this particular party.
Olney Town: Who Are They?
Born in 1903, the Nurserymen were among the first to sign up to the North Bucks League (Makes sense. Ed.). That was in 1911 and, over the next 50 years or so, they spent their time in either the NBL or the South East Northants League (Makes less sense. Ed.). It was near the end of this period that success started to flow too; first with two Rushden and District League titles (1958 and 1961). This was the new name of the SENL, FYI…
Just a year after that second title, Olney Town were back in the North Bucks League and winning the title on the other side of the county border. Soon enough, however, the Nurserymen took a step in a completely different direction : the United Counties League. Their debut season saw them let in 122 goals on the way to finishing 15th out of 19 teams in Division Two. Within 10 years, though, they made it to the Premier Division.
The United Counties League Premier Division, in case you hadn’t got that.
Us And Them…
Life in the Prem was tough for Olney Town, with a best finish of 10th position (1978). In 1980, they finished 13th out of 19 teams – but were still relegated. We’ll come to the reason we think why, but this relegation is relevant because falling back into Div One meant taking on one of the UCL’s newcomers during the 1980-1 campaign: Stevenage Borough. Hello, that’s us by the way. And we didn’t exactly endear ourselves to them.
Not in a bad way from our point of view, anyway. Our first meeting came 11 games into the season at BHW; Danny Dance with a brace as we came away with a 3-1 win. Nothing too shabby in that, really. It’s the return fixture at their gaff that catches the eye, though. After 5-1 and 4-1 wins in our preceding two respectively, Boro’ went to East Street and went one better. As did Danny Dance, actually; a hattrick in our 6-0 thrashing.
And Then What?
Olney ended up in 12th that season as we went up to the Premier Division as runaway champions. And it’s in Division One that the Nurserymen have been ever since. The reason isn’t just because third is as high as they have finished since (1993-4), although that clearly is a factor. Nope, it’s also because their ground isn’t up to scratch for any level higher than UCL Division One – and that even includes the UCL Premier Division!
To be fair, that’s what we think to be the case based on what’s on the club’s official website. It would make sense as the reason they were relegated from 13th in the Premier Division back into 1980. And it’s also why they’ve only played in the FA Cup twice and the FA Vase three times; the last time for both being in the late 1970s. So, barring unbelievable scenes, the chances of us meeting again (competitively) are all but borked.
Olney Town: Boro’s Record
P2 W2 D0 L0 F9 A1 – League Points: 6, Cup Meetings: 0, Win Rate: 100%
• BoroGuide’s Olney Town club profile – for old time’s sake…