It’s time to look back in, er, time again. Through the archives we go, looking to see what we have for you. Oh, it’s Rainham Town. Hallelujah! Tall, blonde, dark and lean? Rough and tough and strong and mean? Yeah, probably to all of those. We’re guessing a football team is gonna have enough players to tick all those boxes. But don’t have time to wonder how each of their lads looked. No, it’s all about our head-to-head on the turf and what became of it all.
Who are Rainham Town?
To be honest, there ain’t all that much for us to go on. Formed in 1945, the club first played its matches at Rainham Working Men’s Club Ground. Just three years later, however, they moved to Deri Park – the venue they’d call home for the rest of their days. It was about the same time the club started playing in the London League. But the random three-year cycle struck again in 1951; Rainham becoming one of the Delphian League’s founder members.
For the most part, the club could often be found in the top part of the table; a second-place finish in the 1956-7 campaign as good as it got. In the early 1960s, there was a short spell in the Metropolitan League before the club found a new competition: the Athenian League. Here they’d be ’til the late 1970s, at which point the Isthmian League proved too much of a draw and became their footballing home for the next one-and-a-half decades.
Why do we know Rainham Town
For the 1983-4 season, Rainham Town competed in Isthmian League Division Two. But this was split into north and south divisions for the following campaign with more teams coming into the fold. One of those noobs was Boro’, taking our place in the 1984-5 Isthmian League Division Two North line-up. Rainham, however, were tossed in with the south lot. So, that is that – no? No. Just one season in and the Essex side were dragged north.
It’d be us against them for the first time.
What is our record against Rainham Town
No amount of experience of life in the Isthmian League could help Rainham Town during our first encounters. Boro’ ran out 3-1 winners at their place in October 1985 – and went three better in the return; a brace for Phil Driver as we hammered them 6-1. To be fair to them, we did win the league title that year. But going up didn’t mean totally leaving them behind.
The 1986-7 campaign saw us paired together in the AC Delco Cup Preliminary Round. It took three matches to separate us in the end; Rainham registering their first and only win against us in a second replay. And that was that between us. For two years.
Our return back down to Division Two North reunited us during the 1988-9 season; Boro’ picking up where we left off (in league terms) by winning both encounters. Oddly, our two league meetings were only a month apart. The first, in November, was a 3-2 home win and the second, in December, was a 3-1 away win. It was honours even the next season, though; us and Rainham Town sharing the spoils with two 1-1 draws.
The 1990-1 Vauxhall Football League Division Two North campaign was a different beast. Under Cloughie, we were rampant. By the end, we’d clocked up 34 wins from 42 matches. And Rainham accounted for two of ’em. But that’s not to say they didn’t run us close both times. At their place, it needed a Keith Tonge goal to separate the sides. At ours, Tonge was on the scoresheet again, with Colin Cardines brace also helping us to a 3-2 win.
Rainham Town: Boro’s Record
Our head-to-head: P 11 — W 6 — D 4 — L 1 — F 25 — A 14 — Pts 20 — WR 55%
Our last tango: Stevenage Borough 3-2 Rainham Town, 26 January 1991
What happened to Rainham Town?
Our swashbuckling title win took us back up to Division One. Rainham Town finished that season in eighth, by the way. And that wasn’t half bad given they were second bottom the season before. But the Essex club didn’t build on that and follow in our footsteps. 1991-2 saw the end of regionalisation in the now-Diadora Football League and they remained in Division Two for the next three seasons.
But things started to unravel. Rainham’s league form got worse – finishing 16th, 20th and then eventually bottom at the end of the 1993-4 season. By this point, they were no longer calling Deri Park home; playing games at Purfleet and Aveley. Of course, coming bottom did mean relegation to Division Three. But they never made it there. Instead of lining up for the 1994-5 campaign in a lower division, the club resigned from the league and folded.
• WANT TO KNOW MORE? – Rainham Town club profile