Stevenage Borough 11-1 British Timken Athletic: How The Comet reported it afterwards...
Photo: The Comet

Good Game: The series looking at the amazing, utterly memorable, unbelievably dramatic and downright ludicrous games that involved Stevenage Borough over the years. But we’ll insist that we accept no blame for memories warped by time, age or alcohol consumption at the time. We’ll never refer to any games involving Macclesfield either – particularly any at Broadhall Way. Those sort of things never happened, dontcha know…

Stevenage Borough 11-1 British Timken Athletic

Broadhall Way, Stevenage — 06 December 1980 — United Counties League Division 1

For us, the first few months of our first-ever season as a senior team had been a massive success. No matter what standards you apply, the results speak for themselves. From the first 15 league games during the 1980-1 campaign, we’d won 12 of them – and scored 49 doing so. Our first match of December 1980 saw British Timken Athletic at Broadhall Way; Boro’ rounding off November with a 5-2 win at Burton Park Wanderers. That sort of win on the road is decent in anyone’s books. And there had been bigger wins before that too.

But it all pales into insignificance with what happens here.

Stevenage Borough 11-1 British Timken Athletic: The Game

Stevenage Borough 11-1 British Timken Athletic: A warm welcome to our guests, who didn't know what was about to hit them
Photo: Stevenage Football Archive

A win against Athletic would be enough to keep Boro’ top of the pile with Christmas on the horizon. And while three points would be the outcome no matter what the scoreline, this is the statement that budding champions like to make. Tim Jolly got things started in front of 365 fans with the opening goal on three minutes. The floodgates were now open. Just five minutes later, it was nearly two when Jim Daintree breezed through the defence. Alas, he was denied by the keeper and the score remained one.

It lasted another three minutes, however; Trevor Metcalfe next to get on the scoresheet. It wasn’t long before a third came along courtesy of Peter Gittings. To be fair to Gitts, his first was arguably the pick of the eventual bunch; a 20-yard stunner that left the Athletic keeper with little chance.

Metcalfe and Nigel Roberts went close with the Boro’ count still at three, before we got our fourth not that long before half time thanks to Danny Dance. Come on – there was no way Boro’ were going goal crazy without Dance getting in on the action! Not that his goal on 37 minutes saw us settle for the interval. Two more goals were forthcoming before the break; Peter Gittings (39′) and Metcalfe (43′) ensuring we got our half time oranges with six goals on the board.

Roberts got the first of our second half goals so that he didn’t miss out, while Dance got a second goal for himself to make it 8-0 with 20 minutes left on the clock. Two minutes later, Daintree added his name to the scoresheet – and double figures were now on the horizon. First, however, our guests managed to steal themselves a consolation goal. We’re not too sure if Boro’ were all that fussed about losing the clean sheet when so many were going in at the right end. Ross Silverman might not have been too happy, though.

Stevenage Borough 11-1 British Timken Athletic: The teams – seven Boro' players would get on the scoresheet
Photo: Stevenage Football Archive

Goals 10 and 11 didn’t take long in coming. Ken Morgan became the seventh unique Boro’ goalscorer of the afternoon on 82 minutes. Metcalfe then completed his hattrick after three more minutes had passed. And that ended up being our lot; British Timken Athletic beaten well before half time, and made to feel much worse about it during the second half. For us, it was yet another entry into our primitive record books. We’d like to say we’ve yet to come close since. But we actually have. Mind you, that’s a different story for a different day.

Stevenage Borough 11-1 British Timken Athletic: What next?

How do you follow up such an emphatic win? By losing 4-1 at Towcester Town, of course! After such an epic moment in the club’s fledgling story, the follow-up was a damp squib. It didn’t stop us romping to the title that season, however. Losing only two league games all campaign and scoring 106 league goals, it was quite an effort. For our unlucky guests, the end of the season saw them nestled in 14th out of 17. They remained in Division One until dropping off the radar in 1990. We’re not sure – but we can’t imagine they suffered such a fate again; our record win no doubt their record defeat.

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Pete H is the head of the BoroGuide team; helping to keep the show on the road for the best part of two decades – all because of his love of Boro'. He was relatively late to the scene; first rocking up at Broadhall Way during the 1995-6 season. But that's mainly because he was too young to pledge allegiance before then. There have been more than enough highs (Easter Monday '96) and lows (Kettering '02) since then, however, to keep him occupied. Yes, and the 2010 title win...