So, the reward for our Diadora League Premier Division title-winning campaign in 1994? A one-off encounter with Chertsey Town. But, of course! How could it not be? Boro’ roped back for one last hurrah by the Diadora League to play out the competition’s own version of the Charity Shield. Why the Curfews? Well, they were the winners of the 1993-4 Diadora League Cup. And as champions of the league, Boro’ had a contractual duty to start the following season in that manner.
Our eyes were clearly not on the ball, however. Yes, the Curfews had been promoted themselves in 1994 after coming second in Division Two; topping 100 points and 100 goals in the process. But no-one could think they would crush us 5-0. Talk about setting a dodgy precedent for the season ahead. More importantly, we have a very distorted head-to-head record straight off the bat. The potential upshot is that, without getting too above our station, the respective gap between the sides in more recent times may help us partly settle the score.
If we do meet again.
Chertsey Town: The Facts
Alwyns Lane Football Ground
Alwyns Lane, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 9DW
The official line is that the Curfews were established in 1890; the club taking part in the West Surrey League by way of an introduction to the footballing fraternity. They continued to compete in county competitions up until the 1960s, although this doesn’t mean they didn’t move around within those competitions in the period leading up to then. Two milestones in that period, meanwhile, were the gaining of senior status (1946) and a change of name to what we know them as today (1951). Before that, it was plain old Chertsey.
In 1963, the Curfews decided it was time to go professional; signing up to the Metropolitan League. But the move lasted just four seasons as the cost of being there was too great. So, 1967 saw them join the Spartan League. Here, they were often found in the bottom half of the table. The 1974-5 season, however, would be the anomaly when they finished second. That summer, the Curfews went on to be one of the first members of the London Spartan League – the merged entity of the Spartan and Metropolitan-London leagues.
It was a bit of a disaster and they were rock bottom come the end of the season. Hopes of a change in luck didn’t materialise with a switch to the Athenian League Division Two that summer (1976) either. In fact, they would finish bottom more than once. The flip side is they didn’t quit the competition until 1984. The reason is because the Isthmian League was expanding. It was the same time at which Boro’ joined the competition too. The difference is that we went North, while they went South.
As we’ve discovered, the Curfews didn’t seem to take to new competitions well. And they ended their first term in the Isthmian League at the foot of the table. Winning two and drawing three all year is poor in itself. But to be deducted three points too? Ouch. Anyway, they went down into the Combined Counties League; sorting themselves out and returning right away. After that, things picked up fairly nicely on their return to the Isthmian League.
Why do we know the Curfews?
The short answer is their 1993-4 Diadora League Cup conquest, which earned them a pop at us as league champions. After our relative upset in the Charity Shield in August 1994, we sucked it up and got on with what we had to do in the Conference. The Curfews, meanwhile, continued upwards and got to the Premier Division at the end of the 1994-5 campaign. It proved to be a step too far; relegated back down after they propped up the table in their second term as a Premier Division side.
It was the early stages of a decline in their fortunes. A decade later, they’d fallen back into the Combined Counties League. Even there, the on-pitch struggles weren’t far away. There were four seasons of pretty mediocre stuff at best. But, madly, they exploded from 15th in 2018 to league champions in 2019. With it, the Curfews secured their return to the Isthmian League. And, to sweeten things, they put the FA Vase in their trophy cabinet. And, after two aborted Covid seasons, their return to the Isthmian was underway…
How to get to Chertsey Town – Travel Information – Distance: 47 miles
After taking the counter-clockwise M25, exit at Junction 11 for the A320. Take the first exit at the roundabout for the A317 St Peter’s Way; then left again at the next roundabout for the A317 Chertsey Road. Follow the A317 round to the left and take the second exit at the roundabout for Free Prae Road.
Keep going onto Pound Road, before turning left for London Street (B375) for a third of a mile. The next left turn will take you onto Alwyns Lane.
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