Over the years, it has sometimes felt as if Boro’s name is on the cup – only for a side to come from nowhere and nip that in the bud. It happened with Hyde United back in our 1995-6 FA Trophy quarter final; The Tigers denying us a famous non-league double in doing so. And this particular bolt of lightning would strike a second time; Barrow stunning us in the 2010 FA Trophy Final. Long before either of these examples, however, was a 1985-6 FA Vase run that felt good. Then along came Southall. Just two ties between ourselves and them have come in cup competitions, with a win apiece.
After reverting to life as an amateur side, a merger with Southall Athletic brought a new lease of life for the Tigers. Between 1907 and the First World War, they took part in the Great Western Suburban League. After the War, the Athenian League became their home. And it stayed that way for many, many years to come; competition members right up until 1973. In that time, there was just one league crown (1926-7) and a FA Cup run that took them as far as Round Three (1935-6).
Why do we know them?
In 1973, the Isthmian League created a new Second Division and the Tigers were one of its founder members. In their second season, they came second; securing promotion to Division One. It was a time for new names. First, the club changed name to Southall & Ealing Borough. Then, Division One was rebranded the Premier Division. It didn’t matter though. They lasted one season in the ‘new’ Premier Division.
Two straight relegations saw them nosedive into the ‘new’ Second Division for the 1979-80 season. And while we’re at it, summer 1980 saw them drop the Ealing Borough stuff; going back to the traditional, plain old Southall. So, being in Division Two of the Isthmian League? That’s how we first came to know them, right?
As the Isthmian League expanded again in summer 1984 with the addition of teams such as our good selves, the Tigers were placed in Division Two South. We were Division Two North. And they stayed at this level for the duration; our league paths kept firmly apart; mainly due to geography. But we would have cause to meet for the first time in the 1985-6 campaign as a result of our respective FA Vase runs. And all paths led to their Western Road ground.
How to get to Southall – Travel Information – Distance: 41 miles
From Stevenage, go south on the A1(M) and find your way onto the counter -clockwise M25 as far as Junction 16. Here, exit for the London-bound M40 and continue onto the A40 Western Avenue. Leave the A40 at the junction with the B456 at Perivale, turning right off the slip road and crossing the main carriageway.
Go straight on and take the next left into Perivale Lane.
We think you can use the car park at the ground, which should have enough space.
Station: SOUTH GREENFORD
Services to: LONDON PADDINGTON
From the station, it looks like you’ll have to head out onto the A40 and turn right. After 0.2 miles, turn right onto Ribchester Avenue and then left onto Stockdove Way; continuing on for Perivale Lane.
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