History - from 1970s and into the new Millennium
FROM 1970S AND INTO THE NEW MILLENNIUM
The next success for Tooting & Mitcham came in the 1974-75 season when once again the club reached the F.A. Cup first round and had a dream home tie with fellow South Londoners Crystal Palace, managed at the time by the flamboyant Malcolm Allison. Tooting took a first minute lead but the Eagles hit back to win 2-1 in front of a 10,000 plus crowd at Sandy Lane. The following season the club under the guidance of Roy Dwight (uncle of Reginald Dwight, aka Elton John, and coincidentally a member of the 1959 Nottingham Forest side that came so close to defeat at Sandy Lane) had their best ever run in the F.A. Cup, reaching the 4th round for the first, and so far, only time in the club’s history. Victories against Romford and Leatherhead saw the Terrors drawn away to Third Division Swindon Town in the Third Round where they soon found themselves 2-0 down. However a dramatic late comeback saw Tooting snatch an unlikely draw. In the replay at a packed Sandy Lane Tooting ran out 2-1 winners. In the Fourth round Tooting were drawn away again and faced a long trip to Bradford City where despite a brave performance they lost 3-1. That same season, the club also had their best ever run in the F.A. Trophy losing 1-0 in the quarter-finals to the eventual winners Scarborough. The 1970s also saw Tooting become the first club to win the Surrey Senior Cup three seasons in succession, lifting the trophy in 1976, 1977 and 1978.
In 1983-84 Tooting finished in the bottom two of the Isthmian League’s top flight but were reprieved from relegation as Staines Town did not have the required ground grading to remain in that league. There was no reprieve however 5 years later, when in 1989 the club were relegated for the first time in its history.
In season 1992-93 there was some consolation for Tooting as the club won the Isthmian League Full Members Cup, beating Dorking by a goal to nil in the final. However, the decline continued and in the 1996-97 term the club were relegated again and found themselves in the Isthmian League’s Second Division.
By contrast to the 1990s, the new millennium brought a change in the club’s fortunes with the 2000-01 campaign being the Club’s best for many years. The 6th round of the F.A. Vase was reached and defeat only came at the hands of eventual winners Taunton Town. Even more importantly under the guidance of Keith Boanas and Ian Hazel the Ryman League Division Two Championship was won despite a horrific backlog of fixtures having to be crammed into the final fortnight of the season.