Waltham Forest start their pre-season campaign this Saturday with the visit of Aveley to Wadham Lodge at 3PM.

This will be the 48th meeting between the two clubs, of which Forest in their various incarnations have won 20 and drawn eight. It will be the first time the two sides have met in a friendly since the two sides met ahead of the 1999-2000 season, when Leyton Pennant ran out 2-1 winners.

We first met Aveley as Leyton in the 1955-6 FA Amateur Cup, running out 3-0 winners, and would then play them in 1960-61 and 1961-62 in the same competition.

Relationships between the two clubs were clearly strong during the 1980s, as the teams met for pre-season friendlies over four consecutive seasons. Aveley’s promotion to the Istmian League Division 1 put and end to those, and Leyton would rack up five consecutive league victories against the Millers.

Action from the 6-2 victory over Aveley in October 2005.

n 2005-6 we beat Aveley 2-1 in the Essex Senior Cup, on our way to eventually lifting the trophy, just a few days after beating them 6-2 in the Southern League Eastern Division. This was also one of the highest-scoring games between the two sides, matched by a 4-4 draw in a 1975 friendly.

This season, Aveley will be looking to build onto a 7th-place finish in the Isthmian League Division 1 North, as they move into their new ground just across the road from the old Millfield at Belhus Country Park.

Common people

There’s a large number of people who have been associated with both clubs. One of the most influential forward-men in Forest’s history Jermaine Hughes spent a period at Millfield, in the early noughties, where he played under Amin Levitt, who would go on to be a coach at Leyton Pennant in the 2002-3 season.

Spencer Harrison, one of Forest’s youngest ever skippers went on to carry the armband at Aveley for a number of years, where he was joined by Luke Stanley and Arian Retkoceri.

Further reading

Follow the game live on twitter: @walthamforestfc

Note: All statistics compiled by and used with the permission of David Chapman and Steve Howe. Statistics date from the formation of the original Leyton FC in 1868, and assumes Waltham Forest FC is the eventual successor to that club.

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