During the 12 years of the Second Team's existence prior to the 1997 revival, two memorable seasons stood out by far. In both cases the Second Team finished in a creditable third place in Division Three which was to be the highest positlon by the Club's 'reserve' side.
The first time the Seconds came third was in season 1982/83 following three unsuccessful campaigns between 1979/80 - the 2nd Xl's debut season and 1981/82. After the relative success of 1982/83, the Seconds then waited another six years before equalling that particular achievement.
The Second Team of 1988/89 had been strengthened by several ex-Highgate players joining during the previous season. Jeremy Arden, Steve Bourne (rejoining Fortune after a couple of years at Highgate), Paul Jordan, Dave Munns and Nick Waitsman were a few of them. Nick Waitsman took over as Second Team Secretary from Jonathan Davidoff, having been his assistant during his first season a year earlier. In turn, Steve Bourne took on the role of Nick's assistant.
The Second Xl began the season with two defeats in the Founders' Shield fixtures against the First Team but they had an encouraging 8-0 friendly win over Kenton of the AJY League. Long serving Peter Kyte scored his first ever hat-trick for the Club in the opening league fixture but his promising early start of four goals in two matches was prematurely stopped by a nasty injury in the third match versus MAL, which kept him sidelined for several weeks.
The Seconds completed a good October by taking three points out of four from the two matches against Bushey United 'A'. They then avenged the defeat against MAL with a resounding 4-1 win during which Bryan Silver scored his first goals for Temple Fortune, followed by a 6-1 thumping of bottom-placed Catford & Bromley thanks to Jeremy Arden's first treble for the Club. However, Oxford & St.Georges North London put the 2nd Xl firmly in their place with an 8-2 victory but it left Fortune 'B' with a record of four wins, two draws and two defeats at the halfway stage. A position of fourth in Division 3 at that point looked quite promising.
A second 6-1 success in the return fixture with Catford Steve Levy doing most of the damage with four goals - maintained the team's 4th spot but third-placed Scrabble inflicted a close 2-0 defeat in the next fixture.
The Second Team then enjoyed a great run of four wins in five matches, including a superb 6-0 hammering of Scrabble which was rather unexpected to say the least. But the best result came against South Mancunians, a rather strong side who were having a close battle at the top of the table with leaders Oxford & St.Georges NL. South Mancunians ended Fortune's sequence of consecutive victories with a 3-1 win but a week later, the Seconds turned the tables by winning 5-3. Allon Schick-Maier hit a fine hat-trick - his only treble for Temple Fortune as our 'B' side climbed into third place close on the heels of South Mancs.
The Second Xl's final league game of the 1988/89 season was against leaders Oxford & St.Georges North London who needed a win to take the Third Division title. A victory for Temple Fortune in addition to a favourable result in the last South Mancs fixture, would give the Seconds the runners-up spot and a set of medals for the first time. Unfortunately, Oxford were not to be denied their championship success although the 6-3 margin was certainly an improvement upon the first meeting of the two teams in November.
In cup football, the Second Xl endured their traditional first round exit by losing 4-1 to Victoria Community Centre who were in the Division 2. In the penultimate fixture, Fortune 'B' met Division One team South London Old Boys in the Minor Cup. The game went to form with SLOB winning 5-0. But the match was best remembered for the enraged Nigel Conway and his flying Cantona-style kung-fu kick aimed at an opponent. Conway missed, hurt himself as he landed and was sent off for his troubles!
Steve Levy top scored for the Second Xl with 17 goals. Phil Friend played the most games and scored his first goal for the Club early on in the season. Bryan Silver netted five goals from midfield in his first Temple Fortune season and the Second Team Player of the Year was Dave Munns, a skilful and strong midfielder.
The Second Xl's meritable third place was rewarded with a deserved promotion to Division Two, last achieved in 1983. Two years after the successful 1988/89 campaign, the Second Xl were sadly folded, a demise which lasted for six years prior to the reformation in 1997.
Incidently, before we close this review of the '88/89 season, there was one rather odd fixture played which is worthy of mention. Temple Fortune 'B' met Pymmes in a hastily arranged friendly at Bethune Park because the scheduled opponents of both teams did not turn up on the day! With 22 footballers standing around outside the dressing rooms thinking about a quick return home, the people running both sides got talking and, hey presto, instant opposition for one another! Pymmes, of the North London & South Herts League, looked the part with several huge Frank Bruno-type characters but were surprisingly beaten 4-2 by our all-Jewish Second Team!