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Thursday, March 4
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Crows on the FA Cup Road

Crows Chase Them Blues Away!

Match v Wingate & Finchley FC.

Saturday 8th September 2012.

Result: Wingate & Finchley FC 1-1 Crows: Attendance 164 (Approx 30 Travelling Crows)

The Journey

I left Royston at 13:15 and decided to take the most straight forward route of the A10. This passed mostly without incident, although I was passed at speed by two military police cars, I wonder what was happening there then, or were they just late for tea?

The only hold up per say, was through Enfield, but apart from that, it was pretty straightforward to Summers Lane and the home of Wingate and Finchley FC.

After making use of the off road parking, I settled my little Skoda on a road called Little Bottom Way (snigger snigger) and had arrived at 14.30.

The Ground

As I walked towards the entrance, I was given two choices. It was like a devil or an angel in my head. If I went left, I would be at the Rugby club, If I went right, I would be at the Football Club. As I have a fundamental dislike to egg chasing, I took the right option. The direction right and I was right to have made that choice because of events that enfolded ahead. I paid my £10 admittance, and tried to pass through the antique but quaint turnstile. You guessed it Crows fans, I got stuck! As most of you know, I’m not the biggest lad in the world. 5 minutes of adjusting the mechanism and someone shouting for WD40 and I was released into this very tidy and impressive ground, most hoppers would be drooling over. Character, loads of it. Odd, yes definitely. Friendly, without a shadow of a doubt. How would I describe this venue, definitely art deco, a large Main stand to my left, with a road separating this to the main terracing. From my initial vantage point I could not see the pitch. After trepasing up a few steps, I was amazed to see such a fantastic pitch and this was being watered, just ask Kevin the club photographer! He got soaked by a sneaky under the turf sprinkler! Opposite this Main Stand/Terrace area was covered terracing. To the left and behind the goal stood another covered terrace. A ground covered on 3 sides, have we made the football league yet?

Food and Drink

As is my responsibility as “on the road” reporter, it is my duty to partake in the food function of trips, so I purchased a hot dog for £2.50. Not bad, the dog was really long, the bread roll a little crispy. I proceeded to eat this with fellow Crows fan Pat, who is on a diet, so I am popular then!

Programme

£2.00 for a pretty good read, lots of articles and not rammed with advertising. The downside to this edition I have to say was the Royston stuff which was a repeat of all the away programmes I have read so far.

State of Toilets

Crows fans, are you ready for this? Excellent, clean with really soft toilet paper at hand. The best I’ve come across so far!

Tannoy System

A varied play of music from the early 60’s through to the noughties, did not hear any latest stuff, was ready to groove my moves to a bit of Porter Robinson! Soundtrack of the day (they must have known I am a Wolves fan) “Those were the days” by Mary Hopkin, ah I have the words ringing in my head now. I’ll sing it to you all on Tuesday night. The announcer struggled me thinks, he started reading the teams out at 14:45, and he was still reading them when the players came out at 14:55!

Home Fans

A really friendly bunch that made us very welcome, from Mike (on the committee, who owes me a pint on Tuesday night) to the 90’ish old gent, whose first game was in 1936!

During the game, they gave their team plenty of encouragement, singing Slade numbers to them. No not Christmas numbers, but that other one. Loud throughout the first half, very quiet in the second as they witnessed the Crows onslaught. Quote of the day came from the home end though, as a player of theirs tumbled in the penalty area as if hit by Laura Tidalie archery shot, a shout of “come on ref, I’ve seen people go to jail for less than that!” Just for the record, no way was it a penalty.

Crows

Approximately 30 from Royston. An opposite to the home fans, quiet in the first half, loud and supportive in the second.

The Game

A nervous first half from the Crows as W&F’s quality shone through. The hosts signalled their intentions with a shot within the first couple of minutes and on 12 minutes forcing a world class save from Will to keep scores level. The inevitable happened on 18 minutes when the blues took the lead. After this though the Crows grew in confidence with several good crisp passing moves. After an obvious inspirational team talk by Paul at half time, the Crows were a completely different team, excellent is just one word I could use. They could have and perhaps should have won. The Crows pummelled the Blues into submission with chance after chance after chance. A fantastic goal from L’ll Luke Robins, that would not have looked out of place at the Golden Palace of Molineux, secured the draw and a deserved replay at Garden Walk on Tuesday night.

Physio Watch (a new part of this feature)

No-one will top our Kim, so it’s a race for second place. This I am sure will be secured by Wingate & Finchley’s healing hand person!

Man of the Match

Dominated, led by example, and kept a quality midfield quiet, for me this honour has to go to Carl Edwards, but it was mighty close. Jack Bradshaw had a fantastic game, kept a very dangerous number 9 pretty quiet. If he had stayed on for the entire game, then this award would definitely go to Tom Malins, a really excellent 45 minutes. Honourable mentions go to the rest of the team. Every player played his part against higher opposition and to be totally honest, if they play like this on Tuesday night, that final against Wolverhampton Wanderers is a distinct possibility!

Mileage for me so far (Round trips)

299.4 miles

Jez Izod