At Home With The Crows
Next Up: 'The Brook' of AFC Hayes.
Crows v AFC Hayes
Kick Off: 3pm Saturday 8th December 2012
Evo-Stik League Southern Central Division 1
Who's the pride of Hertfordshire? We Are, We are! So after that fantastic victory against N-Power League 1 Side Stevenage. I say again, N-Power League 1 Side Stevenage, we return to league action and welcome The Brook of AFC Hayes.
Well Hayes can be found in the Borough of Hillingdon. The town is famous for brick-making due to it's proximity to the Grand Union Canal. Hayes is also famous for being the location where the H2S Radar was developed. What is that you all ask? Well H2S was a ground scanning radar device used by Bomber Crews during World War II.
Famous people of Hayes include Frank Allan, the bass player of The Searchers, Glenn Hoddle of Diamond Lights fame (oh and of the Spuds too) and Buster Bloodvessel of Bad Manners lives on a canal boat in the Town (obviously on the water and not the main roundabout leading into the Town Centre!)
They were orginally founded as a pub team called Brook House in 1974. The year that ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo. So there is hope for Andy Abrahams yet! Well, Brook House played in the Hayes & District Sunday League Division 7, wow that many?
In 1982 another local side Grange Hill FC with Tucker leading the line relocated to Brook House's new Park Farm Ground. I got that slightly wrong Crows, they were simply called Grange! Anyhow they were reborn as Brook House FC, playing in the South West Middlesex League which was a Saturday event.
From 1984 to 1988 they were members of the Middlesex County Football league, before joining the London Spartan League. In those heady days of 1992 when George H Bush was filmed being violently sick over a meal of Sushi (great publicity for America, not so great for Sushi Bars in Washington DC) floodlights were erected at Park Farm and were officially opened by a visiting Chelsea Side. Not Made In Chelsea, but the actual Chelsea FC side that included the prolific goal scorer, drum roll please, a very slim Neil Shipperley. You should see the fella now!
In 2004 after winning the Spartan League, Brook House were promoted to the Isthmian League Division 2. In their first foray into this Division they finished 3rd behind Ilford and Enfield FC. They achieved this position the following year and were only just beaten to the title on the last day by our local rivals Ware FC.
In 2006 after League restructuring, they entered the Southern League and were extremely lucky to stay up after finishing 18th out of 22 clubs.
The Club decided to change it's name to AFC Hayes in 2007, the same year as their bitter local rivals Hayes disbanded and merged with Yeading FC. This change has not seen a dramatic surge in support that the club wanted and they have not exactly set this league on fire as yet!
Their Season So Far
Currently sitting in 10th place, eleven points behind the mighty Crows. Their season so far has produced 8 wins, 2 draws and 6 defeats. However they do travel well with 16 out of a possible 21 points secured on the road! They recently hammered League favourites Godalming 3-1 in their own backyard! A warning to Royston Town then!
Ones to Watch
Top scorer Tony Mendy has 15 league goals to his name this season. A quality striker with bags of ability. He totally destroyed Godalming Town earlier in the season with a perfect hatrick. A signing from Slough Town, this lad is clearly on the radar of many senior clubs.
Partnering young Tony is Lawrie Shennan. A former fans favourite at British Airways FC (Nope, I am not joking!) and Hanworth Villa. At over 6 ft, Lawrie is excellent with his head. Lawrie has found the net 7 times this season including the opener against Barton Rovers FC last Saturday.
In central midfield we find Mike Vincent. A very hard player to come up against and is quality from set plays. Popular both on and off the pitch. Mike is not afraid to be vocal and get stuck in. However an extremely fair player. In fact, Mike won the Southern League Fair play award last year.
Ian Crane is man at the helm of 'The Brook'. He replaced previous incumbent Danny Vincent in June 2012. He was previously the manager at Harefield United in the familiar SSML Premier Division. 'Craney' led Harefield to second place in 2009. They only just lost out to Biggleswade Town FC on goal difference. What a choker!
Have We Met Before?
Many times in the guise of Brook House FC, in fact far too many to list. However in their current guise of AFC Hayes we have met once in an FA Cup tie in 2009. We beat them 3-1 on their own patch. If my records are correct and this does need to be confirmed. Tom Malins knows how to beat them!