Crows on the Road at Daventry Town: Jez’s Report
And it could have been much, much worse!
Crows at Daventry Town FC.
Saturday 5th January 2013
Result: Daventry Town FC 4-2 Royston Town FC (Ingrey, Standen)
Attendance: 105 (31 Travelling Crows)
Our coach, yes the growing band of reporters is growing now, we have 8, left Garden Walk at 12.30pm. Our intrepid band were guessing beforehand which route our chauffeur would be taking us. Well we were all wrong as the coach diverted onto the A1(m) northbound before taking us on a tour of the beautiful Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire countryside.
Crows fans, you should really take in this experience, as in previous journey’s my knowledge of ornithology (ie birds and the feathered variety) increased thanks to Richard Scott. I think I prefer my kind of “bird watching” and there were a few in Daventry!
Also, did you know that Royston developed the country’s first leisure park? They did you know, with the old cinema, swimming pool and café! Again, young Richard should really go on mastermind. Now what would his specialist subject be?
After negotiating the country lanes of Flore and other villages and being regaled by stories about window tax, etc, we eventually reached the idyllic ground of Daventry and Communications Park at 2pm.
A fantastic set up from the start. An ample car park with spaces for both cars, coaches and a little worryingly “Ambulance parks here!”. Entry into this little piece of footballing paradise came through the side entrance. I duly paid my £9.00, £9.00! and a £1.00 for my program and entered a very neat and tidy set up.
The two ends were uncovered terracing with a plastic meshed barricade surrounding the pitch. A small covered terrace ran along the side with two neat and tidy dugouts either side. Horses pranced behind this stand and you really thought that you were in a quaint village rather than a town. On the side we had entered ran a small seated section with yellow seats for approx 150, further on found the fantastic club house with plush seating, an excellent bar and fantastic food facilities. This building was on two levels with the main function room and club offices on the second floor. A really professional set-up and I have to say, some of the friendliest people I have met on our travels. We were introduced to Mr Hobbs, who has been involved with the club since 1938, as the sprightly Mr Hobbs stated “You were just a glint in your dad’s eye then!” How old does the man think I am!?! Even my father was not a glint yet!
The pitch though was in pretty good condition considering the recent downpours, there were several heavily sanded areas and with the swooping and diving seagulls (Correctly identified by Richard Scott), the whole place had a feel of Daventry-next-to-Sea!
Food and Drink
Excellent value for money. £2.25 for a really tasty bacon roll, served in a container. Hungry Crows had a real selection dilemma as it was all good. You could even purchase a bar meal and Lasagne!
Again, excellent value for money at a realistic price of £1.00. Rammed full of decent articles and I particularly liked the bit of research they had done on Royston as a town. Must admit, I thought more than 14,989 lived in the town. At least it does when you are in SG8 on a Saturday night. See Mr Hobbs, I can still dance the night away with the young ‘uns!
State of Toilets
As you would expect from a new build, excellent. Only complaint from fellow traveller Ian, was that the hand drier almost blew his hands off! He is probably used to the old paper towels (at least his hygiene is excellent!). These facilities also had a vending machine selling mints, headache tablets and those other usual things that you find in those types of machines. At least they would have, but those “special purchase” items were out of stock! I do notice these things fellow Crows!
Not overly loud and could be conveniently heard in the toilets if you had been caught out. Did make us laugh as the players ran out for the second half with the announcement that ”Number 16, Matt Standen has replaced, somebody”! Obviously “Somebody” did not make much of an impression first half.
A friendly bunch that were extremely supportive of their team. Only one incident with a fan who obviously has an allegiance to Rugby Town, got quite upset when a couple of us mentioned the floodlight incident earlier on in the season.
My other side, the mighty Wolverhampton Wanderers were in cup action that afternoon and a couple of locals kept me up to speed with events at Kenilworth Road, yeah cheers for that Jim and Mike!
31 of us made the long journey north and apart from the result, we did enjoy the day out. Not let out much some of us! Loud in the first half with plenty of “Come on you Crows” and “ One Tommy Malins” a different story in the second half as events unfolded on the pitch.
Cannot quite put my finger on what went wrong at Daventry. First half saw the Crows try and play plenty of football but then resorting to that dreaded long ball rubbish that we really cannot do. Ryan Ingrey took his goal extremely well, even if he is becoming the master of “Scoring a goal whilst bottom is on the floor”! Do they practise that in training?
Silly free kicks were our scourge in that first half and boy were we punished for it, with both their goals coming from set pieces. Have to say though that the Daventry first goal is a candidate for “Goal of the season”.
Second half saw waves and waves of purple attacks and they could and have should been several up by the time we gave away a silly penalty. Little Luke Howard made himself look several times his size and the Daventry number 7 struck it wide. We were punished again from a set piece for Dav’s third and by the time the fourth went in, Royston heads were on the floor. A second penalty was fantastically saved by Luke Howard before Joe De La Salle's shot was parried by the Daventry keeper and Matt Standen followed up for the consolation.
A learning curve this for the Crows as they were up against a very good, very physical and very experienced side.
Always a pleasure to see “our” Kim and she was kept busy by the physical nature of Daventry’s play. Several times our players need treatment. Hope she got a bonus?
As we had our expert on board with his book and Binno’s, yes Crows, Richard brought them! We saw several species on our way up to Daventry. Richard saw Starlings, Sparrows and Seagulls. I saw blondes, brunettes and a stunning dark haired girl behind the bar at Communications Park.
Man Of The Match
Unanimous decision from the coach party. This lad snuffed out most of the attacks, led by example and more than once scared the Daventry defence. Step forward Joe De La Salle. A terrific man of the match performance. A special mention to another player who had an excellent game in difficult circumstances and that is Luke Howard. Shot stopping was terrific and that penalty save was excellent, could not be faulted for any of the goals. Made himself look 7 feet tall for the penalties.
Mileage for me so far (Round Trips)
1,291.6 Plus that round trip to stupid Burnham Ramblers.
Jez Izod (With additional reporting from Caroline Scott, Richard Scott and the rest of the travelling Crows!)