At Home With The Crows…
Next Up: “The Blues” of North Greenford United FC
Crows v North Greenford United FC
Kick Off: 7:45pm, Tuesday 20th August 2013
The Calor League: Central Division One
So after our debut league meeting with Egham last Saturday, we reacquaint ourselves with old friends from last season and my mate “Shippers” team of North Greenford United.
Did you know, that Neil Shipperley scored the opening Palace goal the last time they reached the Premiership? Well “I’m glad all over” about that, hope all Crows will be “Glad all over” come 10pm(ish).
What can I tell you about North Greenford? Well, there’s not a North Greenford town per say, but they are from Greenford in the London Borough of Ealing. It’s a little worrying when the town celebrates its most famous landmark as the A40 Dual Carriageway!!
First recorded as a settlement in 848 as “Grenan Forda” this is from the Old English and means a place at the Green Ford, so they did have cars in those days then! Why they could not call is Black Skoda and then we would have had a result!
The world’s first Anniline Dye (Yep, not a clue either) was discovered here in 1856 by William Perkin. He called it mauveine. From my Dad’s chemical expertise, he has described this as a coal type residue and people got very rich from this.
Famous residents from the town include Jason Roberts of Reading FC and on a music front, The Nolan Sisters, remember them?
I’m in the mood for dancing, which peaked at number 3 in the UK charts in 1980. I’m cultured when it comes to music! Mr Barlow, if you are reading this, can we please have a different CD from last season, please, please, please! (For those that did not attend last year, it was very poor!)
Founded in September 1944 (I’ve Uncle Albert’s words ringing in my ears, “During the War”) by a Mr Timpson, NGFC were a youth side playing just local friendlies. The following year they entered the Ealing Youth League and were crowned champions in 1946.
In 1947 a senior side was created and entered the Hanwell and District League (another league I had never heard about until now!). They also made their first cup final in the guise of the Hanwell Hospital Cup. The following year another new league was entered, this time the Harrow Wembley league and success came in 1955 with the club being crowned champions of the Senior Division and winners of the Senior League Cup.
This was their lot until 1960 when the Richmond Challenge cup was captured and a final appearance in the Brentford League Senior Cup. In 1965 the Harrow Senior Charity Cup was won.
More success followed in 1967, when North Greenford won the West London Combination Cup, a feat they repeated in 1968. 1969 and 1970 saw the Kings College Hospital Cup won twice, while in 1971, more honours came with the winning of the Hounslow Senior Charity Cup. 1973 saw the club reach the final of the Hounslow Senior Charity Cup once more, but in 1974 County Honours were achieved when winning the Middlesex Intermediate Cup.
In 1982/83 North Greenford won the Middlesex League and in May 1983, promotion was gained to the Spartan League. 1984 was a mixed year for the club, with the death of the founder Alf Timpson at the age of 87, tempered by the granting of senior status by the Middlesex County Football Association. The Harry Sutherland Shield was won in both 1985 and 1986 before the club achieved promotion into the Premier Division of the Spartan League in 1988/89.
In 1994 the club celebrated its 50th Anniversary, but the 1994/95 season saw the club resign from the London Spartan League, to re-join the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Football League. In 1995 the club were re-classified as having
Intermediate status by Middlesex County Football Association. In 1996 John Bivens (Senior) and John Bignell of North Greenford were honoured by the Football Association, with a medallion and letter of commendation from Chief Executive Graham Kelly, for 50 years service to Association Football. So North Greenford have their very own medallion men, cue thoughts of “Mr T” from the A-team and be afraid, very afraid.
The club was determined to regain senior status and undertook along term project to achieve this. Ground Improvements were made, including floodlights purchased from Brentford FC and in 2002 senior status was regained.
They entered the Combined Counties League in 2002 in 2004 were runners up to AFC Wimbledon in the Premier Challenge cup. 4-1 was the scoreline in front of 5,000 people.
With Steve Ringrose taking over the manager’s job with days to go before season 2008-2009 started no one thought that a second place in the Premier League was achievable, but that's exactly what happened and North Greenford finished Runners Up to Bedfont Green.
In 2010 the club captured the Combined Counties Premier League championship, with promotion to the Southern League. They also captured the Middlesex Senior Cup with a 1-0 win against favourites Enfield Town FC.
In season 2010-11 the club consolidated their position in the Southern League with an 18th position. The 3rd Qualifying of the FA Cup was achieved, but were surprisingly humbled by Eastern Counties League Leiston 5-0!
Season 2011 – 2012 was a season of change at North Greenford, as they parted company with manager Steve Ringrose at Christmas, as the club were sitting in a most precarious position in the relegation zone with just 16 points from 19 games. Neil Shipperley and his assistant Mark Nicholls then took the reins for the remainder of the season and achieved what they set out to
do by guiding the team to safety by finishing 18th in the Evo-Stik Southern League Central Division. In the FA Cup Greenford emulated last year's run by reaching the Third Qualifying Round, but a 0 – 3 defeat at home in a replay against East Thurrock United ended their interest for another year.
As the season came to an end Neil Shipperley and his assistants tendered their resignations and Greenford installed Jon-Barrie Bates as the new manager for the forth coming season. This did not last long as the lure of NGU came a calling again and soon Neil ventured back into the managerial hot seat, leading his side to some excellent results and securing their stay in this league would be prolonged for at least another season.
Their Season So Far
Bit harsh to talk after one game, so I will shed some light on last season. Neil Shipperley had taken the reins, only to leave early on in the season. NGU struggled, big time! In fact only Woodford kept the blues off bottom spot. Then came the return of the progical son and some fantastic results were recorded, giving some of the top sides including us, real problems. With a summer of rebuilding, they are my dark horses for a play-off spot. Mind you, I tipped Wolves to go up last season, look what happened there! Yes Neil, I still owe you a tenner!! (That’s Neil Mudie, not Neil Shipperley BTW!)
Ones to Watch
Goalkeeper Lee Pearce is someone us Crows know all about. A quality shot stopper who pulled out string after string of amazing saves at Berkeley Fields. A player that never lets you down and highly regarded by all at NGU.
Tough tackling Aaron Silcott brings composure to the defence, deadly at set pieces, the Crows will have to be on their guard.
A legend to Crystal Palace fans, Neil Shipperley took over the reins at Berkeley Fields for a second time last season with NGU in a real relegation dog fight with Woodford United. Some assured signings later and Les Blues were upsetting some of the top sides with their direct but effective play which produced results. During the close season, “Ships” has added to his squad and they are my dark horses to do quite well!
Have We Met Before?
The Blues gave us two tough games last year. On the 23rd October 2012 goals from Carl Edwards and the now departed Tommy Malins gave the Crows victory at Garden Walk. The double was secured on the 2nd March 2013 in a highly contentious game in which Morgan gave NGU a 13th minute lead. Comeback goals from Ryan Ingrey and Tommy Malins gave Town the vital 3 points.