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Wednesday, June 23
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Crows On The Road

Next Up: The Woods of Northwood FC.

Northwood FC v Crows

Kick Off: 7:45pm Tuesday 6th November 2012

Northwood Park,

Chestnut Avenue,

Northwood,

Middlesex  HA6 1HR

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After Saturday's hammering of Woodford United FC, we come up against another club with “wood” in their name. This time however, will present a much trickier test.

A note on Saturday's game and I am sure all Crows fans feel the same. After talking to their shell shocked manager, I was truly saddened to hear of their plight, a club not supported by the local populace and with things so bad, they had to blood 7 youth teamers including a 15 year old left back. They struggled to put a side together to play us with one of the substitutes turning up at 3.20pm! I’m sure all fellow Crows will wish Woodford United the very very best for the future and hope they can find a solution to their problems.

But onto Tuesday night's opponents, Northwood. I’ve double checked the address with our Chairman, correct post code details have been put into “un-named brand” of Sat Nav, Bing Map Directions printed and I am all ready to go. Plus I have a qualified navigator in Richard Scott sitting next to me, what can possibly go wrong?

Where is Northwood you all ask? Well it is a small suburban area in the borough of Hillingdon. Northwood is also the home of NATO joint strike command, so we are safely protected by those boys in blue. The RAF not the Met Police!

The area is also home to that most gorgeous lady of radio, Fearn Cotton. Yowser Yowser! She is the only reason I continue to listen to Radio 1 now.

HISTORY

Official records state that “The Woods” were formed in 1926 but no-one has any idea what league’s they plied their trade in up until 1931 when they were placed in the Harrow & Wembley league. Champions six years in a row prior to the outbreak of World War II they could not replicate this success after the cessation of hostilities.

The 1950’s and 60’s were spent scrabbling about in local junior leagues until entry into the Middlesex County Senior League in 1969. This they won by a canter in 1978 enabling promotion to the Hellenic League Division One. They won this in their debut season.
In 1984 the club moved across to the London Spartan League, in their eight years they finished no lower than 12th culminating in the Premier Division title in 1993. This allowed promotion to the Isthmian League.

The late 1990’s and early 2000’s were the most successful in the clubs history finishing runners up to Hemel Hempstead Town FC in 1999 and then winning promotion to the Isthmian Premier League courtesy of a last day win against Hornchurch FC in 2003. The Fourth Qualifying round of the FA Cup as reached with wins against RothwellTown, East Thurrock United, Hemel Hempstead Town and Uxbridge before bowing out to then moneybags Grays Athletic after a replay.

Due to League restructuring, the club was switched to the Southern League Premier Division in 2005, they stayed here for two seasons before finishing bottom in 2007. They were then shunted sideways amongst many protestations to the Isthmian League Division One North.

In the last few years there has been a revolving door of managers at Northwood including former AFC Wimbledon manager Dave Anderson who stayed until March 2010 before leaving to go to Harrow Borough.

In 2010 the club was instructed to transfer back to the Southern League Central Division One, where they remain to this day. After Big Dave’s resignation, his assistant Mark Barnham took over, but only lasted until November 2010. He was followed into the managerial hot seat (you are not joking Crows fans, the Chairman seems to be more deadly than Doug Ellis) by Steve Hale and then swiftly afterwards by 27 year old Gary Meakin. Big Gaz has assembled a very strong squad which I will talk about soon, and they have very high hopes for the future.

One point of note, they have a very vocal backing of fans called the Northwood Ultra’s, so an atmosphere of singing there may be, just hope it’s not the similar atmosphere created by the likes of the Roma and Lazio Ultra’s otherwise Jez will have his running shoes on!!!

Their Season So Far.

Played 12 so far with 6 wins, 5 defeats and only won draw, so a definite outcome is on the cards then. 3 wins on the bounce recently including a 2-1 win on Saturday against Fleet Town FC. Sources tell me it could so easily have been 12-1 if the forward line had made the most of their chances, so a busy night is in store for our defence and Will.

Ones to Watch.

Where do I start as this team has goals running through them, a sign of an excellent opposition.

Winger Adamson Ajayi has 6 goals to his name so far this season. Pacey, skilful and a real danger for us. Turned down an opportunity from Cambridge United this year to stay with “The Woods” for another year.

Up front we find Ollie Hawkins and another with 6 goals to his name. Signed from Hillingdon Borough in 2011, 56 appearances so far with “The Woods” and 22 goals, an excellent return me thinks!

Speedy forward Leon Osie has bags of experience with QPR and Stevenage amongst others. Scored the winner on Saturday against Fleet Town.

The Gaffer.

The youngest manager in this league by far, Gary Meakin is only just out of nappies (I am joking, but he is not in his 30’s yet) but he is definitely a man on a mission. Very ambitious, the board at Northwood expect big things of this young lad and fair play to him. Previously of Hillingdon Borough where he held a similar role, this man has an eye for decent players, just look at the goals return so far!

Have We Met Before?

Yep, 4 times in the league. 2 wins for us and 2 wins for them. Last time we met “The Woods” was in an FA Cup Qualifying round in 1993. We lost 3-0 at Northwood.

How To Get There.

I am almost giving up on this section after my Sat Nav experiences…aka Burnham. But the easiest way is to head down the A1(M) until you hit London Follow signs on the London North Circular towards Hillingdon. Or if you don’t trust my directions follow the official club ones below….

From the A40 Western Avenue (Hillingdon Circus junction) head north along Long Lane B466. Stay on this road (this becomes Ickenham Road) past West Ruislip station (on your right at the top of the bridge).

At the next roundabout take the second exit, to stay on the B466. At the end of the road turn left into Ruislip High Street (A4180).

At the end of the High Street, turn right into the B466 Eastcote Road. Stay on this road (keep left) when it forks at the second roundabout. When the road forks again just before Eastcote Village, take the left fork into Joel Street (B472), and had towards Northwood Hills.

At the first roundabout after Northwood Hills station, (on your right), turn left into the A404 Pinner Road towards Rickmansworth. Chestnut Avenue is the fourth on your left, the first left-hand turning before the large grey iron railway bridge.

Match Day Information.

Tickets:

Adults – £8

Conc (OAP, student, unemployed) – £4

U16 – £4

Programme: £1.50


Jez Izod