At Home With The Crows
Next Up: 'The Woods' Of Northwood FC
Crows v Northwood FC
Kick Off: 7:45pm Tuesday 23rd April 2013
After the barmy summer weather of the last few days, we are back in league action with the fixture that was postponed in late March due to snow! Snow in March, next we will be having tropical storms and 40c heat in December.
This is our last home league fixture of the season and a massive one at that against one of the toughest teams in the league.
But 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.
The actor David Quilter is also from these parts. He played roles in the masterpiece that was “The Battle Of Britain”. So definitely a military feel about the place.
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 Rothwell Town, 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, which 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 then assembled a very strong squad which I will talk about soon, but they have very high hopes for the future.
One thing 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
A little inconsistent of late after beating Slough Town at the start of April they were surprisingly beaten at home by Chertsey Town and were dispatched by both Burnham and Biggleswade Town. However they did hold Godalming to a draw last Saturday at the Wet Court which in effect ended the “G’s” Championship hopes.
Their statistics for the season read, played 40, won 16, drawn 5 and lost 19. They have scored 75 times but have conceded 71 goals so a possible weakness in the rear?
Ones to Watch
Where do I start as this team has goals running through them, a sign of an excellent opposition.
Up front we find Ollie Hawkins and another with 16 goals to his name. Signed from Hillingdon Borough in 2011, 98 appearances so far with “The Woods” and 36 goals, an excellent return me thinks!
Defender Brad Hewitt is a tough tackling defender. Excellent in the air, young Brad is a legend at Northwood after joining them from Borehamwood in 2006. Previous clubs include Arsenal, Watford, Borehamwood and Biggleswade
Manager Mark Burgess took up the Northwood reigns in November 2012 after previous incumbent Gary Meakin left to take up the challenge of managing Wingate & Finchley. Highly respected within the local area, Mark had previous spells at Northwood as a player.
Have We Met Before?
Yep, 5 times in the league. 3 wins for us and 2 wins for them. Our recent visit to Northwood in November 2012 saw the Crows come from behind to secure a 3-2 win with goals from Taylor Parr, Kaan Fehmi and Luke Robins.