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At home with the Crows: North Greenford United FC

October 22nd, 2012

Next Up: “The Blues” of North Greenford United FC

 Crows v North Greenford United FC

Kick Off: 7.45pm, Tuesday 23rd October 2012

Evo-Stick Southern League Central Division ______________________________________________________________

After Saturdays’ morale boosting victory against Uxbridge FC, we welcome North Greenford United FC to Garden Walk and the opportunity to jump into the playoff places.

What can I tell you about North Greenford? Well, there’s not a North Greenford town persay, 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 Saturday, please, please, please! (For those that did not attend on Saturday, it was very poor!)

HISTORY

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 an 18th place safety finish. In the FA cup, NGUFC emulated the previous years run by reaching the 3rd Qualifying round before bowing out to East Thurrock United FC. 

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.

Their Season So Far

Played 10 games in the league so far, with one win and a draw to their name. In fact “The Blues” have not won in the league since the opening day, with a 1-0 win against bottom and pointless Woodford United. They were beaten last time out by a solitary goal against in form Aylesbury. Previously they secured an impressive 1-1 draw at previous leaders Godalming Town FC.  The Crows had better be on their guard as they must be due a win soon.

Ones to Watch

With the second worst defensive record in the league and meagre goals scored column, this does belie “The Blues” problems.

Previously with Wealdstone FC, John Sonuga is a quality, tough tackling, old fashioned Centre back. My sources tell me he is a tough but fair competitor and will give our forwards something to think about.

In Midfield we find ex Chelsea player Mark Nicholls, after 36 appearances with Chelski, Mark found himself well down the pecking order. Sojourns at Reading, Aldershot, Partick Thistle, Clydebank and Hamilton Accies Followed (amongst several others). Mark will bring quality and experience to the fold.

Up front we have Kofi Appiah, although not finding the onion bag so far this season, Ghanian Kofi is a tricky little striker with bags of talent on show. Lightening pace and excellent at set-pieces, Kofi is due a goal very very soon. Hope its not against us.

The Gaffer

Taking the helm from the ambitious Neil Shipperley in June of this year. Former Bedfont Town fans favourite Jon Barrie-Bates has a big job on his hands. A Midfielder of some repute, this is “Jonno’s” first foray into Management.

Have We Met Before?

I pride myself on furnishing you Crow’s fans with accurate information and I can safely say (and I’ll shave my head if proved wrong) that we have only met once, in the 2008 FA Cup. “The Blues” recorded an easy 5-0 win to dump us out of the cup.

Shavers at the ready lads????? (maybe)

JEZ IZOD

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