Thursday, May 16
Royston, Hertfordshire


At Home With The Crows

Next Up: ‘The Valley’ Of Rugby Town FC

Crows v Rugby Town FC
Kick Off: 3pm Saturday 16th February 2013
Evo-Stik League Southern Central Division 1

So after Saturday’s excellent team performance against Uxbridge and Tuesday night’s battle with Blackstones, we are back to league action and a crucial fixture against in-form Rugby Town FC.

Arh Rugby, the town that gave us egg chasing. I can tell you more though! Apart from William Web Ellis’s introduction to that wuss sport, Rugby is famous for being the birth place of the Jet Engine, designed by Frank Whittle. In 1840 the town became an important railway junction for freight and passengers between Birmingham and London.

Famous residents include Arthur Bostrom of ‘allo‘allo fame, you know the guy? Officer Crabtree. His famous catchphrase of “I was just pissing round the corner” lives on to this day, at least it does in my home. I lead a very sad life do I not? Also from these parts are the band “Spaceman 3”…..yep never heard of them either, but they had a massive hit with the EP, Transparent Radiation, what a happy joyous song to pen.

But onto that almost as famous football club……………………..


You would have thought with their sporting heritage that the club would have been around for as long as Bruce Forsyth, about 150 years, but no fellow Crows, you would be wrong to assume that.

They were formed in September 1956 under the name Valley Sports, what a quaint name indeed and what a year too. The British Spies Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean resurfaced in the USSR and US Boxing champion Rocky Marciano retires without ever losing a professional fight. He was infinitely better than Herbie Hyde then!
Their first competitive match was in the Rugby and District league and here they stayed until the club was moved to Coventry, sent to Coventry more like, those naughty little ilk’s!

In 1971, the same year that Rolls Royce went bankrupt, the club changed its name to Valley Sports Rugby. Getting closer Crows, getting closer. They were playing in the United Counties League with mid table finishes throughout apart from a third place finish in 1973. What a special year that was, the moon moved direction, Venus could be seen with the naked eye, statues in Washington DC apparently started moving and Jez was born.

Rugby Town the original team (are you confused yet fellow Crows, because I am positively dizzy with confusion) folded and Valley Sports became the number 1 team in the town. Here they took advantage of the situation and changed their name to VS Rugby and transferred to that mighty league of the time, the West Midland League. This all happened in 1974. Two years later they entered the FA Cup for the very first time. They were not in it for very long as Bilston knocked them out 4-1. Bilston. What a town fellow Crows, your very own Jez was born and brought up here. I can remember being dragged along to the Wolves at a very young age by my Wolves crazy grandmother.“Yow will be a Wunderer lad yow now”. Translated into soft southern speak “You will be a Wanderer lad, you know.”

In 1981, Jimmy Know was appointed manager and after 10 defeats in 11 games his position was looking precarious. However the Board of VS Rugby kept the faith in true Alex Ferguson/Man United stylie and they were rewarded with interest. Sir Jimmy led “The Valley” to FA Vase success beating local rivals Halesowen Town in the final at Wembley. They also gained promotion into the Southern League.

In 1985 they reached the first round proper of the FA Cup, eliminating such greats as Berkampstead, Avlechurch, Wembley and Stourbridge, before bowing out to Northampton Town after a close fought replay.” Cobblers!” their fans must have been thinking.

They reached this round again in 1986 with wins against Stowmarket Town, Hitchin Town, Corby and Stourbridge before Leyton Orient became their nemesis this time.
When Jimmy Knox left in 1992, their fortunes plummeted. VS Rugby were relegated and then eventually forced into Liquidation.

In the year 2000 when Bill Clinton became the first sitting US President to visit Vietnam, bet that was a hot reception, VS Rugby reformed and joined the Midland Combination League Division Two. They finished second in their first season and gained promotion to the first division. The following year they won this very comfortably.
In 2005 they are promoted to the Southern League Premier Division and stayed for 5 years before relegation followed in 2010.

Their Season So Far

They started the season quite slowly, with only 4 points gained from a possible 15, but then hit form, just after our non result late last year. Since the beginning of November last year the Valley have secured 12 victories, 1 Draw and 2 defeats. However these loses did come at the start of this month to Guildford City and Biggleswade Town. Don’t be fooled though fellow Crows, from all accounts they were extremely unfortunate to have dropped points in both of these matches.

Last time out saw Rugby return to winning ways against Chertsey Town with Big Dave Kolondynski getting both goals.

A big ask then on Saturday for our young Crows, but one I know that they will be “up” for.

Ones to Watch

Without question I must start with the danger man “Big” Dave Kolondynski. Dave has 19 league goals so far this season. Previous clubs include Cambridge City, who most Lilywhites fans were gutted to see him leave. He struck up an excellent partnership with our Craig Hammond. He will always be “our Craig” in a non-creepy sense. So Mr Hammond, if you are reading this, you don’t have a stalker. But these two guys found the net 48 times between them. A real danger this lad.

Partnering him up front, we should expect to see the exotically named Seb Laskin-Gaskin. Exotic and not erotic you cheeky Crows. Sebo has 12 league goals this season. Strong and pacey, this lad has a real future in the game. Scouted by the mighty mighty Wolves, he has chosen to stay on and not sample the delights of the Golden Palace………just yet, give it time. Wolverhampton or Rugby? I know who I would choose!

Apart from a poor performance against Godalming Town FC, David Bevan in goal brings a vast amount of experience between the posts. Strong and commanding, this chap is an excellent shot stopper. During his time at Ilkeston Town he became a fans favourite and I can tell you from experience, he mixes a mean cocktail. I know from experience. When I was with the wrong woman a few years back and was going through a horrible horrible break up, a sympathetic Dave and I went through several pitchers of his favourite concoction. I slept for about 48 hours afterwards. No hangover mind you! Former clubs do include that lot in Birmingham decked in claret and blue, Tamworth and Bedworth. [Editor's Note: Dave Bevan is suspended on Saturday after being sent off recently].


The Gaffer

When I saw that Dave Stringer was the manager, I thought….. My god, is he still around, the former Norwich, Coventry and Cambridge United manager? But I was wrong and that does not happen that often….nah nah nah! But this Dave Stinger was appointed manager in May 2011 following Martin Sockett’s sacking.
Dave was previously the manager to Shepshed Dynamo and Coalville Town. Previously a player at “The Valley” he made 38 appearances. Previous clubs as a player include Nuneaton, Atherstone, Bedworth, Bolehill, Barwell and RC Warwick. I’ve only heard of two of those and I’m a geek when it comes to non-league football. I’m obviously destined to be single for the rest of my life!

Have We Met Before?

Twice so far this season, although only one of those results stand. We met The Valley on the 17th November 2012 at Butlin Road. The Crows were leading 1-0 courtesy of a Ryan Lockett poacher's finish. Unfortunately, due to local youths vandalising the local electrical sub station, half a bank of lights went off on 70 minutes. Although both sides wanted to complete the match the referee deemed play to be unsafe. Therefore, Royston had to travel on a cold, foggy night in December. Ryan Lockett opened the scoring on 27 minutes but the Valley responded with goals from Koriya and Kolondynski to secure 3 valuable points.

Jez Izod