Sunday, April 14
Royston, Hertfordshire


At Home With The Crows

Next Up: “The Stones” of Blackstones FC
Crows v Blackstones FC
Kick Off: 7:45pm Tuesday 27th November 2012
Hinchingbrooke Cup Round 1
We are top of the league, say we are top of the league…. I have been dying to shout that out loud since Saturday’s resilient display against former leaders Guildford City FC. After talking to several of their fans on line, I can explain the reason for the Leopard and inflatable whale! Good luck charms apparently, they have asked for the return of the Whale when we visit the Sweeney in March! I’ve not got it… I promise….hehehehe!
Anyhow we return to midweek cup action and the first round of the Hinchingbrooke Cup, sounds like a quaint little village in deepest darkest Mid Sommer. You know the program, the murder mystery thingy, where about 12 people get butchered each episode. Thank God I don’t live there!.
Well we welcome Blackstones to Garden Walk. Another quaint sounding village, but you would be wrong. They are from the beautiful town of Stamford. Used to have a girlfriend there many years ago. Perhaps she will be coming along to the game? I wait with baited breathe. Let’s talk about Stamford though. The town is on the River Wellend in Lincolnshire and is best known for its fantastic stone built houses and bridges that adorn the town. Really Crows, it is a lovely part of the world.
The town is regularly used for filming and has appeared in the Da Vinci Code and Pride and Prejudice. Unfortunately it is also a regular destination for Bargain Hunt!!!
Bull running is most famous in these parts….cue the tumbleweed rolling past. Actually this is a festival that occurred every 13th November. The locals would chase a poor harmless bull through the town until it reached the Meadow. Here they would slaughter it and the meat was provided to the locals. Enough to turn me veggie! Anyhow, this practice stopped in 1839. I wonder if Stamford gave birth to the phrase “Bull in a China Shop?” I will have to investigate!
Famous people from the town include Sarah Cawood of “the girlie show” fame. Yep, I’ve never seen it either, perhaps the clue is in the title for its main audience. Something for the lads now, Tom Ford from “5th Gear” fame is from these parts.
On the music front, the town gave us Nigel Sixsmith of “The Art of Noise”. I still have three of their albums on tape. I shall convert them to CD and play it over the tannoy on Tuesday night.
Originally named as the Rutland Ironworks, they played their matches on Ryhall road and their main base was “The Half Moon Inn”. Like a lot of pubs, it is now an Indian Restaurant. I’ve eaten there, excellent cuisine. Shame about the beer though.
Their first recorded match was a defeat against Stamford Town reserves in 1891. Ah 1891, the year the Penalty Kick was suggested to the FA. Just like goal line technology, it was turned down due to “keeping the flow of the game natural”. So in 120 odd years we will be treating GLT as a normal thing. If by then the FA have allowed full implementation.
Blackstones as a name was founded in 1920 and named after the local engineering manufacturer, Mirrlees Blackstone. They played local junior football until entering the United Counties League Division 1 in 1984.
In 1988 they finished second in UCL1 and were promoted to the Premier Division, where they have remained ever since.
In 1998 they dropped the word Mirrlees from their title. The club enjoyed several mid table finishes, but were quite successful in local cup competitions. This proved so in 2004 when the club reached four cup finals. However the only one they achieved success in was the Lincolnshire Senior “A” Cup. I wonder if there is a “C” or “D” cups as they are my favourite…hehehe.
They finished in a safe but unspectacular 12th place last season.
Their Season So Far
Currently lying in 16th place in the UCL with 5 wins, four draws and 11 defeats so far this season. This is a David v Goliath type of game and these boys will be up for it.
Last time out they shared the points in a six game thriller against Wellingborough Town FC. They were saved from defeat by a Danny Barker off the post winner, 3 minutes into injury time! So lucky, lucky “Stones”.
Last visit on the road resulted in a close fought 1-0 defeat against AFC Kempston Rovers.
Ones to Watch
The exotically named and perhaps an Italian Stallion (cue floods of girls at Garden Walk on Tuesday) is Adriano Staffieri. Striker Adriano has started 15 times this season and has found the back of the net 5 times. Previous clubs include “That lot up the A1 Northern Star”, Bourne Town, Raunds and Holbeach.
Partnering Adriano up front is young Michael Nelson with 4 goals in 7 appearances. A signing from Rutland Rangers in 2010, “The Stones” have fended off interest from local rivals Stamford to keep him. Lively up front, he is not afraid to shoot from distance.
Another signing from Rutland Rangers is Robbie Pierce, formally a goal keeper! Robbie is a pacy winger, who allegedly has a great singing voice. We will find out on Tuesday if anyone has a recording device for the showers!
The Gaffer(s)
Blackstones are another club following the Pardew/Curbishly pattern so we welcome Darren Jarvis and Michael Goode.
Darren was previously manager of the reserves before stepping up to first team duties with Michael. Daz previously played for “That lot up the A1 who cannot be ever named!”
Michael played over 400 games for Deeping Rangers. This lad actually turned down Sheffield United when he was 18.Mind you, I’d turn them down whatever age I was. Now the mighty Wolves would be a different answer! He is actually a PE teacher by trade, in fact a head of department, so him and Tommy will have a lot to talk about.
Have We Met Before?
Usual checks, etc have drawn a blank. So again the challenge is on to prove me wrong. That pint of water still sits at the end of the bar. Might taste a little stale now, so just put some lemon in it!
Jez Izod