At Home With The Crows
Next Up: 'The Rovers' Of Barton Rovers FC
Crows v Barton Rovers FC
Kick Off: 3pm 1st January 2013….A New Year, yay!
Evo-Stik League Southern Central Division 1
So after a mixed couple of results away from Garden Walk, we return to familiar pastures and welcome 'The Rovers' of Barton. Every time I think of this side, I half expect Roy to run out! Younger Crows probably have no idea who I am talking about.
From the little incy village of Barton Le Clay in Central Bedfordshire, home of the enfant terrible Nadine Dorries (who I bet has never seen a Rovers game in her whole life), you know of 'I'm a Celeb fame' and more recently of 'Houses of Parliament fame'.
Until recently the village was actually known as Barton IN THE CLAY, but that was getting a little sticky and so changed their name to this current guise. Maybe in a few years they will be know as Barton near the clay or Barton on the clay?
Famous for it's Iron age fort and that's about it.
Although on the famous person front, Jenna Jameson the famous *cough cough actress used to own a house in the village after falling in love with the area whilst on a photo shoot. Male Crows will know exactly who I am talking about!!! In regards to the photo shoot, the mind boggles!
Formed in the year 1898, the club played the first 50 years in village football, just like Barkway, Barley and Histon. They decided to join the Luton & District league just after the war. In 1954 they then joined the South Midlands League and gained promotion to the Premier Division in 1964. Top 3 finishes throughout until departing in 1979.
On the cup front, they reached the FA Vase final in 1978, losing to Newcastle Blue Star 2-1 in front of 16,391 fans
In 1979 the club gained promotion to the Isthmian league. They never finished outside the top 8 in their first 9 years in this division. The First round of the FA Cup was reached in 1980, they were extremely unlucky to be defeated by Torquay 2-0 at Plainmoor.
Throughout the 90's the club were placed in the Isthmian Division Two, where our paths crossed several times, but I will come onto that later.
1993 saw their best finish in the league with a fourth place secured behind big spenders Aldershot Town, Chertsey Town and Newbury Town, so definitely a 'Towns' year!
The following year saw the clubs financial position in a well, untenable state. Their playing budget was slashed to zero, but through manager and player loyalty the bulk of the squad remained. Are you reading former Portsmouth players? A fantastic run of form saw the club finish top against all odds and promotion to the First Division. I am doffing my hat to them now!
Several years of struggle followed in this higher Division, but Rovers punched high above their Weight and several big name scalps fell to the mighty Barton, including massive spending Canvey Island and Tooting & Mitcham United.
In 1998 former Arsenal 'Ledg' Ian Allinson took over and he took the side to 3 Cup finals including the capture of the Beds Senior Cup and one that is so well known and loved by us, the South Midlands Floodlight Cup which we have won more times than them, nah nah nah!
A fantastic start on in 2000 saw the Rovers third in the league at Christmas but after two defeats, Ian handed in a shock resignation and left for 'Arlow Tarwn. Yep Crows, that’s what the locals call it. Have you ever been there? Don’t bother is my advice.
He did not stay very long at 'Arlow and who to blame him, before returning to the mighty Rovers in 2001, but after just 18 months he left again, this time for Borehamwood.
2011 saw Barton Rovers join the Southern Football League and the Central Division. 13th place was achieved but with notable wins against local rivals Hitchin along the way. That season saw our Sam Spencer win their player of the year award. Good 'ol' Sam, better repeat it mate now your secret is out there!
An 11th place finish followed last year with a poor defeat against Hatfield Town in the FA Cup, young manager Dan Kennoy started to feel the pressure, but a rally against Chertsey Town and Chalfont St Peter saw 'The Rovers' safely home .
Their Season So Far
A little spooky the table reads…. played 20, won 10, drawn 0 and lost 10 and when I say spooky, home and away it looks like this 7-0-3:3-0-7! Spookidily dookely as Ned would say!
Last time out saw an emphatic 3-0 win against Leighton Town, former Crow Rhys Hoenes opened the scoring. Their last away trip saw Barton dismantle our previous opponents Chalfont St Peter 3-2, courtesy of a Jermaine Hall hatrick.
Ones to Watch
Hot shot Jermaine Hall will give our young defence something to think about. 7 league goals to his name. Dangerous in front of goal and extremely skilful, this former Bedford Town player is an excellent addition to the Rovers.
Lightning winger Rhys Hoenes will be familiar to the Crows. Signed at the start of the year, Rhys has fantastic pace and a good eye for goal. The bonus is that we know all about him!
Between the sticks is a bit of a legend for me. I've known Richard Wilmot for several years from his Sudbury days. A really nice guy with bags of experience on the non-league scene. Richard, if you are reading this……I want your shirt at the end of the match!
Former player Dave Kennoy took the reigns in September 2012 and guided the club to a 12th place finish. A former player with Edgware, Potters Bar, Enfield and Stotfold, the lure of returning to his former club was too much. Much loved at Sharpenhoe Road, Dave lives for Barton Rovers. Sounds just like our Paul!
Have We Met Before?
Several times in the early 90's during our Isthmian days. On the 30th September 1991 we returned victorious from Sharpenhoe Road after a massive 2-0 win, courtesy of two Scott Goodwin goals. That is about as good as it got until bank holiday monday 27th August 2012. The mighty Crows played out of their skins to win 3-1 at SR, care of a wonder goal from Luke Robins, an own goal and a tap in from Matt Standen. Nat Peacock was on the scoresheet for Rovers. He is now at Bedford Town just for the record. 159 people were at the match including over 60 from Royston.