Wednesday, May 15
Royston, Hertfordshire


At Home With The Crows

Next Up: 'The Blues' of Burnham FC
Crows v Burnham FC
Kick Off: 3pm Saturday 2nd February 2013
Evo Stik League Southern Central Division 1
After Tuesday night's professional team performance against Colney Heath, we return to league action with a mouth watering match between 4th Place, the mighty mighty Crows and 3rd place, Burnham.
The town of Burnham is situated in Buckinghamshire and not Essex as I found out to my time and cost earlier in the season. Stupid, Stupid Sat Nav system!
In old English it was recorded as “Homestead on a stream” and first appeared in the Doomsday book in 1086 as Burneham. 1086, that’s when the Rolling Stones formed wasn’t it?
The town is home to a former Benedictine Abbey, but now has Augustinian Nuns living in the ruins. Surely they must now have a roof over their heads?
Famous people from Burnham include Mike Ashley of Newcastle United and Sports Direct fame and comedians Jimmy Carr and Tracey Ullman. So they do like their laughs in Burnham then? On a comical note, many scenes from the slap stick Carry On series were filmed here.
On a musical front, Chris Lowe from the Pet Shop Boys used to live here and penned some fantastic never to be heard singles. Such a waste, we could have had them playing over our speakers this Saturday.
The club was founded in the year 1878 and what a year! Thomas Edison patented the phonograph or record player to you and me! So you can blame this man for having our ears and hopes destroyed by the likes of One Direction, Five Star and others. Yes Crows, I do have their albums too! This year does make the club the second oldest in Buckinghamshire.
The club spent its early years knocking around the various local leagues before joining the Great Western Combination League in 1948. In 1964 they moved to the Wycombe Combination and then the Reading Combination in 1970. Talk about league hoppers!
In 1971 saw the club enter the Hellenic Football League Division One “A” and they were runners up in their first season. They were runners up in the proper Division One the following season and promoted to the Premier Division. In 1976 they were champions and the following year, yep you guessed it, they swapped into another league. This time it was the Athenian League. They have yet to try the SSML, Essex League or the Northern League, but there is still time.
1978 saw the club finish fourth in the league but the Quarter finals of the FA Vase were reached with victories over Fleet Town, Ruislip Manor, Newbury Town and Eastbourne United. They eventually lost in a replay to the rather exotically named Almondsbury Greenway.
The FA Vase Semi Final was reached in 1983 with wins over Beckenham, Maldon Town, Cray, Eastleigh, Wivenhoe and Forest Green Rovers. Their run was ended by Halesowen Town but only after penalties. They also finished in 6th spot in the league.
In 1984, guess what Crows? They swapped leagues again and joined the London Spartan League and won it at the first attempt. They then had an identity crisis and merged with Hillingdon Borough to form Burnham & Hillingdon FC. With this merging came a place in the Southern League. They dropped the Hillingdon bit in 1987.
The merge did not help matters on the pitch and the club were relegated back to the Hellenic League in 1995. Their stay here was fairly short with promotion achieved in 1999, winning the league on the final weekend by 3 points from Carterton Town FC. Yep I have never heard of them either!
The following year saw Les Blues reach the 4th Round of the FA Trophy. That was when the so-called ex league clubs took it seriously and did not refer to it as the “Tin Pot” Trophy. They dispatched Fisher Athletic, Dulwich Hamlet (why do they call it a Hamlet when it is a huge place), Oxford City and that Chip Waving team from Scarborough. They lost out to the men from the McCain Stadium 6-0 after a replay.
Mid table finishes have been the norm for Burnham, except in 2007 and 2010 when 3rd place was secured.
This season they are seen as one of the challengers for promotion and Saturdays match should provide excellent entertainment. Hopefully a Royston win too! I’ll be wearing my lucky pants and the same socks from the Aylesbury game. Don’t worry, they have been washed since then! Our other lucky omen has been instructed to drink several pints of water before the game. You know who I am talking about?
Their Season So Far
A strong season so far for the Blues. Currently sitting in 3rd place with 16 wins, 3 draws and 4 defeats so far. They are prolific in front of goal finding the net 54 times.
Their defence is pretty mean with just 25 goals conceded so far. Their last outing was on the 12th January 2013 when a last minute goal gave them victory over Chalfont St Peter. Last time on the road saw Burnham thrash Barton Rovers 6-1 with goals from Dobson, Palmer, Wilmot, Couch and a brace of Birds.
Ones to Watch
I have to start with the Division’s top scorer Ryan Bird. Hence the brace of Birds gag earlier, scored twice, a brace, get it? I am watching the tumbleweed fly past. Anyhow young Ryan has 25 league goals to his name. Definitely one to watch, Jack and Joe will be up against it on Saturday and will need to be at the top of their game to snuff this lad out! Ryan came through their youth ranks and has been watched extensively by several league clubs including Wycombe and Leyton Orient.
Partnering Ryan up front, we should find Staforde Palmer. The Staf is a recent acquisition from Met Police. Only signed in December last year, he has found the net 8 times so far including 4 goals against Woodford United. Former clubs include Hayes, Farnborough, Eastleigh and of course the boys in blue.
Experienced midfielder Dwane Lee has started mainly from the bench recently, but this lad is still a threat. Dwane has bags of talent and has played for many a league club. These include Aldershot, Exeter City and Barnet.
The Gaffer
Long serving manager Martin Stone nearly left the club in July last year over budget issues. However after ironing out their issues, the Blues must be relieved that he stayed in the hot seat with their excellent season so far.
Have We Met Before?
Just the once and it was this season. The Crows secured a creditable draw at the Gore in October last year. Kaan Fehmi was the Royston scorer. It could have and possibly should have been a better result as Burnham were reduced to 9 men! I cannot comment on the quality of the match as unfortunately my Sat Nav had taken me to the delightful Burnham Ramblers in Essex!

Jez Izod