Thursday, May 16
Royston, Hertfordshire


At Home With The Crows

Next Up: The Millers Of Aveley FC.

Crows v Aveley FC

Kick Off: 3pm, Saturday 15th September 2012



Our first opportunity for a Wembley final was ended on Tuesday night by Ryman League Wingate & Finchley FC, however this Saturday presents our first ever sojourn into the FA Trophy against another RL side, this time in the guise of Aveley FC. Where is Aveley I hear you all say…Well, Aveley is an incy, bincy, teeny, weeny, yellow, polka. Hang on, I’m digressing, too busy listening to Hits 90! Anyhow, Aveley is a small village near Thurrock and if you really know your history Crow’s fans, the village appeared in the Domesday book as Alvithelea. I think Aveley is easier to say, more so after a couple of pints.


Formed in those crazy days of 1927, when shorts were long pants and shirts were, well shirts. Aveley played in local leagues up to 1939, then war broke out. No not between Aveley and Thurruck, but World War 2. After the War, the club reformed and played in the Thurrock and District Combination League, yep never heard of it either. The new Aveley won the Essex Junior Cup in both 1948 and 1949, so they do have cup pedigree!

In 1949-50, Aveley gained senior status and were elected into Division One of the London League, Ahh, the London League, won by several top London Clubs, like Crystal Palace, Barnet, Hendon and Leyton Orient, but interesting, never Spurs! They won that Division in 1952 and moved into their present home of Mill Field. This is how they got their nickname of the Millers. Does sound better than the Fielders or the Avers.

In 1956, after winning that famous league yet again, they were elected into the Delphian league, but to be quite honest, they were rubbish and left in 1963. They then joined the Athenian league with full membership of the Football Association. 1970-71 was probably the clubs most successful. The first round proper of the FA Cup was reached with victories over Braintree, Borehamwood, Hayes and Leytonstone before succumbing to Yeovil. They also reached the quarter final of the FA Amateur cup as well as winning the Athenian league.

In 1973-74, Aveley were elected to Division One of the Isthmain league were they remained until relegation to Division Two North in 1986.

The Club recorded a second place finish in 1990 and were promoted back to Division One. They also won that other most famous Cup competition, the AC Delco Cup, beating St Albans City in the final, watched by 189,007. Nope this is a typo, it was watched by 189.

In 2002 the club finished in bronze medal position and were Promoted to Division One North, they also reached the Essex Senior cup two years on the bounce, but alas, lost both. In 2009 another promotion followed and Aveley reached their highest ever league level with promotion to the Ryman League Premier Division, Yay. Unfortunately their stay was short lived and relegation followed last season with the club finishing in 20th place.

Here endith the history lesson.

Their Season So Far

Played four league games with 7 points on the board, Aveley find themselves in 6th place behind Chatham and local rivals Grays Athletic. They have won their last two out by considerable margins, firstly Redbridge were dispatched 4-1 away from home and last Saturday Hadleigh United of the Thurlow Nunn (Eastern Counties to you and me Crows fans) were beaten 6-0 at Mill Field.

Ones to Watch

With a hat trick to his name on his last time out, striker Billy Holland is one to watch. Billy has recently re-joined the club from Bethnal Green United. A goal scorer with some pedigree, he found the onion bag 26 times in 2005-06 with AFC Hornchurch, helping them to win the Essex Senior League. Another player drafted in from BG United is Junior Appiah, he has also played for Ilford. Junior is a winger with frightening pace that only a couple of years ago was courted by several league clubs including that lot up the A1 (Posh, yuk!). The midfield General for the Millers is Jack Stevenson, again a scorer with pedigree, he was also on the sheet last time out in the FA Cup. Jack joined the club from Maldon & Tiptree during the summer and has hit the net 3 times this season so far. Yet another to join the club from BG United (There is a theme here that I’ll come onto in a second) Carl Patten is a strong and skilful defender. A chap that’s not afraid of challenges he is another that league clubs were sniffing around a couple of years ago.

The Gaffer

The Bethnal Green United Link is now explained. Joining the club in February of this year, Jason Gardner (not the sprinter) took over from former boss Lee Hodges. JG as he known by almost no-one except me was hugely successful at the Mile End stadium. He took the club to the fifth round of the FA Vase in 2012, also winning the Gordon Brastad Memorial Cup in 2010 before the lure of village life brought him to Aveley. Jason is also a massive Spurs fan, which seems to be another theme at that football club, so him and Paul will get on well!!!

Have We Met Before?

You would have thought that over the years, we must have done, but so far my research has shown zilch. I am known within the club as abit of a football geek, just ask Paul, but this one has really stumped me. So a pint on Saturday to the first Crows fan that can prove to me that we have met before, you must furnish me with the score, scorers and full result too. It may also be a pint of water too. I decide what type of pint!

Jez Izod