Friday, May 17
Royston, Hertfordshire


Crows On The Road: Barton Rovers (15/10/13)

Crows On The Road: Jez’s report
Cup of Cheer for the Crows
Crows at Barton Rovers FC, Red Insure Cup 1st Round
Tuesday 15th October 2013
Result: Barton Rovers 0-1 Royston Town FC (Hammond)
Attendance: 34 (19 Travelling Crows)
The Journey
The T.T team left Royston at 18.30 and had a pretty straight forward journey to the delights of Barton taking in the winding dark roads of Bedfordshire. Really nothing to report about the journey except for the complicated route to park the Crowmobile. After finding the ground and following a dirt track which led to a closed gate, we spent about 15 minutes driving around Barton trying to find the correct entrance to the ground and we were beginning to look a little suspicious. Barton, you need to give better destructions, sorry instructions.
The Ground
One of my most favourite grounds ever, with bags of personality from the old (worn out wooden posts) to the downright ridiculous (mobile phone mast in the corner!).
Not much has changed since our visit last August. You still enter via a quaint turnstile and given a cinema ticket for your troubles.
Once in you are greeted by a largish playing area in first class condition apart from the large clumps of unkept grass on various parts.
Honestly Crows, it looked like a large slug had left its trailing mark all over the place!
The Main stand is a late 70’style structure that is neat and tidy in its appearance. Directly across are 4 separate sections of covered terracing. Surely it would have been easier to have built just the one? Both ends of the ground were left uncovered and the steps to one were a little dodgy or is it just me getting old?
No change from our last visit apart from the wooden posts holding the sides of the ground are beginning to fall apart!
The main club house is detached from the main stand but although slightly dated was warm and welcoming. The TV was all set for little match down the road in London. England v Poland I think? Up the Polska!
Food and Drink
Although I had eaten earlier, I could not resist the smell of chips and indulged in a portion, or I would have if the rest of the Crows support did not stop helping themselves! I’m talking about you Tony Moulding!!
Tea was of good quality and from what the rest of the travelling hordes of black and white, the beer was good too.
And here is where Barton let themselves down. £2.00 for a very expensive read. Not much in it to report either. One of the glaring omissions from this was the usual “Welcome to the away fans” pleasantries from either the club of the manager. I’ll remember that one!
State of Toilets
This could be improved by redesigning how the doors for the gents open. Twice I nearly took out Richard upon entering these facilities. I promise you Crows, I was not following him. Drying resources were a little suspect with an aged Brown towel hanging on the radiator. I took advantage of using my jeans to dry! It was the safest option (please do not tell the future Mrs Jez…..see Uxbridge article for the answer!)
Tannoy System
After our last visit to Sharpenhoe Road the club have invested in an actual album rather than the same song over and over again. A good choice too with tracks from the 70’s including one of my all time favourites “Glad all over!” There was a worrying over playing of Kylie tracks and the team came out to “It’s raining men?”
Home Fans
Home fans, what home fans? You could tell that it was a low key cup match with other television options. This culminated at full time with one of the locals asking the score. I thought he was referring to the England game, but no, he was talking about the action outside!
A reasonable turn out from the White army considering what else was on. Made some noise and a couple of shouts of “Ooh Craig Hammond” could be heard. Did not join in with the words of the teams introductory music.
The Game
I must admit that after viewing the team sheet I was dreading what might have occurred on the pitch. A very evenly contested game and even for what is definitely not a priority, both sides were keen to win this.
First half saw the Crows playing some neat one touch football before descending into the all to familiar hoof and hope football. It does not work!!!!! Luke Robins was lively without having an end product and Conor Kilgallon on his debut snuffed out any threat that Barton were offering on the right wing.
After his little howler against Histon, George Lawton redeemed himself with a fantastic save from one of the Barton attackers and the home stopper produced a similar save in a half that just whistled by.
The second period saw more of the same with both midfields snuffing out any threat and the game looked in need of something special. Step forward Craig Hammond, after a rampaging run from young Kilgallon a cross into the area was latched onto by the Crows number 5 (Yes, Craig was playing centre back) and his shot whistled past the excellent Barton keeper.
Man Of The Match
A battling team performance at Sharpenhoe Road but the player that just edged it for me was Craig Hammond for his wonder goal and excellent performance at the back. Young Conor Kilgallon has a very bright future in the game, he was truly superb against Barton. Honourable mentions to Sam Spencer who did not put a foot wrong in defence and George Lawton for his wonder save.
Mileage for me so far (Round Trips)

Jez Izod (With additional reporting from Ian Collicott with 2 t’s!)