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Northwood F.C.

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Nickname(s)  The Woods
Chairman  Ian Barry
Arena/Stadium  Northwood Park Stadium
Ground Capacity  3,075 (308 seated)
Founded  1926
Manager  Gary Meakin
Northwood F.C. httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaen660Nor
Full name  Northwood Football Club
Ground  Northwood Park, Chestnut Avenue, Northwood
2015–16  Southern League Division One Central, 7th
League  Southern Football League Division One Midlands

Northwood Football Club is an English football club based in Northwood in the London Borough of Hillingdon. The club is affiliated to the Middlesex County Football Association. They play their home games at Northwood Park, also known as Chestnut Avenue – the road on which the ground is located. The club will play in the Southern Football League Division One Central for the 2016–17 season having finished 7th in the previous campaign.

Contents

Their current manager is former Northwood player Mark Burgess, who took the job following the departure of Gary Meakin in November 2012.

Formation in 1926, to 2010

A club in the Northwood area was established in 1899, however Northwood as they are today were not believed to have been formed until 1926. Their early history is largely unknown and it is unclear what leagues they played in until 1931, when they joined the Harrow & Wembley League. They were champions of this league for six years in a row just prior to World War II and three more times after the war. This success did not last, however, and the 1950s and 1960s were mainly spent playing local junior-level football. In 1969 the Woods joined the Middlesex County Senior League. Northwood began life as Northwood Rovers and later United, but after The Second World War they dropped the suffix, to become what they are today – simply Northwood FC.

In 1978, Northwood won the Middlesex League Championship and were able to step up to the Hellenic League Division One, which they won in their debut season. This led to promotion to the Premier Division, where they spent five, mostly mid-table, seasons.

The club moved across the pyramid in 1984 to the London Spartan League, which was renamed back to the Spartan League in 1992. In an eight-season spell, Northwood finished in the top three on four occasions, culminating with the Premier Division title in the 1991–92 season, leading to admission to the Isthmian League in 1992. In 1994, the club progressed to the final of the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup but were beaten by Staines Town.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the club enjoyed their best spell in their history with strikers Lawrence Yaku, Steve Hale and Scott Fitzgerald – who joined Watford in 2003 – regularly scoring in excess of twenty goals, making them a potent strike force. In fact, Yaku's tally of 54 goals in his first season (1999/2000) remains the most by any Woods player in a single season, and he sits second on the list of Northwood's all-time top goalscorers with 137 goals. Club legends Chris Gell – who made a club record 489 appearances for the club, Dave Nolan who made 450 appearances and Dave Sargent who also played more than 400 games for the club, were also mainstays throughout the period and played a key part in the success enjoyed on the field. Northwood gradually climbed through the divisions of the Isthmian League under Tony Choules winning the Isthmian Charity Shield in 2002, and then reaching the Premier Division in 2003 after winning the 2002/03 Isthmian Division One North. The side was then switched to the Southern League in 2005, where they remained until 2007, but after relegation from the Southern League Premier Division, they were moved "sideways" to the Isthmian League Division One North. Despite relegation, Northwood did lift the 2006/07 Middlesex Senior Cup as they beat Conference South outfit Hayes 4–2 on penalties, although it was the only real bright point in a disappointing season. In the past few years Northwood have seen a few managers come and go; Dave Anderson was the most successful in that period as he helped the club finish 6th and 10th, in the 2008–09 and 2009–10 season's respectively, before departing in March 2010.

Recent seasons: 2010–present; Return to the Southern Football League and managerial changes

Northwood were then shuffled across from the Isthmian League Division One North in 2010 to the Southern League Division One Central where they remain now. When Anderson departed in March 2010, his assistant Mark Barnham took the reins at the club, but he resigned in November of the same year due to the poor league position and after a run of eleven games without a win stretching back to September. Then (in November 2010) it was the turn of former Woods favourite Steve Hale to have his crack as manager at Chestnut Avenue, and despite instigating a brief turnaround in fortunes in late 2010 and early 2011, the form faded quickly and after a series of heavy defeats, and a run of just one win in twelve matches, he was dismissed in March 2011 following a 6–2 mauling at the hands of Biggleswade Town. Northwood chairman Ian Barry acted quickly replacing Hale with 27-year-old Gary Meakin who arrived from Hillingdon Borough. Meakin enjoyed three spells as a Northwood player making 47 appearances and helped guide the team to safety with three games remaining. His first Northwood win came on 2 April 2011 – in what was his first home game in charge – as Northwood came from behind to beat Soham Town Rangers 2–1. Following their 1–1 draw with Aylesbury at Chestnut Avenue a fortnight later, the club's safety was confirmed, as results elsewhere went their way. Northwood competed in the same division in the 2011–12 campaign having just avoided relegation in 2010–11, finishing 20th – just one spot above the drop zone with 39 points from 42 games.

After Northwood managed to survive the drop the previous season, manager Gary Meakin assembled a strong squad, as he set about trying to improve the side's fortunes in the 2011/12 season. In the early part of the campaign, consistency was a problem as they slipped into mid-table in the league and crashed out of the FA Cup, FA Trophy and Middlesex Senior Cup at the first hurdle. However success was to follow in both the Southern League Cup and Middlesex Charity Cup's as the Woods made decent progress. The arrivals of Cockfosters duo Mitch Swain and John Christian – who both made over 100 appearances in previous spells with the side – and St Albans defender Reece Yorke added much needed depth to the squad and all three would play massive roles later on in the season. Top scorer and eventual Supporters Player of the Year Oliver Hawkins would prove the major catalyst in their assault up the table scoring several goals in a ten-game period.

Victory over Bedworth United on New Year's Eve saw Northwood move into the play-off places for the first and only time in the season. The club were then knocked out of the League Cup by Chesham United but did progress to the semi-finals of the Middlesex Charity Cup setting up a meeting with near neighbours Uxbridge. A dip in form around the February/March time saw Northwood seemingly slip out of play-off contention, yet hard fought wins over several top half teams saw the side close the gap. Spencer Bellotti who had joined the Woods' in February from Oxhey Jets scored a brace to send Gary Meakin's side into their fourth Middlesex Charity Cup final appearance, this time against Ashford Town (Middlesex), aiming to lift the trophy for the first time following defeats in the 1994, 2003 and 2005 finals. He followed up that superb showing to net a last gasp winner at home to Burnham in the penultimate game of the league season to take the race for the last play-off position down to the final game, although the Woods would let that slip away against Leighton Town as they conceded four times in the opening half-hour to narrowly fall short of a top five finish, ending up in a respectable 7th position. Undeterred by their heavy final day defeat, Northwood raced into a 2–0 half time lead in the Middlesex Charity Cup final thanks to goals from Lee Grant and Oliver Hawkins. And when – two minutes after the interval – Hawkins scored his second it appeared the trophy was heading to Chestnut Avenue for the very first time. Yet, young Ashford striker Kofi Lockhart-Adams scored four times in twenty minutes to give his side an unlikely 4–3 lead with minutes to go. However, Romaine Walker scored a late leveller to take the game to penalties, but Jack Hutchinson and Walker saw their spot kicks saved, and Ashford subsequently claimed the trophy.

Gary Meakin kept much of his squad intact from the previous season which saw a dramatic turnaround in fortunes for the club, and even signed two players to contracts. In November 2012, after a solid start to the season, manager Gary Meakin left to step up and take the reins at Isthmian League Premier Division side Wingate & Finchley. Former Northwood player Mark Burgess, who had a spell as player-caretaker manager after Mark Barnham's departure in 2010, was appointed as Meakin's successor on 14 November 2012. After several players joined Meakin at Wingate & Finchley, Burgess strengthened his own squad with the short term loan signings of Brentford duo Terrell Miller and Sam Beale. Burgess then signed both Jerome Federico and George Nicholas on dual registration in early 2013, but was dealt a sizeable blow as Northwood lost top scorer Spencer Bellotti to Wingate & Finchley in February 2013, teaming up with former manager Meakin in the process. Northwood finished the 2012/13 campaign in a solid position of 13th, six places and nine points worse than their finish in 2012.

Prior to the 2013/14 season, player-manager Mark Burgess brought in a host of new faces including former Norwich City youngster Ramil Sheriff. In his first full season in charge, Northwood were looking to build on last season's 13th-placed finish and found themselves in 7th place around the Christmas period. Having been in contention for the play-offs for most of 2014, Northwood's form took a turn for the worse, ending their hopes of finishing in the top five as they finished the 2013/14 season in 9th. In the 2014/15 season, Northwood recovered from an inconsistent first half of the season, to once again finish in the top half of the table, finishing in 10th place. At the beginning of the 2015–16 season, Northwood made their best start to a league season since 1991–92 after winning their opening four league matches before that run was ended by Aylesbury United. They responded, however, by beating the same opponents 2–1 in the FA Cup Preliminary Round in August 2015, overseen by former Watford midfielder Jamie Hand due to the absence of manager Mark Burgess and assistant Simon Huggett.

Northwood would later progress to the final of the Middlesex Senior Cup in 2016 for the first time since 2007, when the club won the competition, knocking out Hendon, Spelthorne Sports and Staines Town en route to the final where they faced Enfield Town. Northwood secured their second ever Middlesex Senior Cup title with a 2-0 win in the final against Enfield Town on 7 May 2016, handing them their first silverware since they last lifted the competition in 2007. The cup success was therefore both player/manager Mark Burgess' first as a manager and first in charge of Northwood. Having flirted with the play-off positions, Northwood finished eight points adrift in 7th place in the league, during a successful 2015-16 season.

In June 2016, the club appointed former Watford and Stoke City striker Gifton Noel-Williams as Northwood's Reserves and Under-18's manager. It was expected that there would be closer ties between the first team and the other age groups at the club, a vision spearheaded by chairman Ian Barry however in early October Noel-Williams left his role and Dave Fox was re-appointed shortly after. Manager Mark Burgess suffered the blow of losing eight of the 2015-16 squad, including George Nicholas, Max Holland, player of the year Andy Lomas and captain Steve Brown to Harrow Borough in the summer of 2016.

Stadium

The club plays their home games at Northwood Park, Chestnut Avenue, Northwood, Middlesex, HA6 1HR.

Northwood Park (also known as Chestnut Avenue) is also home to the Northwood reserve and Under-18 sides and was (up until the end of the 2011–12 season) home of Watford Ladies. The stadium has a capacity of 3,075, of which there are around 900 terraced places and approximately 300 seats. The stadium was officially opened in 1978, as prior to this Northwood had played on local playing fields in the surrounding area.

The highest attendance at the ground is recorded as 1,642 for a friendly match versus a Chelsea XI in 1997.

Club records

  • Best league performance: 17th in Isthmian League Premier Division, 2004–05
  • Best FA Cup performance: 4th qualifying round, 2000–01
  • Best FA Trophy performance: 3rd qualifying round, 2000–01
  • Best FA Vase performance: Quarter-finals, 1996–97
  • Biggest attendance: 1,642 versus a Chelsea XI in 1997
  • All-time top goalscorer: Martin Ellis – 156 goals, 1976–85
  • Club record appearance holder: Chris Gell – 489 appearances, 1994–04, 2005–06
  • Most goals in a single season: Lawrence Yaku – 54, 1999–00
  • Honours

  • Harrow, Wembley & District League
  • Premier Division Champions (7): 1932–33, 1933–34, 1934–35, 1935–36, 1936–37, 1947–48, 1948–49
  • Senior Challenge Cup winners (6): 1932–33, 1935–36, 1936–37, 1947–48, 1948–49, 1969–70
  • Senior Charity Cup winners (2): 1947–48, 1953–54
  • Hellenic League
  • Division One Champions (1): 1978–79
  • Hellenic League Cup winners (1): 1978–79
  • Spartan League
  • Premier Division Champions (1): 1991–92
  • London Spartan League Cup winners (1): 1991–92
  • Vandanel Associate Members Trophy
  • Winners (1): 1999–00
  • Isthmian League
  • League Cup winners (1): 2001–02
  • Charity Shield winners (1): 2001–02
  • Division One North Champions (1): 2002–03
  • Middlesex League
  • Premier Division Champions (1): 1977–78
  • League Cup Winners (3): 1974–75, 1976–77, 1977–78
  • Middlesex Intermediate Cup
  • Winners (1): 1978–79
  • Middlesex Senior Cup
  • Winners (2): 2006–07, 2015–16
  • Runners Up (2): 1999–00, 2001–02
  • Middlesex Charity Cup
  • Runners Up (4): 1993–94, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2011–12
  • Selected managers

  • Pat Coburn 1976–86 (Northwood's longest serving manager)
  • Alan Merison 1988–94, 1995–1996 and 1997 (Caretaker)
  • Tony Choules 1997–04 (Arguably Northwood's most successful manager, now at Uxbridge)
  • Colin Payne 2005–08
  • Dave Anderson 2008–10
  • Gary Meakin 2011–12
  • Mark Burgess 2012–
  • Management team

    As of January 2017

    FIRST TEAM -

  • Mark Burgess (Player/Manager)
  • Dave Fox (Assistant coach)
  • RESERVE TEAM

  • Dave Fox (Manager)
  • Richard Elderfield (Assistant)
  • U18

  • Mark Fox (Manager)
  • Richard Elderfield (Assistant)
  • Current squad

    As of February 2017

    Goalkeepers
  • Thomas Spenser
  • Montel Joseph
  • Borja Loeches-Teixeira
  • Defenders
  • Conor Clarke
  • James Budden
  • Felipe Anjos
  • Mark Burgess (Player/Manager)
  • Andrew White
  • Gradi Milenge (dual-registered with Hendon)
  • Midfielders
  • James Burgess
  • Alex De La Salle
  • Jamie Doolan
  • Joakim Ehui
  • Malachy McGovern
  • Channing Campbell-Young (dual-registered with Hendon)
  • Forwards
  • Myles Stephenson
  • Louis Bircham
  • Kieran Barnes
  • Fabian Brown
  • References

    Northwood F.C. Wikipedia


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