The 2012/2013 Ryman Premier League season is around 12 days old, and during the first 10 of those Concord Rangers had a tough set of 4 games. I was lucky enough to be at 2 of them, but to be honest after a solid pre-season I think as a whole we were expecting a lot more from them.
Opening day saw newly promoted Bognor Regis Town make their way to the Aspect Arena, after coming up through the playoffs in the Ryman South last season. It was a beautiful summers day, the sun was shining and spirits were high as football made its long awaited return! Spirits of us Concord fans were dampened though after 23 minutes when ‘keeper Michael Jordan failed to get hold of the ball and allowed Bognors’ Ashley Robinson to score the games opening goal. After a preseason where 6 clean sheets were kept, it was disappointing to see a goal given away so easily. The scores were level though 2 minutes later after Tony Stokes scored from a free kick (which he had originally won). Concord were playing well and the game looked to be swinging back in their favour, however after Danny Spendlove ended up kicking the air instead of the ball in the Bognor box, Regis broke forward and retook the lead thanks to Mu Maan. The second half and both teams were much better at the back, and although Concord were attacking much more, this left them open on the counter and Bognor took advantage to take a 3-1 lead in the 60th minute. And that’s how the game finished, a disappointing result really to start the season, and things didn’t look too great with an away trip to Lowestoft just 3 days away.
Tuesday came and so did the long journey to Lowestoft. I was lucky enough to be on the team coach heading up for the game, and we left just after 16:00. Even with just 2 pickups for the players, we still arrived at around 18:40, a bloody long journey to be honest! The game got under way as darkness approached, and it was barely into the 7th minute when Lowestoft took the lead after some poor defending by the Beachboys. That set the tone of the game really, as the Trawlerboys scored again from a (questionable) free kick to go in 2-0 up at half time. That free kick was given to Lowestoft, but the incident was (from my perspective) James Elmes getting elbowed in the face, then having the ball kicked at him whilst on the floor, and a Lowestoft player raising his hands to Danny Glozier. How this incident went the way of the Trawlerboys I will never know. The second half saw Lowestoft get a third before Jason Hallett finally got the Beachboys on the mark in the 58th minute. Concord tried to get further back into the game, but again it left them open at the back at Lowestoft won the game with a 4th goal in the 85th minute.
Those were the 2 games I was able to see, but due to work commitments I missed out on the following two, so details are fairly sketchy! This past Saturday Concord were away to Carshalton, who have been in the Ryman Premier for the past 6 years. Now last season Carshalton didn’t put a goal past the Beachboys, but this season they have. It was only one though, as Concord won 2-1 after goals from Jason Hallett and Danny Spendlove. Bank Holiday Monday saw Concord host Kingstonian, a tough team that continue to give Ryman Premiership clubs a test both at home and away. They proved to be a pain in the backside rather than just a test for Concord though, as two goals in quick succession during the first half pretty much killed the game off. It seemed to knock the wind out of the Beachboys sails, and Kingstonian eventually came away with a 3-0 victory.
Now this leaves Concord 18th in the Ryman (Isthmian) Premier League, which I think we all can agree is not the start the club were hoping for. However, there are 38 games left (42 if you’re Steve Tilson) and therefore plenty of football yet to be played. Next up for Concord will be an away trip to Hendon this coming Saturday, a win would be just the tonic to get the team back on track, but once again I’ll be unable to go due to work commitments. Needless to say I will be cheering the Beachboys on from afar, and hoping that we can start getting the right results!
You Are My Concord!