Friday, 26 December 2014

Bromley, Vanarama South, 261214

This club just has a knack of making history eh? We all know about the FA Cup, that’s now consigned to the annuls of time. The big story at the moment is the FA Trophy, and our recent 6-2 victory over Conference table-toppers Barnet.

Last season we reached the First round of the competition but were knocked out after a 1-0 loss to Gosport Borough, who eventually went on to make the final, so this season we were intent on going one better (as seems to be a club trend under Danny Cowley).

There’s been no easy games though in this competition, with Conference South leaders Boreham Wood coming to Thames Road in the 3rd Qualifying Round, followed by Barnet in the First Round. The second round awaits now, and a visit to Hemel Hempstead Town on Saturday January 10th.

That draw was made prior to the replay of the first round fixture, and gave the lads great incentive to get through. The Second Round of the FA Trophy is the first of the competition where the draw isn’t regionalised, so we could have ended up going anywhere in the country for this fixture! Thankfully Hemel Hempstead isn't too far down the road!

Back to the replay though, and what a night that was at The Hive (not Underhill as Steve Cawley thought at first). The first half was pretty even, both sides created chances but Concord were not quite 100% I thought. The second half though, well that was a performance to behold. At 1-1 with 45 to go, I thought it would be a fairly close game, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Barnet looked as though they had changed their system, but Concord were a team on a mission and were just too good for the Bees. Goals from Cawley, Taaffe, Pinnock, Stokes and Collins gave the Beach Boys an impressive and deserved 6-2 victory. Revenge was gained for last seasons FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round loss, and Concord Rangers place in the 2nd Round, and the history books, was confirmed. The picture here will be an image living long in the memory!

You Are My Concord

Alan Jessup-Peacock

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Barnet, FA Trophy, 131214

Last Saturday we hosted Farnborough in the Vanarama Conference South, a fixture that on paper looked tough as the visitors had gone 6 games unbeaten and had been playing well for a number of weeks. Last season when the Paddy Power-backed Farnborough visited Concord, the Beachboys gave them a 5-0 pounding and sent them on their way. This season it should have been a much closer game. Or not. Although the visitors were quick to moan about the quality of the Thames Road pitch, the officials deemed the surface perfectly playable, and Concord Rangers made sure that the only thing that was unplayable, was themselves. A total of 7 goals were scored on the day, and every single one was in favour of the home side. Farnborough were well and truly beaten on the day, never getting close to challenging Concords dominance. The 7-0 result was the Beachboys biggest league win in the Conference South, the second being the 5-0 victory over the same team last season!

The league is one thing though, today is all about the FA Trophy, and the visit of a few familiar faces in Barnet FC. A few things have changed since we last met in 2013s FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, but one thing is for sure, it should be one hell of a match today.

For those that have hazy memories of that October afternoon, Concord Rangers visited The Hive laden with travelling fans looking to make history and reach the First Round Proper of the FA Cup for the first time. Although the lads put in a determined performance, the Conference Prem side were too good on the day and the Beachboys returned home after losing 3-1.

Of course, this is another season, with different players on both sides, and a new management team for Barnet. But the determination from Concord Rangers will be just as focussed, if not more, this time around. Barnet stopped us reaching a level last season, this year the lads have now made that step forward, and will do whatever they can to ensure that Barnet are not the ones stopping us from making another historical step forward, this time into the FA Trophy 2nd Round.

Good luck to the lads out there today, its another big game & I’m sure they will do the club proud over the 90 minutes this afternoon!

You Are My Concord

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Farnborough, Vanarama South, 061214

There’s been plenty of column inches dedicated to this club and our FA Cup run, but as much as it was a great experience it is time we look forward to what else this season has to bring, that being 2 more cup competitions!

Yes you read that right, our club (at the time of writing) is still in two further cup competitions. Firstly there’s the small matter of Tuesday night, as we host Grays Athletic in the Essex Senior Cup.

This competition, for those of you that may not remember or just want to relive the story again, is one that we had the pleasure of winning last season after some impressive victories against sides like Canvey Island, Colchester United and then Braintree in the final. This season we entered at the 3rd round stage and faced Colchester United a few weeks ago. It was a tough match against a near full strength Colchester side, but the lads worked their backsides off and secured a place in the 4th round. The draw took place soon after and Tuesday nights fixture came to be (although it’s now the third night its been scheduled for).

There’s also the small matter of the FA Trophy, a competition which saw Concord Rangers and other Conference North & South clubs enter at the 3rd qualifying round stage. Last season this competition saw the Beachboys make the first round for the first time ever, but fell away to eventual finalists and fellow Conference South members Gosport Borough. This season Concord entered the 3rd qualifying round again and were victorious, this time against current Conference South table-toppers Boreham Wood. The match report from last Saturday can be found elsewhere in this programme, but for those that missed it, the lads put on one hell of a performance and dominated the visitors to win 4-0.

The First Round of the FA Trophy beckons once more, and the chance to go one better than last season (as we did in the FA Cup this season). However it won’t be easy, as yesterday the draw took place and we were paired with the team that ended our FA Cup dreams last season, Barnet. The fixture will take place on Saturday 13th December right here at Thames Road, and it has to be seen as a winnable fixture. A Conference South side made the final last season, there’s every chance the same could happen this time around!

You Are My Concord

Alan Jessup-Peacock

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