“Sleep well, be ready.”
We embarked on the Danny Scopes era with a road trip to the university City of Oxford. Previous encounters suggested this maybe a difficult new beginning but the Concord fresh crop skipped history class, living firmly in the now and begun the task of disappointing their hosts in style, scoring 3 with no reply. Start as you mean to go on and all that.
A mention to the Chelmsford City board member who upon entry to our admittedly modest “boardroom” was eyeballing a small group of our guests with a pure look of disdain spread across his smug bespectacled face evidently due to the free and easy dress code that we employ and our people take great comfort from. I noticed this unfortunate situation unfold and it make me think with clarity. One word came to mind. Narcissist.
Anyhow, he was dealt a beautifully poetic justice-baked piece of humble pie when the full time whistle went, the scoreboard showing Concord Rangers 2 Chelmsford City 1.
I always enjoy listening to differing noise makers round the grounds during our involvements. You get a plethora of finely spread information when your ears are wide open. For each edition of this tosh I scribble, I’ll share a sample of this in wonderfully differing forms for you to enjoy, or not enjoy. Either way I don’t care. You’ve read this far, you’re already committed to reading this column!
Now let’s play a short and sweet game of prediction prophecy.
“We’ll go out and drill Oxford next week.”
Andy Smith during the 4-1 pre season spanking by Hashtag Utd.
“Pre season means nothing, Chelmsford have scored 31 conceded 2 and won all 7. We beat them next Tuesday.”
Lewis Pack upon culmination and during office chinwag analysis of our pre season preps.
“I wonder how many tweets I’m gonna get about signing Ryman north players now?”
Adam Drew following the final whistle of our stunning win over A130 neighbours Chelmsford.
I’d suggest it’s fair to say, we’ve an accurate start to this feature. Kudos gentlemen.
Slough Town were next up visiting our manor and the notoriously treacherous British summertime weather made a game return. We prepared ourselves well and anchored the tiny feet of our camera operator Millie to our gantry thus preventing her being blown into the Thames estuary and turned out solid 2-1 victors in the gales.
At the fledgling fresh age of 3 games deep we found ourselves aloft, sitting pretty upon the summit of our division. 3 wins in 3 and a reasonable goal return tends to have that effect on a league position. Cue the mountain of midweek accumulators featuring the mighty Beachboys away to a Tonbridge Angels side without a point to their name, residing at the foot of the table.
Never in football will so many experts be collectively upset and angry to see this “banker” fall to a 89th minute 1-0 defeat, in what was a dismal display considering the previous outings.
Dusting ourselves off and looking for some sort of redemption we took on a different challenge in Dulwich Hamlet. A beautiful football club with an incredible fanbase, not just in number but in friendliness and good nature. They for me standout as a benchmark for what can be achieved with a strong and sustainable community program. A entertaining fixture it was with the twenty outfielders not shy of legwork. 2-2 and a point apiece was fair over the 90. Back on track and a timely weeks rest period prior to the next outing in a hectic August schedule.
I’m not one for being a big believer in excuses but I’m going to offer up my best attempt at convincing you that with a compact squad such as our very own, that at some point during the labour intensive seasonal front loaded month of August we will experience fatigue, thus having a direct effect on the bottom line… well that’s my excuse for what happens next and I’m sticking to it.
A patch of heavy turbulence occurred in the shape of a stunning Bank Holiday weekend. Stunning literally only in the form of the weather. We began by playing host to the county town of Kent, Maidstone United where we somehow managed the unenviable task of having registered zero shots on target. I fathom to think of the last occasion this was apparent. The Stones notched up the singular shot on goal, needless to say it went in. 0-1.
Next on the agenda was a trip to sunny St Albans. Much of the pre match terrace chitchat was focused on the touchy subject of the Clarence Park admission prices. Two nicker shy of a score seemingly upsetting a collection of punters when a charismatic northern chap approached our end of the ground and offered his take on the robbery, “I thought I’d bought a bloody season ticket.” We then endured a footballing clinic of chance creation and subsequent squandering, possibly a polar opposite to the statistics posted two days earlier. This allowed the Saints to register their first win of the season at our peril with a slender and fragile 2-1 margin.
To complete the eight game season opening sequence we took on Welling United where the job description was fairly straightforward. Finish our dinner. The Wings of Welling were well and truly clipped (3-0) and what preceded the final whistle proved two things. First off that our footballers are extremely capable of finishing chances with aplomb, and second, that with the relentless and phenomenal work rate numero 2-11 exerted, it effectively rendered my fatigue excuse redundant. Thus I still don’t really believe in excuses, and neither should you.
So there we have it, in what seemed like a flash saw us compete 8 times over roughly 4.5 weeks leaving us residing comfortably in P6. A fair return, 13 of your finest NLS points for a heap load of graft our troops have produced on demand. We look forward in great anticipation to what the near future may hold for us Beachboys/Girls/Neutrals but one thing is for damn certain. Our crack team of coaches led by Mr Scopes will continue to drill heart, desire and honesty into our young, talented crop of men who will in turn commit and sacrifice to fight the good fight.