Jack Smith Jr has returned with his monthly musings on all things Concord Rangers….


For whatever strange reason, you’ve decided to give my Concord connoisseur appraisal piece some more of your precious time. This is appreciated and perplexing in equal measure, so in return I’m going to narrate you through in my finest elucidation our journey into NLS Q2 territory, opening cup account exploits and a couple of cherry picked correlated topics. Enjoy.

So we’ll begin by revisiting ground going noise makers, I think you’re gonna like this one. I’ll spare the man’s blushes by keeping said identity confidential and we’ll refer to him as “Mr it”. To throw in a curve ball, the guy apparently sits on our committee table.

-Interested Observer

“How is Lamar Reynolds getting on?”

“Lamar Reynolds? Doesn’t ring a bell…”

“Yeah, Lamar Reynolds, your striker..!”

“I’m not sure who any of the players are anymore. You know our player Tosin yeah?”


“Well his name is actually Dave.”

Doesn’t this just so accurately illustrate why you shouldn’t take the average verbal opinion to heart, or head for that matter. Which leads me perfectly onto the following.

We’ll be trialling a new feature for this episode, which I’ve named ‘Life thru a lens’. First up to the podium was Peter Griffin’s human equivalent and Iron Chairman, Lee Harding. I may or may not have suggested his Dennis Taylor spectacles were the cause of his differing opine to mine as his side took what I believed to be a fortuitous lead into the break. However it needn’t matter as our heroes did us proud in what followed with an inspired half thus clouding the fact we were a man light, out working, witting and hustling in every department. Eventually made to settle for a thrilling draw, 2 all, we went full circle on the full time whistle blow (the only thing the referee got right that night), fraternising as Harding offered a complementary hand for shaking which I duly crushed and nodded that way overzealous people do when they believe they’re correct and have won the argument. Opinions aye.

Next up aimed a pleasant drive through the English interpretation of Bel Air and into the Royal constituency of Hampton where we enjoyed a fruitful afternoon in the late summers sun. The innuendos offered to a writer when the Beavers are beaten late are best left unwritten and as the sensible, highbrow adults that we are, we’ll sidestep those potential oblique headlines and instead pay homage to a repeat double act in Shaquille O’Neal’s doppelgänger and the apparently prolific centre half, Messrs Sanusi & Pollock, who’d combined mirror twin acts within the week to help add 4 welcome league points to our growing total accrued as the balance at the Beaveree tipped twice thrice in our favour.

As circumstance would cede, we were served up a nocuous time to face a Dartford side with a point to prove coupled with the recent dismissal of heads Flanagan and Coyle paving the return of the crossing famed region messiah Tony Burman. Struggle and strife was the order of the day, falling foul to the perky Darts who aptly overran our sorry souls. The visitors rearguard proving as effective at stemming the flow of goal bound traffic as their coach, having wedged itself stuck in our car park entrance/exit thus creating a successful blockage and providing a tidy example to the players on board of how to flawlessly defend a gap. A lesson learned and 0-2 was all she wrote.

Vanarama National League South salvation was offered when FA Cup 2QR week rolled into town, in particular the south east coast seaside town of Margate. Game day turned out to be feverish for all the wrong reasons though as we caught a cold, slipping firmly on the proverbial Isthmian housed banana skin, shipping three gift wrapped goals to our singular opener, falling flat on our faces while failing to clear first hurdle and subsequently departing the world famous cup competition at the foot of The Gate. A drawing board fat chewing session remained required to put right the wrongs of the past pair of Saturday’s and a likely lengthy shooting practice session loomed large.

Okay touchy subject time, let’s now talk about them men in black, the referees… “BOOOOOO”. Listen, calm down and chill out, give this a chance and hear me out. As I’m sure you’re aware we’ve had a tough time working with these monsters in recent months. Anyone who’ve been unfortunate enough to be in earshot of my gob during the regulation 90 will testify that I’ve dished out a greedy share of unsavoury sounds on those poor willing sods. However, and it’s a reasonable one, it is very easy to forget when venting decision related anger that these martyrs in the middle are only as human as you and I and are genuinely not out to try and screw up your acca/weekend. So I’d like to offer some advice if I will, to help aid the inevitable frustration we’ll endure. The brutal truth is that our own footballers will make more individual mistakes during a game than your honour, therefore I offer this fact to cushion the blow next time we get a wayward decision and wish to engage brain in immediately bellowing our finest obscenities. At least remind me of this very paragraph when I’m first to do so yeah, cheers.

It all went a little wonky at Weymouth for our troops as The Terras terrorised, netting on 3 occasions whilst standing firm to some feeble pressure. I think fair to say, rather unrewarding for the handful of Concord custodians who made the 7+ hour, 366 mile round road trip. Let it be said, the support you people offer will never go unnoticed, thank you.

It appears as though our quid pro quo ratio has dipped somewhat and we find ourselves seeking solace, in need of rekindling the relentless ruthlessness displayed in the opening sequence. Rough patches are inevitable during the course of a marathon length football season, and these notorious dips in form are dealt with by a burning determination and desire to succeed. Sensei Scopes and his disciples live and breath these mindsets and I’ve no doubt whatsoever that they’ll find sound solutions to solve our current conundrum.

I’ll leave you all with a quote you’ll be familiar with. “Tough times don’t last, tough people do” and we at CRFC are blessed to have a lot of tough people standing shoulder to shoulder with us, so now is the time to grit our teeth, roll up our sleeves and work our way back onto the path of prosperity*.

Until next time my fellow football aficionados… arrivederci.


*DISCLAIMER. A dip in form can naturally throw a lot of doubt and cause unnecessary concerns. Top 10 placement in the highest division we’ve plied our trade would’ve been arm bitten off realm prior to first ball boot.