There’s not been much to talk about recently concerning Concord Rangers thanks to the seemingly endless torrents of recent rainfall. Thankfully though things have started to clear up & dry out a bit, allowing football to get going again!
After the Beachboys Boxing Day victory over Boreham Wood, there were plenty of fixtures scheduled through January to let the lads build a run together, but as we all know the weather stopped any chance of that. A total of just 3 games were able to be played during the first month of the year, including victories at home to Hayes & Yeading and away to league leaders Bromley. The weather was still poor though, and after a Saturday fixture was called off Concord hosted Chelmsford City on a Tuesday night that proved to be the last game for over a month.
The Chelmsford game had already been reorganised due to a power issue the first time round, but thanks to a lot of work on the pitch it was able to go ahead on Tuesday 21st January. I had a few complaints about the game, thought we could have done better and that some decisions were a bit dubious, but that didn’t change the end result. Chelmsford exacted revenge for being knocked out of the Essex Senior Cup by beating Concord Rangers 1-3. At the time there was hope that a response could be made fairly quickly, but as the days went on it was clear that wouldn’t be the case.
The weather picked up, albeit slightly, and hopes were high that the Essex Senior Cup Semi Final at home (moved to Thames Road from Colchester’s ground) to Colchester United would go ahead on Tuesday 18th February. The fans entered the ground, players were warming up on the pitch, programmes were being sold and burgers were being eaten, but this idyllic picture soon changed. With just 10 minutes to go till kick off, the referee finally inspected the pitch (something that is usually done by officials as soon as they arrive, nearly 90 minutes before kick off) and decided that the game would not go ahead due to an unsafe area of the pitch. Now, if the official had checked the pitch upon arrival then maybe some work could have been done on the area to make it playable, but that just wasn’t the case. I made my views on the official clear on the night, as did many other fans & people present, but nothing was changing the mind of the referee.
So another fixture had to be rearranged, and more time had to pass before competitive football could be experienced by the Beachboys. The lads didn’t have to wait much longer though, as Thames Road saw a Skrill South fixture take place for the first time in 32 days as Concord hosted Bishops Stortford. It wasn’t the best return to action though, as a reportedly (I wasn’t there) poor performance saw Stortford win 2-0 after spending the majority of the game with only 10 men on the pitch, & a striker keeping goal.
Changes were made, and an immediate response was sought as Concord had their second home game in 4 days, taking on Staines Town. Concord remain the only team to win at Staines this season, and this fixture provided the opportunity for more history to be made by doing the double over the Swans. A determined, hard fought and at times dominant performance saw Rangers do just that, surviving a shaky last 15 minutes to win 2-1 and claim their first Skrill South double.
There’s been some personnel changes recently that are worth noting, Sam Higgins has returned to East Thurrock, whilst Joe Gardner has signed from Maldon & Tiptree, and both Taylor Miles & Rob Girdlestone have signed on loan from West Ham United.
To be honest it feels like the season has started all over again after that month break! Now we just hope that the weather holds and the rest of the season goes on without a hitch, especially given the amount of rearranged games we have to go! It should be a great, if busy, second half of the season and I for one cannot wait to see how it unfolds!
You Are My Concord!