A subdued training session took place at Barr Field following the disappointing 0-0 draw against Buxton, but the blues were soon lifted with the news that Jonty Smith, Josh Barden, Dan Flynn and Rob Holliday had all signed new contracts. The only downer was that Holliday had insisted that two release clauses were inserted meaning that if Rangers were to be relegated or a team from a higher division came in for him, it was sayonara Kirk Deighton, hello glitzy lights of (insert team here!)
Macdonald’s mood was sent further south when the news from the physio room reached him that Joe Barden had injured his back-lifting weights (although the rumour that the boss had said “lifting pints more like” is completely unsubstantiated!) and would be out for a week.
With the command “win or else” ringing in their ears, Rangers travelled to Grays Athletic for their next friendly.
Assistant Kris Marshall (not the actor, the other one) handled the post-match press conference and praised Charlie Yates and Ali Thompson for getting off the mark with some well taken goals.
Once more Josh Buckley’s tight groin (leave it!!) flared up, and he was forced to seek treatment from the physio.
It was a longish trip to Northern Premier League Division One North West outfit Marine, but the lads were in good spirits as they took to the Rossett Park ground.
“Absolutely chuffed with that result!” was Macdonald’s verdict post-match.
It was a strange week for the board as rumours of a takeover circulated! An “unknown” local business man was supposedly lining up a multi-million pound take over, but despite names not being known, the smart money was on “The Market Place Deli” owner Ian Giddings. "As long as he doesn’t rename the South Stand to the Nice and creamy Macaroni Cheese that puts a smile on your face stand”, then I might listen to his proposal said Chairman Richard Strike, although it was difficult to know if he was joking or not (or even if he likes Macaroni Cheese!)
Finally, the action moved from off to on the pitch and another away fixture saw Rangers take on Mildenhall of the Eastern Counties League Premier Division (yeah, I had to look this one up as well – it’s in Suffolk!)
“That made the long journey worthwhile!” said a beaming manager. “Five different goalscorers, that bodes well. Well done to Jake and Jack as well!”
The injury curse struck again as a tight thigh, due to turning sharply, robbed Rangers of keeper Lewis Mallinson for a few days.
The lads hit the road again for another long trip to Gloucester City (who arranged these matches??!!?) for their final pre-season game.
“A great way to round off the pre-season,” said Marshall, “but now for the hard work!”
Next time … The season starts against Wrexham at Barr Field!
I have listened to your feedback and tried to make the video highlights shorter, I hope that this is an improvement.