With Pre-Season finished, all eyes turned towards the league opener against Wrexham. The week started with Press Officer Pete Arnett given the go-ahead to announce that striker Charlie Yates had committed his future to the club until 2021 (what he didn't mention however was the number of add-on clauses that nearly used all the paper in the copier when the contract was printed!) The mood altered after Ben Lawrence's news that Lewis Mallinson, Josh Barden and Kieran Arnett had suffered injuries whilst training. However, the trio would be available for the game, but wouldn’t be 100% fit.
Subs used: Hall replaced Turley, Joe Barden replaced Bhandal, Tatler replaced Yates.
“Brilliant!” was the manager’s reaction. “No more than we deserved. If only the season could end now!”
There was a sense of relief following the announcement that Josh Barden had been cleared by the F.A. for his exuberant celebrations in front of the Wrexham fans. “What a plum! He won’t be welcome in Wales!” said Macdonald. Final season ticket sales were also released, and it was a beaming Chairman Rich Strike who revealed that 1000 fans would be enjoying top quality football at Barr Field. The honour of becoming Deighton’s first-ever transfer in the Conference Leagues went to young central defender Toby Wells. Wells, a free agent, added cover to an area that was pointed out as lacking depth.
Subs used: Tatler replaced Josh Barden, Buckley replaced Large, Joe Barden replaced Bhandal.
“I’m not supposed to talk about match officials, but after that penalty decision, this one was a *******, *****, a complete shower of *****, a right ****** and a ******** as well" (it was this moment that the BT Sports Non-League Football programme suffered a mysterious transmission failure from Holker Street – rumours that Kris Marshall (not the actor, the other one) was seen pulling a plug out of a socket are without basis!) was Macdonald’s post-game summary. Injuries struck again as Joe Barden pulled his groin (At least it wasn’t Josh Buckley this time!), Jonty Smith bruised his knee and Josh Bhandal had a tight hamstring.
Subs used: Little replaced Tatler, Hall replaced Jack Holliday, Buckley replaced Large.
“We deserved something from that game’” lamented Marshall in the post-match interview (no idea why Macdonald wasn’t allowed to do this one!) “We had chances but couldn’t convert.” With players returning to fitness, the management had a full squad to pick from midweek, but a day before the next match, Luke Dubery was ruled out with a hamstring pull.
Subs used: Wells replaced Large, Bhandal replaced Tatler, Little replaced Yates.
“Another game where we have dominated possession and chances, but fallen to an early goal!” said Marshall to the waiting reporters. “We will work hard to rectify this.” A meeting saw tweaks to both tactics and formation made, and it was hoped that these would work in the next match against Ebbsfleet United.
Subs used: Joe Barden replaced Woodward, Tatler replaced Yates
“A much better outcome, but again frustrating as we had 58% possession and 14 shots to their 8, but it’s a point against a decent side.” Commented Marshall. When the Team of The Week was released, it was noted that Craig Hall had been recognised for an outstanding performance against Ebbsfleet.
The month had seen Rangers top the league, but as we waved goodbye to August, Rangers occupied 15th place. However, with the draw against Ebbsfleet improving confidence in the camp, hopes were high that September would be better for the boys in blue.
Next time .... September!