September recap - Rangers picked up ten points from a possible eighteen, but disappointing results against Hartlepool and Chesterfield saw Deighton stall just outside the play-off places. October started against lowly Boreham Wood at Barr Field, and Rangers were cheered with the news that striker Ashley Tatler had signed a new contact.
Subs used: Rob Holliday replaced Joe Turley, Josh Barden replaced Josh Bhandal, Craig Hall replaced Joe Wilks. News reached Daniel Macdonald soon after the game that Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson had been spotted in the crowd and was casting his eye over Josh Bhandal. “Not bloody likely,” said Macdonald, “Can we get a new contract on the table for him please?” All the squad packed into the clubhouse for the draw of the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. “Nantwich away! That might be a banana skin!” commented Kris Marshall (no, not the actor, the other one!)
Subs used: Rob Holliday replaced Joe Turley, Josh Barden replaced Ashley Tatler, Ali Thompson replaced Charlie Yates.
“Another tough match against quality opposition, but we deserved the win and another goal for Charlie.” commented Macdonald in his post-match press conference. The injury curse struck once more when Tatler suffered a double hernia following a session lifting weights “Probably trying to get all his fan mail onto the table!” muttered Macdonald. However, the consequence was that the striker was out for around seven weeks!
Subs used: Joe Turley replaced Mason Sheridan-Hawley, Rob Holliday replaced Josh Barden, Jake Little replaced Ali Thompson. “A very satisfying result, and great to see Joe Wilks get a goal as well.” was Macdonald’s post-match verdict. One player absent from the Dover match was Josh Buckley who, instead of lining up at the Crabble Athletic Ground, was making his international debut!! for Sierra Leone against Comoros (South-East coast of Africa, to the East of Mozambique and North-West of Madagascar in case you wondered, and it was 1-1). A mixed bag of news greeted Macdonald and Marshall as Charlie Yates made the “Team of the Week”, but Dan Flynn would be out for five to six weeks after picking up a hamstring strain. The day of the magical FA Cup arrived, and over 1400 fans packed into the Weaver Stadium to see if the Northern Premier League team could pull off an upset against the competition debutants.
Subs used: Kieran Arnett replaced Lewis Mallinson, Mike Tasker replaced Luke Dubery, Harvey Ribbons replaced Joe Turley.
“What a great game for our first match in the FA Cup. Two crackers from Woody, and both Ali and Josh Bhandal off the mark as well! We’ll take that. Bring on the first-round proper!” remarked Macdonald. Like before, the squad packed the clubhouse to watch the FA Cup First Round draw, but the news that it was fellow Conference National side Dover Athletic away was met with less than enthusiastic comments!
Subs used: Rob Holliday replaced Mason Sheridan-Hawley, Craig Hall replaced Joe Wilks, Ali Thompson replaced Charlie Yates.
“The fifth win on the bounce, and the fourth clean-sheet of the month! It’s looking pretty good at the moment!” said Marshall, taking over press duties for this game. Luke Dubery became the second Rangers player to make the fabled “Team of the Week” following his performance against Eastleigh.
Subs used: Rob Holliday replaced Josh Bhandal, Ali Thompson replaced Josh Barden, Mike Tasker replaced Luke Dubery.
“That was a nerve-wracking match, we needed that last-minute goal by Charlie to settle some jitters. We need to eradicate these from our game and fast. I don’t think that I can take much more of these type of matches!” claimed Macdonald post-match.
Summary: “Its been a great month for us, six matches unbeaten, fifteen goals scored and just two conceded. We have reached the First Round of the FA Cup and moved into the play-off places. We have some great games coming up including one against Harrogate Town, and also the FA cup match against Dover. It should be a very special November.”
Daniel Macdonald - "Rangers Review" programme notes.
Next Time: November and Harrogate Town!