In a match that saw plenty of positives for the Management to take into the Otley Town match on Wednesday, it was ultimately a frustrating afternoon that saw Rangers give Featherstone a two-goal lead before substitute Ashley Tatler scored on his debut to give us some hope. However, despite a late rally, it proved to be in vain as the visitors hung on to the win.
Following the game, both Manager Dan Marshall and First-Team Coach Ben Lawrence spoke to KDRAFC Media man Pete Arnett. How is what they had to say….
About the match itself ….
(Dan Marshall) I have no real complaints with the application from the team during the first half. The conditions didn’t help and we started a little slowly that put us on the back foot, but we grew into the game, but I can have no complaints really and I thought that Featherstone just shaded the first half.
Funnily enough, after going two down I thought we played really well, but it was a mountain to climb. Their keeper produced some good saves to deny us, but I think we could have snatched a point in the second half, however, at the end of the day it didn’t happen and we look now to the Otley match, which will be another tough test.
(Ben Lawrence) I agree, we gave away two goals and then started playing really well, it was the kind of kick up the bum we needed and then we pushed on and created chances and half chances. The biggest positive for me was the amount of chances we created in the last 20-30 minutes and the amount of possession we had. What we need to do now is become more clinical and convert those chances.
It’s the first game and we will learn from it. We have to look forward and adapt to these kinds of conditions and games. Featherstone played well and chucked themselves at every ball and we have to deal with that.
On the frustrations of injuries just before the first game …
(DM) It is frustrating when players have worked hard during pre-season and then get a knock before the opening game, but in reality, it is what it is and we are lucky that we have a good squad to pick from. We have had some new faces come in and moved some players up from the reserves which has helped, but you are right, it is frustrating when we have taken squads of 17 & 18 to pre-season games and players are injured or unavailable for other reasons. I thought Maxi (Andy Maxted) did well today in goal and he’s helped us out and we appreciate it. It’s another thing that can’t be helped and we just have to deal with it.
On the “inspired” double substitution of James Woodward and Ashley Tatler….
(BL) (laughing) Yeah, I think we realised that the game was kind of Woody’s game and we needed his energy, tackling and work rate in midfield. His first touch saw him put in a cross for Ash to do what he has done a couple of times and score at the far post.
Once we changed it, I thought that the momentum really changed in our favour and we shifted up a few gears. We will have a look at this and think if we should change things for Wednesday based on what we have seen from all the players, but yeah, they went on and did what we asked of them.
On Jack Holliday and his impact …
(BL) Jack’s a good player, but we have to remember that he’s a young player and we don’t want to put too much expectation on him too soon. He came on for the last few minutes which was always the plan and made two good chances that forced a good save from their keeper, and the one that wasn’t far off at all at the end of the match. It’s the same with Brad (Spencer), they are both young lads and we want to bring them on at the club and it’s important that we have them playing in an environment where they can learn and develop, which they are both doing.
On how they fire the squad up for the Otley game ….
(DM) I don’t think we have to say much to be honest, the boys know what they have to do and they know we need to bounce back. Otley are a good team and it won’t be an easy game. They have a new management team in place with some new players, but we need to take care of business and play our game and try and get three points on the board. We may have some players back who were missing today, but we will take the positives from this game and try and build on them.