The Dugout Reaction

Following an impressive first half for Rangers that saw them come in at the break 4-2 up, they were subjected to a second half in which they found themselves defending for the vast majority, before finally sealing a great win at Bunkers Hill.

Following the match, a clearly relieved Dan Marshall spoke to Media Man Pete Arnett. Here is what he had to say.

On the match itself …

“It was most definitely a tale of two halves tonight. First half I thought we did ok, but gave away two silly goals. We suffered from another poor start and conceding after sixty seconds is never ideal, but I was extremely pleased with the way we responded. A great strike by Joe Turley from the edge of the area got us on level terms and the Josh Bhandal with a great leap and header, it may have taken a nick off the defender on the way in, but it was a super header. Unfortunately, we have given away another soft goal which we could have defended a lot better as a team.

Again however, I have to say we responded well, pressed high up the pitch and Danny Grannon has pounced to put us back in the lead. Towards the end, Rob has played a superb pass to Ash (Tatler) and he’s scored again.

Jonty (Smith) has made a superb save towards the end and we have come in with, in my opinion, no more than we have deserved.

The second half, we haven’t really come out and have had to defended deep and have our backs against the wall, which isn’t ideal at all. We have been reliant on Jonty to pull of three great saves, including a superb one at the end, to keep us in the game.

One thing that really impressed me was the fact that last season we would have probably conceded a fourth and possible even a fifth to lose that game, so the plus that we were solid together and defended well during that Aberford pressure period was really good to see.

Aberford is always a difficult place to come, so I have to say I’m pleased with the result and performance. Night time games are never easy as you are rushing and players arriving late with the traffic and the distance they have to travel sometimes. You have very limited preparation time and because of all this, to come out with a win, I am really happy about.”

On conceding so early again …

“It is a little bit of a worry, but I do have to say that it happened in midweek night games, which kind of harks back to the lack of preparation and getting the team in a ready state that I mentioned before. We need to make sure that we get out of the blocks a lot quicker and don’t allow teams to come onto us, but I’ve been impressed with the way the team has responded. In both this and the Otley game, we came back to take the lead, fortunately this time, we were able to keep it.”

Looking sharp up front …

“Ash (Tatler) has given us a bit of a different dimension and has settled in really quickly. As you know he missed quite a lot of pre-season but has bounced back absolutely superbly and as you have seen, he can score when given the chance. It was another quality finish to lift the ball over the keeper and into the net. He’s an outlet for us and he’s a threat with his pace and control of the ball.

I have to say that Harvey (Ribbons) has also settled in well and gives us new options. We tried to keep things as settled as we could from the Hartshead match, but certain changes such as Danny (Grannon) for Charlie (Yates) had to be made due to injury.”

On seven points from a possible twelve…

“It’s going to be a tight league this season. We were looking at the table on Saturday and the leading teams had six points where we had four, and even though some have a game in hand, but even winning that doesn’t give any team a massive advantage over other sides, so I think we are in a good position. Of course, we would have liked some more points onboard, but overall, we are in a good position.

With the teams that we have in this division, there will be sides beating sides all over the place, so I’m not convinced that one team will be all dominant like we have seen in other seasons.

We just need to take care of our own business and if we can win games without playing to our best then that is a big plus for us. I still think we deserved more than we got from the Otley match, but then you see that they beat Rawdon 5-1 tonight and then Rawdon beat Aberford 6-2 last weekend! I think it’s going to be a really close league come the end.”

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