Home Game Hoodoo!
Guest blogger and Concord Rangers fan Alan Jessup-Peacock is back, lamenting Rangers’ poor home form so far this season.
There’s clearly something about the Aspect Arena at the moment, the home of Concord Rangers. Whether it’s the pressure of having the (although small) home crowd watching every move you make, or the fact that teams are coming to Thames Road & playing very differently, something is severely affecting the Beachboys results at home.
First off let’s look at our away form in the league. Admittedly, the season’s travels started badly with a 4-1 thumping at Lowestoft. But following that the first win of the season came with a 2-1 victory at Carshalton Athletic, with goals coming from Jason Hallett and Danny Spendlove. One week later Concord picked up a 2-2 draw at Hendon, even after losing Danny Glozier to a late red card. Goals in that match came from James White and Tony Stokes. Tuesday 9th October was the next league away day, this one to high-flyers Margate who were sitting in 2nd place at the time. The Beachboys were 4th from bottom but still ran out deserved 2-0 winners, with both goals being scored by the captain Tony Stokes. Just over a week ago Concord Rangers travelled to Wingate & Finchley, coming away disappointed after squandering a number of chances and only getting a 0-0 draw for their efforts.So that’s an away league record of 2 wins, 2 draws & a loss.
At home we’ve had one less league game due to the various cup competitions, but even so the record does not make for easy reading. The season began with a 3-1 loss at the Aspect Arena to league new boys Bognor Regis Town on a sunny afternoon in August! Not a bright start though I’m sure you’ll agree. Next up at Thames Road was a Monday night game vs. Kingstonian, who are a consistently tough side in the Ryman Premier League. This continued through that Monday night as they won 3-0 against the Beachboys. A draw has been our best result at home in the league this season, which came in heartbreaking circumstances against Wealdstone on 15th September. Harry Elmes gave Concord the lead midway through the first half, before Wealdstone favourite Richard Jolly equalised just after the break. The game was flowing the way of Rangers, and the pressure paid off when Tony Stokes put the Beachboys back in front on 79 minutes. However on the next Wealdstone attack their shot took a massive deflection which sent the ball past Michael Jordan into the Concord net, evening the game up. That’s how it finished, and it felt absolutely gutting at the time, to be honest it still does now, we should have won that game. The most recent home game was against Cray this past weekend; a silly mistake gave Cray the lead in the first half, then Steve King was sent off (wrongly in my unbiased & fair opinion) on the hour before Cray ran out 4-0 winners. The form at home in the leagues reads as 0 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses (all of the losses saw at least 3 goals conceded).
It’s worrying stuff really, especially as away from home we’ve been playing well and getting results. Cup games at home have been different as well, with a win vs. Needham Market & a draw against Conference South club Welling. It’s frustrating for the fans, and I know after speaking to the players & coaches that it’s frustrating for them as well. We’re not playing badly at home, but little mistakes are costing us goals and that needs to be corrected if we’re to make the Aspect Arena a place that teams don’t want to come to!
Concord Rangers have a chance to get back to winning ways at home on Tuesday 6thNovember as Hampton & Richmond make the journey down to Thames Road. There are 2 cup games (1 home, 1 away) and 1 league game to get through first though, facing Romford, Enfield Town and Harrow Borough. There are no easy games in the Ryman League this season, the calibre of the teams is getting better and the difference between them smaller. It’s tough to call who will finish where this year, and of course there’s a lot of football still to be played. I just hope and look forward to our next home game in the league when we pick up the win we need to get a run going.
You Are My Concord!