WHAT a difference four days make. That summed up the situation at Marston Road this week as Stafford Rangers showed their bad and good side, writes Dave McLean.
Rangers slumped to a shock 2-1 defeat, after leading, away to Evo Stik premier basement outfit Frickley Athletic on Saturday and were heavily criticised by boss Greg Clowes.
“I was very angry and very upset with the players and how they performed at Frickley and I made that quite clear,” said Clowes.
But after turning the table with an identical victory at home to lowly Ilkeston on Tuesday night, the Rangers manager said: “Basically the same group of players have turned in a completely different performance.
“It’s clear it’s not the formation, it’s not what we are doing, It is whether these lads want to do it or not. They’ve just put in two different types of performances.
“I think we got a response this evening and it was a welcome three points. Now we can look forward to this Saturday and the match against North Ferriby, who are a big, strong side.” And Rangers will be boosted for the visit of the current league leaders, with the return of three players from injury and new signing, striker Dean Oliver from Gresley will be included in the squad.
Oliver, who helped oust Rangers in the FA Cup tie at Gresley last month was signed by Clowes last week, and former Boro midfielder Levi Reid has re-joined for a third spell.
In addition, Clowes is firmly looking at the long-term future of the club by adding three members of the youth squad to the senior ranks.
Young full back Oliver Davies, aged 18, has already done well in first team colours.
All three, Alex Curtis, Billy Thorley and Josh Renshaw played in a recent friendly at Eccleshall and impressed, so much so that the former was on the bench for Tuesday’s match against Ilkeston.
Back from injury for the weekend, and Tueday’s visit to third place Marine, are defender Ryan Bown and midfielders, Michael Carr and Jon Sheldon.
Rangers go into the North Ferriby fixture in 13th place, looking to improve on a home record of just two league wins in five so far this season.
This week, Rangers announced that the club’s next supporters’ forum will take place at the social club on Tuesday, December 4 (7pm).
Fans wll again be given an update from the club, both on and off the pitch, and they will also have the opportunity of asking questions to Clowes and other club officials.
“I’m looking forward to the next meeting which will hopefully attract even more supporters than last time,” said Clowes.
“As with our previous meeting, we will all endeavour to be honest and open with everyone in attendance, and understand the importance of such events.” Rangers visit Wolverhampton Casuals in the Walsall Senior Cup first round on November 6, the winners to face Stafford Town.