9 weeks without a Saturday home fixture and last Saturday we almost got something out of the league leaders South Shields. We now play catch up and have another home game this Saturday with Hyde the visitors. This is the return fixture from 31st August when we not only lost 4-0 but we lost Theo Bailey Jones to a long-term injury. Up at Ewan Fields we were well in the game and missed a fine opportunity on the hour. Sadly, from that clearance they went on to score. Two Hyde goals on 79 and 81 minutes ended our chances and Hyde even had time in the dying seconds to add a 4th which put a bit of an uneven balance on the game. So, this Saturday we build up for revenge.

Like ourselves, Hyde have a blank midweek, but they will be on a high having beaten our fellow relegation threatened side, Bamber Bridge 4-1 from 1-0 down. Hyde travel to us with an away league record of won2, drawn 2 and lost 5. Their two wins came in August at FC United and South Shields, and both draws were at Lancaster and Grantham with both games decided by last minute equalisers, one in favour of Hyde and one against. Defeats on the road have come at Witton, Whitby, Radcliffe, Scarborough and Warrington. They appear to demonstrate an ability to beat the best and underperform against others. Let’s hope this Saturday is the latter.

Last Saturday’s gate was lower than expected. I thought more would have travelled from the North East and I think families may have been in town for the Christmas light switch on. So, with no distractions this week lets give the team your support and build on the encouraging second half performance from the South Shields game. The South Shields management and fans all praised our performance for a bottom of the league side, and we pushed the league leaders hard. Just goes to show that with a bit of luck we can climb the table, starting with 3 points against Hyde. Those 3 points could potentially see us climb out of the bottom 3, demonstrating how tight this battle could become.

It also looks like some of our injured players are now on the mend with Jake Charles coming on second half and the management team think another one of the walking wounded could be fit for a return. I am sure they would appreciate your support, so let’s see you all cheering on a Rangers win.

Games played on 23rd November this century.

2002 Hednesford A 2-2 Southern League
2004 Barrow H 2-2 Conference North
2010 Vauxhall A 1-2 Conference North
2013 Buxton H 1-1 Northern Premier League