Saturday 8th September 2018
Pitstone & Ivinghoe v Grendon Rangers
Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy
Grendon Rangers return to cup action on Saturday as they travel to second placed & previously unbeaten Pitstone & Ivinghoe. After recording their first win on bank holiday Monday over Mursley, Rangers have suffered two heavy defeats against league leaders Bovingdon followed at Amersham on Tuesday in the league challenge trophy, and to make matters even harder they face Pitstone three times in their next four matches. There have been a minimum of four goals in every game they’ve featured in, have conceded three in every game they’ve played, whilst Pitstone have scored twenty goals in five games to date, so a nil-nil is not looking favourable!
This week Sports Shots caught up with assistant manager Alan Ostler to ask just how Grendon can get something out of this game:
They need to believe in themselves and in each other, trust the system and trust each other, and more importantly communicate with each other. This is something we have been trying to get into the lads since pre-season
What do Grendon know about their hosts going into the game?
Not a lot really apart from what we can see from their results. Some of the lads know them from last season so we’ll have some information that will help
With Pitstone having score freely whilst Rangers have conceded nineteen goals in four games, how can the visitors stop the flow of goals?
Concentration and communication again is key, not just amongst our defensive players but with the midfield aswell. If they can stick to this then everything else falls into place
We asked Alan how it’s been in general since the manager has been away:
It’s been tough to say the least but this is a part of football, and a part I want to be involved in so I have to take the rough with the smooth. The hardest part is player availability, I know it’s hard for everyone to be free for training and matches but everyone has to work and sometimes work & family life comes first. I’m still learning and Steven is a great teacher and is someone I am enjoying working with here at Grendon
Having faced top of the table Bovingdon recently, what impressions did they make?
Let’s just say they are top of the league for a reason! As newcomers to the league we didn’t know much about them other than looking at their results and seeing they can score goals. By half time we were only two-one down and felt confident in our first half performance that we knew what we needed to do in the second period. Unfortunately after they scored their third then fourth our heads dropped and the rest is history. They will be top or thereabouts come the end of the season, a good team and very well organised
How did Grendon shape up against higher level opponents Amersham this week?
Again first half we kept them down to a single goal lead which was a very soft goal to concede, we knew where we had to improve & started the second half well, and in good spirits. But again it was a mad few minutes where we conceded and heads started to drop, they were a decent side, well organised and we wish them well in the rest of their season, but it is worth noting that we were hampered with key players missing with work and other commitments which left us with only twelve players, including myself although I was the unused sub ha ha!! The lads we took showed many times some great spirit and determination but the better team won
We asked Alan how he sees the season panning out:
It’s only been three league games, two of them defeats, plus the cup game that we also lost so we are not panicking, it’s a long season ahead. We have a fantastic set of players and once this early part is out of the way and we get a regular set turning up who are understanding each other more then I’m positive we will start getting more points on the board. There is a long way to go and we are improving
Finally, we asked what the target is in the three games against Pitstone in the next few weeks:
It’s definitely unusual to play each other this many times in such a short space of time but that can’t be helped and at least it gives us a chance to get to know them ready for the next time we meet! As far as targets are concerned we obviously want to win the games not just for the points and cup progress, but for our own confidence. They’re going to be tough games but we have the players to cope
Sports Shots would like to thank Alan for his time this week.