Saturday 2nd February 2019
Clean Slate v Grendon Rangers
Spartan South Midlands Division Two
Downs Barn Pavilion
Grendon Rangers travel to Milton Keynes on Saturday to face Spartan South Midlands Football League Division Two bottom side Clean Slate, a team that have won just one of their sixteen league games so far this season and were beaten convincingly back in early December by four goals without reply in the reverse fixture at Grendon. After three wins from four games before Christmas, Rangers are looking to get back to winning ways after suffering five defeats in six since that run, and are currently on the back of four straight defeats but still find themselves with games in hand that could lift them to mid-table safety, this trip will be seen as the ideal opportunity to get back to winning ways as Slate have lost their last seven games in all competition, their solitary win came back in November and every other game they’ve played this season they have lost, and in each of their last six games they have conceded a minimum of three goals. Grendon will need to gain some confidence this weekend as their next two games sees them travel to third place and then second place respectively in the league!
This week Sports Shots caught up with front man Joe Walls to ask how he ended up at Grendon and how he’s found it since joining:
I first joined Grendon four seasons ago, I knew a couple of the lads who were here at the time so found it easy to settle in, there are some great lads in the changing room and the volunteers and committee are always very supportive of the team
How has his season been so far and what are the targets?
I re-joined Grendon in November after starting the season at Risborough, but since then I’ve played almost every game and on the whole I’m happy with how I’ve been playing. Personally I’d like to get into double figures for goals scored before the end of the season and I think for the team we should definitely be aiming for the clubs best ever finish in the division
How good is the squad this season, and have any players stood out?
I’d say this is definitely the strongest squad I’ve been a part of at Grendon. This season we’re more of a threat going forward and definitely more solid in defence, our results against Pitstone show that on our day we’re good enough to beat anyone in the division. Everyone has impressed me since I got back involved, the new lads especially have definitely added quality to the team all over the pitch
What is Joe’s favoured position in the side, and what formation best suits?
My preferred position would be either up front or just behind the striker in a four-two-three-one or four-three-three. Blocky (Steven Jackman) encourages us to always play forward which is obviously benefits me as an attacking player
What has been Joe’s history in the game prior to reaching men’s football and Grendon?
I played for Haddenham in junior football up until I joined Aylesbury FC under eighteens and then to Grendon, with a few brief spells elsewhere
The last four games have seen defeats to Old Bradwell, Unite MK, Bovingdon & MK Gallacticos, how have these games been in Joe’s view and what’s caused the recent slump in form:
We only seem to be able to play for forty-five minutes at the moment. Bradwell and Bovingdon are both good sides but we were nil-nil at half time against both of them, we arguably had the better chances against Bovingdon until they got their third which killed the game really. In both games against Unite MK we’ve let ourselves down massively, we’ve been two-one up in both games at half time, stopped doing the basics and then ended up losing both games. I myself missed the Gallacticos game and I’d say player availability in general is costing us at the moment
Onto Clean Slate this weekend, Rangers beat them convincingly not so long ago, what does Joe recall of that day, and can they repeat that feat?
I don’t remember much of that game to be honest apart from we’d pretty much won the game by half time. Clean Slate sides are usually physical and work hard, but as long as we do the basics well and play in the right areas I don’t see why we can’t beat them again this weekend
Finally, we asked Joe to pick a team mate to go on any television programme and explain his decision:
Any show with Will Young would definitely be interesting, hopefully his own show that he’s been working on ‘Lambing Live’ makes it onto TV one day!
Sports Shots would like to thank Joe for his time this week