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Concord Rangers v Halesowen Town – Buildbase FA Trophy semi-final – Aspect Arena – Saturday 3pm
Head of Recruitment Adam Drew, is both delighted and relieved that Concord Rangers’ will finally get the opportunity to undertake arguably the biggest game in their history and get a shot at booking a place in the Buildbase FA Trophy final at Wembley Stadium.
When non-league football collectively hibernated the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, it appeared as if the Beach Boys and their opponents from the Black Country, Halesowen Town, would miss out on a potential tie at the home of football.
But with football, albeit slowly returning, the two sides go head-to-head at the Aspect Arena on Saturday, leaving Drew excited and anxious for the Canvey-based side to cap a fine run with a day out at the home of football.
“Who’d have thought we would have had this opportunity back in June 2019, when we started our pre-season preparations with one player in the ranks and one with his knee hanging off,” Drew told Yellow Sport.
“It’s been a rollercoaster since then. Not only the trophy run but a worldwide pandemic that brought the world to a standstill.
“Now, six months on, the excitement is back upon us with just a week to prepare. Of course, it’s a shame that there won’t be anyone in the ground to see the game, but it is what it is and we have to get on with it.”
Drew insisted that Concord were fully aware of Halesowen’s strengths, adding: “This will undoubtedly be the hardest challenge of them all. We face a Halesowen side used to winning football matches and who have taken some massive scalps along the way – Full credit to them – what an advert for step four football they have proved to be.
“They were flying in their league before the shutdown. We know how difficult the game will be and certainly won’t be underestimating them.
“We’ve prepared the best we can under the circumstances and will give it our all to achieve a once in a lifetime ambition of reaching Wembley. Whatever happens after 5pm, it’s been a magical run for the pair of us, lets just hope we can get over this final hurdle and make a dream a reality.”
Jeevesie’s prediction: Concord Rangers 2-1 Halesowen Town