Hungerford Town v Concord Rangers – Bulpit Lane – Vanarama National League South – Tuesday 7:45pm
DANNY SCOPES recognised the dangerous implications as his Buildbase FA Trophy semi-finalists, Concord Rangers, head to bottom of the table Hungerford Town for a vital Vanarama National League South relegation battle.
While the Canvey-based outfit have performed wonderfully well in both the Trophy and County Cup competitions, league form has dipped, sending the Beach Boys perilously close to the dropzone – following a run of eight league outings without a win – extended after Tonbridge Angels snatched a late equaliser at the Aspect Arena at the weekend.
Boss Scopes insisted the Beach Boys players had been made fully aware of the situation. But with a wafer-thin group, spinning the proverbial plates was becoming a big challenge.
When asked as to whether his players might have their minds focused on a potential Wembley final, Scopes told Yellow Sport: “I think you’ve always got that danger. The thing is if you are going to use that as a problem – as a small squad, a small club with a small budget – to have a real good cup run as we have done in that competition (FA Trophy) and the Essex Senior Cup, it is going to have an adverse effect somewhere else.
“To try pushing on two fronts is quite difficult with the numbers we’ve got and the lack of experience we have.”
The Concord chief continued: “It probably has had an effect on that (league form), but we’ve got a good bunch of lads. I don’t think they are staying humble and know the importance of the league campaign. They’re turning out, week in, week out. I’ve said to them, this is your bread and butter – this is what you’ve got to do – it is important to the football club.
“The cup run is wonderful – an achievement – we are very close to doing something not many people get an opportunity to do. But that’s what it is at the end of the day. You’ve got to deal with that when it comes. This is our bread and butter – Hungerford – if it goes ahead on Tuesday – is very important to us.”
Host’s Hungerford are currently propping up the National League South table and are eight points from safety following Saturday’s single goal defeat at the hands of Bath City. Nevertheless, with two victories from their last three matches, Concord will head to West Berkshire knowing they have a tough task on their hands.
Jeevesie’s prediction: Hungerford Town 1-2 Concord Rangers