‘It feels absolutely fantastic’ - St Francis Rangers’ assistant manager Whelan

DM1616084a.jpg Football: Wick and barnham United v St Francis. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-161203-205100008
DM1616084a.jpg Football: Wick and barnham United v St Francis. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-161203-205100008
  • St Francis Rangers had gone 29 league games without a point
  • The club have had three managers this year
  • Before Saturday they had lost 34 consecutive games in all competitions

They have finally done it. After 29 games without a point in the Southern Combination League Premier Division, Joe Monks’ men drew 1-1 at Wick and Barnham on Saturday to pick up their first point of the season.

After 29 games without a point in the Southern Combination League Premier Division, Joe Monks’ men drew 1-1 at Wick and Barnham on Saturday.

Rangers went ahead early on through Robert Atkinson’s header from a corner but Wick levelled through Ben Gray just before half-time.

In all competitions they had lost 34 consecutive games, but assistant manager Paul Whelan was pleased they finally got off the mark.

He said: “It feels absolutely fantastic, obviously.

“I’m pleased that we’re finally off the mark because it was a record nobody wants to have and it would have been a tragedy for the club to go a whole season without picking up points.

DM1616044a.jpg Football: Wick and barnham United v St Francis. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-161203-205049008

DM1616044a.jpg Football: Wick and barnham United v St Francis. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-161203-205049008

“It takes a bit of the pressure off the youngsters to get a result as well, but most of all I’m delighted for John Goss and the rest of the committee because they work so hard for the club, and with the amount of time and effort they put in they deserve to be shown some reward in return on the pitch.”

And Whelan believed that elusive point was coming. He said: “We’ve definitely felt like we are improving as the youngsters get more experience of the physical level of men’s football and the players start to gel as a group.

“We’ve had some compliments from other clubs’ managers and fans in recent weeks about some of the football we have been playing which is always nice to hear, and even when we have been losing the scorelines have been a lot closer as we have competed for longer periods.”

Rangers had conceded 192 goals in 29 league games before Saturday’s game but one the reasons to the improvement has been the defense. Whelan said: “Defensively we have become a lot more solid.

DM1616088a.jpg Football: Wick and Barnham United v St Francis. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-161203-205111008

DM1616088a.jpg Football: Wick and Barnham United v St Francis. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-161203-205111008

“Out of possession we are well organised now and we make ourselves difficult to break down. I think we have installed a bit of belief back within some of the older players that we aren’t just turning up to get turned over every week, that we can actually go out there and compete and enjoy our football. I think you lose a bit of heart when you lose so many consecutive games but we’ve managed to re-energise them.

“Now that we’re off the mark the next target is to get our first win, we’re not satisfied with just the one result and hopefully we can use the good feeling in the dressing room after Saturday to spur us on further.”

Chairman John Goss said: “Joe Monks has worked hard with players and he deserves the credit for first point of season. Both teams had chances to win but overall a well earned point very happy with a point.”

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DM1616098a.jpg Football: Wick and Barnham United v St Francis. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-161203-205121008

DM1616098a.jpg Football: Wick and Barnham United v St Francis. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-161203-205121008

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