Wick frustrated as Rangers pick up their first point

Action from Wick & Barnham Uniteds draw with St Francis Rangers on Saturday
Action from Wick & Barnham Uniteds draw with St Francis Rangers on Saturday

Wick & Barnham United Football Club endured a frustrating afternoon on Saturday when they became the first side to fail to beat St Francis Rangers this season.

Heading into the game at Crabtree Park, Rangers had lost all 34 matches they had played this campaign, which included 29 successive league defeats. They had conceded 192 times in those 29 losses but Joe Monks, who became the club’s third manager of the season in January, has bolstered the squad with youngsters from Barnet, where he is head of academy recruitment.

Rangers went ahead early on through Robert Atkinson’s header from a corner but Wick levelled through Ben Gray just before half-time and then had numerous chances throughout the second half.

Wick joint boss Richard Towers admitted his side threw everything at Rangers in the hunt for a winner but it ultimately ended up as a disappointing day for his side.

He said: “It was just one of those days and was very disappointing, especially after our 6-1 win at Hailsham last week.

“We just couldn’t score. We threw everything at them and had loads of chances. We hit the bar, hit the post, their keeper pulled off a couple of miracle saves and we had other shots which hit his head, his stomach and his shoulder and somehow he kept them all out.”

After the 6-1 victory at Hailsham, when Simmonds scored five, Towers admitted Wick went into the game with confidence but added: “We didn’t want the lads going into the game over-confident and thinking it would be an easy three points.

“It was just a disappointing day. We were forced into three or four changes after Tuesday because of injuries and suspension and that didn’t help matters.

“We have such a small squad that even the slightest change can affect the team. That’s been the case all season, though, as we haven’t got a reserve team and that can make it hard to keep players happy. However, Dan had a few chances, Ben Gray missed two one-on-ones after his goal, Matt Noble put one wide, the list just goes on and on, really.”

Towers added the visitors were under constant pressure in the second half and said: “They were hanging on throughout the whole second half and also slowed things down, which made it all the more frustrating.

“They were happy with the 1-1 and celebrated at the end as they’d got their first point and who can blame them? They had five players from Barnet and we’ve played against worse sides this season.

“I think they took a few of our players by surprise and I’m just glad we took a point, so we didn’t end up with complete egg on our faces.

“Before the Hailsham game, if I’d been offered four points from the two games I’d have been happy. However, after winning the hard one away, you then hope that you’ll win the next one as well, so it’s two points dropped.”

St Francis Rangers then picked up their second point of the season on Tuesday, when they drew 1-1 away to Hailsham.

WICK: Nash; Eyres, MacIver, Menzies, Playle-Howard; Madden, D.Towers, Noble, Chick; Simmonds, Gray. Subs: Frangou.

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