Stevenage v Concord Rangers [Preview]


By Pete H

OK, so we’ve finally managed to score a goal again. So, how about we do something about our eternal wait for our next win? If it can’t come against a side two leagues below us, our problems could be bigger than we thought. That’d go against the “magic” of the FA Cup, though. And that’s what our business is all about this weekend; Concord Rangers in town and looking to take advantage of a Boro’ side that has forgotten what it’s like to come out victorious. Or could this finally be the game in which our season takes off…?

What? We’re allowed one ‘concorde’ pun – aren’t we?

The Details: Stevenage v Concord Rangers

Where’s the game?

At the Lamex.

Can I watch Stevenage v Concord Rangers?

You can. If there were plans to again open up The 76 Lounge, Lockdown 2.0 has put ’em to bed. Fear not, however. For season ticket holders and anyone getting a Video Match Pass owners, iFollow is your service.

How are Boro’ shaping up…?

We don’t need to spell it out too much, do we? The good news is that we managed not to set a new club record for successive games without a goal; six is our existing record, and six is where we left it at this time around. But it’s now more than six weeks since we did a win and our trip to Colchester United did little to ease those worries. It helps to be at home to a lower-league opponent this weekend. Yet, the impact it could have if it goes wrong is not worth thinking about. Let’s hope we just get the job done and move into Round Two.

… and how are they doing right now?

It’s hard to know what to make of the Beach Boys’ start to the 2020-1 season. For a start, National League South is only four matches in. There was an FA Trophy win back in early September and their FA Cup run started on 4 October. The ongoing rubbish situation with Covid-19 means that league matters only got going on 10 October; winning one, drawing one and losing two. From a 6-0 loss against Maidstone United at Halloween to a 4-1 win at Dulwich on Tuesday, let’s hope they’re only as good as their second-last game.

Our story with Concord Rangers so far

Apart from the need to create the obligatory profile page, we love new faces – especially when there’s a new ground involved. It’s just as well this one’s at home, however, as the prospect of going to any stadium – new or old – at the moment is so far off the cards it’s unreal. So, what we’re trying to say is that we’ve never played the Beach Boys before.

Last Meeting: None to date.

Who’s the referee in charge?

John Busby.

Mr Busby isn’t exactly the ref that we’d turn to as our first choice. The last two of ours on his watch have ended in defeat. In total, he’s been the man in the middle for Boro’ seven times; us losing four and winning three. So, in a way, we’re now due a win to balance up the books. That’s how it works, isn’t it?

It’ll be his ninth appointment of the season – and he’s yet to go a match without reaching for his cards. It’s 20 yellows in total if you’re counting, while his last two saw the red card come out too. You can expect someone’s name to be taken in this cup clash. Whether a red is needed too depends on how desperate either side gets in the final stages.

Last Meeting: Plymouth Argyle 2-1 Stevenage, 29 December 2019

Stevenage v Concord Rangers: Our verdict?

Now, this’ll make us look very silly if it backfires on us. But we just can’t see how this one ends in defeat for us. This one surely has all the hallmarks of a relatively comfortable win for Boro’ – even taking into account our awful form since mid-September. There has to be a winner on the day too, with no replays in this year’s FA Cup. So, it’s 3-0 for us. And with it, we’re going to adopt the brace position and hope it’s not a bumpy landing.