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DOWNES SPORTS FC- THE TANGERINE DREAM

Sept/Oct 2003

After a good pre season for both squads, the end of September see's Downes 1st XI and Reserves handily placed, neither out of touch near the top of their respective divisions.

This is a far cry to this time last season when the first team and the reserves languished near the foot of the table.

The improvement can be seen most emphtically in the goalscoring where between them the two side have scored 45 goals in 15 matches. With this record we would probably expect to be heading the league tables but unfortunatley  the defensive records are a lot less impressive with 31 goals against in 15 matches.

The highlights so far for the first team have been impressive away wins at St Andrews and Thurnby 3-1 and 5-0 respectively. And the goalscoring record of Steve Hines in his second spell at the club has yielded 10 goals in seven league starts.

The first team at times have played some fast flowing football and should have been higher in the league than they currently are. There has been a regular problem so far this season and that is the fact when in front we look most likely to conceed,   in all four games where we have not took all three points we have led at half time. This was most apparent when leading 3-0 after 70 minutes against Highfield Rangers only to come away with a draw.

This seasons exploits in the FA Vase lasted the usual one game exiting to Coventry Sphinx 2-0 away.

Things however looked incredibly better than last year and we already have seven more points than we had at Christmas last year.

The Reserves season so far has been as mixed as ever , but Gunnys men also have excellent away victories at Anstey Nomads 7-1 and Lutterworth 4-1.

The reserves currently lie 4th in a league where possibly this season could be for the taking if consistency can be achieved.

Mark Bradbury's seven goals in seven games have gone a long way to getting the reserves up the table and it is fitting to wish "Fat Brad" all the best after his horrendous injury against Highfield Res.

The two squads this season have been bolstered considerably, mainly down to the influx of players from over the border in Warwickshire. Neil Stephenson has managed to draft in several "codders"- Steve Hines, Mark Rolph, Sean McCallum, Gary Murphy, Jason Messenger, Dave Tonks, Guy Barnett and probably a few more because to be honest they all look the same.

Other new faces include Ian "Hightower" Denoon signed from Highfields, Ben Wykes with another spell at the club, Ross Harrison, Michael "Scouse- cough your guts up" Law, Adam McNally, Ben Wilkinson, Ross Harrison, and probably the first Italian to play for Downes, Julian Frattaroli and unfortunatley the first team are yet to win with him in the side, hardly a  Paolo Maldini record is it.

And finally, Chris Rowley is donig a fine job as secretary and this allows him to be first team skipper and to hold the sole rights to the taking of free kicks around the oppositions penalty area.

And this seasons dismal disciplinay record is not making the job easier, so if your going to get booked or sent off for god sake hit somebody, don't call the referee a muppet.