About a month ago, I had the pleasure of walking down the road to the Trevor Brown Memorial Ground, the small stadum that the Paget Rangers call home.
My experience was documented in my 'From the Stands' articles, but the performance of the 'Bears' against Knowle FC had me hankering for more non-league action. Especially with Aston Villa performing so poorly, it might be an ideal time to view football from a different angle and take a shine to a new narrative. Maybe the Paget Rangers will remind us all why we fell in love with this sport in the first place!
You can follow the team on twitter here, but you can also pledge your support to the club here as the Rangers are currently raising money. Why? I'll let the Rangers explain.Paget Rangers Football Club was originally formed in 1938 and currently plays in the Midland Football League 2nd Division.
"We are at the heart of the local community, based in Erdington, Birmingham and we play our home games from Church Road in Boldmere.Due to the withdrawal of a major sponsor we need to raise essential funds to ensure that our football club can continue, become self-sustainable and then go on to grow and prosper in the future. Everyone involved at Paget Rangers is a volunteer, from the players, to the coaching staff to the management committee. Your donation will go towards ensuring that Paget Rangers Football Club continues to have a future."
Josh Smith and Jay Harris have kindly complied a monthly report for us and will hopefully continue to do so - because lets be honest, we could all really do with a second team right about now. Without any further delay, I'll let Josh and Jay take it from here.
October was a month of mixed fortunes for Paget, but since the club's short term future has been secured, thanks to the help of generous donors, there has been a positive vibe around the Trevor Brown Memorial Ground.
Things started on the wrong foot at the beginning of the month as the Bears four match unbeaten run was ended at home by Knowle FC in a 3-1 defeat. Knowle enacted revenge on Jason Lanns' men after September's 6-1 thrashing in the first round of the President's Cup with defender David Arrowsmith grabbing the consolation goal.
In their second fixture of the month, Paget lost to Midlands League Division Two leaders Chelmsley Town 3-0.The previous time these two sides had met they played out a thrilling 4-4 draw and whilst the scoreline may suggest otherwise this encounter was similarly tight. Chelmsley took the lead midway through the first half but after that Rangers dominated possession and threatened to equalise on a number of occasions .However, in the end Paget were cruelly undone by a killer blow in the dying embers of the game as their opponents grabbed goals in the 88th and 89th minutes.
As the month progressed the club's financial situation worsened and there was little hope of the club surviving beyond their first round JW Hunt Cup tie against Darlaston Town.Darlaston travelled to Wylde Green backed by a number of noisy supporters and when they took the lead in the first half they drowned out the home fans who were dreading the possibility of going out on such a low.Worry not, the boys on the pitch refused to roll over and they mounted a spiriting comeback in the second half that dragged the game time to extra time. Darlaston again took the lead before Mark Bellingham bailed us out of jail making the score 2-2 and taking the entertaining bout to penalties. What happened next was a sheer test of nerves as both sides stepped up on a number of occasions and tucked away their efforts. Then, with the score locked at 10-10, Paget keeper Ben Howard denied Sam Hesson before stepping up and hammering his own penalty home to seal a famous win. The result came at a crucial time and to come out on top in such a competitive game really helped to lift the spirits of everyone involved with the club.
By the time Saturday's MFL Division Two fixture had rolled around an appeal had been made for people to step forward and make donations to help Paget stay afloat. The club's staff and players were overwhelmed by the positive response but unfortunately they couldn't match that with a win as they lost 2-1 to Droitwich Spa. Jason Lanns' men took control of the game early on through a Luke Bradley strike before the tide turned when several questionable refereeing decisions went against them. Droitwich equalised against the run of play on the hour mark, before grabbing the winner in the final seconds of the match.
A few days later. Paget were back in action in the Fazeley Charity Cup and were knocked out of the competition by higher league opposition. Paget were downed by Pelsall Villa but they more than matched their opponents on the night. Despite taking the lead, the Bears failed to kick on and Pelsall fought their way back into the game. By the full-time whistle, the Bears ran out unlucky losers because if they had taken their chances they could have been the ones to progress in the tournament.
The Rangers ended the month on a high after thumping third-placed Rostance Edwards 4-1.The comprehensive away victory was secured by a brace from Mark Bellingham coupled with strikes from Reuben Wilson and Terry Carpenter. The win signalled an end to a dramatic few weeks and hopefully marks the start of a climb up the table.
Off the pitch it's been a turbulent time for everyone involved with the Bears as the club's future was in doubt, the club came close to folding after the Darlaston win. A crisis meeting was held the night after, in which generous members of Paget donated enough money to keep the club going for a short while.
The Bears' future could not be envisioned past Christmas without help from outside the club. A GoFundMe page was set up to allow an easy way for members of the local community and anyone wishing to help Paget.
Donations were few and far between until the campaign was discovered on social media by (Glasgow) Rangers fans who have contributed a great amount to Paget's cause, not only through GoFundMe donations but by purchasing merchandise and promoting the Brummie Rangers on social media.
Written by Jay Harris & Josh Smith
I hope you enjoyed the report from Jay and Josh, we'll have more from the Rangers soon here at 7500toHolte.