Starting with performances and results: In August we lost our first 2 games, including the Cleator Cup, but went on to an unbeaten run of 6 games, ending the month in 9th place. September saw us climb to 4th place in the league with 5 wins and one defeat in our 6 league games. Disappointingly we had a narrow defeat at Lancaster City in the FA Cup 1-0 which brought out hopes of another good cup run to an end. Despite a fairly inconsistent October we managed to hit 3rd place in the table, even after 3 league defeats in 4 games including a real surprise with a 2-0 home defeat against rock bottom West Auckland. October also saw us give Congleton Town of the North West Counties League a 5-1 winning away performance in the FA Vase with a fantastic turnout of travelling Seasiders. Finally into November which only saw 4 games played due to poor weather and an unplayable pitch but all 4 were won in fine style. The only league game was a 3-0 win at West Allotment Celtic which saw some superb football and quality finishes for the goals. With wins in the FA Vase, League Cup and North Riding Senior Cup, we are still battling on all of those fronts, as well as the league, for silverware.
Players and goal scorers: With several arrivals and departures since July, Carl now has a settled squad that is laden with talent. There have been some really fantastic individual and team performances from the lads and it is clear that morale and confidence is high, and rightly so. Jamie Owens is top scorer once more with 12 goals, split evenly between league and cup goals. Our captain Craig Gott is just behind Jamie with 11, then come Adam Preston (7), Nathan Mulligan (6) and Glen Butterworth (5). Adam has joined us from the lower leagues but is already showing us all what an exceptional talent he is and his performances and finishing have been a joy to watch. The recent addition of Luke Bythway from Guisborough Town is also a real capture for our club and Luke has already scored 4 very well taken goals. Overall, the lads have been a joy to watch each game and to work with. Well done to each and every one of them who has, and continues to, pull on the shirt for Marske United.
Management: Carl continues to do a first class job and has brought in Nicky Ward to assist him in the dugout, with Malcolm being a total stalwart for Carl and the club. We are all aware of the situation in September when Carl and Nathan left the club with Carl returning shortly after. That is well and truly behind us and we have absolutely the right man in the dugout, I personally am very glad Carl made the decision he did. We all wish Nathan well in his role at Bishop Auckland.
Off the field: The Committee continues to work hard behind the scenes to make sure the games go ahead without a hitch and unless you have been part of that group you can never really understand what is involved and how difficult the roles are. I want to express my thanks and appreciation to them all for their efforts. Peter C has been working hard in his role as commercial manager to bring funds into the club and without his efforts we would not have the club we have today. What we all need to also know is that Peter continues to do a lot of things outside of this role, particular in regards to the pitch and ground. We really must help to cover these tasks as a group and a club and I welcome all offers of assistance. The fans have been great in their efforts in ground maintenance and the support for the team, home and away, continues to be incredible. Nobody will ever convince me that we don’t have the best fans in the Northern League. Thanks also to Colin who makes sure the kit is always clean and ready for match day. Again, unless you have seen what Colin does it is hard to appreciate the work he puts in. In terms of the club house, it has been a long battle which is finally progressing to a conclusion. We will provide updates as soon as we can but need to, as a club, ensure everything that has been done is legal and correct.
Hopefully December will see us get most of the 4 scheduled games played but the weather and pitch, at this time, are against us. The fans are particularly looking forward to the visit of Bishop Auckland and the trip on Boxing Day to Guisbrough Town.
Thanks once again to the Committee, the supporters, the management team and the players who all contribute so much to making Marske United the club we are.