Banim wants to repeat Cup form in the league

Stafford Rangers boss Jody Banim is hoping they can use their FA Cup success as a springboard for better things in the league.

Jody Banim
Jody Banim

After the euphoria which came with beating Hereford 3-1 in the Cup’s third qualifying round at Marston Road on Tuesday, Rangers are back in Northern Premier action as they travel to FC United of Manchester tomorrow.

Having only picked up a point from their first four matches, they would love to register that first league win of 2020/21 at Broadhurst Park.

And Banim is hoping to see more of what he got from his players against the Bulls, as he said: “It was a good performance barring the first 15 minutes, where they started better.

“We changed our shape a bit, created some really good opportunities and got the goals.

“It was really, really pleasing – especially after the disappointment of losing to Hyde last weekend.

“Beating a team of Hereford’s stature is always something to be happy about, as well as the money that comes with it.

“Now we’ve got FC United in the league and we know all about them. They were the second in the table before Covid, so we’re well prepared for them.

“We know it will be a tough game, but we want to start picking up points in the league now and get a run together.

“It’s just been a bit of decision-making that has been lacking from us at times, but the desire has always been there and hopefully we can show that again. We aren’t far away and we’ll get there, I’m sure.”

It has been a busy period for Boro and it is not about to slow up either, with tomorrow’s clash followed up quickly by a trip to Basford on Tuesday before a Cup fourth qualifying round tie with Skelmersdale United a week tomorrow.

Banim is having to deal with a fair few injuries, too, but is confident in the players available to him as they look to put a run of wins together.

“We’ve had a lot of injuries, to be honest. We had six out injured Saturday and Tuesday, but we’ve brought in some lads to supplement the squad,” he said.

“We’ve got enough to win games, though, so I’m not overly concerned. We’ve got enough there despite the injuries.

While firmly focused on FC United, Rangers also know a win over Skelmersdale next weekend will take them into the proper rounds of the Cup for the first time in 14 years.

On the draw, Banim added: “I’ve said to the lads nothing is won on paper.

“On paper, it’s the best draw we could’ve got, but you only have to look at us and what we did against Hereford.

“Everybody raises their game in the Cup, especially when a place in the first round proper is at stake, so we cannot take them lightly.”

Meanwhile, in the Southern Central Premier, Hednesford Town are looking to keep up the momentum after interim boss Keenan Meakin-Richards won his first game at the helm.

Following on from a 4-2 triumph over Stratford Town last weekend, the Pitmen are travelling to AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

Rushall Olympic are looking to bounce back from a 2-0 loss to league leaders Coalville as they head to Lowestoft.

Fourth-placed Stourbridge, who are on a four-game winless run, host Kings Langley.

Halesowen Town – after getting all the way to the semi-finals last term – are hoping to start another special journey in the FA Trophy at Corby. They will also be keen to make up for their Cup exit at Cambridge City.

Both Chasetown and Kidderminster Harriers, meanwhile, are not in action because of Covid-19 issues, with the former having to drop out of the Trophy as the squad self-isolates. Kidderminster’s game with Alfreton was postponed after a positive test within the Alfreton camp.

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