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Week 10 Preview – Ellesmere Rangers

A very busy week for the Ravens concludes with a visit to a new county on our tour of the North West Counties Football League as we travel to Shropshire on Saturday to take on Ellesmere Rangers.

It’s been an exciting but tough week for the team following a barnstorming victory in the FA Vase last Saturday, this was quickly followed by a demanding league fixture at title-challenging New Mills on Tuesday evening.

Our Opponents this Week

Ellesmere Rangers were formed in 1969 and originally known as Railway Rangers before taking up their current name in 1974. They play their home fixtures at Beech Grove.

The Meresiders have played in many regional leagues from the Shropshire County League, where they were champions in 2003-04, to the Midland Alliance (Step 5) before being reallocated to the NWCFL following a regional league reshuffle in 2017.

After a strong start to the season through August, Rangers have endured a winless September but still sit ninth in the table just three points off the play-off places. So as per usual, this will be another tough game for the Ravens.

FC Isle of Man Team News

Despite the schedule, the Raven’s players are continuing to show fantastic desire and determination to perform, and perform well, and are growing in confidence with each passing week.

Despite the upbeat mood however, Chris Bass is unlikely  to be able to pick the same squad or team for this week’s encounter. Sam Baines, one of only two players to have started every match this season will see his streak come to an end this week and star of the show at New Mills on Tuesday, Charlie Higgins is also unavailable. On the incoming side however, Dan Simpson and Ryan Burns, both unavailable mid-week, are back in the frame for this weekend’s game.

The forward line has looked impressive if not spectacular during recent weeks. Sean Doyle has started to become a key influence up top alongside Luke Murray, while Furo Davies was a handful for New Mills’ defence mid-week. Also, impressive has been the emergence of the energetic Michael Williams in the midfield. After a staring cameo role in the season opener at Maine Road, Williams has unfortunately been injured, but he has played an influential part since returning and starting the last two games.