It’s been a tough ten days or so for the Ravens of FC Isle of Man.
Following a desperate last-minute equaliser two weeks ago at Cheadle Heath Nomads, we have since suffered our first defeat at West Didsbury last Saturday and just three days ago, another heart-breaking last-minute goal gave victory to Abbey Hey.
This week we travel to Birkenhead, one of our shorter trips, to take on Cammell Laird 1907 FC.
Our Opponents this Week
The Cammells are one of the oldest clubs in the North West of England having been formed under their original name of Cammell Laird FC in 1907.
After competing for many years in leagues such as the Birkenhead & Wirral and West Cheshire Leagues, Cammell Laird moved to the North West Counties League in 2003 and were Premier League champions within two years, which duly earned them promotion to the Northern Premier League. During that first season in the NPL they also reached the semi-final of the FA Vase.
There followed a few tough seasons, a couple of relegations and in 2013-14 Cammell Laird FC were disbanded but were immediately re-born in their current guise.
The Cammells play at the Prahbu Ventures Ltd Arena.
Like ourselves, the Merseysiders have had a mixed start to the season and sit in 11th place in the table just two points above the Ravens, having played two games more. The Cammells too, have just suffered two back-to-back defeats.
FC Isle of Man Team News
Alongside the disappointment of those two recent defeats, Manager Chris Bass is having to handle a major injury crisis this week. As well long-term absentees Frank Jones, Sam Caine, and Alex Harrison, the wounded list has grown exponentially this week as Jack Camarda and Sid Batty suffered bad injuries in last week’s encounter at Abbey Hey.
With Lee Gale also injured following the West Didsbury game and Michael Williams hurt that same weekend, Bass really didn’t need to encounter more injury dramas as Ryan Burns and Jacob Crook withdrew during Thursday mornings training session and are also unfortunately out of the weekend trip ahead. To compound matters, veteran Sean Quaye is suspended following his sending off at West Didsbury last week.
However, one’s misfortune opens the door of opportunity for another as Adam Cooil (and his headband) may fancy a recall to starting duties this week. Dan Simpson has looked more like his old self in recent weeks, and Luke Murray continues to be a thorn in the side of any opponent he comes up against. While his fellow strike partner Sean Doyle certainly took the chance he was provided last week with his first goals for the club.
So a tough couple of weeks for the Ravens, but this is a tough set of players and despite the recent setbacks, all are confident of travelling tomorrow for a seventh consecutive away game and picking up three points.