Power to the People: Raiders excite

PUBLISHED: 19:06 05 November 2010

Raiders Joe Allen trips a Chelmsford rival

Raiders Joe Allen trips a Chelmsford rival


Dreaming of Devon and Ashes heroes

CLOSE then, for Romford Raiders, in their big English National League double-header last weekend, but no cigar.

Edged out by rivals Chelmsford and Invicta on successive nights, the initial disappointment at being left empty-handed should give way to feelings of optimism.

Frustrated by a 1-0 defeat against the Chieftains, where Raiders clearly felt some important decisions didn’t go their way, they were in danger of being swept aside by a rampant Dynamos in the opening period at Rom Valley Way.

But goalie Michael Gray kept his side in the game with some fine saves and, after Invicta finally got their noses in front, captain Anthony Leone dragged Raiders back into it with a quickfire double.

it was exciting stuff and a good-sized Hallowe’en crowd were suddenly on the edge of their seats.

Chelmsford reported an attendance of 666 (spooky!) for the Essex derby and with a decent travelling support from Invicta, Raiders must have exceeded that.

And although the game ended in a 4-2 reverse - with the gloves staying on this weekend - it was entertaining fare, which is the name of the game when it comes to filling the stands.

There are still one or two kinks for Danny Marshall to iron out, but with a quarter of the season gone, his newly-built squad are going in the right direction.

Leone is sure Raiders will get their own back against the ‘Big Three’ and if they can avoid slip-ups against the lower teams, maybe they can push for top spot.

Signing Slovakian forward Juraj Huska this week is an obvious statement of intent.

Al Visockas wasn’t putting up the numbers and his new work commitments came at a good time, in all honesty.

A Lithuanian international, recommended to the club by former fans favourite Andrius Kaminskas, he can obviously play the game.

But he wasn’t the right fit for a Raiders side needing a leading man on offence.

Huska is said to possess a cannon of a shot, and top scored for a struggling Telford side in the EPL a few years back.

But some fans suggested he would go missing at times, when things got physical.

That was then, though, and this is now. A couple of goals on his debut against the Chieftains tomorrow and Raiders fans will not be too worried!

Congratulations to Hornchurch and Romford for fine FA Trophy away wins and this week’s draw has led to much excitement among their respective followers.

Urchins face the 520-mile round trip to Devon to take on Bideford in two weeks time and supporters have been busily booking B&B rooms and organising travel plans all week.

Boro, meanwhile, have a rather more mundane journey through the M25 roadworks to Boreham Wood, but Paul Martin is plotting an upset against the Conference South strugglers.

And with the confidence and spirit in the camp as it is at present, he has good reason to fancy his chances.

England’s cricketers arrived in Australia this week with high expectations for the Ashes.

I’ll be following their progress with much anticipation and have just taken delivery of a newly-published book - ‘The Toughest Tour’ by Huw Turbervill of the Daily Telegraph.

It documents England’s 16 trips Down Under since the Second World War and I can remember being an excited schoolboy when Mike Gatting’s brought the urn back in 1987. Dare I say, will probably be behaving like one again if Andrew Strauss and the boys repeat the trick this winter!

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