Spirit is better than ever, says Crane Sports chairman

CRANE Sports chairman Steve Roper is targeting maximum points from the club’s next three games in their fight for Senior Division survival in the Kingsley Healthcare SIL.

Crane’s, who tomorrow entertain Capel Plough, are currently bottom of the table, two points adrift of Framlingham Town, who the holders defeated 3-0 in the Touchline Sports Cup last Saturday to advance to the quarter-finals.

Roper said: “Obviously we are in a precarious position at the moment being at the foot of the table but the spirit in the club is better than ever and everyone is committed to the fight of avoiding the drop down to Division One.

“As you know we now have a new management team of Justin Middlemiss and Ian Radnor in place and it is naturally taking time to bed in and get the players to adapt to the new regime.

“We are playing some great football and should have had six or seven goals at Framlingham last Saturday and that unfortunately has been our weakness as we have not been scoring enough goals. We gave Grundisburgh, in their words, their hardest game of the season and hit the woodwork three times then lost to a last-minute penalty.

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“Against Leiston St Margarets we dominated the game only to rue missed chances and lose in the injury time. That’s what it’s like when you are at the wrong end of the table.

“We know what we have to do over the next few games. Capel, Wickham Market and Ransomes are our next three league matches and we badly need to pick up maximum points to put us back in the mix. However, there will be others who have a bad run and the season has many twists and turns to come of that I am certain.”

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Roper said that he did not believe the club’s progress in the Touchline Sports Cup, where they will face Division One Wenhaston United in the last eight, was a distraction so far as their league form was concerned.

“We are as keen to retain the trophy as we possibly could be. In my opinion it is not a distraction from the prime objective of retaining our senior status as if we continue winning in the cup it can only increase confidence levels and that can only be a good thing to take into our league games.

“We know very well we will have a tough job on our hands to beat a talented Wenhaston side who had an emphatic win at Henley Athletic in the last round. We are pleased to have drawn them at home but I know they have some new additions to their squad and they will undoubtedly give us a tough game. However, if we play like we know we can I am confident we can be in the hat for the semi finals.

“As for the future we are really trying hard to find a blend of youth and experience that works together well. Our reserves sit proudly at the top of Intermediate A and that side is made up of a number of teenagers with just a couple of players in their mid-20s and we feel this bodes very well for the future of Crane Sports FC,” he added.

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