Nickname: The Crusaders
Stadium: Bulpit Lane (Capacity: 3,034)
Manager: Danny Robinson
This Saturday sees Concord Rangers start their 2022/23 campaign with a trip to Berkshire to take on Hungerford Town at Bulpit Lane.
The Crusaders finished 12th in the National League South last season, having flirted with the playoffs across the course of the campaign; Danny Robinson’s men even occupied the final playoff place as late as May.
However, no wins in their final seven games (six of which were draws) saw the Crusaders slump into midtable, finishing 10 points off the top seven.
It has been a busy summer at Bulpit Lane. Perhaps unsurprisingly last season’s top scorer Ryan Seager has departed. The striker scored 27 goals for the Crusaders last season but opted for a move to recently promoted National League side Dorking Wanderers.
His goals will need replacing and as a result Robinson has brought in a trio of attackers: Niko Muir, Adam Liddle and Leighton Thomas.
Also arriving at Hungerford are: Kameron English, Jeremiah Gyebi and goalkeepers Marcus Beauchamp and Mark Scott; as well as former Beach Boy Ben Allen.
Concord will be looking to get revenge on a Hungerford side that did the double over the Beach Boys last season, having beaten Chris Search’s men 1-4 and 1-0.
The Crusaders haven’t won a home league game since February, and that win came against the Beach Boys. An early Ryan Seager strike was enough to separate the two sides that day.
Key Player – Jake Evans
Midfielder Jake Evans was ever present for Hungerford last season appearing in every game bar five, and it comes as no surprise that the Crusaders won just one game without the 24-year-old.
During the 2021/22 season Evans also popped up with six goals despite predominantly playing in a defensive midfield position.
Evans arrived at Bulpit Lane in December 2020 from Cardiff City, and has previously played for fellow National League South sides Farnborough and Hemel Hempstead.
During pre-season Evans found the net once, bagging in a 3-1 win over Maidenhead United.
They’ve played for both
A former Beach Boy, Ben Allen arrived at Bulpit Lane from fellow National League South club Welling this summer.
Allen started last season with Welling before joining Concord in October where he scored on his debut in a 3-2 win over Tonbridge Angels, before netting on his second appearance for the Beach Boys in a loss at Havant and Waterlooville.
The 21-year-old would return to Welling in February and the midfielder helped the Wings complete the great escape.
Across last season Allen scored five goals and during pre-season the 21-year-old scored twice, against Salisbury and Maidenhead.
Silky winger Nana Kyei re-joined Concord in February from Hungerford, and enjoyed a fine return to the Aspect Arena.
The 24-year-old netted seven times for the Beach Boys, including an impressive hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Bath City.
Kyei spent just seven months at Hungerford last summer following a summer arrival from Potters Bar. In this time the former Barnet man scored one goal in a win over Dorking.
During pre-season Kyei netted once; scoring a header in the Beach Boys’ 1-1 draw with Dagenham & Redbridge.
3-1 vs Maidenhead (H)
3-2 vs Leatherhead (H)
1-2 vs Eastleigh (A)
1-2 vs Salisbury (A)
0-0 vs Cray Valley (A)
1-4 vs Hornchurch (A)
1-1 vs Dagenham & Redbridge (H)
2-1 vs Southend (H)
26/02/2022: Hungerford Town 1-0 Concord Rangers
23/10/2021: Concord Rangers 1-4 Hungerford Town
17/10/2020: Hungerford Town 1-0 Concord Rangers
19/10/2019: Concord Rangers 0-2 Hungerford Town
15/01/2019: Hungerford Town 2-1 Concord Rangers