IN an unforgettable season that was cut short due to COVID-19, Concord Rangers still made club history despite a huge squad turnover in the summer of 2019, writes Euan Rourke.

Club chairman Ant Smith appointed a new management team with Danny Scopes taking the reins at the Beach Boys..

Smith has been Concord’s chairman for more than 20 years and has worked with Scopes before at all different levels for more than a decade.

“We are good friends off the pitch," said Smith.

"I have been very impressed with him and all the other new staff since their takeover.

“I’ve been extremely happy how Dan and his staff have lifted the whole club, giving us a great team to watch!”

In the first home game of the season local rivals, Chelmsford City travelled to the Aspect Arena.

The dominating performance with a brace from Decarrey Sheriff put Concord at the top of the Vanarama National League South table.

And Smith claimed it to be one of the highlights of the season:

“It was a big win for the whole club and for everyone involved," he said.

But Scopes' first season in charge also saw Concord go on an incredible cup run in the FA Trophy as they played a total of seven games, including replays, to reach the semi-final against Halesowen Town.

But that game looks unlikely to be played this side of August.

“It was unbelievable journey," said Smith.

"Anything can happen in any cup competition but we seemed to have the bit between our teeth in each of the games.”

One of the more memorable games within the journey was the second round proper, against Bath City.

After a very tight 90 minutes at the Aspect Arena, the Tte was forced to a replay in the South West.

After a very long journey the following Tuesday night, just 30 minutes before kick-off, the game was called off for ‘unplayable conditions.’

The whole team and the fans that travelled to Bath had to re-plan for another trip to Somerset.

After another postponement, this time 24 hours before kick-off, the game was set to take place at the end of January.

And, thanks to two James Blanchfield assists and an ice-cool finish from Joel Nouble, Concord were through to the third round for the very first time in the club’s history.

“I think that performance in Bath was one my most memorable moments this season, "said Smith. 

However, Smith feels that his highlight of the season was the quarter-final win against Royston Town in a packed-out Aspect Arena. 

“That game was my most memorable highlight from this season," said Smith.

"Seeing the pitch covered in supporters with all the team and staff was great.

"I was actually quite emotional!”

Since then the season has come to an abrupt end due to the coronavirus pandemic and it has been tough going for non-league teams, including Concord. 

“We are losing a lot in revenue from the loss of the function bookings," said Smith.

"However, football wise, the club have paid everyone.”

“No changes have been made at present.

"We’ve just got to wait and see what the future holds for football in general.”

But, away from football, Smith has also raised money for visors to be donated to the NHS. 

“I thought why not try doing our bit by asking for donations to pay for them and then for us to give to the NHS and the key workers locally," said Smith.

"It’s been fantastic. We’ve raising nearly £8,000 and have given out over 1,200 visors."