Another weekend, another game without a win, yet Dromara Village manager Kyle Rendall is far from desperate about his club’s prospects as they continue to battle to find a way to lift themselves off the bottom of the Amateur League Premier Division table for the first time this season.
On Saturday, the Villagers looked to be heading towards their first maximum points of the campaign so far, or at the very least, adding to the solitary point they have earned from their opening ten games.
However, in the final 20 minutes of their trip to Nortel, the hosts not only cancelled out Ryan Davidson’s half-hour opener, but scored a second to ensure another empty-handed afternoon for Dromara.
An upbeat Rendall remarked: “Relegation isn’t in my thoughts at all. If I had gone into this club thinking it was going down, there would have been no point in me coming here.
“The simple fact is that I took this job knowing that it would be a rebuilding process, and that’s exactly what it has been. There is not one single first team player here from last year.
“I have been here for seven weeks, and in that time, I have signed 16 players. I have been lucky that a lot of them have been from Championship clubs, and I have a good team in place at the moment.
“The only problem is that it will take time for the players to gel. In a way, it’s like it is still pre-season for us – I don’t think you will be able to judge us properly until the end of December.”
If Saturday’s spirited and stylish performance is anything to go by, it may not be long before Dromara start putting some more points on the board.
Despite results not going their way, Rendall says they have been drawing admiring glances from other teams, and Saturday was no exception.
He continued: “Every week, teams come away from us telling us how well we have played. We were the better side against Nortel on Saturday, and last month, we were the better side against the leaders Malachians for most of the game, but ended up losing 2-1.
“Our problem has been conceding goals from silly individual errors, and a lack of cover in key areas, but we have been adding to the team as we have gone along, and I can see an improvement.
“The fact that our seconds and thirds are starting to win their games now is another sign of the strength in depth we have here now, too. The potential at this club is unbelievable.”
Nortel’s victory on Saturday pulls them level on points at the top of the table with Malachians, who lost 2-1 on their travels to Ardglass.
The top two have a five-point cushion over third-placed Drumaness Mills, who secured a comfortable 3-0 win away to Islandmagee. Kilmore Rec cruised to a 7-1 home win over Comber Rec, Ards Rangers defeated Dunmurry Rec 2-0, and Crumlin Star beat Albert Foundry 3-2, while Stephen Johnston led his Killyleagh YC side to a 4-1 win over his former club Shankill United.
For all the weekend’s scores, click on our results section.