Since suffering a humiliating 17-0 defeat by Fairford Town they have enjoyed seven days of progress, culminating in a creditable 2-2 draw at Purton on Saturday.

They were lifted by the appearance of goalkeeper Eric Edge, who flew back from college in the USA where he has been playing for Dodge City Community College, landing at Heathrow on the morning of the match and going straight into the team. “We were unlucky not to win the game,” Edge said. “If we had taken our chances we could have scored four or five, but the lads played out of their skins and worked hard from the first whistle to the last.

“I fell asleep in the car on the way home.” Edge commented to Gloucestershire Echo reporter Jon Palmer. “But during the game I felt fine and I didn’t have that much to do, which is credit to the boys for their organisation and work rate.”

Saracens also included new signings Nick Hill, Jack Oldham, Leigh Rayson and Jamie Martin, giving the team far experience as well as Southern League pedigree. Martin has signed from Slimbridge, with the other three players know all about Hellenic League football. Oldham and Martin both scored against Purton, who replied through Matt Bennett and Nouman Farouq Bhatti.

Veteran Chris Palmer, 41, also played, with several influential players from the club’s past rallying to ensure they are not forced to withdraw from the league this season.

Many of the positive developments are thanks to Ryan Betteridge and Marcus Finch, who have stepped in to help 22-year-old player/coach Ash Hill. They may have a goal difference of -98, with 114 goals conceded in 18 games, but they have already restored some pride and there are three teams below them in the table.

The clear aim is to make it to the end of the season with their Uhlsport Hellenic League status intact and then rebuild in the summer.


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