Mangos are back in action at last

September 02 2020

FOLLOWING a five-month gap, Mangotsfield United returned to action on August 14 with their first pre-season friendly fixture.
As with all non-league football clubs, the Mangos’ young squad – who formed the basis of the First XI back in February, following the resignation of then-manager Ollie Price and the departure of all the team – resumed training back in July, but without any confirmed knowledge at the time as to when the new 2020-21 season would get under way.
That has since become clearer, with the announcement that the Southern League in its entirety will kick off the new campaign on Saturday September 12, with the fixtures for the new season announced by the end of August.
The first pre-season match, a 5-1 defeat away to Toolstation League side Cribbs FC, was watched by no fans at all, due to restrictions at the time forbidding any spectators to be admitted entrance into the ground. This scenario occurred at non-league grounds all across the country but was changed immediately in the days that followed, after many pleas by clubs and even politicians, that supporters had to be re-admitted to non-league grounds (possibly in a restricted way), so that clubs could finally get some much-needed revenue into the coffers.
The Mangos' second friendly, on August 21, resulted in a 4-3 away win at Hellenic League side Tytherington Rocks, which saw the team trail 1-0 at half time, despite forcing five or six early corners and creating a number of decent chances, only to fall to a typical long through ball, which caught the Mangos' defence out. The Cossham Street side soon levelled, just after the break, but then went behind again, only for another equaliser to make it 2-2. The Rocks then re-took the lead to go 3-2 up, but this young Mangos side continued to show a lot of spirit and soon levelled again, before taking the lead for the first time in the 70th minute. That proved to be enough to win a lively encounter.
Meanwhile, in the FA Cup, the Mangos have been drawn away to either Tavistock or Bradford Town, whilst in the FA Trophy, Cinderford Town will be the visitors to Cossham Street.
The Mangos youngsters indeed face a testing campaign in the Southern League, especially as they are largely inexperienced at that level, but they will certainly give it everything they’ve got. No one really knows at this stage what is happening at all the other clubs in their division, following five months of inactivity, so there could be other teams too who may have to look towards youth in providing a good chunk of their line-ups at the start of the new campaign.
Dave Smale