Before the 2020/21 season had started, Wormingford Wanderers wanted to compete for the league. Although their preparations were not as they had hoped, they were still ambitious. “Our pre-season wasn’t ideal for obvious reasons but we had still built a side,” said manager Liam Meadows. “We felt we had a chance to compete for the league.”

After 9-games of the new season, the Wanderers had found themselves 6th with 18-points and 7-points off the leaders Thorpe Athletic. The season had began with a 10-0 victory over Hedinghams United Reserves before they also beat Abbey Fields. Their first loss of the season came at the hands of Colne Athletic but they were back to winning ways against Oyster Reserves with a 3-1 win. Despite losing to Sporting Rebels, Wormingford picked up a run of form as they went on a 3-game winning run; beating Ramsey & Mistley, Langham Lodgers and Tiptree Heath Reserves before they were defeated by leaders Thorpe Athletic. Although the season had been a great start to the season, the off field troubles had made it seem more of a struggle than they had hoped. “The 10-0 victory in the opening fixture was a big highlight and got us started in the right way. Off the field, COVID has obviously played a big part and made some aspects a real struggle like training and team bonding.”

I feel we’ve been unfortunate in games against the sides above us but I’d say it’s [the table] generally a fair reflection of our overall performances.”

Being only 7-points behind with a game in-hand on the leaders meant with a win, Wanderers could find themselves 4-points behind. For Meadows, he felt his side were well and truly in the title race but he hoped they could resume the season. “One-hundred percent we feel we are still in the title race” he said. “It’s tight at the top and our games against the likes of Thorpe [Athletic], Colne [Athletic] and Sporting [Rebels] could have gone either way so if we put together a good run, we have every chance.”

The biggest hindrance of the season had been the lockdowns. While they were for the greater good, Liam felt without them, they could have had a better season and one without any issues. “It’s been tough adapting to the new guidelines off the field but on it, we have started well. There is no doubt that it’s been very difficult with the lockdowns which have caused a hindrance.”

At the back of his mind, he had hopes that the season could be finished but he still had his doubts. It would also mean the players keeping themselves fit during the lockdowns, but he also knew that brought its troubles. “If we can could finish the season, that would be brilliant. Saying that, it is not without it’s difficulties. Everyone’s doing their best to stay fit but I’m sure a few will need a shirt size bigger when we eventually get back to training.”

All through the pandemic, the focus of the clubs were to stay afloat and be ready for the new 2021/22 season, especially if the current one was suspended indefinitely. Beyond that, silverware was the focus. “With the current circumstances, stability off the field is key for us. I’m sure the majority of clubs are struggling to say afloat. Hopefully, there will be some silverware for the Worms in the coming years!”

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