Rangers get taste of things to come
Rutland Rangers 0
(Jack Hogg Charity Shield)
RUTLAND Rangers got a taste of what life could be like without last season's double-winning stars in the side when they played Whittlesey in the Jack Hogg Charity Shield last Friday evening.
Rangers, who won the Peterborough and District League Premier Division last season and the Cup, lost 3-0 to last season's league runners-up, Whittlesey, in the annual league curtain-raiser at Chestnut Avenue, Peterborough.
Rangers' boss Andy Saddington has lost the bulk of last season's starting 11 over the summer as players looked to play at a higher level - something Rangers cannot offer without improved ground facilities - and Whittlesey made light work of the new look Rangers which features many of last season's reserve side.
Only four players who featured in their second successive PFA Senior Cup final triumph last season remain and out of those, Jamie Saddington, was the only man to start at London Road back in April.
Rob Speechley opened the scoring after just six minutes and Lee Davison doubled their lead five minutes before the break.
Ashley Sanderson fired the third home from long range with 15 minutes remaining.
Rutland Rangers: Andy Collin, Craig Welbourne, Tom Cooper, Aaron Simpson, Steve Hibberd, Luke Ward, Ben Dickinson, Liam Hollingworth, David Bates, Jamie Saddington, Nathan Arkle. Subs: Craig Ward, Chris Steele, James Adamson.
l HOLDERS Rutland Rangers have been drawn against county rivals Uppingham Town in the opening round of the Peterborough Football Association Senior Cup.
Full draw: Ketton v Coates, Leverington v Thorney, Long Sutton v Netherton, Parson Drove v Alconbury, Powerleague v Oundle, Stilton v Pinchbeck, Uppingham v Rutland. Byes: Stamford Bels, Deeping Sports, Ramsey, Warboys, Crowland, Kings Cliffe, Eye Sports, Whittlesey, Moulton Harrox.
Recently reformed Ryhall United have been handed a bye into the first round of the PFA Challenge Cup.
l LEAGUE football starts on Saturday in the Peterborough and District League and the top flight of the Leicestershire Senior League, when Cottesmore Amateurs will host Ratby Sports at Rogues Park.
Amateurs follow this opener with a trip to Asfordby Amateurs on Tuesday.
In the Peterborough League, Rutland Rangers have a trip to Parson Drove for their first match in the defence of their title, while Uppingham are at home to Pinchbeck.
The two Rutland sides face each other on Wednesday evening at Uppingham before facing each other again two weeks later.
Ketton, Oakham Imps and Ryhall do not start league fixtures this week.
Rutland Rangers, runners-up in the Jack Hogg Charity Shield