A STABLE squad is reaping rewards for Ulverston Rangers and manager Gary Fawcett on his return to the West Lancashire League Division One outfit.

Having had spells at Holker Old Boys and Kendal Town, Fawcett came back to the club where he previously oversaw the reserves and teams in the youth section to take charge of the seniors in July.

Holidays and work commitments caused selection problems in the early weeks of the season, but now being able to select the same group of players each week has helped Rangers go on a four-game unbeaten run.

“The core of the squad was there and I knew that because we’d worked with most of the lads since they were 12 years old, and seen them come through the juniors and then the seniors,” said Fawcett.

“We knew the quality was there and we’d just have to tweak things, and put a strong squad behind them.

“We had a tough start, really. We built a nice, strong squad up, but – probably like every local football team – people were on holiday and the night matches killed us, work-wise, but the last five weeks or so we’ve managed to get a settled side together.

“Pretty much the same 11 has gone out on the pitch and it has paid dividends because we’re settled, we’ve started playing some good football and are working hard as a team. The results are starting to show now.”

The first team is backed up by a reserve side which has several 16 and 17-year-olds mixed with a few wise heads and is currently battling it out at the top of Furness Premier League Division Two.

They have benefitted by players from the senior side having a run-out with them too and Fawcett is delighted with the competition for places at the club.

Ulverston take a break from league action tomorrow when they make the short trip to Dalton United in a re-arranged Furness Senior Cup first-round tie.

Fawcett expects a tough test from their West Lancs Division Two neighbours, but is quietly confident his side can do well in the area cup this season.

“I don’t want to tempt fate, but we did target the Senior Cup as an area we can do well,” said Fawcett. “Especially in West Lancs Division One, we know if we’re on our game – and as results have shown in that league – we can beat anybody.

“It’s a little respite from the league, but one we’re taking serious and we want to go as far as we can in it.”

Tomorrow's fixtures

North West Counties League First Division North (3pm): Prestwich Heys v Holker Old Boys.

West Lancashire League Division One: Milnthorpe Corinthians v Crooklands Casuals.

Richardson Cup round one (2pm): Vickerstown v Poulton.

Furness Senior Cup (2pm): Dalton United v Ulverston Rangers, Millom v Askam United, Swarthmoor Social v Holker Old Boys res, Barrow Wanderers v Vickerstown res, Furness Rovers v Croftlands Park, Walney Island v Britannia, Furness Cavaliers v Hawcoat Park.