Risborough Rangers’ unbeaten league run of 52 games over the last four seasons came to an end 1-0 at the hands of midtable Ardley United on Saturday.
Stressing that the record had never been a major focus for them, manager Mark Eaton said: “We are proud of what we have achieved. Everyone who has contributed over that time, certainly those players who have been with us throughout, have been part of something really special.
“But now it’s time to put a line under it and concentrate on the challenges ahead.
“I’m more concerned that we lost the game than the record!
“On balance it was a bad mistake that let in the early goal and we just couldn’t find a way past their resolute defence.
“They had a game plan, but could we have done better? Absolutely. It’s fine margins that can decide games and we should have had a goal.
“It was great to have been unbeaten for so long, but at some point it was going to happen, we weren’t going to keep it going for ever. Now it’s time to start building another unbeaten record.”
Their run had begun in the final three games in the Spartan South Midlands League in the 2018/19 season, stretched over two Covid-hit seasons in the Hellenic League (a total of 29) and now 20 games to be top of the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division, in their first year as a Step 5 club.
Celebrating their 50th anniversary year, talk about the club’s record had added extra interest - and pressure - on their recent games as the half century milestone attracted widespread media attention.
Without a game this weekend, Rangers return to action next Saturday (29th) at eighth-placed Flackwell Heath, which will be another tough fixture.