Lincoln Moorlands Railway pull together to overcome hard times
Mostyn Chester's defiance at Lincoln Moorlands Railway finally looks to be paying off.
The club has struggled so far this season, but last weekend they registered their second point of the campaign with a 1-1 draw at Retford United and followed that up with a 1-0 victory at Tadcaster Albion on Saturday.
It has not been easy for Chester.
The former Nettleham boss stepped up from the reserve set-up last month after former boss Matt Carmichael left the club.
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He came to the helm of a club who were still dealing with the death of chairman Alan Hodds and were rock bottom of the Northern Counties East League Premier Division.
But with new assistant Paul Rawden, he is confident the club is moving forward.
"Things were not great," admitted Chester.
"The club said at the start of the season that they would not be paying players and a lot went packing straight away.
"That meant a number of the reserve lads had to step up and in some cases boys from the intermediate set-up.
"It was a lot to ask for some of them and you could not expect a lad of 17 to play a full 90 minutes in NCEL.
"The results show how hard it has been and while we have taken some beatings you have to consider the context of who we could call upon."
Coupled with the on-field problems, issues behind the scenes were not great, but Chester refused to be ground down by it.
"It was a difficult period. We sadly lost Alan Hodds and then the manager and the secretary both left," said Chester.
"It would have been so easy for us to bemoan what had happened, but that's not my way.
"As a club we worked hard to earn Charter Standard status and get where we are, it was not right to let that slip away.
"When times are hard you have to do something and we have pulled things together.
"Behind the scenes, Alan's son Mark Hodds has taken on the secretarial duties at present.
"We are advertising for a new one, but Mark and other members of the committee have stayed the course to get things right again."
The key in recent days has been the arrival of Rawden.
Chester believes that the former Arnold Town assistant is a perfect partner in the dugout and it is already producing results.
"There are several things which Paul brings to it all," said Chester.
"First, he's coming from Nottinghamshire and has a lot of contacts around there.
"That's a big bonus, as it can be very competitive to try and get players into the club, especially when you are not offering to pay expenses.
"Secondly, I feel that we compliment each other really well.
"My weaknesses are his strengths and vice-versa. We both know what we want out of a game of football, and both know that in this division you cannot try and play like Barcelona.
"It is looking to be a good partnership."
The pair had only met a handful of times before they were in the dugout together at Cannon Park, Retford, at the weekend.
The Moorlands team that day was also finding its feet, with Rawden drafting in a number of new players into the line-up from Nottinghamshire.
And Chester was pleased at how quickly everyone gelled together.
"It was really good," said Chester. "We sat in the dressing room beforehand and they all mixed in.
"The lads from Nottingham did not sit one side and the boys from Lincoln the other.
"They all came together and they all know what the situation is.
"I was really pleased with the result and it gives you a lot of hope going forward.
"I think people were surprised by the result against Retford. Our form has been bad prior to that.
"But we've looked at the team, worked out where we had to strengthen and things are looking a lot brighter."
Rawden will be pitched against his former club on Saturday when Arnold visit Newark Road.
Moorlands go into the clash off the back of a morale-boosting 1-0 win at Tadcaster. Kevin Lusamba scored the only goal of the game in the 43rd minute.