A day to forget for Rangers

Longhoughton Rangers U15...1 West Denton U15...8

Pin Point Recruitment Junior Football League, U15 Division Four

GOING into the game on the back of two impressive victories, Longhoughton Rangers took on top-of-the-table West Denton at a mild and sunny Westfield Park on Sunday.

From the kick-off many of the early exchanges fell the way of West Denton with Rangers keeper Phillip Brown comfortably collecting from a fourth minute free-kick and Cameron Barriskell clearing on six minutes.

Although Rangers’ possession matched that of the visitors’, chances continued to fall to West Denton with an 11th minute long-range shot flying high over the Rangers’ bar and a 12th minute shot being collected by Brown.

Rangers’ first chance of the game fell to Tristan Oliver on 14 minutes went he shot wide from a well-weighted pass by William Young. Rangers were nearly caught out again when the visitors got behind the defence with a dangerous shot being saved by Brown.

On 18 minutes West Denton were denied by an excellent diving fingertip save by Brown who pushed the ball behind but took the lead from the resulting corner (1-0).

From the re-start Rangers went all out for a quick equaliser and were rewarded on 20 minutes when Oliver slotted the ball into the visitors’ net after a good move.

Barely a minute later the visitors extended their lead, following a mix-up in the Rangers’ defence when they headed into the Rangers’ net, past the stranded Brown.

With 23 minutes gone Young was unlucky not to score an equaliser when he shot wide after an excellent Rangers move then Oliver looked certain to score but was denied by the West Denton bar.

On 30 minutes the visitors just failed to extend their lead from a corner when presented with a free header at the Rangers’ back post which trickled wide of the post.

The final chance of the opening half fell to Rangers with a powerful individual run out of defence by Barriskell, ending when his shot was collected by the West Denton Keeper.

Half-time: 2-1 to the visitors in a fairly evenly-matched half.

The second half got off to a poor start for Rangers going 3-1 down in the 41st minute following some poor defending. The score could easily have been 4-1 on 44 minutes but for a brave block by Rangers’ keeper Brown.

Rangers’ first chance of the half fell to Jordon Beattie whose 46th minute shot was saved by the opposition keeper.

The visitors looked certain to extend their lead with 47 minutes gone but for another brave block by Brown and, with the ball looking to have been kicked out of his hands, the danger ended with the loose ball bouncing off the Rangers bar and safely behind.

West Denton netted on 48 minutes but the goal was disallowed after being flagged offside by the eagle-eyed linesman.

With Rangers holding their own, they were unfortunate to concede a fourth goal on 53 minutes.

This prompted Rangers’ first substitutions of the match, with James Byrne replacing Dale Thompson and Sheldon Ayre being replaced by season debutante Ben Lack.

Before the subs could settle-in further sloppy defending allowed the visitors through for a fifth goal on 55 minutes.

A period of good possession and pressure followed for Rangers but with no reward. Further substitution came on 60 minutes with Jonathan Smeaton coming on for Barriskell and on 63 minutes with Ryan Kelly being replaced by Connor Scott.

In a repeat of the fifth goal, Rangers found themselves 6-1 down in the 24th minute.

From the re-start Rangers went on the attack with an excellent effort by Young being collected by the West Denton keeper.

Rangers were unlucky to concede a seventh goal on 67 minutes after an excellent block by keeper Brown with the ball being netted when the defence failed to clear the loose ball. Brown’s best save of the day came when he turned a well-struck 68th minute shot around the post with a full stretch diving one-handed save. Rangers could have pulled one back on 69 minutes but Jamie Stanford’s shot managed to find the visitor keeper’s hands.

With West Denton’s confidence soaring they scored their eighth and thankfully final goal of the day on 70 minutes with an excellent shot beating the advancing Brown

With the clock slowly winding down for Rangers, West Denton were denied a further goal by another excellent block by Brown with the goalward-bound ball being confidently cleared by Jack Lane.

A day to forget for Rangers but six points from their first four games for a new team is a pretty good start. There was some good news, a least it didn’t rain and the bacon sandwiches served up in the clubhouse were superb.

Longhoughton Rangers: S Ayre, P Brown, J Byrne, C Barriskell, J Beattie, R Kelly, J Lane, B Lack, T Oliver, C Scott, J Stanford, J Smeaton, D Thompson, L Tiffin, W Young. Rangers’ manager’s man-of-the-match: Phillip Brown. Opposition manager’s man-of-the-match: Phillip Brown.