Longhoughton Rangers U14...1 Walker Central U14...5
Pin Point Recruitment U14, League Two
FOLLOWING a two-week lay-off due to cup competitions, Rangers returned to league action against Walker Central and welcomed Thomas Slack into their ranks as goalkeeper – the fifth this season.
The game was played in blustery conditions that assisted Walker more than Longhoughton, in particular with two long-range efforts.
The first half was fairly even but was just shaded by Walker, who scored with a long shot helped by the breeze (0-1).
Rangers saw a chance come back off the bar following strong running from Pattinson and Gardner upfront.
Thomas Slack, in goal, made some telling close-range stops and showed good handling technique throughout the game and was well shielded by the defensive unit of Jack Gibson, Brad Asprey, James Hume and Sheldon Dryden.
The first-half ended 0-1.
Within two minutes of the restart, some good skill and a slide-rule pass from Sam Eggleston put Chris Gardner clear and he slid the ball through the keeper’s legs (1-1).
Shortly after, Rangers were behind again as a defensive clearance from Jordan Moore was whacked back from range high into the corner of the net.
Rangers forced chances and a number of corners and Josh Briggs was unlucky not to equalise as he glanced a header wide of the upright. Ryan Pattinson and Jordan Moore both had long-range efforts that just drifted wide of the target.
As Rangers tried to push for an equaliser they were hit in quick succession on the break and found themselves 4-1 down. On the final whistle, Walker worked a good move up the right and the low cross was tapped in to round off what the scoreline would suggest was a comprehensive victory but was in fact a much closer game (5-1).
Man-of-the-match went to Dan Brooks for a very composed performance at left-back.
Red House Farm Milan U14...1 Longhoughton Rangers U14...0
RANGERS were then away to Red House Farm Milan on Sunday.
The game was played on a pitch that was reminiscent of the Somme and that dictated the quality of the game and the lack of chances created by both sides.
On 10 minutes, Sam Eggleston pulled off a good save at the feet of a Red House player. He released the ball quickly to Joe Beeby who fed Ryan Pattinson on the right. He sent a great cross that found Chris Gardner. However, he was well shepherded by the defence and forced to shoot wide.
Both teams looked most threatening from corners but solid defending from both sides meant the first-half ended deadlocked (0-0).
The second-half was played in a similar vein to the first with much of the action taking place in the middle of the pitch where Briggs was putting in his usual combative shift.
The Rangers defence was holding strong with Jack Gibson keeping their tricky left-winger quiet.
As the time ticked down, it looked like ending stalemate when a Red House player broke from the middle of the pitch. Rangers made his task a bit easier with a couple of lunging challenges but he did well to slide his shot inside the left-hand upright (1-0).
Rangers tried to press for an equaliser but the heavy pitch took its toll and they were unable to create anything of note.
Overall, it was a disappointing game for the team to take nothing from as they gave everything in difficult conditions.
Man-of-the-match went to Jack Gibson for a solid performance at right-back and a particular mention should go to the rest of the defence of Hume, Asprey and Brooks who looked organised and composed throughout.
Rangers: A Francis, B Asprey, J Briggs, S Dryden J Hume, D Brooks, J Moore, R Pattinson, C Gardner, S Eggleston, J Gibson, C Simpson, L Evans, J Beeby.