Hat-trick heroines inspire Rangers

GIRLS U14 FOOTBALL

Longhoughton Rangers FC...9

Forest Hall...2

RANGERS cut through the Forest in a battling performance.

Following last week’s victory in the League Shield second round, Rangers secured their first home victory of the year with an outstanding display against Forest Hall.

The home side welcomed back powerful striker Lewney, whose hat-trick helped see off the visitors in style.

Despite a slow start, it was Rangers who applied the early pressure, Keech and Lewney both forcing saves from the Forest Hall goalkeeper.

Broughton went close for the visitors, latching onto a throw-in only to see her right-foot drive come back off the Rangers post.

Morrison nearly opened the scoring on the ten-minute mark, her shot saved by Forest Hall’s goalkeeper, who was then quick to react to deny the prowling Lewney, as the ball bounced free into the penalty area.

Rangers were creating plenty of chances, Morrison, Lewney and Parker all shooting over the goal, but, in the 23rd minute, Longhoughton finally took their chance.

A poor goal-kick from Forest Hall fell kindly to Lewney and, although the goalkeeper did well to save the initial shot, she couldn’t stop Morrison from picking up the rebound and driving the ball home into the bottom left corner (1-0).

With two minutes left in the half, Rangers doubled their lead, Parker slipping the ball through to Keech, the forward striking it with such power that the Forest Hall goalkeeper was unable to keep it out despite getting a hand to it (2-0).

Rangers made it 3-0 on the stroke of half-time, Smart feeding Lewney, who had the strength to shrug off the Forest Hall centre-back, before placing the ball beyond the goalkeeper.

Rangers started the second half brightly, Parker, doing well to keep the ball in play near Forest Hall’s right corner flag, set up Morrison who managed to beat the goalkeeper at her near-post from an impossibly acute angle (4-0).

Rangers continued to pressure the visitors and were rewarded when a Forest Hall defender had her clearance charged down by Keech, the ball striking the Rangers forward on her knee before bouncing into the back of the Forest Hall goal (5-0).

Credit to Forest Hall they kept trying, and in Rynn they had a player who continued to cause the Rangers defence problems. A quarter of an hour into the second half and the talented winger pulled one back for the visitors (5-1).

Lewney replied for Longhoughton almost immediately, battling through three challenges to side-foot the ball home (6-1).

Forest Hall added a second through the industrious Broughton, before Rangers’ powerful forward Lewney secured her hat-trick on her return after five games out (7-2).

Ranger’s Parker opened her account for the season, her shot taking a kindly deflection off a Forest Hall defender and beating the goalkeeper, the goal just what the midfield player deserved following an outstanding display (8-2).

Finney and Keech both had chances to extend the home side’s lead, before Morrison sealed a comfortable Longhoughton win, and her hat-trick, with a rocket from 20 yards out (9-2).

Both teams played really well and it was a thrilling game to watch. Next up is Morpeth SC.

Longhoughton Rangers FC: H Burn, E Lester (H Finney 30), C Wood, B Lewington, R Keech, H Parker, J Morrison, E Smart (S Conning 45), K Lewney. Player-of-the-match: Parker.