NABC LEAGUE CUP U16 QUARTER-FINAL
COMING a week after an impressive away league win, Fourth Division Longhoughton Rangers took on Third Division Forest Hall in the quarter-finals of the U16 League Cup.
On a bitterly cold day, Rangers went into this fixture with the confidence of an away win against the same opposition in another cup competition earlier in the season, but it was Forest Hall who started much the brighter straight from the kick-off, with early pressure seeing them shooting wide and high.
On 10 minutes, a Rangers free-kick was turned into a fast Forest Hall counter and attempt, which keeper James Virtue collected comfortably.
Rangers went 1-0 down on 13 minutes when a Forest Hall pass through the middle left the defence wrong-footed.
A knock to keeper Virtue forced Rangers manager Dave Young into his first substitution on 30 minutes with Andrew Smeaton taking up the gloves.
On the half-hour, a Forest Hall free kick just outside the Rangers penalty area beat the wall and the diving Smeaton for 2-0.
Relentless pressure on the Rangers goal, which saw the visitors shooting well wide of the target, resulted in Smeaton being beaten by a bobbling ball for 3-0. Half-time couldn’t come quickly enough for Rangers or their supporters.
A resurgent Rangers started the second half with Jordon Thompson and Callum Hedley on for Ash Williams and Jimmy Campbell.
A Thompson through-ball to Aliston was laid off to Morrison, who saw his shot saved by the Forest Hall keeper.
With Rangers pushing forward, Forest Hall made it 4-0 from a through-ball, which saw the unlucky Smeaton beaten again by another bobbling shot.
Rangers kept going and were rewarded with a free-kick following a foul on Gillon, but Morrison’s kick was comfortably cleared by the Forest Hall defence.
Forest Hall thought they had added a fifth but their attempt was ruled offside. With Cambell replacing Jemmett, Forest pressure continued with a legal fifth being slotted into the Rangers goal following a slick move which defeated the Rangers midfield and defence.
Despite gallant efforts Rangers could only shoot wide and conceded a sixth when they stopped playing while looking for a Forest Hall handball from the referee. The end of a thoroughly miserable afternoon for a below par Rangers.
Rangers: James Virtue, Dale Jemmett, Ryan Love, Keegan Watson, Jimmy Campbell, Ash Williams, Will Young, Kieran Martin, Edwin Gillon, Jake Morrison, Callum Aliston, Andrew Smeaton, Jordan Thompson and Callum Hedley.