Rangers’ fightback earns draw

Longhoughton Rangers Res...3 Tweedmouth Rangers...3

Sportsworld North Northumberland Football League, Division Two

IT has been a roller-coaster season of highs and lows, agony and ecstasy, yet every single Longhoughton Rangers player has relished every second of football they have played with each other, writes Thomas Flanighan.

Longhoughton’s final match of the season saw them entertain Tweedmouth at Westfield Park. Both teams were looking to finish the season on a high.

Rory Wood orchestrated the first goal of the game. Moving swiftly down the right-wing, he was able to pull the ball back to Tom Fleet who coolly finished past the Tweedmouth stopper.

First blood to Longhoughton then and they smelled more. Dom Chapman shot wide, Blacklock over and Aaron Beattie went close with an improvised overhead kick.

The red and blue army doubled their lead when Peter Murray’s dazzling rocket of a shot sped into the corner of the net.

Longhoughton’s first half performance was emphatic, unarguable and most of all, impressive.

Half-time: 2-0.

The second half curse of conceding early goals continued to spite Longhoughton.

Within 15 minutes of the second period, Tweedmouth had bombarded Longhoughton with wave upon wave of attack and managed to convert three goals.

Rangers had lost their lead and passionate manager Carl Beattie performed his trademark party piece, grumbling loudly and bitterly at the day’s referee. Yet after a 10 minute blip, Longhoughton soon regained their composure and normal service was resumed.

Tom Fleet came up trumps again by producing a storming run from midfield before unleashing an incredible shot straight into the back of the net. ‘Inspirational’ is the most appropriate word to use as Fleets’ brace helped Rangers on their way to a well-deserved draw.

Only those who have played for Longhoughton this season will understand that it has been a fantastic season for all involved with the club. Not in terms of results, but the manner in which everyone has conducted themselves – a team spirit and togetherness unlike any other team.

Yes, there are no excuses. Finishing second bottom in the league wasn’t the original plan, everyone knows that.

Next season’s team will be totally unrecognisable to the side which played together on their final game of the season.

With such a young team, some are awaiting to start a new challenge in life, with many heading off to universities. So it was a special moment for most of the Longhoughton lads, who were wearing the coveted red and blue stripes for the last time.

Longhoughton Rangers: L Robinson, D Troy, C Stevenson, S Thorpe, G Leng-Jackson, T Flanighan, T Fleet, A Beattie, R Wood, D Chapman, J Breeze.

LEAGUE AND CUP ROUND-UP

GOALS from Robbie Black and Ronnie Foreman led Bedlington Terriers Reserves to Sanderson Cup glory on Saturday as they beat Longhoughton Rangers 2-0 to lift the trophy.

Cup joy was also on the cards for Wooler as they won the Runciman Cup on Friday, beating Alnmouth United 4-0 in the final.

The weekend also witnessed league action with Tweedmouth Harrow beating Lynemouth Institute 3-1 in Division One.

In Division Two, Longhoughton Rangers Reserves drew 3-3 with Tweedmouth Rangers.

Tomorrow, Belford face Berwick United Reserves in the Robson Cup Final while Alnwick Town Reserves play Bedlington Terriers Reserves in the Bilclough Cup Final on Saturday.

Both matches take place at St James’ Park, Alnwick, and kick-off at 7pm.