Newcastle Westgate U11...1 Longhoughton Rangers U11...6
Pin Point Recruitment Junior Football League, U11 League 4
AFTER two recent thrilling draws, Longhoughton Rangers travelled to Newcastle Westgate hoping to get back to winning ways.
The reversed fixture earlier in the season had been a close fought battle and Rangers knew they were in for a tough game.
Longhoughton played to their strengths right from the whistle, and produced some fabulous passing football testing the Westgate keeper almost immediately.
Rangers continued to pressurise the Westgate defence, with wingers Louis Stripp and Lewis Smart making excellent use of the width of the pitch.
Striker Matisse Richards was proving to be a real handful, and was unfortunate to have an early goal disallowed as a result of a bizarre off-side decision. His perseverance soon paid off though as he dispossessed a Westgate defender and smashed home Longhoughton’s first.
Rangers’ defensive quartet of Harry Gibson, Rees Thompson, Ben Wright and Jonathan Fortescue were easily dealing with the Westgate attackers, and were all showing fantastic vision in playing the ball forwards.
Harry Byrne and Mathew Thompson marshalled the centre of midfield with great authority, making good interceptions and protecting the defence.
Some superb passing football again found Richards who happily blasted home Rangers’ second. Minutes later Richards turned provider, taking a superb corner which was expertly headed home by his strike partner Tyler Ross.
Adam Falkous and Owen Baggott were introduced for Byrne and Ross, with Baggott taking up the right wing position pushing Smart into his more familiar role as the midfield enforcer.
Westgate were struggling to contain the lively Rangers attack, Louis Stripp showing he had pace to burn was making sensational runs down the left, and was deservedly rewarded as his terrific strike made it 4-0.
Westgate continued to battle hard, but with most of their play coming through one player, midfield Smart stuck to his man-marking task allowing Wright and Thompson to effectively break up any threat.
A free-kick awarded for an alleged foul on Westgate’s main man Rebas saw him step up and pull a goal back with an unstoppable strike into the top corner.
Ranger’s though knew they had a good grip of the game and were determined to take all three points.
Pressing forwards again, Falkous on a fantastic run that showed great strength and determination and was unlucky not to find the net. An interception by Smart found Stripp in acres of space on the left just inside his own half.
Stripp surged forward on a Ben-Arfa style lone run and slotted home Longhoughton’s fifth in magnificent style.
A further Ranger’s reshuffle had seen Archie Wort assume the right back role, pushing tenacious Gibson forwards into midfield, Ross was re-introduced for Falkous and Byrne took over from Smart.
Rangers’ were playing with terrific confidence and continued to dominate all across the pitch with Wright and Thompson making crunching tackles to dampen down any suggestion of a Westgate revival.
Rangers continued to pepper the Westgate goal, a loose ball fell to Thompson who volleyed just wide and a fizzing cross from Gibson unluckily evaded everyone in the box. Sensing a sixth goal, Stripp made another unstoppable run, crossing accurately to pick out Richards who smashed home for his well-deserved hat-trick.
A sensational team performance from Rangers, who thoroughly deserved to take maximum points.
Longhoughton Rangers: Ben Saxon, Harry Gibson, Rees Thompson, Ben Wright, Jonathan Fortescue, Louis Stripp, Lewis Smart, Harry Byrne, Mathew Thompson, Matisse Rian. Man of the match: Harry Gibson