Rangers maintain winning run

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NORTHUMBERLAND GIRLS’ FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Longhoughton Rangers...3

Blyth Town...2

LONGHOUGHTON Rangers Girls U11s kept their winning run going in their latest NGFL league game.

On Saturday they travelled to Complete Football eager to get going again after the Christmas and weather delays.

Blyth Town was the opposition and had already beaten Rangers twice in friendlies.

Rangers got the game under way and went straight on the attack, Brown passing the ball to Barrett who put it wide. Rangers broke play up with a tackle from defender O’Neill who cleared the ball upfield to get another Rangers attack going; Grisdale was able to latch onto the ball and shot straight at the keeper.

Blyth then came at Rangers with slick passing and movement and worked the ball to their attacker who shot at goal. Rangers keeper Lindley, alert as ever, was able to collect the ball. Lindley then kicked the ball out to B Whittaker who shot on goal. The keeper saved it but parried the ball into the path of Grisdale; she shot and the keeper saved, pushing the ball to the floor, but Grisdale (whose momentum had landed her on the floor) was quick-thinking and from the floor kicked the ball into the net.

Rangers were 1-0 up.

Blyth re-started the game and passed the ball around. Newby in the Rangers defence intercepted the ball and drove towards the Blyth goal. Newby passed to Brown who found Grisdale. She shot and found the back of the net.

Rangers were 2-0 up in the first quarter – a first this season.

Blyth again went on the attack and hit the ball off the bar. The ball was gathered by Blyth again and their attacker took a shot which Lindley pushed around the post.

Town took their corner and P Whittaker cleared the ball downfield. The referee then blew to end the first quarter.

Blyth got the second quarter going and immediately went on the attack.

The midfield played in the attacker, only to have O’Neill clear the ball. Blyth kept up the pressure and Marshall cleared the ball this time. Marshall intercepted the next Blyth attack and found Barrett, who sprinted down the right wing. She battled to the goal-line and crossed the ball in.

B Whittaker, waiting for the cross, stretched out her leg but the ball went just wide.

The Blyth keeper kicked the ball out, the defence took it forward and passed to the attacker who shot, but Lindley was equal to it, stretching to her full height and tipping the ball over.

The ball came in from the corner and Newby cleared out to Grisdale.

She played the ball to Barrett’s feet and a shot on goal resulted but it was saved by an alert Blyth keeper.

Blyth got the ball forward and Marshall intercepted and put it out for a throw-in. Blyth packed the Rangers box and a good throw was arrowed into the box, P Whittaker headed the ball away and the referee blew to end the second quarter.

Kicking off the third quarter, the ball was played to Brown then Barrett who shot. It went agonisingly close but wide.

Blyth now increased the tempo and constantly bombarded the Rangers goal, the ball hit the bar, each post or worked Lindley to her limits but they still couldn’t get through to score.

Rangers again attacked, B Whittaker finding Brown, whose shot was saved.

From the Blyth kick-out, the midfield passed the ball through the Rangers defence and the Blyth attack, who left her marker brilliantly, took a touch and then belted the ball past Lindley for 2-1. Blyth were making a comeback.

Blyth had several more chances but the Rangers defence of O’Neill, Marshall and Newby stood strong. Rangers went on the attack again but play was broken up by a defender who played the ball out for a corner. With Barrett off the field, corner duties fell to Grisdale. The ball bent in, hit the underside of the crossbar and flew in for her hat-trick and Rangers’ third (3-1).

Blyth kicked off the last quarter and set their stall out for the rest of the game, with wave upon wave of attacks. Again the defence held and Lindley made some magnificent saves.

Blyth’s pressure finally paid off. The midfield intercepted the ball, passed it to the attacker who rounded the defence and shot. The ball sailed passed Lindley’s hand for 3-2 with six minutes to play.

Rangers held on even though Blyth were relentless in attack. A real nail-biter for the Rangers coaches. It was a great game played in a super spirit and sportsmanship.

Longhoughton’s next game is against Bedlington Town Wildcats on Saturday, kick-off 11am, on pitch four at Complete Football Gosforth Park.

Training is Thursdays 6pm to 7pm at Westfield Park, Longhoughton, if you’d like to give it a try. Training is for Years 5 and 6 only.

Longhoughton: Barrett, Brown, Grisdale (goal-scorer and coaches’ man-of-the-match), Lindley (opponents’ man-of-the-match), Marshall, Newby, O’Neill, B Whittaker and P Whittaker.