Rangers’ valiant effort not enough

Northumberland Girls Football League'Under-15's League Cup ' 1st Round''29 October 2011''Newcastle East End v Longhoughton Rangers FC.
Northumberland Girls Football League'Under-15's League Cup ' 1st Round''29 October 2011''Newcastle East End v Longhoughton Rangers FC.

Newcastle East End...6 Longhoughton Rangers FC...1

Northumberland Girls’ Football League, U15 League Cup, Round One

DESPITE an amazing performance that saw Longhoughton out-play Newcastle for large parts of the first half, a mad 20 minutes in the second half was enough to ensure favourites Newcastle marched on to the semi-finals.

Drawn for the second consecutive year against the league favourites in the cup, Rangers were always the under-dogs for this game, but with three players missing the task became even harder.

Rangers started well enough, with Morrison creating the early chances, as Longhoughton’s makeshift defence kept the home side’s opportunities to a minimum.

Newcastle East End, as expected, pinned the visitors back in their own half, but were unable to create any significant chances until the 26th minute, when a quickly taken corner caught the Longhoughton players off-guard and a long lofted shot into the goal area caught the keeper out of position and unable to react.

Newcastle’s lead lasted all of five minutes before stand-in centre back Keech found Morrison with a long ball, the tall Rangers striker weaving between four players before rolling the ball past the outstretched arms of the keeper to make it honours even.

The last ten minutes of the first half were played at a frantic pace, as both teams battled for every ball and Longhoughton continued to press and probe the Newcastle defence hoping to turn possession into goals, but it stayed 1-1 at the break.

Longhoughton began the second half with the same energy as they had played the first, Keech making a strong run from the back and combining well with Morrison before shooting wide, while at the other end, Lewington and Hutton worked tirelessly chasing every ball as the Rangers defence came under more and more pressure.

As the game wore on Rangers couldn’t maintain the tempo that had seen them through the first half, and as Newcastle brought on fresh legs, Longhoughton began to tire and struggled to contain the home side.

Newcastle added a second following a mistake in the Rangers defence in the 51st minute. Two minutes later the home side extended their lead, the powerful forward brushing aside three players before casually side footing past Burn.

Lewington prevented an own-goal in the 56th minute, clearing a spilt ball off her own goal-line, only for Newcastle to score again in their next attack, the Longhoughon midfield failing to track back and assist the defence.

Rangers looked tired and it showed as East End began to dominate the game rampaging down both flanks. The home side added another two goals in the 62nd and 65th minute capitalising on more errors in the Rangers defence, with Longhoughton having little to offer in response.

Morrison and Keech kept pressing, but the damage had been done and Newcastle had already secured their passage into the semi-finals.

Longhoughton Rangers FC: H Burn, E Smart (S Lazenby 35), B Lewington, R Keech, E Lester, J Morrison (c), C Hutton, E Parry, H Finney. Player-of-the-match: Morrison. Manager’s player: Lewington.