Longhoughton Rangers Res...2 Belford FC...4
IN a convincing victory, Belford took advantage like cackling hyenas stripping the carcass of a wounded zebra against a dejected Longhoughton Rangers team writes Thomas Flanighan.
Reinvigorated rather than demoralised by their poor recent form, Rangers were on top in the first quarter of the game.
Belford took the lead when a quick counter-attack found its way into the back of the net.
Rangers seem to have developed a habit of conceding goals in double-quick time.
A mere five minutes had passed before Belford had doubled their advantage.
Nevertheless, it was Aaron Beattie who pulled a much-deserved goal back for Rangers, striker Rory Wood going down in the area, before Beattie expertly converting from the penalty spot.
Robbie Whittle became a casualty for the Rangers medical team. Perhaps Belford’s ugly up-and-unders and scrums were best suited to a Six Nations weekend, but for those who preferred the beautiful game, it was painful viewing.
However, Rangers were caught off their guard yet again and goals number three and four flowed into the net.
Credit must be given to Belford who sliced open the defence on numerous occasions.
The fight-back was on, Tom Fleet came closest with a commanding, spectacular shot which clattered the crossbar.
Rory Wood also had a one-on-one opportunity, but the chance was almost too easy and the spirited youngster could only steer the ball at the keeper.
Finally, Dominic Chapman added a second after an Aaron Beattie free-kick was floated into the box.
And in typical centre-forward fashion, Chapman pounced like a lion to add a second for Rangers. Despite losing against a team that are comfortably sitting in fourth place in the league, it can be fairly said that it was a bad day at the office for the Longhoughton lads.
The new year has not started well for Longhoughton, but it must be believed that cheerfulness in the face of adversity is the key to turning the tables.
Longhoughton Rangers Res: L Robinson, M Kiddell, M Adamson, LJ, S Thorpe, R Whittle, T Flanighan, T Fleet, P Blacklock, A Beattie, J Breeze, A Kirkup, R Wood, D Chapman, A Robinson. Man-of-the-match: Aaron Beattie.