Wildcats outwit Rangers in classic battle

NGFL U11 LEAGUE

Longhoughton Rangers...1

Bedlington Town Wildcats...3

LONGHOUGHTON Rangers U11 Girls team faced one of the league favourites, Bedlington Town Wildcats, on Saturday, with Rangers out for revenge after their defeat in the cup by the Wildcats.

The game started with the Wildcats playing some lovely passes around the team and moving the ball upfield. As the Wildcats attacker was about to pull the trigger, O’Neill of Rangers’ defence stretched out her foot and took the ball away from the attacker. She then played it to Brown who found Barrett on the right. She drove down the wing and crossed the ball into the box.

Grisdale met it and shot but Wildcats’ keeper saved with an outstretched hand.

The ball was then played upfield to the Wildcats midfield, who threaded the ball through the Rangers defence onto the foot of the waiting attacker.

The ball was smacked goalwards, forcing Lindley, the Rangers keeper, to push it over the bar.

Grisdale took control and sprinted to the Wildcats end. Seeing Barrett was in a good position, she passed for her team-mate to shoot but it went wide.

Rangers got the second quarter under way and had the wind with them. Brown passed to Grisdale who shot early using the wind. Wildcats’ keeper had to be alert and saved, pushing the ball around the post.

From a goal-kick, the Wildcats defence played it to the midfield. They exploited a gap and found the attacker who shot and scored a well-worked goal (0-1).

Rangers kept their heads high, took the centre-kick and went straight towards goal. Brown found Barrett, who shot the ball straight at the keeper.

The keeper kicked the ball out but Marshall intercepted it for Rangers and played Grisdale in. She took it forward and found Barrett who shot. The ball sailed in for the equaliser (1-1).

The Wildcats started the third quarter with the wind at their backs.

Attacking straight from the off, the Rangers defence stood firm and Marshall cleared the ball out.

Wildcats put pressure on Rangers’ defence and the ball was played in but Lindley raced off her line to scoop up the ball. She played it first time from her hands straight to Brown, who turned to find Grisdale, who took a touch then shot, but the Wildcats keeper saved.

The ball came into the Rangers box from a corner, pinged off one or two players before a Rangers player stuck out a hand and struck the ball.

Wildcats scored the resulting penalty – keeper Lindley didn’t have a chance.

From the restart, Rangers moved the ball forward, Grisdale driving through the Wildcats defence, but her shot was saved.

Rangers again got the ball and struck the post. The Wildcats keeper played the ball out to a midfielder, she looked up, took the ball into the Rangers half and booted it.

The ball took flight and dipped under the crossbar for 3-1.

Rangers started the last quarter, playing the ball to Barrett who went down the right, played it in and Newby shot, but the ball went wide.

Wildcats then came forward and Marshall broke up that move, passing to Grisdale, who played in Brown to blast another shot wide.

The Wildcats attacker forced a brilliant save from Lindley before the opposition keeper did the same from a Barrett shot.

Wildcats passed upfield; their midfielder turned only to find O’Neill waiting for her and she cleared the ball to her midfielder Brown. Brown played in Grisdale who shot wide.

The game then ebbed and flowed with no one able to take advantage of their chances.

When the whistle was blown the girls shook hands and thanked each other for being in such a brilliant game.

Manager Jimmy Somerville thanked both sets of parents and supporters, who cheered and shouted for both teams, and the referee, Reece.

Jimmy said: “He is just learning the craft, he kept the game flowing and was as much a spectator as we all were.”

Longhoughton Girls U11s’ next game is against Walbottle Girls on Saturday, kick-off 11am, Pitch 4, Complete Football Gosforth Park.

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