Free-kicks catch out tired Rangers


Cramlington Town...2

Longhoughton Rangers A...1

RANGERS made their way to Cramlington for their second away game in two days and with the bare minimum of 11 players, most of whom looked tired and bruised from the previous day, it was always going to be an uphill struggle.

It was Rangers, however, who started the brighter, with Dominic Schiavetta making some great runs down the right. His crosses into the box were sublime, but Rangers couldn’t capitalise.

Adam Jobson, Michael Kirkup and Sheldon Ayre marshalled the midfield and held Cramlington up in the middle of the park. Jordan Beattie worked tirelessly down the left wing and was unlucky to watch an early shot go wide.

Daniel Troy threatened at every occasion and could have had at least a hat-trick in the first half, seeing shots going wide and a great header from a Schiavetta corner go just over.

Rangers took the lead 10 minutes in. Schiavetta, who placed every corner perfectly on the day saw his cross into the box parried by the keeper onto the back of a defender and the ball crossed the line (1-0).

Rangers should have made their possession count and, with a bit more composure, this game could have been wrapped up.

Cramlington did well to work their way back into the game and started to pass the ball well, but the defence of Liam Tiffin, Matthew Hunter, Matthew Stephenson and Jack Lane kept them at bay until one of the Cramlington attackers were brought down 30 yards out.

Rangers organised their wall but the kicker saw Rangers keeper Phil Brown off his line and struck a great looping shot into the back of the net (1-1).

Half-time came and went, and the tempo of the game rose. Cramlington now had the bit between their teeth and were playing the better football.

However, they could not break down the Rangers back four and frustration caused a Cramlington forward to lash out at centre-half Hunter and was given a stern talking to by the referee.

Minutes later, though, the Cramlington player was sent off for a nasty challenge on Hunter.

Extra-time beckoned and the game seemed destined for penalties, when neither side seemed able to break each other down. With only seconds to go, Cramlington were awarded a free-kick in a position similar to their first and a carbon copy strike saw the ball again sail over Brown to secure victory for the home side (2-1).

Longhoughton: P Brown, J Lane, M Stephenson, M Hunter, L Tiffin, S Ayre, M Kirkup, A Jobson, D Troy, J Beattie, D Schiavetta.