Girls make belated winning start

Blyth Town U15...1 Longhoughton Rangers FC U15...3

U15 Northumberland Girls’ League

THREE weeks into the league season and Rangers finally got their campaign under way, a brace from captain Morrison ensuring the Longhoughton side made a winning start.

Rangers began brightly, Davison shooting over after some fine interplay between Finney and Morrison on the right. A moment later, winger Keech also saw her opening shot on goal sail wide of the mark.

Blyth crafted their first chance following a corner five minutes into the game. The ball teased across the goalmouth, but the Blyth forward sliced her shot wide of the Rangers goal.

That should have been a wake-up call for Rangers, but five minutes later, the Longhoughton full-back was caught in possession by three white-shirted Blyth players and dispossessed.

Blyth cut the ball back across the face of goal leaving the unmarked forward to shoot between the static Rangers goalkeeper and the near post (1-0).

Longhoughton responded well, with the Blyth goalkeeper making a number of important saves as the half progressed, before some outstanding play by Hutton released Morrison on the right and the Rangers forward fired into the far corner, levelling the score (1-1).

Rangers should have taken the lead when awarded an indirect free-kick minutes later, but Morrison was denied by a fantastic save from the Blyth goalkeeper. Longhoughton’s pressure did eventually pay off when Keech fired a rocket into the six-yard area, the Blyth centre-back stuck out a foot and the resulting deflection took it past the stranded goalkeeper (1-2).

Rangers continued to dominate the opening period of the second half as Blyth Town pressed forward seeking a second goal, leaving themselves open to the counter.

Keech and Morrison both went close for Longhoughton and were only denied by an outstanding performance from the Blyth goalkeeper, but eventually the pressure told, Morrison closing down the Blyth centre-back and forcing an error, before calmly slotting the ball beyond the despairing goalkeeper to give Rangers a two-goal lead (1-3).

As the match entered the last 15 minutes, tiredness crept in and it was only the last-minute challenges of Lewington and Wood that kept Blyth from adding to their tally, as Blyth, sensing their chance, pushed forward with increasing regularity.

Longhoughton Rangers FC: H Burn, C Wood, B .Lewington, E Parry, E Davison (E Smart 35), C Hutton, J Morrison (c), R Keech, H Finney (S Lazenby, 40). Player-of-the-match: Keech. Manager’s player-of-the-match: Wood.