Hawks hit by defeat backlash

Heaton Hawks U13...1

Longhoughton Rangers U13...3

RANGERS returned to League football action after almost two months due to the weather with an away game at Heaton Hawks.

This game was on the back of an abject cup display a week earlier away at Cramlington when they capitulated and recorded their biggest ever defeat, going down 10-1. The only highlights were a goal from the hard-working Chris Gardner and a solid performance from James Hume.

It was hoped that there would be a reaction from the players and, from the whistle, it was apparent that this was a very different Rangers team from the one who took the field the previous weekend. Heaton are a team that are well-matched to the Rangers team and the first 10 minutes were close.

The breakthrough came from a move on the right involving Brad Asprey who shifted the ball to Josh Briggs. He found Ryan Harrison who spread the play to Jack Gibson on the left side of the box. Jack moved the ball onto his right foot to shoot in low in the corner of the net (0-1).

On the next attack, Rangers extended their lead with Gibson again at the centre of things. Chris Gardner and Sam Eggleston had worked the ball into the box but it was cleared to the left for a throw. Gibson hit a great cross from the throw that found Ryan Harrison about eight yards out. He sent a superb looping header over the keeper.

Heaton looked dangerous on the break having a very strong and quick centre forward, however, his threat was nullified by great defensive performances from Brad Asprey and Joe Lewis and particularly Sam Eastham and James Hume who were strong and assured in the centre half positions.

On half-time, Rangers had a number of chances in a goalmouth scramble to extend the lead but some great goalkeeping and defensive blocks kept the score at 0-2.

Chris Gardner was unlucky not to score shortly after the restart when he got though one-on-one but he pulled his shot just wide of the upright.

Ryan Harrison then played Gardner in with a great diagonal ball but he was denied by the keeper who was out quickly to narrow the angles.

On 15 minutes, Rangers fashioned the type of goal that would have had the MOTD pundits purring had it been scored by a Premiership striker.

Will Hall won the ball in midfield and played a lofted pass over the top of the defence. Ryan Harrison was on the chance in a flash and hammered a great volley executed at speed over the advancing keeper.

Just before full-time, Heaton scored a goal with a break down the right when an intended cross was mishit and looped over the stranded Taylor in the Rangers goal.

The game ended soon after as Rangers bagged a welcome three points with a well-deserved 1-3 win.

Overall, a good team performance with the whole squad playing their part and working hard for each other which resulted in a footballing performance of high quality throughout.

Man-of-the-match was awarded to Sam Eastham and James Hume for excellent performances at centre-half.

Rangers: K Taylor, R Pattinson, Jordan Briggs, Josh Briggs, J Lewis, S Eastham, S Eggleston, J Turnbull, C Gardner, R Harrison, B Asprey, W Hall, L Evans, J Gibson, A Murray, J Hume. Man-of-the-match: Sam Eastham and James Hume.